Daddy's Aquarium

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I stared at the aquarium in an unfamiliar building called Strohmayers Funeral Home. I was at the age of discovery, three years old. My mother dressed me up in a white dress that had many ruffles, so I could go see Daddy one last time. Mommy said Daddy was moving to a new home in the clouds. The lady working there was standing next to me noticed me staring at the fish in amazement. She started telling me all sorts of things about fish. Their scales are cold like ice, and clammy, and when they’re not in the water, the fish can’t breathe. I tried listening to her, but my focus was on the bubbles inside the aquarium. They would travel from the bottom to the top, growing in size through their journey and once they reached the top they would pop. Behind me I could hear silent whispers explode into dreadful cries from our “guests.”
Everyone was treating me like a victim. They embraced me and kissed my forehead, and assured me everything would be okay. They kept saying that my Daddy will always be in my heart. This confused me more than ever. I had no idea why people were hugging me so much and crying. I know my Daddy loves me; they don’t have to tell me. I began nibbling on the inside of my cheek. I felt like a lonely fish swaying through a dark, furious river, in search of my Daddy. He would tell me what’s happening. He would make everything better.

A few minutes passed, and then it was time to go see Daddy. I saw a big white aquarium inside. Mommy called it a casket. I looked around the room but, I still couldn’t find Daddy. I wanted to ask Mommy where he was, but she was crying and I was supposed to be a good girl and sit quietly. All the guests went to look in the aquarium; they dropped water from their eyes into it, and placed flowers inside. What kind of fish could be in there? It was mine and Mommy’s turn to go see the fish. Before she got up she began to gape uncontrollably. Tears streamed down her face, destroying her make-up. It was as if her tears were drowning her. Everybody watched us as we approached; like how I was watching the fish swim in the other room. Mixed thoughts and emotions dived through me. Am I supposed to cry? Should I be sad? If so, how come I’m not?
The bait reeled me in; I was standing at that mysterious aquarium. I looked inside and found no fish, instead, I found Daddy. I leaned over to kiss his cheek, but it felt damp, and smelled musty. Daddy was different, something about him changed. I remember Daddy would smell like my favorite meal every time I would see him, but this time he didn’t. He always felt warm and comfortable, now; he was cold and not comforting at all. When my lips touched his skin it was cold like ice. He looked like he was sleeping. Even though the fish were awake he resembled them. When they swam through the water they would give a dead stare, like they couldn’t see anything at all. While I looked at Daddy, I couldn’t stop thinking of the fish. Before I said goodbye to Daddy I placed an angel next to him, so he wouldn’t have to swim in the clouds alone. Standing above him Mommy’s tears splattered in the aquarium, right on Daddy’s cheek. I wonder if there were fish in the clouds too. For one last moment I got to see Daddy in his aquarium, for one last moment.





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This article has 13 comments. Post your own now!

Jeremiah said...
Sept. 7, 2010 at 11:11 am
Hey i really liked your story
 
~is~ said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm
Shanaye, i really enjoyed your writing. It was an amazing story.
 
*Cassie* said...
Mar. 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm
Shanaye, this was a great story and it was very beautiful. You did a great job!
 
bstevenson said...
Mar. 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm
Shanaye. What an awesome story.
 
mharlan said...
Mar. 15, 2010 at 10:01 am
Shanaye-This story touched my heart! I felt as if I was there with you! Good job!
 
gwilk said...
Mar. 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm
Incredible piece of work, very heart wrenching
 
chosen86 said...
Mar. 13, 2010 at 11:19 am
Hey Shanaye saw you on line on myspace n saw that you wrote a story bout your dad. I remember your dad a little. It's wierd to see you all grown up...i remember you being that little girl. Your story was really good. Good Job!
 
ShawtyB said...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm
this is a really good story i love it good job
 
shanaye30 replied...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm
Thanks for your comment it means alot
 
Matt1707 said...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm
This is a very emotional story. Through your imagery and sybolism I can really see and picture what you saw. I think writing like this will take you far. Good Luck :)
 
shanaye30 replied...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm
Thanks so much!!
 
xiaoping said...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm
Very touching story, good job
 
BobbiJo said...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 10:28 am
Shanaye-This is a beautiful story filled with emotion and sybolism. I am very proud of you!
 
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