I decided to go ahead and write about my other bettas as well...
I don't remember much of my life before the cup...lots of brothers and sisters, but that's about it. I was a little older than most of the other males in the cups beside me, as I was bigger and the cup wasn't as comfortable (but, then again, when is the cup ever comfortable?). It was the cold season; I knew because the water in my cup was freezing, as well as the air above the water. We were stacked in a pyramid and I was near the top, between a huge white male and another angry-looking male who never stopped flaring at me. Sometimes I flared back, but it was very cold. I had only been sitting in the pyramid for a day when she came in...I begged for her to pick up my cup, swimming back and forth, showing off the colors of my fins and flaring to show her how beautiful I was. And then, she picked up the male next to me. I immediately shrank back, disappointed....but then, she put him down! And picked me up next! I flared up again, wanting her to take me home, to release me from my cup. She set me down and walked away and I felt my hopes shatter. I sulked in the back of the cup and I could feel the angry male and the white male staring at me, and I felt foolish. Just when I had resigned to believe I wouldn't ever be picked...she came back! And she took me home! My home was a cube-shaped tank, filled with teal and blue gravel and a big silk plant. It was warm and she fed me a couple of pellets once I had settled in. I had so much energy that I couldn't help myself, I flared at everything. The heater, the plant, even my reflection. There was a smaller tank beside mine, which held a sickly-looking blue male. He paced the side of the tank closest to me and I flared at him, expecting him to react similarly. Instead, he turned around and went back to floating near the surface, occasionally nipping at his fins. It was wonderful...my mother fed me delicious pellets and sometimes even these things called bloodworms..whatever they were they were good! I lived in the cube-shaped tank for about a month before my mother transfered me into the big tank. And on the other side of the plastic wall, the one with holes in it, was another betta! Except this one was a girl...a big one, too. Almost as big as me! We flared at each other and I built a big bubble nest to impress her..but she didn't pay much attention to me. Her name was Arya and, despite the notion that bettas are solitary, we were cordial to each other. It wasn't long before we were moved to another place, with a man, a woman and a boy. Then my mother left, and I am not ashamed to say that I was worried she wasn't going to come back...I had grown to like her, she took very good care of me and, after all, she had rescued me before I began to suffer in that horrid cup. During the time my mother was gone (which, I learned later, was only a week), Arya became sick. On the outside, she was fine. The sickness was on the inside and it was moving fast. Bettas just know these things. The day my mother came back, Arya had already passed. You could even say I had grown to appreciate her companionship, and when she died, I became very stressed. It reminded me of when we were being unloaded to be stacked in the pyramid..there were several cups that contained bettas that had not survived the journey. Maybe it was the suddenness of her death, maybe the memory..but I began to bite my tail as a way to relieve the stress. All of this happened in a very short amount of time, about a month, and it was another month before we moved back home. And my mother had gotten me another tankmate! He was a huge male, bigger than me, probably twice my size. He didn't have any sickness and he was jumpy at first. Mother was worried and watched him for a long time; I tried to catch her attention but she was only concerned with the fish on the other side of the plastic wall...his name was Sparky, because of his jumpiness (which, I later learned, comes from the fact that he has nerve damage in his tail). Sparky was not like Arya. He was big and very territorial, and flared whenever he could. But it wasn't like the friendly flaring between Arya and me...he meant business. He wasn't mean...he just didn't really like the fact that I was on the other side of the plastic wall. I bit my tail even more...I couldn't help myself after a while, and my beautiful tail that my mother had once raved about was now in shreds. I don't think mother is disappointed...but she certainly isn't happy about it.
But I am sick...my eyes are swollen and today mother introduced some medicine into the tank. Already it's beginning to feel better.
I know it may sound like my mother doesn't like me very much...but in fact I am one of her favorites...she loves us all, differently but equally. She calls me her crazy boy, her beautiful boy. Names only for me that she doesn't call anyone else. I am just weaker, skinnier, and it is hard to put on the weight I need to be beautiful again. Truely beautiful, like I was when mother first brought me home...but she says I am beautiful no matter what. And that's how I know she loves me.