I cast about for a reason not to help. If I could convince you I was busy, you would take care of the situation yourself. Nothing caught my eye, and so, sighing, I promised to be over as quickly as I could.
Glancing around the living room, I noticed the bowl, with its inhabitant floating belly up, had been moved to the top of the bookcase, where one’s eyes wouldn’t chance across it. You were carefully avoiding glancing in that direction.
I tried to lighten the mood: “Well, there’s your problem, the poor fish drowned.” Your smile was as tight and forced as my attempt at humor. Only dead for an hour or two, it had already started to take its toll. The longer the fish was dead, the worse you would feel, so the sooner we got this process started, the better it would be for you. Knowing that, you went to vomit while I got the bowl down from the top shelf.
Taking its first gasping, flopping breath in over three hours, its tail splashed beads of your blood onto the sides of the now empty bowl. I bandaged your cuts, cleaned my knives, and took the fish out of the bowl and placed it on the other side of the table, away from the pool of blood. I sprinkled droplets of water on the newly resurrected, and considered how normal this fish looked. It gaped and thrashed, and even as it struggled to breathe you were beginning to look better. No matter how long it stayed out of water, it wouldn’t asphyxiate. No matter how much I wanted that fish gone for what it did to you, it wouldn’t die.