Though we may dream


Dear Elizabeth,

Your goldfish died today. I’m sorry. I fed him exactly how you told me to. One scoop a day, it’s not hard, that’s what you said. And that’s what I did. This morning I woke up and it was even the first thing I did because I had been having nightmares all of last night about forgetting to feed him and he died every time. Well tonight he was dead in the same way as my dreams. It was 6pm and I had just finished eating my plate of roast beef when I thought to myself ‘I wonder how Geppetto is doing’, so I walked over to the tank by the window in the kitchen, and there he was, floating and dead. At first I wasn’t sure what was going on, whether it was just some weird way that fish sleep because they don’t have beds like we do, so I waited for a few minutes to see if he would move but he didn’t. He just floated at the top of the water.

Then I remembered that I’d heard one time that if fish are floating at the top of the water then they are dead. So I panicked and started banging on the tank, trying to wake him up and screaming his name. He couldn’t hear me. I know this because he didn’t move at all when I was shouting really loudly, so I started to cry. And I banged on the tank again, one last time, just to see if there was any chance that he was still alive, but he wasn’t. The glass smashed when I did this and all of the water flooded out of the tank and onto the floor. It soaked me through and I just watched the sea plants spread across the kitchen.

Geppetto floated to the middle of the room in the water and for one split second I thought that I saw him move when he was sliding across the floor, so I jumped on my knees to see if I could rescue him, but I landed on him by accident. I felt his body squish under my knee and one of his eyes was next to my hand, which nearly made me sick when I saw it. I lifted up my leg to see if he was definitely dead now and most of his body was stuck to me, so I had to peel his little body off my trousers by his tail, which made me cry even more. Poor Geppetto died and it was all my fault! He was so small and he never did anything to hurt anyone, so I just held what was left of him there in my hands as I lay on the floor crying in the water that he had been swimming in not so long ago. Then Jenny found me and shouted at me for making such a mess in the kitchen. When she realised what had happened I think she felt guilty though, because she stopped shouting and just told me that I should go to my room and get changed out of my wet clothes.

I’m sorry. I don’t know if I killed him or if he was dead before I fell on him, but I was meant to look after him and I couldn’t do that. You will hate me now for the rest of your life and I know that you won’t ever be able to forgive me, but I just wanted to say that I am sorry and I do really miss Geppetto already.


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