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Someone You're Not

Prologue

“Come closer, it's alright I won't hurt you. I've come to bring you home, where you belong.” a strange female voice whispers. I turn around, but I see no one. The fog makes it almost imposable to see two feet in front of you anyway. I continue walking up the pier towards the direction I think is the way back home, hoping to get away from that voice. “Annabelle, don't think you can escape me.” the voice echoes, “You aren't the person you think you are. You are much more special and valuable.”

At this point I am running down the pier not even caring about going the wrong way. “You can run but you can't hide...” the voice taunts. I run harder now. “You can't escape me!” it screams. I put my hands over my ears and run as fast as I can. “You're living a lie Annabelle!” the voice booms. My muscles hurt but I can't give up yet, not now. “I told you not to run but now you give me no choice.” the voice roars. In an instant, wet slippery hands grab me at my waist and pull me off the pier and towards the black ocean. I scream as I plunder into the murky water. My body feels numb, I can't breathe.



Chapter 1

I wake with a start. My body is drenched in a cold sweat and my hair in pinned to my neck and back. That is the third time so far this week I have had that dream. My alarm clock reads 5:34, but there is no point in trying to go back to sleep just to have that dream again. I lay awake looking up at the ceiling. I can’t help thinking of what this dream could mean or why it keeps coming back. I want to know who that voice belongs to and why it wants me. How does the voice know my name and why does it want to bring me “home”.

Before I even have the chance answer any of these questions it is time for me to get ready for school. I crawl out of my bed and get dressed. After I wash my face and make my bed, I linger down the stairs to where my foster mom is sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper while sipping her coffee.

“Good Morning sweetie, have a good night’s sleep?” she sleepily asks. I just grunt because there is no way I could tell her about those dreams. I don't even know how I could even explain it. I grab a bowl and an almost empty box of Coco Puffs and place it on the table so I can go back to get the milk from the fridge. I eat my cereal in silence and then brush my teeth and comb my hair once more. I yell goodbye as I grab my bag, sling it over my shoulder, and am out the door.

Once outside I feel the cool autumn breeze slam into my face. I pause for a moment so I can ease my way off the deck of our house boat and onto the rickety bridge that leads to the dock. I walk up onto the pier and wait for Clara, my best friend, to come so we can walk to school together. Five minutes later she arrives and we are off.

“Hey Annabelle, Jackie and I are going to the beach to swim before the water gets any colder. You should come too!” Clara enthusiastically exclaims.

“You know very well that I don't do water. But I can still come if you want, you know, I will just stay on the sand a safe distance away.” I slowly tell her. We walk the next block in silence.

We got to school at just as the school bell rings. I tell Clara that I will meet her at 3:30 because I will need to ask permission. First period seems to take longer than usual for Annabelle. “You aren't the person you think you are.” the voice from her dream says, “I've come to bring you home, where you belong.” The voice from her dream taunts her still. “You can run but you can't hide...”

“Annabelle, why don't you answer question number 15 in you text book?” Mrs. Martinez asks. I must have zoned out and not have heard what page to turn to! I quickly grab a book and try to remember what unit we were in... “It's alright Annabelle, pay attention next time.” Mrs. Martinez calls on Clara for the answer. Thankfully the period is almost over.

“I feel so stupid! Why does she not call on me when I know the answer and call on me when I don't! It's so embarrassing!” I complain to Clara while we walk out of class. Without time to answer Clara goes left while I continue on that hallway to my next class.

School goes by quickly unlike first period did. When the school bell rings I just remind Clara that I must check in at home first. We part ways and I rush back home.

“Hi mom!” I yell as I slam the front door. I must have yelled to loud because I can almost feel my voice bounce around the walls of our tiny house boat.

Mom walks out from the living room, “Hi Annabelle. You know you don't have to yell, right?” she says sounding annoyed. I put my bag down and stroll into the kitchen and pour some milk into two glasses and I get a box of cookies and put some on a plate. I bring the milk and the cookies into the living room and place them on the small table in front of mom. “Cookies and milk, okay what do you want?”

“What, I don't want anything. Can't a daughter do something nice for her kind and generous mother who loves her so much?” I say with a hint of sarcasm. I look at her with puppy eyes and see her trying not to laugh.

“Whatever you want tell me now before you exhaust yourself.” mom answers back.

“Mom, Clara wants me to meet her and Jackie down at the beach before the water gets even colder. I'm not going in the water, of course, but they really want me to come. Soooo...” I ask while I nudge the plate of cookies closer.

“Well, because these cookies are so good, sure, just be back by 4:30.” mom replies. I hug her and run to the door.

“I love you! See you soon.” and then I close the door and start walking to the beach.

What Annabelle didn't know was that she wouldn't be back at 4:30; in fact she won't even get to the beach to meet Clara and Jackie. They will all wonder where she went, but it will be a long time before they will ever see her again... “I told you not to run but now you give me no choice.”














Chapter 2

Last I remember I was walking down the pier when something caught my eye. It looked like someone was in the water. I was correct. When I walked over to the edge and looked over, I was a woman there. Only her head was above the water, she was looking out at sea. Her hair was the same golden blond as mine, “Do you need any help?” I call out to her. She turns around and looks at me, her eyes one shade of green darker than mine. “I've been waiting for you. I'm here to take you home now.” the woman says. She is the one in my dreams. I turn around about to run but she grabs me and pulls me under the surface.

The water is freezing as we plunge downward. My legs feel numb and I am too scared to breath. I shut my eyes tightly. This is the last place I would like to be right now. Will I ever see my foster mom again, or Clara?

“Annabelle, open your eyes. You don't have to be afraid of me, I've brought you home.” the woman says to me. I let loose a breath before my lungs explode, but for some reason I can breathe fine. I slowly open my eyes still not trusting that woman. The first thing I see is a huge castle made of what seems like coral. What I see next is even more surprising, a bunch of mermaids and mermen. Everything I see is unreal, I must be dreaming because these things don't just happen to be at the bottom of the ocean.

“What is all this?!” I ask the woman who I now see is a mermaid too.

“This is your home.” she replies.

“I don’t belong here, take me home.” I answer really annoyed and confused.

“I did take you home. Look down and you will see what I mean.” I do as I am told. I look down and almost feint. My legs have turned into a shiny red tail! “See, you belong here, with your family.” the woman explains.

“I have no family. My parents died when I was seven years old. We all went on a family cruse but the boat sunk on our way back. They handed me over to a woman getting on the lifeboat. It was too full for them so they went to find another one. They told me that they would see me soon, but they never came back.”

“Those weren't your parents. I am your mother; your father was half merman, like you are half mermaid. He had disappeared before you were born. We were forbidden to be together because he wasn't a full merman. I wanted you to know nothing of this life so I gave you up. I put you on a boat owned by that family. I have secretly been watching you your whole life. Now, I have brought you back home.” the woman tells me. Her voice is filled with sadness and I can't help but feel sorry for her. If this story it true then I want to find out more about this new world. Why did she give me up? Why did she not do anything when the people I thought were my parents died? Couldn't she see that I was in pain! I was seven years old! I don't feel sorry for her anymore, only hatred.

“I... I can't be here. My foster mom told me to be back at 4:30, I have to go.” I nervously tell her.

“Don't leave. You can't leave. You will go to school here. You will leave your old life behind. Forget the lies that you have believed in. Stay with me.” she begs. “Just one week. Please.”

“I can't.” I reply.

“If you go back then you won't be safe. I have seen the others watching you. There are only a few like you, half mermaid and half human. I can keep you safe.” she begs once more.

I reluctantly agree to stay for two days. I can't leave my old life behind. I only agreed because I want to learn more about whom I am and who the people were that I thought were my parents. What life have I been living? Where is my father? How much of an ungrateful psychopath is my mother. How can I explain this to my foster mother? Will I ever leave?






Chapter 3

I see a girl with golden blond hair and shimmering light green eyes. But something’s different about her. Her cheeks are no longer painted light pink and instead of a smile she wears a frown. What has happened to this girl? What has happened to me? My life is falling apart.

I swim over to the bed in the middle of the room and I lay down. I am really tired and so much has happened to me in a short amount of time. I just want to rest. I put my head down on one of the sponge pillows as tears stream down my face. Soon I am fast asleep.

Images of my old life play through my mind. “Annabelle wave to the camera! Today is your first birthday.” “Look, look! I got a hole in one mommy!” “Annabelle can you believe we are going into middle school?! We are going to rule this school!” “Well, because these cookies are so good, sure, just be back by 4:30!” I wake with a start. “I love you mom.” I softly whisper.

I get up and swim over to the mirror again. I brush my hair and put some lip gloss on. I swim over to the bed and sit down. I try to keep myself from crying but slowly tears start to run down my face.

Suddenly I hear the door start to open. I whip my head around and whip my eyes to try to hide the fact that I was crying. “Who is it?” I ask.

“May I come in?” someone asks.

“Yes, um sure.” I say “I mean yeah come in.”

The door opens wider and the most hansom guy/merman in the whole world swims in. His hair is a radiant shade of light brown that frames his face perfectly and his eyes an icy blue. After I realize that I am staring at him I divert my eyes. “Oh um sorry. Hi what do you need?”

“I heard you were back and just wanted to see you in person. You are even more beautiful than I imagined. My name is Kyle. Can I sit with you?” Kyle asks.

“Oh, thanks. Yeah you can sit down it would be nice to talk to someone.” I say, but in my mind I’m saying “Yes, yes, yes!!!”

Kyle swims over to the bed gracefully and sits down so close to me that I can feel the warmth of his body. After a few seconds I realize I am staring at him and I look away. But he doesn’t seem to mind at all, he must be used to it though; he’s gorgeous! “So what did you want to talk about?” Kyle asks. I quickly regain my sanity when I hear him ask me the question. I really don’t want to say something stupid and I don’t want him to leave either.

“I just need someone that can help me learn all this mermaid stuff. I’m sort of new at this and am clueless.” I shyly explain.
“Of course I will help you! And if you want after school I can give you a tour of the town. It will give you time to get out and see other people our age. I can come by at 3:00 to pick you up.” Kyle suggests.

I can’t help but smile. Could this a date or is he just being friendly? I don’t know but I don’t care! “I would love to! I’ll be waiting outside.” I casually say with a hint of excitement.

“Great! I got to go to school. I’ll see you later, bye.” Kyle replies. Then he gets up and swims to the door. He turns his head and smiles at me before he closes the door. I smile back and then he’s gone.
***
Kyle swims down the stairs and quickly turns into the main hallway when he hears his name being called. He spins around, “Hello did someone call my name?”

“Kyle Caspian, come here for a minute.” Queen Latiana requests. “Who let you in here?”

Nervously Kyle replies, “Um, the guards let me in. I wanted to see if Princess Annabelle was really here.”

“And she is here, but why did you really come here?” Queen Latiana questions.

“I figured she is scared and confused because she isn’t used to being a mermaid. I came by to ask if she wanted me to give her a tour after school and I also thought she might want to talk to someone her age. I’m not trying to do anything to her; I’m just being a friend.” Kyle explains.

“Fine but bring her back at 6:00 sharp. I’ll be waiting for her and you.” Queen Latiana sternly warns. “You better go now; you don’t want to be late for school.”

“Thanks. See you later Queen Latiana. It’s was a pleasure to see you.” Kyle respectfully replies before he turns around and leaves.

















Chapter 4

“You can do this. I will not make a fool of myself.” I tell myself. I quickly brush my hair again and reapply some lip gloss before I swim to meet Kyle. I take a deep breath and open the door and just then Kyle swims through the gates.

“Hi Kyle, I’m really excited to hang out today.” I say. I close the door and swim to Kyle who is waiting outside the gates.

“I’m really excited too. I was thinking about you all day. Wait, no, I mean I was thinking about hanging out with you all day.” Kyle says while blushing.

“Me too, so where are we going first?” I say confidently.

“I’m just going to take you to all the places everyone likes to hang out.” Kyle says. He looks over at me and smiles, “And a few other places.”

I can’t help but smile. He takes me to the shops where everyone hangs out after school. We go to the school and then he takes me past all the buildings until there is nothing in sight but a black shape in the distance. “Where are we going? What is that?” I ask, feeling a bit confused about where he is taking me.

“In school we learned about a ship that sank here and I thought you and I could go on an adventure together.” Kyle says. His eyes sparkle as he looks at me and his hair is so perfect. I just stare at him in awe and before I know it he takes my hand and we swim closer to the black shadow in the distance.
***
We stop after a few minutes and he stares into my eyes. It feels so perfect like nothing else in the world matters. It’s just me and Kyle, nobody else in the whole world. For the first time since I’ve been here I forgot about my foster mom and about my friends and about my old life. For the first time I feel like I belong, I feel happy.

We lose track of time, we only realize what is happening around us when we hear the shouting. We turn our heads to the sound and then we realize how late we are and that the shouting is coming from the queen’s guards.

They are coming closer and closer, I know I am in trouble. Now I may never be able to leave, but for some reason that is not important to me right now, what is more important is that if Kyle gets in trouble and if so… what will happen to him.

The guards are upon us now. The carriages surround us and then come to a halt and the royal guards swim out and one comes and grabs me by the wrist and the other grabs Kyle. They shove us into the carriage and then take us both back to the castle.

“I should have known this would happen. I lost track of time and this entirely my fault, I shouldn’t have taken you there.” Kyle apologizes.

“No, it’s not your fault! I should have kept track of time too.” I say to him reassuringly.

In what seems like only a few seconds we are back and Kyle and I sit in silence waiting for someone to open the door. We hear talking outside of the carriage, they must be deciding what to do with us. I want to say something to Kyle but I just can’t think of something to say. We just sit in an awkward silence and wait.





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