So once, during physics I think, I asked my friend for a word, and she said ‘fish’, and this happened. I’m not sure how to complete this though, so if you guys have like, ideas or something, then gimmeeee. I mean, if you even want me to finish this, which I don’t think anyone would because it’s admittedly very, very stupid. But it’s like a year old, so you can’t blame me. I’ve changed.
I hate fish. I despise fish.
When I was young, I used to run around screaming at the very mention of the beastly things, flailing my arms and leaving my parents to explain to the curious onlookers that I had my ‘eccentricities’ and that the doctor said I would be alright.
It didn’t irk me as much at the time, as it did later, when I learnt that people were deathly scared of having their children interact with ‘that Laura girl’ who, according to her mother, was mentally unstable. It didn’t help my reputation in any way whatsoever.
Even my so-called ‘friends’ left me alone, after the social outcast label started stretching to them as well, for remaining in the fish-girl’s company for more than need be.
My parents hoped I would get over my ‘completely irrational phobia’ when I grew older and tried to quicken the process by buying me fish toys, and fish movies about dads looking for their lost fish children, but that clearly didn’t work out for them, because it just made me cower in fear and throw it all out.
“Don’t waste all our money, Laura! Be thankful for what you have!”, “I didn’t ask you to buy me those! You know I hate them, so why would you buy it for me?!” – is how our arguments would go, with me being the bad guy, and in the end running off to my room, crying because everyone blamed me for everything.
Which they did, considering I was telling the truth, I didn’t ask for the bloody fish merchandise, they got it for me themselves.
They used to wrap it up in glossy paper, buying me small things that I liked along with it, so that I wouldn’t be as disappointed – yeah, the biggest present under the tree being a fish really didn’t disappoint me at all, thank you Mom and Dad – and tried to deceive me. And for some reason, it always worked. Every single time. I should have learned my lesson over the years but maybe I was just too stupid at the time because I didn’t.
Even now, with me being twenty, they deceive me. Which is why I’m standing here, eyes wide in horror, staring at the market. The fish market to be precise. Where my mother dragged me along, because “I need to do some shopping, Laura, sweetheart, would you come along and help me?”
I love you, Mom. Um, most of the time.
“Why,” I manage to say, despite being paralyzed with terror – and it stinks here, it’s kinda hard to breathe, “Are we here?”
“Well, I needed to buy some fish for the dinner party tomorrow night!”
“And you absolutely had to bring me along?!”
“Of course, dear! I need someone to help me carry the bags!”
“Mike’s good enough for that!”
Mike is my fifteen year old brother. He loves fish. Which is reason number three on the list of Why Laura hates Mike.
“Mike was busy this afternoon, love, I needed to get this done by today! Don’t be lazy!”
I glare at her. “It’s not about laziness. You know full well why I don’t want to be here!”
“Oh, if you mean your silly little dislike of fish, then darling, please ignore it for today?”
“It’s not dislike! It’s a full on phobia! I am not staying in this place!” I yell. Mom waves it off and takes my hand.
“The best way to overcome your fears is to face it, love,” she tells me and pulls me over the small ledge that separates street from market.
Screw life, is the first thing that goes through my mind, but I refrain from actually saying it out loud because my mom would have a hissy fit if I did. She’s a firm believer in the beauty and order of everything written down in the book of Fate.
And I’m obviously not, because of all the things Fate had to choose to make me scared of, it chose fish. Fish. Not spiders, like normal people, or acne, like all the girls my age, or even ghosts and the dark, like little children. It chose fish.
But as much as I don’t like my phobia, I don’t like fish even more, so I’d rather live with the phobia than be over it and be able to handle things as horrifying as those slimy, scaly creatures that we eat after they die.
Doesn’t that make us like, scavengers? Why don’t we slaughter fish?
If I didn’t hate fish so much I could have fought for Fish Rights. But unfortunately (or not), I will never do such a thing, because I will never side with the fish. In fact, I could actually go on a fish strike, to annihilate all fish, because that is the extent of my hatred.
Okay, maybe not that much, but close enough.
But back to the point, Mom’s looking at me expectantly, tugging at my hand, obviously expecting me to follow her, if that look on her face is anything to go about.
Since I have no choice in the matter, I slowly take a step forward and she beams. I’ve never seen her look so happy about something I’ve done as she does now, and all I’ve done is move a tiny bit. About an inch? Yeah.
I follow her as she leads me from one stall to another, and by the fourth, she’s bought a large bag full of stinking fish – which she tried to make me carry but I’m sorry Mom, that is going a bit too far – and I’m getting fiddly, moving from one foot to another as I stand behind her, waiting.
“Don’t do that, sweetie,” She says loudly, “You look like you need to pee.”
For a second I don’t understand what she said. No one does. And then the man behind the stall gives a snort, as well as a few boys standing around us, and I want to just die –
“Mom, please!” I grit out, but it’s not really all that much use because everyone’s already heard and they’re laughing subtly – yeah, right, I can see all you assholes – at me.
“The toilet is that way,” One guy says, pointing and laughs a little more. I scowl.
“I don’t need the stupid toilet.”
“You can go, love, I’ll be waiting for you here.”
“I’m okay, Mom, stop jumping to conclusions and just hurry up, I want to go home.”
“Mackerel for only five a pound!” Comes a voice from behind me and when I turn around, an ugly, smelly fish is shoved into my face, and I can’t help it; I scream.
I scream and scream and scream and I sit on the ground, holding my head, muttering things like, “Rainbows, chocolate, unicorns, think happy thoughts, Laura, come on, nobody’s laughing at you, uh, my new laptop – ”
“Are you okay?”
I shake my head and continue with my ramble, and when I feel something cold on my shoulder I scream again and jerk away, only to look up and see a familiar face smiling down at me.
“You don’t have any fish, do you?!”
He laughs. “No, I don’t. Don’t worry.”
“Good.” I stand up. “Who are you?”
“Yes,” Mom says, “Who are you?”
“Don’t you remember me, Laura? It’s me! Harry!”
I cock my head to the side, thinking. He does look familiar, but I don’t remember anybody called Harry.
“Laura!” Mom cries, poking me in the arm. “How rude!”
“But I don’t know him,” I say. “What if he’s a stalker or something?”
I scream at the thought and grab my mom’s bag, ready to swipe it at the not-so-much-a-stranger’s head, but he laughs at me.
“You’re the same as you were back in high school.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
He stops laughing to smile at me. He really does look familiar, but I still can’t place it.
“Harold Wakefield. Harry.” He extends a hand. “Remember?”
I look at him, and his hand, suspiciously. Then I take it.
“I do remember a Harold – never liked the boy much, to be honest – ”
“ – but you could be an imposter. HAMMER OF THOR! You’re not an alien in Harry’s form are you?!”
He shakes his head, an amused smile dancing across his lips. “No, I’m not an imposter. And you’re clearly not one either, because only Laura would say something like that.”
“Nobody can pose as me. They lack the courage. I shall slay them with the Mighty Sword of Truth!” I strike a dramatic pose, and I can almost feel the awe spreading around the place –
“Laura, stop this nonsense, please, and help me with my shopping.”
Thanks, Mom. Thank you so much.
“Ah, I’ll help, Mrs. Blake.” I watch as this Harry person takes the bags from my mom’s hands and smiles at her. My mom smiles back.
“Such wonderful manners!” She exclaims and turns to shoot me a glare. Yeah. Whatever, mom. You can glare all you want; I’m not going to go within ten centimeters of those things. “I’m sorry you have to deal with my daughter’s ridiculous behaviour, Harry, dear.”
I am being discussed. In front of me. And not-so-nice things are being said.
“Oh no, Laura’s not ridiculous at all.”
“Yes, do continue talking about how much Laura exaggerates and puts on a show and – wait, what?”
Harry laughs. “I don’t think it’s ridiculous. I’m scared of cockroaches; I refuse to go into a room where a cockroach is present. If I was scared of fish and I was brought here, I’d die. I think it’s commendable that you’re actually standing here and not having a nervous breakdown.”
What did he just say?
Mom looks irked – in that smiling, you’re-such-a-wonderful-young-man, way – so I’m assuming whatever he said was taking my side. I think he did, because he said ‘commendable’ but I have learnt to not believe people’s smiles, and to always take any comment as sarcasm unless it’s proven that it’s not.
You know. Like that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ thing.
(It really should be the other way; everyone is capable of murder, and nobody should be considered innocent until proven otherwise.)
“Is that a good or a bad thing?” I ask, just to make sure and Harry laughs again.
“It’s definitely a good thing, Laura.”
I look at him and I think I do remember a Harold Wakefield from high school.
“Are you, by any chance, the same Harold who informed me of the Paintball war in the second floor corridor when I was going that way sometime in February of my third year?”
Mom rolls her eyes and I pointedly roll my eyes back, at which Harry holds back a laugh – I can see through your serious false front, Son of Wakefield – and says, “Yeah, that’s me.”
I give him a huge smile and throw my arms around his neck, disbalancing him a bit, but not enough to make us fall.
“You,” I say, “Are a beautiful soul. I never had the chance to thank you properly. I am eternally in your debt.”
“Laura, do stop being so silly,” I hear Mom say, but I ignore her because where there is gratitude, there should be no ill will, and Mother’s words are full of ill will.
Harry unwraps my arms from around him and smiles. “You’re still the same, aren’t you?”
Well, duh. Change is stupid. Nobody should ever change. If I changed, I’d be holding the bags Mom had handed him right now. But I’m not holding the bags. And I never will, I can assure you of that.
I shrug. “I suppose.”
“I’ll be on that side,” Mom tells us, taking the bags from Harry with an exasperated, melodramatic sigh and leaves in some random direction that I didn’t see because I wasn’t looking.
“What do you say we ditch the fish and get to Starbucks?” Harry asks, turning to me. “My treat,” He adds.
I consider the options. Starbucks’ Frappuccino is the best thing in the world, hands down. And I’m getting it for free. Plus Harry’s pretty nice. And good looking.
I see no cons.
I just read through this again and wow, how lame am I? Or was I, I mean this is almost a year old. More than that actually. I’m pretty sure I’m still just as lame though. Also, thank you to Opinionated Man and Cristian Mihai for following, it really made my day 🙂 I love you guys already.
And to all you cutie pies who actually read the posts, if you comment, I’d be like, over the moon, because I like getting opinions (even criticism and anon hate tbh) on my writing cause it helps me improve and blah blah, all that sappy stuff. More like, comments let me talk to people from like, all over the world and that’s just fun. So yeah.
Anyway, do you guys think I should continue this or something?