When I was younger, I belonged to the community pool. I would go there nearly every day of the summer, and beg my parents to let me stay as late as possible.On one occasion, my dad was the one to take my brother and I to the pool, and he agreed to let us stay until closing. We swam for a few hours, ordered and ate pizza, then went back to swimming some more.
Once the sun was setting, the underwater lights in the pool were turned on. They were spread just far enough apart that the light from one source barely touched the light from another source. As the water would move, the light would shift, and strange shadows would appear on the sides and bottom of the pool. I was convinced that they were fish.
I put my goggles on and didn’t take them off for the rest of the evening. I was convinced there were fish in that pool, and I was going to catch them. I told my brother this, and he came back with a little net and a worm. We put the worm in the net, and continued to search for the fish. The worm came out of the net several times, but each time, we caught it and continued to hunt.
After a good three hours, the pool finally closed. I had tears in my eyes as I begged my dad to either let us stay or bring us back first thing the next day. He told me that the pool was closed and that we couldn’t stay any later, and that I should be grateful rather than asking for more things. I started crying and said that I just wanted to catch the fish. He told me there was no fish.
I had wasted three hours at the pool looking for something imaginary. I felt foolish and like a child (though to be fair, I was a child at that time, but I thought I was incredibly mature and sophisticated and whatever). I had been waiting for the day that I could finally stay until closing for years, and finally I got to, but I wasted nearly half of my time there looking for an imaginary fish. My dad told me that I was just tired and to stop crying. I told him I just felt stupid for thinking there was a fish. He started lecturing me on how I shouldn’t say stupid. When we got home, I got a shower, then cried myself to sleep. My dad told my mom he was never letting us stay at the pool until closing again. He still hasn’t, and no fish have been spotted there since then.