To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Fish—a short story

Olivia had fallen in love with Victor on her first day at the office. She had been flustered and embarrassed, first day jitters and lack of experience leading to a pissed-off customer and a teary-eyed new employee. Everyone else had just given her pitying looks or awkwardly moved past her, but Victor had stopped next to her. 


“Hey. What do you call a fish with no eyes?”


She had stared at him, confusion plastered over her face.






“A ‘f-wsh’… Wait, that’s not right.”


He had then proceeded to try to properly pronounce “fsh” without adding the “w” sound or pronouncing the “i.” Olivia’s tears were soon accompanied by laughter, and in that moment, she knew that he was the one for her.


It had been three months since then, and while she had spent day after day dreaming about the fated day where he would ask her on a date, Victor had obliviously continued on with a purely platonic work relationship.


Olivia watched Victor out of the corner of her eye as he put together his coffee, mentally counting off his routine as he did so. Black coffee, two containers of cream, stir, one and a half packets of sugar, stir and cap. The unused sugar packet was slipped into his pocket, and with that the ritual was complete. Olivia watched as he followed the all too familiar path from his office to the coffee machine, which just so happened to pass right by her desk. 


They were meant to be, she knew it. But he had yet to approach her with any romantic implications. At first she had spent every moment overthinking what could possibly have gone wrong. And then she had the realization. Of course he wouldn’t ask her out. He would never do anything to put her in a situation where there was even a slight chance she was uncomfortable. He was too much of a gentleman for that. The possibility of pushing his feelings onto her would be the last thing he would do.


So, she had decided that today, she would be the one to ask him out. The three month anniversary of their first meeting—how much more romantic could it get?


As Victor passed by Olivia’s desk, she reached out, grabbing his wrist and pulling him to a stop.


“Hey, wanna grab dinner after work today?”


Victor jolted in surprise, before looking at her and giving her that semi nervous smile that always made her heart burst.


“Ah, sorry Olivia! My girlfriend and I are grabbing dinner tonight. She closed a really big deal at her real estate agency, so we’re celebrating.”


Olivia felt her entire world fall apart in that moment. She couldn’t bring herself to speak for a little too long, before finally forcing her voice.


“A-Ah, right. Okay.”


“Maybe next time!”


And with that he was gone.


A girlfriend. How could he possibly have one? They were supposed to be together; soulmates whose paths crossed by fate. Whatever nosy little girl that snuck her way by his side had no right to be there. 


The work phone rang, and while Olivia instinctively picked it up, she wasn’t really paying attention. No, she was busy thinking about this new revelation. She was startled, of course, but she couldn’t let herself lose her head so quickly.


This called for further investigation.



Olivia watched Victor and a short, scrawny stick of a girl from the window of her car, stewing in her seat as they dined on steaks and wine. She wasn’t even that impressive. She laughed way too much and couldn’t keep her hands out of her hair. And she was way too touchy, always grabbing onto Victor’s hand. 


Olivia straightened up in her seat, gripping her wheel with anticipation.



Victor and that leech walked out of the restaurant, giggling and holding onto each other as they made their way to their car. They were lost in each other, barely paying attention to their surroundings as they moved from the brightly lit restaurant to the dark area of the parking lot. Olivia turned her key, the engine rumbling to life. 


That girl was goofing around, acting like a child as she swung his hand in big arcs. Olivia watched as she moved, steps light and carefree as she spun away and ran ahead.


So irresponsible.


With a slam on the gas, Olivia sent the car hurtling forward, straight into the girl’s body. The impact made a disgusting noise, and the wheels rolling over her body was even worse. But she wasn’t concerned by it. 


Victor, however, was a different story


His screams echoed across the parking lot, eyes latched onto what was visible of the side piece she had just run over. He hadn’t even bothered to look in her direction yet.


Olivia opened the car, feigning a look of shock and horror. If she was going to win him over, she was going to have to make this look like an accident. 


“Victor? Oh my gosh, is she okay?!”


Victor looked up, and the look on his face made her pause. He seemed… devastated? And the look he was giving her… horror. 


“Olivia… Olivia, call an ambulance.”


Olivia tried to stop the frown that threatened to show on her face. There was no way that girl was still alive. She was sure that he knew it too. The fact that he was fighting so hard for her was a problem though. The leech had sunk her teeth in deeper than she had thought.


“Victor, I’m so sorry, but I don’t think an ambulance is going to—”




A silence fell between them, and this time Olivia couldn’t help but show her disappointment and frustration.


“Victor. She is gone. Calling an ambulance isn’t going to change that.”


The man turned his head sharply, fixing her with an incredulous look. And then, that look shifted to one that Olivia never thought she’d receive from him.




“What is wrong with you? You killed her, and you don’t even care.”


“She should have watched where she was going.”


Rage filled Victor’s eyes, alongside his tears, and he shook his head, pulling away from her, the car, the dead girl. He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a phone.


“Victor, please—”


Olivia took a step towards him, but he stumbled backwards, putting the phone to his ear. “Stay away from me, Olivia.”


This was not what she had imagined, not at all. She saw no trace of the man she had fallen in love with three months ago. The person who stood before her now was just a shadow of him. A fraud.


Olivia slowly backed away, hands up. Victor watched her warily before turning and quickly walking away from the scene, focusing on the phone call. 


“Yes, 911? My girlfriend, she’s been run over by a car, you need to send an ambulance now!”


Olivia slowly got back into her car, closing the door with a gentle click. She was numb at this point, thoughts spiraling as she watched Victor walk further and further away.


She had dreamed of their relationship for so long. Sharing lunches when their meal breaks lined up, Victor cracking stupid little jokes that she couldn’t help but laugh at. She had even gone so far as to imagine their wedding day. They would be in white and baby blue, and their vows would be personalized. She was particularly proud of hers, which would start off with their special fish joke.


Olivia took a deep breath and put her hands on the wheel. 


Victor’s back was still towards her. He didn’t spare her a second glance.


She put her feet on the gas, and as the car rolled off of her first victim, she braced herself for the impact of the second one.


There was a scream, and a crunch and then it was over. 


Olivia let out a pent up breath, resting her head on the wheel. 



The dented and bloodied car pulled up to the edge of a pond in the middle of the night, the only sounds the one caused by her. 


She opened the trunk, and looked down at the mangled body of her lover and the leech. She tried to imagine the nervous smile of the man she had fallen in love with, but all she could see was the cold, banged up corpse that she had stuffed into her car.


The man she loved wasn’t there anymore.


Olivia grabbed the girl first, dragging her across the grass and with a heave tossing her into the lake. The same was done to the traitor, shoved into the dark, deep water. As the bodies settled at the bottom of the lake, the blood that billowed up somehow painted the lake even darker than it already was. And through that darkness, Olivia could make out the faint movement of fish beneath the surface of the water.


Olivia felt a wave of nostalgia well up in her, and she smiled softly.


“What do you call a fish with no eyes…?”


And with that, she turned around, leaving the two to sleep with the fish.

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