Saturday was the day she trimmed her fingernails. She cut each one diagonally from either side and then chipped off mountain peak of sorts that had formed, giving it a more rounded edge. This was what her father had taught her. They had been rather close once. He called it a plateau, but she preferred not to use that term. She had been doing this for a good ten years now and could at best be called a little clumsy as her father so often pointed out.
In the irrational vengeance that often accompanies the odd family friction, she chose to ignore her father’s pet peeve about trimming nails on his bed and was seldom found doing so anywhere else. The yearbook from a couple of years ago didn’t prove a very effective surface for trapping bits of trimmed fingernail, but that could be attributed to her clumsiness. As she filed her nails and went through the old yearbook, a wave of nostalgia swept through her consciousness.
Every one of the faces on the yearbook seemed to bring a bigger smile on her face in the five minutes it took her to get from cover to cover, than they had collectively managed in all the years she had gone to school with them. Class clowns, geeks, dorks, jocks, prom queens, people she was friends with, people she had never spoken to but smiled at, people whom she knew of who didn’t know she existed; all of these people brought vivid memories before her eyes. And in a way, she actually missed them.
Sometimes, nostalgia did funny things. In all honesty, if most of the things she now thought she missed were never part of her life at all, it wouldn’t have made a difference. That’s what her school life was, in a nutshell; indifferent. When you look back, you often do so through rose tinted glasses. Everything seems better than it was. Nothing will ever be as lovely. And if you’re not careful, the thinly veiled deception of the beauty you see behind may prevent you from ever looking ahead. It’s why all those cheesy time travel movie protagonists realise that the present is the best time to live in, in the end.
School life wasn’t a fairytale. Back then, there were people she knew whose acquaintance she wished she could erase. There were scary moments, embarrassing moments and downright horrible ones. She was different, kind of a loner. And being a clumsy loner can be the most unforgiving traits a person could have in school. She was sad. She just hung around with anyone she could find. She was terrified of being lonely.
A lot had changed since then. She was still kind of a loner. She was still different from her friends. She was still clumsy. But she was happy. She had accepted herself.
She wasn’t worried about what people thought of her when she realised how seldom they did so. She found it hard to identify with people, but she didn’t feel the need to.
A drop of blood splattered onto the corner of the yearbook as she chipped off too much of her thumbnail while smoothing a rough edge.
Nostalgia still clouded her mind. At first, she was afraid to be alone. Now, she was afraid that she missed it.
No, this isn’t about me or anyone I know. It’s just something I thought I’ll turn into a short story someday, when I need to write and can’t quite get an idea. It just goes to say that nostalgia can sometimes be a dangerous thing, and I’ve often been on the dark side.