I fell in love with a stupid fish

My sister’s betta fish died today. This probably means very little to you, but suddenly I feel like it’s two years ago and I’m crying over the little guy floating at the top of a bowl in my kitchen.

His name was Officer Friendly. Yes, Officer Friendly. I don’t have a picture of him, but he looked like this photo I stole from the internet:

I hadn’t had a pet since my three wicked hamsters, Hammy, Flipper and Squeaky, biters and escape artists, died in their cage. I think I was 12, and their loss was the greatest grief I’d known. Pets were done for me. I didn’t even want Friendly, but my sister got him for me one winter when life seemed impossibly hard, when I started learning the truth about the man I loved. Reality was slipping away.

Friendly just ignored me and kept swimming.

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