By Beth Mayall

Sixteen-year-old Amy dreads her relations holiday. together with her new stepfather within the photograph, existence sounds like one colossal sadness . . . till Amy discovers Mermaid Park, an outdated vacationer spot the place ladies wearing tremendous costumes practice underwater exhibits. while Amy sees "mermaids" gliding throughout the water, she is completely captivated, confident that if she may well turn into one among them, the remainder of her existence should be simply as attractive.

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I was torn—should I feel elated or gypped? "That's my luck," I said. "No, actually, that's my luck," he said. " My voice was singsongy, sarcasm just under the surface.  He was so close, I felt my spine straighten, shoulders pull back—the way I always meant to stand but never actually did.  I wondered quickly if Lynne would mind me getting kissed in her vending machine room.  Right there in front of me. I definitely didn't want him seeing me now. " He laughed, his breath warm in my hair. "So," I said.

And while some people might say that right there that should be enough—having this moment as a souvenir in my pocket, something I could take out and hold between my palms whenever I wished—it wasn't enough for me. I wanted to stay. ************************************ The courtyard had come back to life. A new family unloading bags from a car. An old lady eating gourmet french fries from a paper cone, sharing with seagulls too fat to fly far.  "Hi," I said, not wanting to disturb her.  I was retreating fast.

He saw it anyway.  My heart sped up, hearing the disappointment in his voice. "It sucks," I said.  It gave me goose bumps. I thought of Tom, hanging around the house all day now that he was out of work, listening to sports radio.  He smiled back.  I took a big breath, hating the idea of over two months in front of a TV, avoiding Tom, when I could be here.  Something impulsive that would show he was as crazy with this as I felt.  Above me, the parachute rolled like storm clouds.  And while some people might say that right there that should be enough—having this moment as a souvenir in my pocket, something I could take out and hold between my palms whenever I wished—it wasn't enough for me.

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