portrait of a smiling young teen with curly, long hair. she is standing in front of a wall of leaves

Anna Vredevelt

“I’d walk in every day, say hello to my favorite fish.”

When I was in kindergarten, I got sent home from kindergarten because every day I used to walk into the doors and there was a little fish tank in the lobby and I was really really young. I don’t even know how old kindergarteners are, like five or six. But I remember distinctly, I’d walk in every day, say hello to my favorite fish. It was an angel fish, it was silver. And one day I walked in and I looked into the fish tank, and my favorite fish was not there, and I was peering in, I was looking in, looking super, duper hard. And then I walked into the office. I was like “where’s my favorite fish?” And they were like “what fish?” And I was like “my– my angel fish. It was my favorite fish.” And just trying to explain what this fish looked like to them, and they said it died. And so, I started crying really, really hard, and so they walked me to class, and I sat there in class, and I wouldn’t stop crying. And at my school in kindergarten they had this point system where you had a green card, meaning you were behaving well and then you had a yellow card if you were being warned, and then you had a red card if you misbehaved and then you didn’t get a sticker, and then if you didn’t get a sticker you didn’t get a prize at the end of the month, or week, or something like that, something like that. Anyway, they kept shifting my warning, they were like “okay, I’m going to give you a yellow card”, but I honestly didn’t even care. I just remember being so sad about this fish. I was literally crying maybe I think it was an hour or two later, and I was just still crying about this little fish. And so then finally, I remember this moment, the teacher looked at me, they were like “Anna, do you need to go home?” And I just remember nodding, I couldn’t even speak. I was so sad about this fish. Wow, I must have had a flair for the dramatics.

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