Remembering Oceans

I... I can't quite recall what it was that happened back then... The waves splashing against me, cooling me in the hot sun. My mother calling for me... Why was she calling me? I don't know... That is all I can remember...

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2. Learning

       Shaggy blonde hair, sky blue eyes. I am slumped against the stone wall in the ocean cave that my family lives in. I look around the cave and see that this mysterious human that saved me is now soaked, something I haven't seen of a human. The light shines on the coral surrounding us. I see him say something... but I can't quite hear because my ears are still adjusting. He looks at me and speaks again.

"aryoo ahlariyt?" he says.

     What did he say? We must not speak the same language. I look at him and reply anyway giving him a hand sign that I have seen other humans give each other. It is a closed hand with the short, wide finger straight up.

     His face relaxes and he starts to speak again. I don't know what he says, but there is something about the way he talks that is strangely familiar. It seems that he has asked me a question. I do not know his language, so I reply in song.

 "The song of my people sings to you,

Mothers, Fathers, and children too.

We call each other for our families through,

from ocean to ocean,

my love will be true."

      It is a song my mother would sing to me when I was little. She was from somewhere else so the song was in her language. I am familiar with the sound of it, but I do not know the meaning. I do not know that much from my past, so I hold on to what I remember.

     The human begins to hum the song back to me while he draws something in the sand. He writes a sort of character and then asked me another question.

"hohm? Wehr iz yoar hohm?" He asked.

    I thought for a while about what he said. Yoar? Does he mean you? Hohm? Home? Does he want to know where I live? I think some more about his question and decide to try asking him why.

"Why want know my home?"

"Ahi wood luyktoo vhizit you. Iz thaht ahlraight?"
     I stayed silent for a while. What did he say? Something about me?

      He began to speak again,"Ahi," he said pointing to himself, "wood luyketoo sea you. Sea you," he says pointing to his eyes, "vhizit you."

      I begin to understand his words as I think more about what he is saying. Sea... Me? 'You' means he is talking about me, I know that. He was talking about me, and the Sea is in the Ocean... and this is my home, and it is also in the Ocean... Does he want to visit me here? I take a chance and reply, "Thihs place is home."

"Thihs iz yoar home? Woaw... thahtz... reely kool."

      I try speaking again, this time to thank him for returning me to the water. "Thankyoo fuor sayving me."

"Yoar wellcuom. Dohnt warry abhout it."

"Oh... Okay."

      He begins to walk around the perimeter of the sea cave that is above water and sees a few of my fathers' hunting tools. There is a web of sorts made by humans attached to one rod, then there is another rod, but this one bears a sharp serrated edge, and finally the smallest rod that has a sharp point at the end.

      My father uses the spear, but I use the rod with the sharp edge on it. My little sister uses the small rod with the sharp point.

He sits down and looks to me excitedly,"SohDoo you have anee fahmiley?" he asks, eyes sparkling.

     I do not know what he means. I give him a look of confusion and he thinks for a while. He takes something out of his lower layer, out of a clam-shaped pouch of sorts, and opens it. Eagerly, he removes a small thin object with colors on it. I look at it closer and see that there are little humans on it.

"Fahmiley," he says again as he points to the little humans. There are two older humans and three younger humans. They all look similar and they all have blonde hair. Although one looks more familiar than the others...

"Thihsiz you?" I ask pointing to one of the younger humans.

"Yes, and thihsiz mahy Mother and Father," he said pointing to the older humans, "and thihsiz my younger brother and sister."
"And thihsiz you," I say again, proud of my intuition. He laughs a little and he begins telling me about this "fahmiley".

"Yes, thihs..." he says pointing to his younger self, "iz me. Ahi wahz youngher in thihs piktchure..."

      He finishes his story and I look at the picture a little while longer and think. What should I say? Then a thought comes to mind as he puts the picture away...

"Ahi do have fahmiley," I say. I think for a while digging deep into my memories... Replying to him is harder than I would have thought. "Ahi have a Father and sister," I reply, hoping that I am saying what I truly mean to say. "Ahi have a Mother... Ahi dohnt noh where she wehnt... Ahi was little. My fahmiley feyht and geht mad," I look down at my silvery-blue scales, pausing. I finish with a lump forming in my throat, "Mother leafs--leavz."

"Oh... woaw... Ahi- uh... Ahi am reely sohry," he looks away with water forming in his eyes... something I have yet to understand about humans. Never the less, it still brings me comfort.

 

      Silence passes between us for a while, and I begin swimming laps nervously around the small pool of water. I look up at this human, who I have only just met, and wonder why we are taught to stay away from them. He is so kind to me, I think, He saved my life...

       He looks up from the driftwood he had been nervously de-barking and our eyes meet. Stunned, I look at my hands, webbed and slippery, only slightly different from his. I begin to wonder, yet again, why we look so similar but are from two very different places. How can we be so different? Why does he not reject me? I most likely look like a slimy octopus to him. Why does he not run away?

      With these questions swirling in my head like a whirlpool I begin to feel an overwhelming desire to know him better. I swim over and place my arms on the stone ledge, pulling myself as close as I am able to get. I look at him and give myself a chance to ask the questions that are now crowding my head.

"Wahi were you ohn my beach?" I ask filling with a strange curiosity.

"Ahi was gohingh to swim and kool off. Toodahy iz won ov the hottest and dryehst in a long time."

"Oh... Iz thaht why Ahi waz drying so quickly?"

"Thaht mite be iht... Noht reely the behst day to geht beached huh?" he said with a slight glimmer in his eye. He laughed at what he said and I smiled, albeit I was slightly confused.

I look at the sand and begin drawing in it with my fingers, that are now dry, and look... Human? My fingers are no longer webbed and I can move them individually. An idea emerges from the depths of my mind and I begin to climb up onto the stony ledge.

The human looks at me and asks, "Waoh, waht are you doing?"

"Ahi have idea. Pleas hehlp me," I say as I struggle onto the sand. He scrambles to my side and takes my arms, begining to pull me with all the strength he can muster.

"You're reely hevvy," he says.

"Yes," I say with exasperation,"Pleas geht my tail," I say struggling to maintain my grip on the sandy stone.

      He kicks off his sandals and splashes into the water next to me, careful not to step on my fins. I feel his hands grab just under the middle of my tail as he begins to heave it over the side of the ledge. After five strenuous minutes of struggling to get onto land we finally achieve my goal.

"Ahlryte. May Ahi ask wahi you want to be on land? Dohn't you need water to breeth--"

     Almost as if he commanded it I felt my gills sealing up beneath my rib-cage while simultaneously wretching water from somewhere inside my body.

"Ohmy god! Are you ohkay?!"

      My coughing turns into out-of-breath cries of pain as I feel my scales fuse to my flesh. My lower back starts to burn and feel as if I am being roasted alive. The bones and muscles begin to rearrange and I shriek in pain. I feel as though I am being crushed between two stones while being de-scaled.

      The human stops asking me questions and begins to watch as I writhe in agony. I look down to see that my flesh is now no longer a bluish-silver hue, but a peachy color. The upper portion of my tail begins to sink in the middle and continues all the way down until I look as if I am a very poorly fed squid with only two arms. My main fin bones congeal together and begin separating into two large sections with five smaller sections on each former-fin. The initial pain has subsided to a mild burning sensation as I am now able to see what is almost done happening.

      My thoughts are stopped short as an excruciating tearing sensation explodes from the middle of my old fin. I scream as it continues up past the middle of my tail and splits into two tears on the upper portion of my tail, only to rejoin and continue back, almost reaching the back of my hips.

      Stunned as to what has just happened I lay on my back on the sandy ground and wait for the remaining pain to subside. I feel as though I have rolled in a cluster of sea urchins only to then became a tugging toy for two sharks.

      I sit up and look at the human whose face turns to a shade similar to that of a fire shrimp. He turns his head away and takes his lower layer off, only to reveal another layer.

"Here," he says shortly, "ware theez." He tosses the lower layer to me and I pull them on over my new set of additional arms. I move to a vertical position, swaying slightly, and attempt to get them better positioned over my hips, then letting go. They fall to the ground and repeat the motion I had previously performed but, rather than letting them go, I hold them in place.

      I take a step towards the human and tap him lightly on the shoulder with my free hand.

"How do you make theez stay?" I ask. He turns around and looks at me, his face still a tinge pink, then at the layer I have put on. Saying nothing he lifts his hand to the top of the layer, hands fumbling, and fastens it with a type of knob and hole system. He then moves his hand down slightly and grabs something. As he tugs upward there is a strange zzzzzrrrrpp sound.

     He backs away and turns toward the water looking for a way out of the cave that will keep me dry. "Hold ohn," he says,"Ahi'll geht my bohwt." He wades through the water and begins swimming toward the outside.
 

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