She'd forgotten all about that – burying all her deceased salt-water fish in the flower bed. Her three clownfish, two blue damsels with those yellow tails she loved to watch flickering in the watery light when she was up nights sleepless. Even the large spotted grouper who'd reflected back her own baffled looks. Back then.They'd all died that first year she'd been trying to get pregnant, and she'd actually sent her husband out with a garden trowel to bury them. It had been his idea, anyway, to set up the aquarium, as if fish could distract her from the fact that they seemed unable to conceive. It wasn't an act of punishment making him bury them.
She just couldn't face how she imagined the fish looked going into the ground, still gleaming and brilliant under the cold light of a winter sky.And all the time that they were going through IVF, she would look out the window while doing dishes and could never imagine the fish actually decaying. Only their brilliance. Their circle eyes wide with terror under the earth.Now she had dug up their bones as she'd been preparing this small flower bed for fall bulbs to bloom in spring. They'd been large fish so the bones were clearly bones, not sticks.Her son came over. He was still young enough to like digging in the dirt. She told him the truth, that they were fish bones from pet fish she once had before he was born."You buried them? Why'd you flush mine?"He'd been devastated when she'd merely flushed his beta fish down the toilet.She lied. "They were too big to flush."Well, a half lie. The real truth was that at the time she'd never imagined this would happen; that years later she'd be resurrecting a burial ground with her son. With the child she'd thought she'd never be able to conceive.
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