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"I couldn't sleep," smiled the woman. "Remember to leave your door open when you have a guest in your bedroom," she reminded the eighteen year-old.

"No worries, Mom," replied Abby. "This way, Jake."

Jake stood in the doorway of Abby's room and looked around, still eating the bowl of cereal she had just given him. It was no surprise to discover that the bedroom contrasted Abby's personality. A comforter with a fish design draped the bed, while dark blue and purple curtains adorned the window; a desk in one corner of the room held a magnifying glass and accouterments similar to what Jake had seen on Mr. Winkler's fly tying table back at the tackle store, while another desk by the door had a personal computer on it. A chair with wheels allowed Abby to roll across the room from one desk to another, while spinning reels and miscellaneous fishing tackle could be found on shelves and atop her dresser, amongst makeup and hair brushes. Old paintings and sketches were stacked beneath the fly tying table, but of all this, the thing that fascinated Jake the most, was the aquarium.

"It's a one hundred and twenty-five gallon aquarium," Abby smiled proudly. "Since we live right next to a freshwater bay, I thought it might be fun to try saltwater, for a change."

Jake ventured inside the bedroom to get a closer look. The long aquarium was placed against the wall to the right of Abby's bed. Underneath the aquarium, were black pine cupboards, which housed the pumps and supplies necessary to keep such a delicate ecosystem alive. On top, was a black pine canopy, which contained the aquarium's overhead lights.

"At night, I can fall asleep watching the fish," she said, smiling. "It's really beautiful when it's dark and the canopy lights are on. The whole room lights up with a soft shimmer. I love it!"

With that, she clicked on the aquarium lights so Jake could see the fish more easily. Brightly colored saltwater fish darted through tall plants and around dazzling coral. Jake was awed by the colors and the movement of the fish.

"What's that one?" he asked, pointing to a bright blue and black fish with a mostly yellow tail fin.

"That's a Regal tang," explained Abby. "It's one of my favorites. I love to watch their dorsal fins flatten when they gain speed. Look! That one's doing it right now!"

"Yes, I saw it!" exclaimed Jake, in fascination.

"What's that one called?" he inquired, pointing to another.

"It's an Emperor angelfish," said Abby, "and that blue and black striped one is a Koran angelfish. I only have three coral in there right now, but I intend to add a lot more in the future."

"How long have you had this?" Jake asked curiously.

"For three years now," replied Abby, going to her computer desk to sit down in the rolly chair. "I had my first aquarium when I was nine, and I made the mistake of naming all the fish. When Doris died, I was heartbroken. Mom had quite a time calming me down! After that, they were all just, 'my fish.' Go ahead and sit down," she offered, seeing that Jake was getting tired of standing. "Whenever we have guests, they usually wind up sitting on the edge of my bed to watch the fish!"

When Jake sat down, he noticed that there were fish painted on the wall near the window.

"Oh, that," said Abby, when Jake brought her attention to it, "I was going to have a whole underwater scene with lots of coral running along the bottom of the wall, but I never got around to it."

On the dresser, Jake saw a photo frame with a picture of a younger Abby and a Japanese boy about her age.

"That's my best friend, Masato," said Abby. "He lives in Tokyo, Japan, where my Mom used to live. I haven't seen him in several years, but we email each other a lot. Maybe someday, he'll come to America, and you can meet him. You'd like Masato."

Jake wasn't so sure of that. The only men he trusted were the warden and his psychiatrist, and even then, he sometimes found it very difficult to let down his guard around them.

"This is the only picture I have of my Grandpa Yoichi," said Abby, showing him another framed photo. "The woman is Grandma Anna. They lived in Tokyo, too."

"Have you ever visited them in Japan?" asked Jake, finishing his cereal.
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