It's incredible how most everything could be various shades of blue and yet far from dull. A whole world separated from us by water.
Standing in the middle of the aquarium, I can't help but marvel at all of the creatures swimming around in the tanks. This was my first time going to this one, but I had been to many over the years.
Most of them are covered with vibrant colors, and a few are strange shapes you would never find on land. So I figured the ocean had an eye for beauty. And sometimes, a sense of humor.
I continue to wander around, reading the various facts about each species. I smirk. Only ten percent of people who weren't school kids on a field trip actually read these.
Removing my gaze from the animals, I start observing the people mingling.
Most are families with small children awestruck with the sea life they saw. Some are teens and adults my age, but they don't seem to possess my level of interest.
I'm not surprised. Not many people do.
It has been this way since I was small. The ocean has constantly pulled me to its mysterious depths, like a siren's song to a sailor. And I still don't know why.
But luckily for me, my parents nourished that pull; now, I study marine biology at the local university. And I'm top of the class, of course.
I also see a few staff members moving around, ensuring everything runs smoothly. They never get enough credit for the hard they do to keep these animals healthy and happy.
I resume walking, entering another room, this one with the sharks. Again, I watch them swim around, knowing it is the only way they can breathe.
Sharks were often labeled as bad and hunted down, but they were only trying to survive, like anything else on this planet.
One of the young kids shriek as one of the big ones swims up to the glass, clinging to his mother for dear life.
I smirk, glancing between him and the shark tank, listening in as his mom explains the sharks can't hurt him.
That seems to calm the boy, and he starts darting from tank to tank. Children were so funny sometimes.
'You like us, don't you?'
I freeze, unsure if the voice is real or if I'm imagining things. No one else seems to have heard anything. And I had slept for only about four hours the night before working on my essay.
But turning my body, the shark is staring at me expectantly, so I nod.
'That's a nice surprise.' The shark swims in circles. 'Someone who can hear us.'
'How am I able to hear you at all?'
At least the shark is honest. But now I have no clue what to do. I know I'm not dreaming since I can read every word on the various signs I see. So what the hell is happening?
'Do all of you talk?'
I slowly move my head, finding myself alone in the room. This is quickly becoming the first installment of a comic book or the first chapter from a fantasy novel.
I start to hear other voices in my head, and it is overwhelming. I rub my temples. How can I hear them? And why now? I've been around many sea animals before without hearing anything.
'What do you want with me?'
'Hmmm.' The shark seems to contemplate my question. 'Well, I know you can't free us.'
I shake my head in agreement. 'Then what?'
'It's interesting talking to a human.' The shark swam around the tank. 'I like you.'
'Right back at you.'
Things are beginning to feel awkward for me; a group of people are trying to move around me. 'I think I should head home, though.' I need to process this development away from the public.
'I understand,' The shark chuckled, 'It's not every day that you get to talk to animals.'
That was the understatement of the year. 'Well, see ya later.'
I quickly turn and speedwalk out of the aquarium, my heart racing.
I take deep breaths once I'm outside, the fresh air calming me, although I still hear the buzz of voices from the creatures inside. I rub my temples again, feeling the headache now.
Telling anyone what had just occurred was out of the question. My friends and family would think I was crazy. So what can I do?
I slowly walk to my car, unlock the driver's side door, and slip in. Closing my eyes, I let everything sink in. Luckily, the voices have dissipated, so I can actually think.
So, I talked to a shark today, who seemed pretty nice and probably lonely. And I am pretty sure the others would be similar. Hopefully.
Not to mention this was a childhood wish of mine, encouraged by the various animated movies I watched as a kid.
And it could be worse. I could look like a fish.
I giggle at the thought. I guess this isn't so bad, however weird and overwhelming.
Opening my eyes, I start my car's engine and drive out of the parking lot. I will visit another aquarium tomorrow and see what happens.
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