When the ultrasound technician saw that my baby had a scaly tail instead of legs, she gasped in shock and horror, but I couldn't have been happier.
I watched my child wriggle about in my uterus and my heart surged with love for it. It was sort of like a tadpole, with a tiny torso and enormous, muscular tail. After wiping the goo off my belly, I went home to my parents. I was a happy woman. I was a sacred vessel, and I cradled the swollen stomach that contained my gift to the world.
Of course -- my Love and I, we could not produce a normal baby. Nothing short of a fish-human hybrid would do for people like us.
Over the next few months, we worked hard to build our new life together. It was time to be responsible adults. I moved into her beautifully finished cardboard box outside of Starbucks, and we began to renovate it to make way for our new child. We installed a white marble sink for the baby to swim in, and made a pallet in the corner of gold leaf and newspaper clippings. The walls were painted pale yellow, despite the fact that yellow is the color of agitation -- since our baby had no gender, it needed a gender-neutral environment.
Our Starbucks was located on a big grassy hill with a variety of other smaller businesses. At the bottom of the hill ran a stretch of rusty, abandoned old train tracks. Every day we walked from our humble home to the tracks and laid along them together, even when it rained and the passing cars sent water flying in our direction. Every day, she lovingly stroked my belly, and we shared a deep kiss. We were forever in awe of the miracle we were crafting together.
It was during one of these moments that my water broke.
"Damn it!" She cried anxiously. "I thought you weren't due for six more months!"
Apparently, it's different with mermaid babies.