relationship

A Fishy Relationship

A impromptu short story completed for my creative writing class, where I partnered with  avid writer Becca Lynn. Our prompt was on a relationship, with the incorporation of a goldfish somewhere in the story. 

 

fish

John and I never seemed like a couple that would break up over something so trivial. One day, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to leave him. I had to get out. He came home from work one day, and I don’t know…I lost it.

“I hate its bulging eyes and its white flecked scales and the round bowl that you have it in. It’s so oddly placed on that dresser, look at it…next to your dying plant that you refuse to water,” I paused, taking in the deer-in-the-headlights look on his face.

I continued my rant, watching him set down his briefcase and take a step back. Was he afraid of me?

“You never forget to feed the fish though. It swims around, in its pathetic prison—waiting for you to feed it!”

My voice echoed in our apartment. Thank goodness the window was closed. I’m sure the neighbors would be scared to hear such a fight from what they thought was a forever-in-love couple. They didn’t know about the fish.

“Jodi, no,” John mumbled.  “Why are you saying these things?  Where did all of this come from?  You know how much this fish means to me!”

I heard what he said but I didn’t care. I kept thinking about the fish, glancing over to the bowl with a sick feeling in my stomach. It’s not the fish, although, it was a little. The fish is just simple and boring. I don’t see a point in something that swims around, never changing its path, always remaining a sad, little orange creature that lives in a comfortable home on top of a comfortable dresser.

But he loved that fish. I could tell he was about to cry, or tell me why the fish meant something to him.  He took a step closer to me, his eyes glazing over and his eyebrows quivering up and down in confusion.

“Jodi, I just don’t understand.  We have been through so much together and now you’re getting worked up over a fish?”

He kept looking at me in those wide eyes, searching for any ounce of sympathy that I wasn’t willing to give him.

“I love you, Jodi, don’t you get it?  You make me so happy.  I would change for you, I really would.  I just love my fish so much.  I would do anything for you, as long as I can keep my fish.  You know you love coming home from work and seeing her swimming around in her little bowl chasing bubbles around in the water.”

He was running out of breath but didn’t give up.

“Well,” he swallowed.  “Now you’re the bubbles and I’m the fish and I’m chasing you.  Eventually she gets bored of chasing her bubbles but I could never get bored of chasing you.  I promise.  All I ask is that we keep her!  I wish you could see how much this would mean to me.  I want to swim through life together, with you, forever, Jodi.”

I looked down at the floor and took a deep breath.  I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.

“John, I can’t remain in a place created upon routine, each day the same thing,” I saw his mouth quiver.

“Jodi!  It’s a fish!  Just a fish!  One of the most simple, easy-going creatures on the planet!  You don’t even have to take care of her—”

“You bet I don’t take care of that thing!” I interrupted, shouting a little louder than I intended.

“Then why does it matter to you?” he demanded.  “This fish completes me.  I love her.  But I love you more!  Believe me when I say this, Jodi, I love you, and you mean the world to me.  I just need both of you in my life.”

He stood waiting for me to say something, probably hoping I wouldn’t go on about the fish. I had to continue.

“Each swim around the tank is just another day for that fish. You can’t even give the fish different color rocks at the bottom of her tank, remember? I suggested those purple rocks, at least give her a chance to have a change in scenery.”

I sat on the bed, looking away from the fish and John’s face as he desperately searched for air. Like a fish, I thought.

“You know what, I feel sorry for that fish. He’ll never get that from you: change. Life will stay the same, just like our relationship.”

I stood up and walked toward the window, my back is again to the fish, and to John.

I stared out the window and wished to say something else but I was lost. I was swimming in my own pool of frustration. I tried to understand what he was saying, but I only hated him more. I walked to the door and saw him hold out his hand.

“I never wanted the life of a goldfish,” I whisper, and I was gone.

 

 

 

Text This, Tech That: Where’d the Conversation Go?

It is safe to say that a majority of people have cell phones.  At&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint; they are huge companies for a reason.  Snail-mail is beyond dead.  We have the fastest way of staying connected, and it is something we should value.  One would think that because communication has become easier, staying in touch with friends and family would be simple.

Well, it’s not.

I’ll have to start at the beginning.  There are some people that I know, most of whom I do not speak with anymore, who cannot stay in touch with me even though their cell phones are glued to their hips (as the older folks say).  They have these fancy phones with huge screens, chic cases, and they are always tap tap tap-ing the day away.

It certainly is a challenge to try and strike up a conversation with people like this.  I try to make eye contact with them, but instead their eyes are popping out of the sockets to look at their tiny screens, nodding at the appropriate time just to make me think they are paying attention. 

Since the person appears to be readily available to answer a text, call or an email, you would assume getting a hold of them would  be a walk in the park.

No answer.

Maybe then you try again?

No answer.

After frantically typing profanities or calling them endlessly, you give up.  They finally realize you exist and reply with something like, “Lol sorry I didn’t have my phone on me :D”

You would think that since the person always sesms to have their phone out at any social gathering, meeting, school, or car ride, answering you would be no problem.  Yet, they seem MIA when you try to get a hold of them.

Have you known someone like this?

I have had acquaintances that groan to me about how “we never text anymore.”  Since I care about the relationships I have, I had decided to text my “friends” more often.  Yet when I would reach out to them, their messages were so mundane I wanted to hurl my phone across the room and never speak to another soul again.  We didn’t even talk about  anything.  It’s just “hahahah” this and “omg i know” that.  What is the point of making my fingers work for no reason?!  I’m tired of hearing that we don’t text anymore.  What about conversing face-to-face?  Where did it go?

I guess perhaps the reason I am so disgruntled with the texting world is because my major requires a somewhat platform of communicating with others properly.  I believe in correct grammer and work choice, and it’s a shame to see what is becoming of me because of my texting.  Everything is abbreviated and slang, and all we do is laugh.  I normally don’t “hahhahahaha” to all of my friends, but what else is there to say in the text-o-sphere?  I have no desire to waste my time talking to someone who won’t talk back.  “Lol,” “haha” and “okay,” is not a conversation in my book. 

Like my dad always says in his old-man-manner, “Cell phones are ruining the generations.  No one really wants to talk to each other, they just can.”

Dad, I may have to agree with you.  All we care about is what is happening online, or virtually, and when it comes time to talk face to face, everyone seems clueless.  Believe it or not, there is a world outside.  All we need to do is look up from our phones every once and a while.