It was nearly the end of summer and Melody finally got to swim in the ocean. She waded farther out letting the waves hit her stomach and chest. She was sure she was a mermaid at heart, because there was nothing that made her feel more alive than the ocean. Which was why she was out here while the rest of her friends were still asleep. Melody wasn’t going to waste a minute sleeping on their last day. After today, it would be back to her cramped dorm room, traffic jams, and annoying customers who acted like it was her fault textbook prices were so high.
She looked over the waves and wished she could stay out here forever with the salty air on her face and the water hugging her body. No more burry-eyed mornings after staying up all night to work on a paper. No more nervousness twisting in her stomach before final exams. No more student loan debt growing like a monster in the shadows slowly getting bigger until the day it would leap out and jump on her, toppling all her hopes for the future.
Melody ran her hand through the water, finding the smoothness calming. The only thing she liked about college was the choir she got a scholarship with. It only paid her tuition, leaving her to cover the outrageously over-priced textbooks and on-campus living expenses, but she would have gone to the practices if the didn’t give her a cent. Two days a week, for a preciously short two hours, her mind came alive. All the numbness from endless hours of stuffing information into her brain was washed away but the sound of voices mingling in highs and lows to create a wave of sound that carried her to wonderful place.
If it weren’t for choir, she would stay here in the ocean. Her fingers would get shrively and her muscles tired, but at least she wouldn’t be stuck in that tiny dorm room.
Melody ducked her head under the water to drown the thought of school.
She must be going crazy. She couldn’t have heard someone say her name from under the water. All those late night cramming sessions must have finally gotten to her.
“Melody, open your eyes.”
For some reason, she did. Melody’s mouth nearly dropped, but she caught herself before swallowing a mouthful of water.
A girl’s face, surrounded by pink hair, was in front of hers. Not a girl. A mermaid. Her glittering pink and white scales led to hot pink fins at her tail. The mermaid spoke. “Today is your lucky day.” She clasped her hands in front of her making her look like a five-year-old on her birthday. “Today, you get to leave all your human troubles behind you. Today you become a mermaid.” She beamed.
“What? Me? I’m not a mermaid.”
“Of course not silly.” The mermaid giggled. “That’s why I have to make you one.”
“I can’t become a mermaid.” She had to go back to her classes, keep up her GPA, and spend the rest of her life in a cubicle.
“You already are becoming one.” The mermaid flashed a mischievous grin. “Otherwise your eyes would be stinging from the salt.” Melody blinked. After the shock of seeing the mermaid, she hadn’t realized her eyes didn’t sting a bit. “And if you were fully human, how are you talking?” The mermaid looked amused as Melody put a hand to her mouth. She had talked hadn’t she? In fact, she was breathing. Breathing underwater.
“You’ll have to give me permission to do the final bit though.”
“What’s that?” Melody asked.
Melody paused. Once she had a tail there was no going back.
“We sing,” the mermaid said.
“Mermaids love to sing.” She sang the words, doing a flip through the water. It was the most graceful flip Melody had seen.
Being surrounded by an ocean and song all day? What was there to think about. “I think I’d like a turquoise tail.”