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Alex and Maggie

A Literal School of Fish

By #KristinaWritesPublished 3 months ago 4 min read

Alex sits on the bench outside of the shark tank window with her head in her hands. She is overly familiar with this spot. This has become her place to come after school, to read, or to study. She would much rather be at the aquarium than in her own home nowadays. It is hard to determine who subjects more abuse her way; her mom or her stepdad. Either way, she doesn't want to hear it today. She tries not to believe it. But it is hard not to believe it when that is all she hears and sees from the moment she hits the front door. So, in order to avoid negativity at all costs, she has found her happy place. Right on the bench outside of the shark tank window.

It seems as though every day the same female shark is on the other side of the glass. Eagerly anticipating Alex's arrival. Alex has aptly named this female shark, Maggie. Alex talks to Maggie like an old friend. The workers at the aquarium have befriended Alex as well. It seems as though everyone refers to this particular female shark as Maggie. Alex ensures that Maggie gets plenty of attention, not only from herself but from the staff too. Mainly because she knows what it feels like to be ignored. And she does not want Maggie to endure that pain.

Today Alex finds herself reading from Chapter 9 in her Abnormal Psychology textbook. Sitting on the bench outside of the shark tank she reads about substance use disorders. How fitting. While reading out loud, as she does every day, she is reading about how The Beatles were using drugs because that is what they learned from their peers. She did not realize that the drugs they were using were technically referred to as psychoactive substances. Alex loved learning! In the back of her mind, she always hoped someone would hear her reading aloud and share the knowledge with someone else. This would not only educate one person but potentially many more.

The day quickly comes to an end and the aquarium announces that they are closing. Alex begins packing up her book bag with the books that she had strewn on the bench next to her. She notices that Maggie is still circling in front of the window. Slinging her backpack over her shoulder she puts her hand against the glass and assures Maggie that she will be back tomorrow so that they can learn more together.

Alex turns to leave. Maggie turns to leave.


As Maggie turns the corner inside the aquarium she swims down a bit to meet her family and friends. They all meet and greet each other happily. Everyone is very excited to see Maggie return! They are all talking over one another trying to find out what Maggie learned today. Maggie calms everyone down and assured them that she would share her newfound knowledge with them straight away.

Almost like an aquatic classroom; everyone's eyes were on Maggie. Maggie began to explain to them that she in fact did see Alex again. She explained that Alex was so upset with her parents and did not want to go home. So she chose to read from a school textbook in order to pass the time. Everyone grew more intent on Maggie's every word. Maggie began explaining to them what substance use was, what drugs were, what a disorder was, and who The Beatles were. As the information continued to flow, all eyes began to open so wide!

There were so many questions being thrown at Maggie. One of the teenage fish wanted to know what a common liabilities model even was! So Maggie explained how neurological, psychological, and social factors all group together and cause problems; for the human race. Every fish shook its head in disbelief when it realized the issues that the human race has to endure on the other side of that glass. It becomes obvious that every one of them becomes more grateful for being on the side of the aquarium glass that they are.

Maggie is quick to remind everyone that perception is truly everything. The class is dismissed and everyone turns to leave, much more grateful for their circumstances than when they joined.

Until Next Time, Kristina

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About the Creator


I love life and everyone in it! After earning a BS in CJS I realized what I really wanted to do with my life; Write! So, I'm an APA writer, content writer & blogger based in Texas and I write about...Life!


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