I transformed for the first time that night, stepping my cold feet on the wet shores of the Mediterranean, my footsteps leaving marks that lasted only moments before the slow wave wiped them away. The moon was bright that night, not a full moon, but bright enough that I could see where I was going without any light present. I didn’t know what to expect, stepping into this new world, following my instincts of a world better than I lived in before.

Summer was just turning into fall, so the weather was warm and clear but the sea seemed to be ahead of dry land, embracing winter with open arms. All I had was the clothes on my back, but that too would disappear once I fully submerged beneath the surface. I could finally start over and not have to think one more minute about the sister who lived across the road and refused to speak to me for years, about the loss of my father, about he who broke my heart. I could be someone entirely knew as I sunk deeper into the sea, allowing my baggage to float at the surface.

The salty smell of the waves enveloped me as I stepped closer, the water reaching my hip, my stomach, and then my elbows. I felt the webs growing between my toes and soft scales adjusting in the right position on the outside of my thighs and legs. The calming sound of the waves lured me in slowly and my body responded to the water surrounding me, just like in the lab aquarium where I was experimented on, over and over again.

I kept walking inwards until my head became totally submerged and my hair floated around my face, seemingly coming alive for the first time. I held my breath, counting to thirty as I trained, and felt my body adapt to the new environment and adjust to the coolness of the water. I began to hear the smooth glides of various fish nearby and the careful crawls of crabs on rocks nearby. Inhaling the oxygen through the gills in my sides, I excitedly opened my now dilated eyes and could see vividly. Underwater.

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