Chapter 2: Hospital

Beep! Beep! Beep! The steady beep! of a heart monitor similar to the one I had heard when I was 9 and collapsed because of the heat (116 degrees Fahrenheit) rouses me now. It was still dark outside, the black sky broken up by the tall, towering skyscrapers.

Something wasn't right, I knew that much. Then it hit me. I had just woken up as a mermaid, and I hadn't had any memories. So why was I human, and why could I remember something like that?

It must have been a dream, I decided. So why could I remember every single detail of it?

It was unnerving, to say the least, because I never dream. At least, if I do, I can't remember anything about it, so it's like I didn't dream at all. It was especially strange that I didn't remember anything about myself.

I mean, I know my name is Mira Alva Strand, but usually you would remember your own name in a dream, and you would still usually remember a lot about yourself, like what you look like! I know that I have sea green eyes, creamy skin that's barely tanned with slightly rosy cheeks, and slightly-shorter-than-shoulder-length hair that has two long strands in the front that go down to the bottom of my ribs that I dyed bluish-black, and has dark, dark, dark blue ends, but I didn't know any of that when I was dreaming!

I glanced out the large spotless window and saw the edge of a beach where the city of Newport Beach, where I lived(well, really I live in Corona Del Mar), ended.

I was bored and wide awake, so I spent about an hour watching the view and counting the buildings.

The sun had just started peeking over the horizon when I noticed two people slumped over next to each other to the left of my bed. I knew instantly who they were, even though I had never seen very much of them throughout my life.

"Mom? Dad?" I whispered, slightly afraid that I would wake them up. They looked exhausted, and I didn't want to interrupt their beauty rest.

I realized that I was tired, too, even though I had literally woken up about an hour before.

Even though I'm not usually aware that I'm falling asleep, for some reason, this time I could tell that my consciousness was fading, and as I returned to the world of my dreams, I sent a silent wish out that my parents would take care of themselves while I was asleep. I didn't want them neglecting their health because of me.

Then the world turned black.