*haven’t read Part 1? scroll down or click here!
So, Sam moved in and NEEDED a beta fish. BADLY. One day I came home from class (or maybe from work at the craft shop, I honestly don’t remember) and there he was, on top of our little wall between the living room and kitchen: a blue and red beta fish, in a cute little glass vase/tank.
Charlie wasn’t the most interesting of pets. Where most beta’s will puff up if you hold a mirror next to their tank, Charlie was fully uninterested. Charlie would sometimes lay on the rocks on the bottom of the tank like he was dead, and then you’d tap on the tank to make sure he wasn’t actually dead. Sure enough, he’d wake up and swim around. Charlie did one interesting thing: if we put fish food on the end of a toothpick and hovered it juuuust above the water, he’d get it. That’s it. Seriously. He just didn’t seem to love life very much, no matter how much we tried to give him a good home.
One day, Sam and I were laying in bed watching TV [er….laying in our respective beds in our separate bedrooms… HI PAPA!] and we heard this “SPLASH!” followed by what I can only describe as frantic flopping. Sam immediately jumped out of [his own] bed, and saved Charlie’s life by placing him gently (there was no throwing, I’m almost sure) back into water for him to suck in some fresh water through those gills. We thought maybe it was an accident, and he just got a little too rowdy in his usual frolicking (really?). About a week later, it happened again. SPLASH! flop flop flop flop. This time he was still on top of my dresser, and hadn’t actually made it to the carpet. Again, Sam jumped out of bed and put him back in his water.
At this point I feel it’s pertinent to point out that as lovable as Mandy is, if she had been around… Charlie would have been a goner the first time around. Pretty confident he’d be in her belly.
Anyway. After the second time around, we had to have a seriously serious discussion about the mental health of our $4 fish [okay, maybe he was $6]. What do we do? Obviously he’s jumping out because he can’t stand to be a part of our little family (ouch, Charlie!). So we decided to cover the top of the tank so he couldn’t jump. I believe our first topper was a 12×12 piece of cardstock (anyone surprised that I keep this around the house? If you are, we’re not friends 😉 )
The months went by. We moved Charlie back to the little half wall between our living room and kitchen and he seemed to perk up a little. There were no suicide attempts for quite some time. This little half-wall happens to separate between the couch on the living room side, and the kitchen sink on the other. One day, I was innocently doing dishes while Sam watched TV in the living room. I’m certain he was watching sports, but that’s not an important part of the story. So here I am, chatting away, cleaning out the sink after finishing the dishes, and SPLASH! Charlie jumped.
Right. Into. The. Sink.
Not just right into the sink. Into the sink and down the garbage disposal.
I reached for him. I tried to get his slippery little fishy scales in my fingers to return him to his rightful habitat.
I screamed. I yelled. I made Sam take care of it.
At this point Charlie’s been out of the tank for a minute or so and there is no way we’re getting him out of the drain. Sam looked at me. I looked at Sam. I went outside.
The garbage disposal turned on.
I came flying back inside, and Sam used the rational “quick and painless” versus “slow and suffocating” argument.
Charlie had met his end.
So YES, alright!? I’m a fish murderer. I’ve cleared my name. There was NOTHING I COULD DO. I’ve come to terms with my horrific past and I’ve said my Hail Mary’s and apologized to the fish gods a million times.
I’m begging you…Forgive me, please?