The fish with no air.

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One of my father’s oldest aquarium fish is dying. Sure, it looked still in a picture, but it was wheezing for air. Down and up its tummy went. Its little fin fluttering slower and slower. I didn’t know how to count a fish’s age though; I can only say it’s old because it’s one of the biggest fish in the tank. When he just started to clean the glass aquarium that some fellow gave him for free (because they’re getting a new tank), we were ecstatic. I remember bringing my sister in downtown Cebu to “hunt” for affordable but interesting aquarium fishes. We’d be looking at open basins (ones used when doing laundry) with fishes of various colors, with turtles, and slimy looking snakes. Some looked exotic, others were familiar, like the clownfish no one’s ever called clownfish because for us it’s Nemo! I don’t exactly remember when we stopped buying aquarium fishes. But those trips to downtown Cebu certainly stopped. Things changed and I don’t spend my time buying random fishes anymore. My father has his own routine of buying them now. Perhaps, he knows when one’s about to die that he’d purposely buy new ones a few weeks ago. I don’t know.

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