I’m pretty different.
Those three words explain me. Most kids would say I’m “strange” or “afraid of human interaction”, but I assume they don’t know the difference between isolated and insane. I used to think that’s what they thought of me, but I’ve changed. I swear. I’m no phony. I began to appreciate myself from the fact that nobody was really my friend and I set myself away from people. If you think about it, it’s pretty ironic. My name is Hunter.
I’m 15 years old. I think the world is just some complicated mess and I’ve been thrown into it so I can complicate it a little more. I always wanted to play baseball, but my parents never had the money. I bought myself a mitt a couple years ago, though. I found some money in my toy box from my aunts and uncles who I never really see anymore. Anyway, back to the reason I’m writing this story.
Did I mention I love writing? So there’s something else you know about me. Now let me begin my story. It was a rainy day..
.that day when I walked to school. I tirelessly lugged my backpack down the street.
As I walked through town, I passed by the same old windows with toys, clothes, and a small, boring French restaurant my parents go to or something like that. I could give a shit less what they do. As I walked inside the small pet store on the corner, the old man behind the counter got up right away. I hadn’t even taken a breath and he was already tryna sell me something. If I was gonna buy a pet, it would be something that I couldn’t get emotionally attached to. I’m not like that. I saw the fish tank in the back and I just stared at it from across the store. A fish was a good pet to get.
I mean they didn’t really do anything, right? They just swam and ate occasionally and didn’t need constant attention. “I’ll take a fish” I told the old guy. “These are some pretty special fish my boy” he told me. What he said killed me. How could they be so special? They were just fish. “How much will it be?” I asked. “Fifty cents” he replied. I brought the money up to the tall wooden counter and laid it on the table.
It was more money that I had collected from my aunts and uncles. My parents made nothing, so they never gave me anything except for what they needed to – food and shelter – how generous. Anyways, the old guy put the goldfish into a plastic bag, and asked me if I wanted a bowl to put it in. I told him I did, and he came to the counter with the bag and bowl. I shoved the bowl into my backpack, and put the fish under my raincoat to protect it from the droplets of rain plummeting down from the sky. It was dark as hell outside. When I got to school, I put the bag in my locker, and standing right next to me was Sherri Saylor. She was one of the biggest phonies I’ve met.
“Hey whatcha got there Hunter?” she asked in a mocking, typical teenage girl voice. I tried to avoid questions like this all day. Nobody would know what I had in my locker. When I was walking out of school at the end of the day, I held the bag under my coat again. The rain had cleared up, and I went home. When I walked upstairs, I grabbed a small blue cloth from the linen closet and draped it over the bowl. When I wasn’t home, Alexander stayed in his plastic bowl.
I mean where else he supposed to go? He’s a fish. I forgot to tell you his name. Sometimes I call him Alex, and sometimes I call him Allie.
But anyways, that’s where he stayed for most of his life – in my small blue room. He was always right next to me – day and night, except when I had to go to school. Occasionally I would take him out for walks in my creaky red wagon, but he always had that blue linen cloth draped over his bowl. Years went on since I had bought Alexander. Boy did I love that fish. He was like my best friend.
I eventually had to move him from his bowl to a glass aquarium. It was hard for me to see him grow up so fast. He was the closest thing I had to a brother.
***There was one day when I felt like my life was over. I remember that day. October 12, 1984. Alex died. I knew it had to happen.
But this was my fault. It was all my fault. I ran out of my room and down those old stairs and grabbed my baseball. I threw it at the window as fast as I possibly could, and the glass shattered and fell down on the floor. I broke down into tears and started kicking things and screaming like a five year old.
I woke up later that night in the hospital. I got a piece of glass in my foot or something stupid like that. A couple weeks later, I found myself back at the old guy’s pet store. I also found myself walking home with another fish. I missed Alex everyday. But I thought I should buy another one to fill some void in my life. There was something missing in my life.
I named this one Peyton. I guess it’s kinda like Peyton Manning if you think about it. In case you wanted to know, I love football too. Peyton reminded me of Alex. It made me sad to think about him, but he’s somewhere better now. I did all I could, I guess.
So, that’s my story. I’m hoping to get it published someday. Maybe I’ll make it big in NYC or Hollywood someday. At least I hope I will. I don’t expect many of you to think I’m normal. But that’s just me. I mean I do know one thing, though.
Everyone deserves to have a best friend. They can make all the difference in the world. I know my life was changed. And I’m grateful for that. Explanatory Paragraph Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is portrayed as a loner, but he’s really just misunderstood.
In this version of D.B.’s story, “The Secret Goldfish”, I symbolized the main character, Hunter, as Holden. Holden grew up with what he believed was little support from his parents, so the parallel in this story reflects Holden’s opinions, since Hunter believes he’s on his own, and the fish is the only person that’s really there for him. One of the main themes throughout the short story is protection, similar to The Catcher in the Rye. Hunter wants to protect the fish, and this is shown through his actions of putting the bowl under his jacket in the rain, keeping the fish in his locker (away from danger or harmful people), and putting the cloth over the bowl as an added protective measure. He also keeps Alex in his room which shows that he wants to be around him all the time, other then when he’s at school.
This is similar to how Holden protects both Allie, until he passes away. Another value Holden is known for is his loyalty. Holden has a hard time accepting change, just like Hunter in the story.
Hunter doesn’t want to see Alex grow up and it was hard for him to move him from the bowl to the aquarium. Another major symbol, aside from Hunter resembling Holden is Alex (Allie) representing Allie, Holden’s little brother. Holden protected Allie, and loved him, just like he loved Alex. When Allie died at age 11, Holden was heartbroken, and had an emotional breakdown, similar to when Alex (the fish) died, and Hunter ended up in the hospital. Hunter went out and bought another fish to fill an empty hole in his life since the fish was his best friend. Allie was Holden’s best friend, and even though he passed away, Holden looks to him as a guiding light when he feels like he’s in the dark. One last thing that ties in Holden’s character to Hunter’s is that they both are unfiltered.
They say exactly what they think, and judge people without care, whether good or bad. They don’t sensor their feelings, and are both tired of phonies and fakes. Hunter’s character represents Holden, and Alex the fish represents Allie, tying direct parallels between the two texts. The three main values of protection, loyalty, and honesty are shown throughout “The Secret Goldfish”, as Holden and Hunter believe they are the foundation of good character. Word count: 1,483