With the will of the grandmother satisfied, a seven year old girl was resting peacefully in the same room as the unknown girl. It had taken a carefully practiced skill to get her dressed again and into bed, as much as it was clear that the girl wanted to sleep in the water it was seen best to try and get her to a bed.
The grandmother rested her head against the more comfortable chair that the nurses had brought to the room. The sun had just risen when the mystery girl opened her eyes. At first fear struck her, but when she saw the elderly woman she grew fond of in one night she calmed down slightly. Lillian stirred feeling an intense gaze focused solely on her. Looking through blurred eyes she saw the girl watching her.
“Did you sleep well?” Lillian asked and the girl nodded. Seeing the girl staring at a mini version of herself, same black hair and fair skin, though admittedly lighter than her own. The old woman introduced her granddaughter to her.
“Meriam, has a week lungs, she was born with lung problems. I’m ashamed to say it is partly due to my daughter’s negligence and irresponsible behavior while pregnant with Miriam, but it isn’t the main reason. I lost my daughter when she gave birth to Meriam prematurely. My daughter and her fiancée was in a terrible accident five weeks before Meriam was due. Her father died instantly. She’s all I have left and I’m all she has.” Lillian said standing up to pull the blanket up to the girl’s chin and kissing her on the forehead.
“She not all have left. Lillian have I. She have I also now.” The girl smiled and Lillian nodded.
“Yes you are right. We have you now too! Do you remember you name?” Lillian tried to ask knowing from what she could gather that it was a lost cause.
“No. I not know. I like mermaid. Arial.” She said getting confused about the story’s actual plot.
“I not know as she. Find human to know.” Lillian smiled at the idea.
“I guess in many ways you are right about one thing. You’ll remember in due time, perhaps even when your parents are found.” The girl tilted her head questioningly.
“Your real mother and father.” Lillian answered and the girl nodded in understanding.
“Your speech has improved since last night, not much but more than I would have guessed.”
“Many words no make sense. Head feel funny when think to know.” She tried to explain.
“No need to rush. You’ll remember everything when the time is right.” Lillian said with confidence. Sharing a comforting silent moment, it was quickly interrupted when the girl’s stomach growled.
“Sound funny. Hurt little.” She said with a broad smile wanting to laugh at the sound that came from her.
“Hungry?” Lillian asked.
“Fish food. Soup Food. I both. Not know hungry.” Lillian couldn’t help but laugh at the girl.
“Hungry means you want and or need food such as fish or soup.”
“I hungry!” She stated boldly understanding Lillian’s why of explaining.
“Come on. We’ll both get something to eat and of course we’ll get ice cream as well! Merriam will be mad at me otherwise. She adores ice cream! I’m sure you’ll love it as well!” Lillian said and without a second invitation the girl tried to jump out of bed and on to her feet but ended up fighting the blankets that tried to hold her from following after Lillian.
“Evil seaweed!” The girl pouted once she got on out, hissing at the blankets before turning to follow after the patiently waiting grandmother who was silently laughing the joy making her feel younger than she has felt in a long time.
At the little café the girl was speechless at the many different foods.
“Sorry she’s taking so long to decide, she’s not used to much. Mostly fish and apparently she likes soup as well.” Lillian told the waitress.
“That is fine. I’ll bring your drinks so long. That will be two still water and one vanilla milkshake.” Lillian nodded. She had after ten minutes decided to choose for the girl who couldn’t decide on what she wanted to try first. And it was starting to look like she would have to choose food for her to try first as well.
“I try?” She pointed to a picture of beef and cheese burger topped with salad tomato and pineapple with the café’s special BBQ sauce.
“Of course! That is called a burger.” Lillian told her, relieved that the she made up her made before the waitress returned with their drinks.
“Your drinks!” The waitress said placing the icy cold glasses on the table and filing it with the even colder water. The girl stared amazed at the feat and the waitress was clearly feeling the awkwardness of the girl staring between her and the glass and the bottled water.
“As I said, she’s used to very little bottled water is new to her.” Lillian stated truthfully, and yet understating the fact.
“So decided what you will have?” The waitress asked.
“I this. Burger!” She pointed to the picture of the burger she wanted, the waitress surprised by the girl manner of speaking jotted down the order.
“So one cheesy pine beef burger and one chicken salad.” The waitress left to place the order.
“Lillian!” David greeted when he saw the elderly woman sitting at the café when he Margret and their children came in.
“I hope she didn’t keep you up till too late or away from your granddaughter?” Margret asked looking at the girl staring at the glass of water and the milkshake, unsure of how to ‘drink’ it.
“Mommy? Can I have one too?” The boy and youngest of the two asked tucking at his mother’s skirt.
“Would you mind if we join you, Lillian?” Margret asked.
“Of course not, please sit!” Lillian gestured to the open chair. David pulling another table closer for the little ones before taking his seat. The waitress saw the new dinners and greeted them with a smile, Margret quickly placing her and the children’s orders as well as David’s.
“She was a pleasure! I read to her ‘The Little Mermaid’ and she is convinced she’s one as well after concluding that I and a nurse was human. She told me all about Rive, Meri and Nixie and how they saved her and how she spent the past two months with them swimming and hunting and even playing!” Lillian told David and Margret watching the girl as she smiled with joy before returning to figure out how to drink her water and milkshake.
When the waitress placed the milkshake in front of the two children they tore open their straws, the girl mimicking their actions. The girl realizing this giggled and intentionally showed her how what to do. Placing the straw in the glass she sipped the milkshake up and through the straw. The girl was at a loss all over again.
“You have to suck on the straw or else nothing!” The girl explained.
“Suck?” She asked curious at the terms.
“Like a baby drinking milk from a bottle.” The girl told her.
“Clair, don’t play! You’ll make a mess.” Margret scolded not having observed her daughter’s interaction with the mystery girl, too focused listening to what Lillian had to say.
“She doesn’t know how to drink with a straw though!” Clair told her mother.
“What is bottle?” Their mystery girl asked. Clair slapped her palm to her face.
“Oh brother!” She said with as much drama she could muster.
“Just try it! Close your mouth around the straw and ‘suck’! I can’t explain better than that!” Clair returned to drinking her own milkshake.
Her brother already finished and asking for another one.
Trying as Clair suggested, she quickly got the hang of it. At the first taste her eyes went wide and her child likeness kicked in, she downed the glass and with starry eyes pleaded for another one!
“She really doesn’t remember anything!” David said as he watched her drink water from a glass like a baby would for the first time, again only after Clair showed her, removing th straw from her milkshake to drink from the glass.
“What’s your name! Mine’s Clair and I’m nine!” Clair said with haste.
“I not know. You nine? Nine what?” Clair broke into a laughing fit!
“Now Misses Smith can’t tell me that the way I speak is wrong!” Clair half shouted out.
“Mommy can I please take her to school tomorrow?” Clair asked as if the girl before her was a toy or pet.
“School?” the black beauty asked.
“Cool you haven’t’ ever even been to a school! Mom why can’t I stay home like she did?” Clair asked raising her voice and pouting at the thought of the days she had spent ‘going to school’ up to then.
“Clair! Indoor voice please!” Margret scolded.
“Oh let her be. Clair was it?” Clair nodded at the elderly woman who stood up for her.
“This girl here did go to school, she just doesn’t remember. Why don’t you show her around your school once the doctor’s said she can leave the hospital?” Clair considered the idea of continuing to go to school and dragging someone back to school, her lips curling into malicious smile, that caught the stranger girl by surprise causing her to fall back wards on her chair, tuck then roll until she got to her feet in a crouched position hissing. Clair finding the act both ‘awesome’ and funny.
“Wow! Teach me how to do that!” Clair begged the amnesiac.
“I teach you!” the girl stood up and was about to ran around the table to grab Clair and run off was halted when she smelled the food and saw the waitress carrying the tray.
“Sit the both of you!” David ordered the two girls.
“I think they’re going to be good friends!” Lillian stated watching the two pout cross their arms and return to their seats, though the elder of the two of them was not as upset, but rather intrigued with her food.
“How eat?” She asked Clair? The adults watching the exchange and the boy just content with drinking his third milkshake, a forth placed before him as he finished his third.
“That your last milkshake you hear?” Margret told her boy.
“You know for a three year old he drink way too much!” David told his wife as he watched the boy drink his forth large glass with ease.
When the bill was paid and Lillian bought her five liter bowl of ice cream, they headed up to the ward.
A shy Meriam half sitting half lying was quietly watching cartoons flick across the television screen build into the ceiling. This threw the older twin into yet another frantic excitement as she tried to jump to reach the weird looking goldfish.
“Fish! Food! Want!” She jumped trying to reach the fish she wanted to claim as food!
“Goodness gracious child! You just ate two burgers!” Lillian said laughing. Clair joined in as she watched the exchange, and even the shy girl was blessed with a magnificent smile.
“Relax! It’s just a picture, it’s not real!” David took the girl by the shoulder. Deciding to do as David said she jumped onto the bed after she watched Clair do the same. Sitting side by side, the two stared intently at Meriam.
“You’re pretty!” Meriam said looking at the older version of herself.
“Can you sing?” she asked tilting her head.
“I can see why you said the two of them look alike.” Margret noted as she watched the older ‘twin’ tilt her head, mirroring the little Meriam’s movement.
“I like music, granny always sings to me!” She said, not really answering the question.
“I not know sing. I not know music. I know sound magic.” The little girl giggled at the why her older double ganger replied.
“Can I hear your sound magic?” Meriam asked.
Remembering Lillian singing last night and the many sounds she remembered from her ‘dolphin family’ she started humming a sweet sounding tune. The tune reminded her of the sea, of home and of safety. She started adding words, but the words didn’t make sense at all.“Lendro chez mo qwui troue sou leau salé. Doù sui ven en profonduer sou la mer. Oùje ai étai sû à pati mot isolé cidessu. Pedu et oubié, is se souvenenent moi ne pas, et le pe qwui le fon, ne sauron pas que je habie, manenant dans l’océan ave de la magic dans mon sa. Lendro chez moi qwui troue sou leau salé quelle mes lame a étémporté. Doù sui ven en profonduerr sou la mer et pas do leleur ne peux jemai mosté existera je vi ma will dans la ja-oi-auy en dansanté ave les créatores de la blue. Làoù j’éais à lari des monsters chahant que je pour raris rêvre mes jourin. Dés d’universe fai ét étoiles et musiek que je hasar à la terre audessey!” The words flew across the room and everyone there was enchanted by them, the tune to which she had sung echoed still long after she had ended her song. David was the first to try and break the silence, but failed. “Gran-gran. She’s a mermaid!” Meriam whisper was just barely heard. “It seems she is.” Lillian said taking her seat on the chair her legs not able to bare her weight for much longer. “And French.” David said trying to fit the accent to a language. “No. That was not of any known language. Though I do admit it sounded very French even to me. I could make out a few words that almost sounded Dutch to me.” Lillian told David being from the Netherlands herself.
Clair stretched out her crossed legs and jumped from the bed.
“If she doesn’t remember her name why not just give her a name! We can’t not call her by ‘girl’ or ‘she’ or ‘her’ forever!” Clair demanded.
With wondering blue eyes the girl looked between David, Margret and Lillian with a pleading look.
“Would you mind if we gave you a name, even if it isn’t your real name?” The girl nodded to Margret’s Question with excitement of having her own name.
“Very well!” Lillian said already searching her mind for a name fitting of the girl’s personality.
“Why not Sirena?” David suggested, Meriam nodded thankfully as if she had thought of the same name.
“Sirena!” The girl nearly shouted as threw her hands in the air. Clair dragged Sirena from the bed and pulled her out of the room.
“Come on!” Clair ordered ushering Sirena to not lag behind her as so, but was halted by the door by a bulky black man in uniform and a woman dressed in the same type of uniform.
“This must be your daughter I presume?” The man asked.
“Yes. Any news Captain?” David asked.
“Please call me Ed, and you remember Sandra?” Ed said and with a nod from David went on.
“Unfortunately we made no progress yet. She though seems to be more trusting of people now.” Ed committed noting that Sirena didn’t hiss at him as she had the day before.
“Yes. Oh forgive me! This is my wife Margret and my son Jacob. That is my daughter Clair. Lillian watched over Sirena last night, and this is her granddaughter, Meriam.” David introduced out of manners and respect towards the police captain.
“Sirena? She remembered her name?”
“No. We all agreed to give her a name. She was agreement.” David gestured to Sirena.
“And you like the name Sirena?” Ed asked the girl.
“I Sirena. I Mermaid. You Human.” She pointed to herself and then to Ed.
“I like milkshake. I like burger. I know sound Magic.” Sirena told Ed summing up everything she knew off for him.
“Sound magic?” Ed looked quizzically towards David.
“She can sing.” As if that answered all of the mysteries in the world Ed nodded in understanding.
“Can we go play?” Clair asked the policeman.
“Unfortunately not right now. We need to talk with her and your parents in private.” Ed told Clair, but the girl would not have it as she gave him a venomous look… If look could kill; Ed would have been dead now!
“Go I’ll watch over Clair and Jacob. We can eat the ice cream before it melts.” Lillian said and drew out Clair’s active friendlier personality out again.
“Thank you Lillian! You’re an Angel!” Margret thanked the older woman and followed suit after the Ed and Sandra.