The boy pressed his face against the glass, and the fish behind it startled.
“I wish I could take you out and pet you!” the boy said. His declaration overlapped with the circus music playing on the TV. A small splash sounded from the surface of the water where the fish had dashed from, down to the bottom of the tank.
“Goodnight, Dirt,” the boy said. He stared sleepily at the fish, which waved its body in a soothing motion over the pebbles.
“I love you, Dirt,” the boy whispered and yawned. He peeled his face off the glass and walked to the other side of the room, where he shut off the TV, clicked the light and climbed into bed.
“I love you, Daniel,” the boy mumbled in a high-pitched voice.
“Thanks, Dirt,” he said in his regular voice.