Replacement Goldfish

Never let feelings get in the way of logic. Never form attachments. Always be Professional.

That was what I kept telling myself, and yet every time I succumbed to temptation and rode the emotional roller coaster all the way to the inevitable heartbreak.

I shouldn’t expect things to be different. It wasn’t like their kind were known to be affectionate or loyal. And maybe the Medic was right, I was just reading too much into things and he didn’t give a toss about me in the least.

And yet, when I come through the door and I get that coy little bob as if he was saying “oh, there you are, haven’t seen you all day”, I can’t help but wonder if he was waiting for me. And maybe he tuned me out when I would be blathering about how the day has gone, but all I would have to do is drum my fingers a bit and there he would be again, eager and attentive.

This one lasted all of three months to the day I found him. I almost didn’t even need to see his corpse to know that he was dead: there was no familiar shape to greet me when I walked through the door. I carried his corpse out into the desert and buried him with the others.

The Spy kept me company this time. “Maybe you should get a dog instead,” he mused. “Zey tend to last longer.”

“You know ‘ow it is with th’ ‘ead Bitch,” I answered. “Brucey only got a pass because I listed ‘im as ‘emergency food supploi’.”

The Spy snorted. “As eef zat leetle morsel would make a meal for anyone but somezing his own size.”

I gave him a look through my aviators. “Oi. ‘ave a li’ell respect for th’ dead, would you?”

The Spy rolled his eyes. “Zis ees already Brucy zee, what, Sixth? Seventh? How many times are you going to replay zis farce until you give up?” He shook his head. “Forget eet, bushman, I’m not in zee mood to argue with you today. Let’s go to zee pet store and get you another Brucey, non?”

I looked at Brucey’s grave. “I dunno, mate. I was thinking about maybe getting a turtle this toime.”

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