Should I give you a little history of who I am? Would that help in the coming days when I tell my current story and how I got here? Yes? Okay. To start, I am the oldest of fifty daughters born to Nereus and Doris. I am one of the Nereids, the female embodiment of the sea. When I was a young nymph, Poseidon pursued me, and I chose to play hard to get. I knew what a catch he was, one of the Big Three, God of the Sea, the male form of, well, me. I ran and hid near Atlas, an old family friend, and it was there that Delphin found me. Poseidon didn’t even come himself, but Delphin made a good argument. I would be a goddess, Poseidon’s equal, and would rule the seas with him. I had to admit, that sounded good. No more living under my father’s shadow. The Old Man of the Sea could be fearsome.
I accepted Delphin’s offer and left with him for Atlantis, where Poseidon was pleased to see me. I also knew who he was, and how many children his brother had by mortal women, and that the trait was probably familial. I didn’t care. His presence was intoxicating, and when we met for the first time, I saw in him my future. We were happy, even with our other consorts. It was an arrangement that was beneficial for us, and I did not resent his mortal offspring. I didn’t hate or put my stepchildren through trials and hardships just because of their birth. If anything, I supported them on their journeys. Theseus was a favourite of mine. I gifted him some of my own attire, and he treated me with respect I never saw from Zeus’s children. Perhaps that is why no one knows me. I wasn’t a bitch *cough* like others were. Oh well.
When we fell, when the gods faded, Poseidon and I had grown apart as lovers but had remained friends, and I retained my place as his consort. I remember nothing through my time in the seas, just floating by, not even paying attention to humanity’s prosperity. I barely remember hearing a call, Zeus’s voice, commanding everyone to return. I didn’t fall under his power, I never did. I was his cousin by birth, and his sister by choice, but I was NOT an Olympian. He held no power over me.
The sea was fickle, and I was the sea. Sometimes, even more than Poseidon. The sea was always seen as a woman, and Thalassa and I had merged into one being many, many millennia ago. I was slow to respond and quick to act. I was violent and calm, stormy and bright. I didn’t need anyone in my life who would try to temper that. When I realized that, I awoke, and it amazed me it took so long. “Okay,” I said, “now what?” I wandered the oceans, growing in strength and spewing out the garbage and filth that humanity had dumped in me.
Eventually, I was drawn to a little bar where merpeople could swim up and interact with the mortals on the other side. I realized the source of the pull when I discovered Poseidon was running it. I shifted into a mermaid, blue hair and eyes, a sleek, lithe body, and he didn’t recognize me. I knew then that I would be free.
We chatted. He flirted, and I flirted back. If by the end, he did realize who I was, he never let on. I left and made my way down the beach to a secluded cove. From what I could see, it was accessible only by boat. I smiled, this was where I would make my home, my mark. But what kind of home could I build? The thought of a bar appealed to me, but so close to Poseidon would pull his customers away, and I wasn’t that much of a bitch. Maybe a hotel? One that showcased the splendour of the ocean and showed off all her might? That I could do.
I raised the building, asking Hephaestus for help, seeking out Athena to guide with the finer touches, and locating as many of my sisters as I could find to add rooms and suites under the waves. When it was finished, I looked on, proud of my achievements, and emblazoned the front door with its name: Nymphaeum. A little nod to my origins, I hoped that people, mortals and immortals alike, would come to visit.
There was a casino, restaurants, beaches, hundreds of rooms, and a little section I left alone for private use, as per my good friend Hedone’s request. “Amphi, it looks great!” she exclaimed when I brought her in for the first time. My friend hugged me, her power of pleasure washed over me, and I smiled.
“I’m glad. You and your harem are currently the only ones to use it. Maybe that will change.” She hugged me again and disappeared in a puff of pink smoke. I walked the empty halls, waiting to open properly, and I sighed.
“This looks amazing, Amphitrite.” My heart stopped momentarily. I turned around and saw my consort, the God of the Seas, Poseidon. He was looking at me with respect and desire. I smiled easily at him.
“Thank you, P,” I replied, walking over to him. “I wanted something of my own. I’ve seen all the other businesses that the gods have set up, and this,” I waved around me, “is mine.”
Poseidon took one of my hands and kissed it gently. “You could have come back to the bar.” I cocked my eyebrow at him. “As if I didn’t know that was you, I’d know your presence anywhere. But I understand your desire. We have been bound by the past for too long. If you will still have me as a friend and confidante,” he winked scandalously, “would you take your freedom, the separation we both feel?”
I didn’t know what to say, and I looked up into his storm green eyes, eyes I had fallen in love with millennia ago. “I would fall from divinity, though, would I not?” Why was that my only worry?
Poseidon laughed. “You’ve been a goddess for most of the years you’ve been alive. No, my love, you will still be you, and maybe even more without me tying you down.” There was a sharp intake of breath, and Poseidon smiled easily at me. “So, be the sea. Be wild and free, and most importantly, be untamed. Be exotic, calm, serene, and virulent. Be the goddess of the sea that you were always meant to be.” Poseidon kissed my forehead tenderly and smiled as he walked away. “By the way,” he turned and looked at me from the entry, “I love the name.” With that, he vanished into a whirlpool, my heart thudding out of my chest.
I felt the snap of the invisible chain that bound us through the years, and I turned and ran off the balcony, diving into the ocean below. My power had returned, a power I never knew had been contained. I soared through the sea, flexing my muscles and watching as the mortals cowered in their ships and homes. I sunk nothing. Even after seeing all the garbage polluting my waters, I still did not hate them. But I did warn them, the seas were no longer man’s to control. I would be there, testing their worth, judging their mettle. Only the finest would ply my waters. I could be everywhere, see everything, and I would always be present.
The sea was free, and she would revel in that release.