March 6, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone….


She coughed and spat out the bit of fingernail she’d bitten off. Unable to get the look of disgust off of her face, or the taste of pepper out of her mouth, she took a swallow from the water bottle sitting on the desk. The bottle sat right next to the chemistry book she was supposed to be reading… The book she’d ostensibly come to the library to read in silence.

She’d mixed the pepper into her nail polish in an attempt to make herself stop biting them…. So far, all she’d gotten was a mouthful of bitterness and some black-speckled nails.

But it was a bad habit, and one she was determined to break. Perhaps a bit less determined now that she was constantly choking on pepper… but determined nonetheless.

Frowning, she returned her attention to the fascinating nature of organic compounds…. Or rather, she tried to, since the words seemed to slip through her mind like soap bubbles, always popping before she could get a firm grasp on them.

That, however, is the sort of thing that tends to happen when your attention is directed elsewhere. And it is very difficult to focus on the slippery soap bubbles of organic compounds when you are very busy staring at the cute guy located exactly three tables down, as she was.

He was in her medieval literature class. He was, she reflected, a very different kind of cute from the guy in her Brit Lit class last semester… she’d stared at that guy every Monday and Wednesday for two months. This new guy, she thought, was a blonder, shaggier kind of cute. It would require further reflection – she’d only been staring at this one for a week or so. New class… new cute guy.

She’d never gotten up the courage to ask any of them out… or even, quite frankly, to speak to them, beyond the occasional hello. It was not as though she relished it – this pattern of unfulfilled desires, of wanting something that was just out of reach. But it had become a pattern, if not comfortable, then definitely comforting, in some odd way.

It was, she realized, a bad habit – this constant unrequited love. Or not love, exactly… infatuation, perhaps, or some sort of affectionate curiosity. She never let herself get close enough to find out. She watched as he lifted his head to check the time, glancing up from his own book to look at the clock on the wall above her head. Almost, but not quite seeing her. As always.

It was a bad habit, this unrequited love. Definitely.

But, she thought, looking at her bitten and ragged fingernails, not all bad habits are so easily broken.

Writing Prompt:

(write for) 15 minutes * character study * trying to quit a bad habit

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

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