The fish had swam in a glorious lake of sparkling fish—schools of synchrony. She swam up and down through the untouched coral, poking her head through whatever she wanted. Predators were nearly absent. The water was mostly fresh. But as she swam, she always felt bad for the rejected the fish. The dirty ones. The injured ones. The old ones. She longed to make a difference.
So she leapt. She leapt into another lake. This lake was so much bigger. They said that it had so much clean water. Because there was a pump hidden in the corner of the lake. They cared about the quality of the water and the orderliness of the fish. Everyone was eating at the same time. The same mush. The same motions over and over again. Sparkly was prohibited here and so she wore the drab colors like every other fish. She was tasked to change. To do things the right way, so that the coral would grow again. She wanted to do it the right way. “Hey, let’s think about eating different colored mush every other day,” she began.
She thought that change needed to be slow. She was right, of course. But a creeping regret took over her. The water was the same kind of water that she breathed in her original lake. But it was different. She wanted badly to return to the original lake. But she wasn’t going to help anybody in need. But in this lake, the change was coming. The change is coming, she repeated to herself.
But she stared, she swam, she listened in this lake. The lake kept going through the seasons. But she wasn’t sure. All she felt was that she was a fish out of water. Breathless and desperate to return to familiarity.