Cleo sighed and turned the page of her math book, staring down at the meaningless numbers.
Why couldn't she understand math? It was so simple when Lewis used to help her…
Cleo felt tears welling up in her eyes at the thought of him. She missed Lewis. Ever since she broke up with him, Cleo had missed him. She knew she did the right thing…she and Lewis really did need to take a break from each other. And Lewis had really been getting on her nerves.
But then… Lewis had started going out with Charlotte. Cleo couldn't help it, she was jealous of Charlotte. Lewis had always been special just to her… Now, he'd moved on, because she'd made that fateful choice in her bedroom that day to break up with him.
For not the first time, the "What if's" that had been drifting through her mind since the break-up returned in full color. What if she hadn't broken up with Lewis? Would they'd still be together? Would Lewis have even been interested in Charlotte? Would Lewis be sitting beside her right now, explaining her math in his calm, understanding and patient voice?
Feeling once again like she was going to cry, Cleo closed her math book. There was no way she could concentrate now. She had to go somewhere. Clear out her thoughts.
"Mako," she decided. "I can always think better at Mako Island."
Pushing back her chair and grabbing her bag, Cleo called out to her father in the other room.
"Hey dad?" she yelled.
"Mmmmhmmm?" Mr. Satari responded distractedly, never taking his eyes of the television.
"I'm going to go take an evening walk for a bit, okay?"
"Sure honey, just be back before-"
Cleo was out the door before he even began to form the sentence.
At the beach, Cleo quickly ducked behind the outcropping of large rocks near the shore. She doubted anybody would be out here this late, but just in case Cleo decided to play it safe.
Once she was sure she was completely concealed by the rocks, Cleo dropped her bag and raced into the lapping waves. Before her mermaid magic could make her lose her feet and fall flat on her face in the shallow water, Cleo dived deep into the cool sea. By the time her tail started to form, she was in about four feet deep of waves, easy to swim in.
She waited a short moment for her transformation to be completed before taking off toward Mako at her top mermaid momentum, leaving a trail of furious bubbles in her wake.
She made it to Mako's beautiful coral reef border in record time.
Too bad Emma and RIkki aren't here, she thought, grinning as she slowed. Cleo had never beaten the other two mermaids at a race, and this time she thought she might have had a chance.
Swimming lazily through the array of brightly colored coral and tropical fish, Cleo felt a sense of calm wash over her for the first time in weeks.
Who'd of thought fish could make a person feel better? she asked herself, smiling happily as she watched a practically pretty blue fish with a long, ribbon-like tail swim around a sea-anemone, careless and free. Cleo was sure that it didn't have a care in the world. Lucky fish.
Suddenly, the blue fish darted into the sea anemone and disappeared in a flash of scales.
Cleo frowned, disturbed by its departure for some reason, but shrugged. Fish were easily scared. The slightest shadow might make them hide. She would just find another pretty fish to stare at.
But when she looked around, no more fish were to be seen. They had all disappeared.
What could have scared all those fish at once? Cleo wondered.
And then she saw it.
A figure floated a little ways off from Cleo, dressed in a wet suit complete with flippers, goggles and a big, metal oxygen tank strapped to their back.
A figure that held a camera.