The Story Begins page could be tighter and more unique, more indicative of what kind of story this will be. As it is, it's a bit generic and doesn't provide a hook. Having read the first two chapters, it doesn't really tell you anything and it sets up an idea for the story that leaves some revelations in Chapter 2 feeling quite strange.
There are 500 words in this story before anything happens. And, even then, this story doesn't exactly begin with a bang. The first chapter is, essentially, Tahira stands around, she talks to some people, eats some food, gives us some exposition, and finds out she died. 3000 words, chapter over.
Are there any books that begin this way? What do you read?
It is also, essentially, a dream sequence. Generally, these are regarded as boring and unnecessary and while the end of the Chapter makes it clear this isn't exactly a dream sequence, it's still not the best choice.
The biggest problem is your use of weak, hedging phrasing and language. Cut any and all usage of phrases like 'sort of', 'kind of', 'seemed to', 'wasn't really', 'seemed like.' You do this a lot, and it seems to be a way of avoiding describing things, a form of lazy shorthand. But all you're accomplishing is kneecapping your own writing.
For example: "The place seemed like a strange amalgam of every other such establishment she had been to in the past, few as they were"
Seemed like? Well, it either is a strange amalgam or it isn't. You're the author, nothing is served by deliberately obscuring the meaning of your own words. Be confident! Be brave!
And, hell, which establishments had she been to? Why not describe for us how it's a mix of her old homely college bar and this one dingy electronica club she went to with an ex?
Like the above, there just isn't much description done (excepting the times where we get a blunt 'this is what they look like' when Tahira meets someone). There isn't enough detail, no attempt to paint this place as somewhere that exists. A lot of paragraphs and lines left me making the note 'how/why?' For example, when Tahira notes that some people in the restaurant clearly aren't human at all -- how? why? What makes them clearly not human? Are they aliens? Animals?
Is this deliberately obscured to try and preserve the aliens revelation in Chapter 2?
When she spots the man in the gaudy robes... How/why are they gaudy? Are they brightly colored, like some kind of rainbow vomit? Are they kind of boring but with ridiculous bright gold filigree?
Whenever you do this thing where you say 'he's in gaudy robes' but provide zero description, you're essentially palming the descriptive work off to your audience. You are basically saying 'what's gaudy to you? He looks like that'. Eventually, later, when we have a better idea of what Tahira may or may not find to be gaudy, a bit of shorthand can work -- but at this moment we have zero idea about her.
Maybe they're not gaudy at all, but Tahira thinks they're gaudy because of her upbringing or background. But we just don't know because all you say is gaudy.
Similar to this, a lot of your use of language isn't strong or precise enough. I'm going to point to the line where Tahira mentions that she's feeling strange, like she's drunk and sober at the same time. That wouldn't just be strange. That would be disorientating, confusing, perhaps even frightening. Perhaps even impossible. We certainly don't get an indication from the text that she's anywhere near drunk.
It's like the bit in Chapter 2 where you say that Tahira is 'beyond panicked' but this manifests as... sitting there and staring where her glass of water had been. She's 'desperately trying not to lose her mind' (cut 'trying', remember Yoda) by... staring sternly?
I've had a panic attack once in my life and the feeling was so strong and all-consuming that even eleven years later I can remember it vividly. I certainly wasn't 'trying not to lose my mind' -- I felt like I had! It settled over my skin like a peroxide burn, hissing in my ears. And I wasn't staring sternly, I was focusing on what was in front of me because I was terrified that if I looked behind myself I'd actually die. I knew that it was crazy and that it didn't make any sense, but I was still felt like I'd gone completely mad for no reason.
The story is very tell-y. You tell us that Tahira's awareness is fracturing, that everything's a bit strange, that she remembers dying, and yet nothing about the story really makes us feel any of this. The lack of any sort of attempt to really place us in Tahira's mind makes me wonder if it's all a setup to try and make the 'she's actually dead' twist work, but it doesn't. Hint at that earlier. Wouldn't it be more effective if Tahira was wandering the dream, feeling like she had the worst sunburn of her life, but confused and bewildered about where she got it from because she couldn't remember going out in the sun, and every time she breathes in through her nose she can smell smoke -- must be from the kitchen somewhere, or that fireplace.
As it is, the wham moment at the end of the chapter just has no impact.
You slather on the sympathy for Tahira a bit thick towards the end. She's been discriminated against, her sister is dead, her mom is dead, and now she's also dead. It comes across as maudlin. Additionally, the bit about touching her hair struck me as strange because, in my experience, people with afro hair don't appreciate people thinking they can ask to touch it.