7:00 A.M. “Come on, Jessica! It’s time for you to go to school. Let’s go, let’s go! We’re going to be late!” my mom yelled across the living room.
3:30 P.M. “Jessica! What do you want for snack?” my mom asked across the room, “Jessica! Are you listening to me? Jessica?”
5:00 P.M. “Let’s go to the grocery store. You can pick out your favorite ice-cream for tonight! I know you love ice-cream! Don’t you want anything? Can you hear me? Jessica?”
6:30 P.M. “Oh my gosh! You are still there? Unbelievable! Jessica, do you want to help me make dinner to night? Jessica?”
8:00 P.M. “It’s dinner time! Jessica, you’ve been sitting there for the whole entire day! Don’t you get bored?” my mom fed up with me, walked over and placed her warm hand on my head
“Not at all.” I replied as I pointed to the enormous tank, “Look!” Two small fish with blue and yellow stripes swiftly swam across the vast ocean of our family’s as our eyes followed them. They hid behind the bulky rock, flustered through the slender, emerald weeds, and even poked their head out from the windows of their petite plastic houses. Every move they made, I jumped up and down and watched carefully so I don’t miss the details. Each and every movement.
My mom, amazed with all the spectacular show by the small fish, just smiled at me and went back to the kitchen. I thought she would call me for dinner again, but instead she came back with a plate of food and placed it next to me. That night, my mom and I ate dinner as we watched the little creatures do fancy moves. The food even tasted better! No one said a word that night, but laughter and sighs of awe filled the room. When my dad came back from work, he joined us too.
My dad was the person who bought the huge tank and set everything up for me. The tank was about the size of a bath tub; it was humongus! The tank was made of special glass that doesn’t break too easily. It had a wooden frame on the top and the bottom, with legs that protrude like a model’s leg, long and skinny. The tank was in the living room, on the right side of the TV, by a small, antique rocking chair with a small pillow which I always sat on, and a fluffy blanket that I use to wrap myself around. It was heaven! I remember I always fell asleep on the rocking chair, even if my friends were over at my house. It was my safe place, where I can just stop everything that I am doing and just enjoy the view. If I look at all my childhood pictures, most of the pictures were probably taken on the rocking chair with the fish tank in the background.
I used to take pictures of the beautiful creatures inside the tank too. Although I was too young to figure out how to use the camera, I just looked through the eye-hole and took whatever I saw through it. Many times the pictures couldn’t be developed because of the flash that bounced off the glass of the fish tank. Although, there are few pictures I took that turned out pretty, and I am very proud of them!
One picture is of a female discus and a male discus facing each other. Each had stripes like a zebra’s, but with glitter all over. If you look at the picture from distance, the two discus’ formed a heart which made the picture uniquely interesting. My dad actually liked this picture a lot, so he expanded it, and he put the picture up on his wall in a frame along with other pictures he took when we went snorkeling.
Snorkeling at the Maldive Island was one of the best experiences I’ve encountered in my life. It was my first time going snorkeling in the real ocean. My dad planned this trip for our family because supposedly, for my bed-time prayer, I always wished for my mom to give me permission to swim in the fish tank. That, obviously is unacceptable, so they planned a trip for me to actually see what it really is like. I really wanted to go deeper undersea but I was still young so I had only once choice, to go snorkeling. Though, by far, I had the best finest adventure!
Pink, red, yellow, blue, green, purple, brown, orange, and more! I don’t think there were any colors that I missed to see. I felt like I dived into a kaleidoscope! I sawm over fields of colorful, gorgeous corals with fish that had designs on their body which I never saw before. It was a dream come true. I was enjoying every second of my time in the ocean. I thought my fish tank was the best thing in the world, and that there was nothing more beautiful than that. Yet, I was wrong, the ocean was more beautiful than our fish tank, it was more beautiful than anything else in the world. (That’s when I realized I have to stop peeing in the ocean.) The beauty of nature was expressed all under the sea.
I always loved the Disney movie ‘The Little Mermaid’. Of course, I wanted, and still want to, become a mermaid. Maybe it wouldn’t be much fun becacuse I won’t be able to play soccer, basketball, or tennis, but I know that I would enjoy my life, spending each and every day under the sea. When I went snorkeling, I had fins on, so I pretended I was a mermaid! I took pictures with my waterproof camera, and I even drew things in my sketchbook later that night from memory.
The instructor gave us small pieces of bread to feed the fish, so I went in with a small piece of bread. Amazingly, as soon as the food went underwater, tons of fish came and attacked the bread. I was actually a little frightened at first, but I got used to it. Just one problem though, there was this one big fish, which was bigger than the size of my head. It was very creepy looking and ugly, greyish blue with small eyes that stared right into my eyes. When it came, I always let go of the bread and swam back to the dock.
Back at home, I never had the experience where I was feeding the fish directly from my hand. What we did was we had a small container of fish food in it, like a salt shaker. We would slide open a door on the ceiling of the tank, and feed the fish a pinch of the flakey fish food. After, you tap the glass where you placed the food with your fingernails to call the fish over.
When I was small, I always wondered if fish can eat chocolates, candies, sweets in general. So I always secretly experimented, but nothing worked. Instead, the water became a bit dirty, that two guppies died. I felt awful! I only aimed to please but it turned out as a disaster. My parents obviously got upset at me, so I was grounded from eating sweets for two weeks!
But that isn’t the only trouble I caused. I placed barbie dolls inside the tank and pretended that they were scuba diving. I got a ‘barbie doll scuba diving set’ for my birthday, so I used to pretend like the bath tub was the ocean, however, it wasn’t much fun so I used the real tank. Obviously, the small fish were frightened so they hid between the seaweeds and the plastic houses.
I stopped scaring the fish with the barbie doll after I saw Jaws. That movie actually made me dislike the ocean for a few weeks. Eventually, I learned that sharks don’t exist everywhere, so I was relieved. I actually wanted a small shark, parallel to the size of a guppy. It may sound hard to believe, but it really exists! If I get a shark though, I figured that all other creatures in the tank would dislike me, so I decided to keep it nice and peaceful. The funny thing was everytime I added a new fish into the tank, every creature in the tank reacted in a very amusing way. I figured they were trying to get used to the fact that a new member joined the family.
A new member in the tank was always a wonderful thing, but it wasn’t pleasant when one died. My favorite fish of all, a bright red guppy died on the night of Christmas Eve. I cried all night long. It was by far the worst Christmas Eve ever. My dad and I even chose a name for it, Pyro. Pyro was the loveliest of them all, with the most brightest red I have ever seen in my life. I always loved to see Pyro in the middle of the night, when the room was pitch black but only the fish tank was light up. I also loved to see Pyro in the morning, when light went through and the water glistened like a shining star.
Not only was it my favorite, but my dad’s favorite too. For Christmas, my dad got me a replacement for Pyro, a similar red guppie, but it was nothing like my favorite. The body movement was very different. Pyro moved with elegance and confidence. But the new fish, seemed like a little child running around. It lost its beauty and instead it was very hyperactive! My dad said it was perfect for me because it acted just like me!