Each night she dreamt of a distant home not of her own, surrounded by the deep blue and the thin piercing rays of sunshine. She swam with bright colored fishes and gentle whales, who she believed to be her only friends. She floated on the surface among dolphins who jumped occasionally near her and felt the warmth of the sunshine on her face. With jellyfishes, she felt completely at ease with their easygoing, calm nature. Nothing seems to faze them, they simply glide through the ocean causing no disturbances and allowing to not be disturbed. Eva Concepcion wished she were them. And she felt, rather she knew, that she was meant to be a member of this environment.
No one denied Eva’s love for the ocean. It was apparent through her obsession of turning her room into an underwater environment. There were seashells scattered across her wardrobe and dressers, paintings of jellyfishes on all four walls, and a color scheme of blues among her belongings. A pearl bracelet was her only jewelry that she had ever since little and was her only connection that she truly belonged in the sea. Her adoptive parents always took her the beach nearby whenever they could, and she would stay all day, committed in exploring each part of the limited area she was allowed to be in as if preparing herself to live there. But no one knew how deep her love really was and how much she felt out of place on land.
One night Eva dreamt floating in the deep blue as usual, but then heard a voice calling out to her in the further depths of the ocean. A woman’s voice, so sweet and warm, told her to come out to the seashore and find the largest conch shell that was as pink as the evening sky. Eva questioned this and the woman replied that it will help grant the wish she desired the most. The young girl woke up, surprised but delighted by this new encounter. She hurriedly got dressed, put on her rain boots, grabbed her bag, and sneaked out into the night to the beach near her home.
The near full moon provided ample light to help her search for the shell, giving her strength and shining her hair into a brilliant gold. When she found it under large rocks, she gave out a squeal of glee and held it tenderly to her ear. At first she hears only waves thrashing into the shore, but then hears the woman’s voice once again. She tells her that Eva is part of a large family which she was cut off from as a baby during a great storm and they had traveled many miles to find her. Now they will be able to be together again once she turns back to her true self. In order to do this, the woman tells her she must find the large rocks where the moon glows the brightest. Upon the full moon, she must bring her pearl bracelet that was given to her at birth and the conch shell, and go to the large rocks. The woman gave her some last tender words, like how a mother comforts her child, and says goodbye.
The girl skipped back home, her heart feeling light and her grin showing a happiness she had never felt in the thirteen years of her life. Eva prepared her journey for the night of the full moon, taking only her bag, the conch shell and her pearl bracelet. She knew none of her other belongings would be needed in her new life in the ocean and waited patiently for the special day to come.
On the night of the full moon, she got herself ready, took what she needed, and proceeded to sneak out to the shore again. As she was about to head out, she felt guilty and sad to leave the parents that had cared for her these years. She decided to leave them a note to show how grateful she was and how happy she is that she finally found her true family and wished happiness for them as well. She left to the shore and quickly found the rocks she was told to go to. She knew of these rocks already for she knew this area by heart since she had explored every part of the beach ever since a child. Eva stood on the rocks and put the conch shell to her ear. The woman spoke again, in soft tones, telling her she must prick her finger and allow a few drops of her blood to fall into the water. This way the ocean would accept her once again as a being of its environment. The girl did just that, and the woman told her to dive in and place the shell and pearl on the brightest coral.
When she completed these tasks, all was still for a few moments with only the moon rays dancing in the ocean and fishes drifting around her, then all at once, she felt a sudden current hit her legs and a strong force bounding them together. As the current and force went away, Eva turned around to see unfamiliar but friendly faces, smiling at her. One was a woman with golden hair that hugged her and she knew it was the woman that guided her from the start. She felt a surge of warm affection and felt completely at home.
The next morning Eva’s parents found the note she had left and rushed to the beach, frightened that she had ran away and fearing she might have gotten hurt. They searched and searched, but could not find her and when they found the same rocks she had dived from, they saw in the far distance, a pair of fins unlike any animal, dive back into the ocean. Her parents now knew how deep Eva’s love for the ocean was and understood she was finally where she belonged.