A Lonely Sight

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I sat alone in the dark, listening to the gurgling sound of the water filter. By the light of the fluorescent light bulb, I peered down into the waters below. The betta fish was swimming around serenely. I spent most of my nights doing these things. You could say it gets pretty boring after a while, but it was a lot better than my current life.

I am a fish tank capable of holding fifty gallons of water. I have four glass paneled faces, a net on the top, and some gravel on the bottom. There was once a betta fish, various plants, and corals that lived here. Betta fish tend to get aggressive towards one another, so my human friends decided to buy only one. The fish had a sheer blue coat and very silky fins. Occasionally, the children held up a mirror to the fish because if he saw another fish and he would try to attack it, and apparently, seeing the fish go crazy over his own reflection was amusing. But the only thing he ends up attacking is the glass and there are even a few scratches to prove how ferociously he swam at me. It is so sad that the kids do not realize that I cannot be here forever. With every scratch, I get weaker. I just wish they would treat me like I was an equal. Ha, now I’m talking about fish tank rights. But seriously, I did feel like I was just a bystander most of the time. The fish got fed, the plants taken care of, and the gravel cleaned, but I was never cared for. The stains and smudges on my glass (which resulted from the children placing their grubby fingers on me) have been there for years!

The one thing that made me happy about myself was the decorations. My favorite decoration was a castle. It looked like a scene that was taken straight out of a fairytale. Jewels gleamed on the tallest tower; there was a drawbridge that actually moved up and down, and there was even a miniature princess waiting on the balcony for her Prince Charming. Little lanterns were placed right above the water and made the whole tank have a warm glow. I have to admit, I was jealous of the betta fish sometimes. He was fed the best food the humans could get him and was given a lot of attention. Ah well, I suppose the more important things are overlooked. If I weren’t there to hold everything together, then there wouldn’t have been that nice little environment. But one day, everything changed.

One of the children had been conducting some kind of science experiment about the effect of oil spills on plants, so they took two plants from my tank to use. When the experiment was finished, both plants survived, but they brought back some oil with them. I can still remember the stench of the oil when the plants were settled back into the gravel. It nearly made me puke the first time I tasted it. It’s a putrid substance, really. I can totally understand why she chose this for her experiment, but it’s important to clean up after yourself, too. Anyhow, the oil was spread throughout the tank (there was no water filter, unfortunately) and eventually caused the fish to fall ill. One morning, a couple weeks later, I woke up to find the poor fish floating upside down, and not moving at all. When the younger child discovered, she was extremely upset. The humans buried the fish in their backyard and threw out the plants. My fate was perhaps the worst. I was sent to the garage to live by myself. Not only did they not clean me (once again), but they put me in a secluded corner with the most cobwebs and spiders. That day, I felt as if something had died inside of me. Not only did I lose my treasured decorations, but I realized that I had lost my only traveling companion, the betta fish. I felt lonelier than I ever did in my life. These days, I just sit in the corner of the garage and reminisce about my past.





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