Mom is good. Mom is nice. Mom is everything.
The Room, too... At least, i think so. That's all there is. All i've known. Just mom, and the room. She says I can't go out - that it would be bad if i went out. She says people want to hurt me, and kill me, and I don't know why, but when I ask she doesn't have a reason. She says that that's just the way they are, and that's just the way it is, and that's what it will be, and I just have to be happy with her and it. It always seemed like a stupid reason.
But now mom is gone. She's dead, and i'm in a different room, and i'm not allowed to leave. They've barred the windows, and shut the door, and they won't let me go, and i think mom was right. I think they're going to kill me. Just because I'm me.
I can remember being just a little girl. Just a normal mermaid, who never questioned why she was stuck in a room. Mom was there, we played, I learned. She taught me to speak, taught me Mermish and Common. I learned, i played, I loved her. I never questioned what was Outside. She went Beyond, and i stayed where i was, and waited. I wasn't old enough to question.
That was before I got curious, and oppened the door - i was maybe eight, by then - maybe four or five by human terms, and mom had left the door open - just a crack. So i took a peek and saw a world that mirrored mine in every way, but bigger.
It had walls, like mine, and pictures, like mine, and ornaments, like mine, and it stretched on and on, unlike mine; and it didn't look evil. It looked like I could walk out there, and be happy, and play, and have fun. So I oppened it - just a little - and suddenly mom was there, slammming it shut, and yelling me, and warning me of what would happen if I got caught.
That was the first time I found out that the world beyond was Bad. That everyone out there hated me for what I was - half human. That everyone would kill me if they had the chance, and kill mom, too. That was why I was in the room, that's why my grandparents killed my dad, and that's why I'm here now - because I didn't follow the rules. I couldn't help it - I grew older and older, and bigger and bigger, and I got curious.
I was at least least thirteen before i started to grow breasts, when Mom said I should have been mature by ten - she said it was my human side, making me slow. She said it was obvious - and that's why there was no chance of sneaking me out, because they were too small... But they were as big as hers by the age of fifteen, and she still wouldn't let me out. She said it was too dangerous, and too bad, and too everything, and I knew she was right - because she was mom, and she was good... but I still didn't listen.
I can still remember the first day I snuck out, at fifteen and a half. I can remember being so nervous, even though I knew mom was far away, and how i stared at my hair for hours, trying to make it look nice like mom's, the red strands tangling in my hands, and how the red strands tangled in my hands, and my eyes stung, and glowed green the way mom always told them not too, and i just gave up and went away. I didn't like the feeling too much anyway.
I remember how the hallways seemed to stretch out forever, and the people just went right on by me, and no one stared as I swam through the water, feeling it brush past my body, and i was so happy. And then i came accross this door, and i was going out it, and their wasn't walsl anymore, just a whole lot of water, and kelp. I remember how scared I was - but i didn't want to go back inside.
inside was crowded, and mean. This place was nice and friendly. And mom wouldn't make me go in for a while yet, too, so I just kept on swimming and being happy.
I remember seeing a couple of what seemed to be boys - they were too big not to have breasts, and mom said that's what boys looked like.
They were talking in mer, and pointing down to a girl gathering sea weed, and popping some into her mouth - that was the first time i saw Her. Angela.
I'd already heard lots about her - Mom had been talking about her for years - the only other half mer in existance. HER mom hadn't kept things secret. HER mom had been found out, and HER mom had lost everything... SHE was hated, and lonely, and didn't get to eat food that was good like me. She didn''t get to sleep somewhere warm and eat well. She just suffered, and got teased, and hated, by people like those boys who didn't like her at ALL. Mean people who would do that to her. I was lucky - i was Unknown. I was Not Hated. But i didn't feel lucky.
I watched Her, smiling, and humming as She ate sea weed that had to taste terrible, Her necklace swinging back and forth on a gold chain -a swirl of colors that was the only thing She owned.
She looked happy, and free, and content, as they hated Her. And I just stared at Her, as She drifted by, not knowing of everyone hating Her, and followed Her for hours and hours until the Bright Light was getting dark and then i swam back as fast as I could, and slammed the door behind me before mom could find i was in the Outside Place.
I wasn't supposed to be there. It was Bad. But I still wanted to go out again.
Now I'm seventeen, which is twelve, and i'm stuck in a room. I'm stuck in a room because i can't leave, because i'm trapped, because I left. Because I couldn't stay in. Because I had to keep on going out, and I had to keep on not being found.
I kept on going, every day I knew Mom would be gone for the Long Time, and I found Her, and i watched Her, and I came back. Until one day i couldn't find Her. I kept on coming out day after day, and I kept on wondering where She was until the day i didn't go back and i just kept on listening, and listening, and searching and searching until i heard them talking. Talking about THAT. Talking about Her Death with laughter, and jokes, and i just swam and I swam until i reached home and went into mom's room wihtout ever bothering to hide and i bent down and my eyes got all burny, and i just stayed until until mom came back from the Long Time, and I told her what i had done, and she just stood there and got mad, until I thought she was going to hurt me, but i didn't care because She was Gone. Because they had Gotten her, and I had never even gotten to talk to her. And then she stopped looking mad, and she hugged me, and I just couldn't stop the burning as I hugged her tighter and tighter and my body was making all these sounds as i squashed up against her and i couldn't stop because she was GONE. The Hope was Gone.
Mom Left the next day - blooders got her outside of the city on a trip, and she didn't Come Back - but i didn't know. No one knew that I existed, and the food began to run out, and my stomach was making noises - different noises - and i couldn't stop it, and it hurt so much,... So I went out Beyond and i looked for food, and I got caught, and I told everyone and now i'm in a room. I'm in a room and i can't get out and I don't deserve to get out because Mom is gone and now they're going to kill me and I'm the one who left and there's nothing I can do. Just because I'm me.
So now i'm going to sleep.
I thought i heard someone yelling outside my door when i was sleeping. I thought i heard someone open it up - but i didn't look. I figured they would just kill me; they didn't though. Now i'm hearing something else - now i'm hearing yelling, and anger, and probably meanness, but i can't tell.
I can hear a voice going "You can't just throw her on the streets! She'll die!"
"Well, what do you expect me to do, Angelique? You KNOW the laws!"
Then everything gets quiet, and i can't hear anything any mnnore, but i know they're there. I can feel it, in the water, as my eyes get all glowy. Mom never wanted me to do it, but i don't see the point now... Everyone's dead. The Mean People can't hurt me anymore.
Then the door oppens, and the glow goes away as I look at The Woman. She looks like she's just a teen herself, but I don't notice that.
I do notice that she has Her face - her smile. a tiny brown bag, but a tiny corner is bent out shows a reflection of light - that of Her stone. And she speaks, in Her voice, to say the words that I think I've been waiting for all my life.
"Hello. My name's Angelique - And I'm going to be your new mother."
I wonder if i'm betraying Dead-Mom as I leap at Living-mom, nearly taking her to the floor as she laughs, hugging me tight and kissing me on the forehead, and I decide I don't care. Because just this once, the Hope is back. And so is She.