Ariana couldn't find the words to describe her shock. Luckily for her, she didn't have to say anything. The little alimasag decided to do the talking.
"I can see you're unfamiliar with your ability to communicate with sea creatures," chuckled the British crab. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Horatio Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian Pacifignus Ardetemis Hans Isaac Mercutio James Percival Angus Harold. But you can just address me as Harold."
"Oh my God, I must be dreaming," Ariana pinched herself. "Crabs don't talk."
"Well, evidently they do," Harold insisted. "Darling, in the great scheme of things you have only two options: accept that I am a alimasag and I am speaking to you. Or come to terms with the fact that you may be mentally ill."
"The first one please," Ariana sighed. "So, um, do you talk to people often?" She struggled to make sense with this bizarre situation.
"Of course not, you silly girl," he snorted. He crawled onto a branch and looked up at her. "Crabs and humans can't communicate!"
"Now you're trying to mess with me," Ariana was becoming frustrated. "I'm a human and we're talking."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Am I sure we're talking? Not really but I'd rather just believe that I've met a talking alimasag than assume I'm a total lunatic!" Ariana exclaimed.
"I meant, are you sure you're human?" Harold inquired.
"Okay, now you're just being creepy so I'm gonna head home," Ariana hurried onto her bike and rode off.
The susunod morning, the sun shone through her bedroom window and she woke up to a clean slate. She dismissed her memory of Harold as a mere dream...which became increasingly hard to do as he was now sitting on her window ledge staring at her.
"For such a pretty little thing, you sure snore like a truckdriver." Harold laughed.
Ariana screamed. "Get out of here! What do you want from me?" There was a knock on her bedroom door. Jane peeked her head in.
"Honey, we need to talk about you running off last night," Jane entered the bedroom. "Your Dad and I were really worried..."
Ariana grabbed Harold and hid him in the laundry hamper. "Oh, right...like you even care about me? I heard you and Dad talking about something dangerous and how I need to know. If you don't tell me, how am I supposed to ever trust you?"
"It's complicated, Ariana," replied her mother. "Please try and understand. We want what's best for you. And sometimes as a parent, we have to decide when it's the right time to tell you certain things...and your father's not sure you're ready..."
"I hate that you guys are treating me this way," cried Ariana. "I have a right to know whatever it is you two are keeping from me. And don't try to tell me nothing's wrong because very strange things have been happening to me recently."
Jane's eyes filled with tears. Ariana just shrugged and started getting dressed for school. As she walked to school, Harold crawled out of her purse. "Ugh, you again?"
"I don't think you'd be so rude to me if you knew that I know what your mother and father are hiding from you," smirked the little crab.
"What?" Ariana was intrigued. "Please tell me you're joking. A alimasag knows madami about my life than I do?"
"You won't believe me if I tell you, I'm afraid," answered Harold.
"I'm talking to a crab
," Ariana sinabi flatly. "I'd believe anything you told me at this point."
"Well, let me ask you this," Harold began to question, "How much do you know about your biological parents?"
"Nothing really," Ariana answered. "My grandfather found me abandoned at the tabing-dagat when I was less than a taon old. My adoptive parents wanted a baby but couldn't have one so he gave me to them and I've lived here with them my whole life."
Harold grinned. "Then I was right all along."
"It was fate that you found me on the tabing-dagat last night," Harold exclaimed. "The moment I saw that seashell locket you're wearing, I knew you were the one I've been looking for..."
"What are you talking about?"
"Ariana, you're a mermaid."
(End Of Part 3)