The following is a 10 minute free write, idea from Nick Rolynd at 30 Minute Fiction.
The trouble with looking through old memorabilia to find something is that you also stumble across pictures of yourself. In your twenties. Fresh-faced. Whole word ahead. Whole lot younger. Whole lots of eyeshadow.
I remember that girl. I remember those eyes. And I remember Scott, the handsome older pot head, who her told her, “The way you do your eyeshadow, you could get any guy you want.” She didn’t know if that was a compliment, if he was hitting on her, or neither, but it made her think. “Hmmm…..any guy I want.”
Thing is, she didn’t. To be noticed, yes. But to actually get a guy? What would she do? What would that mean? What no one saw behind those eyes was a deathly shy girl who, although she had learned how engage in small talk with the opposite sex (duh! just pretend they’re your brother, she finally realized in high school), she didn’t know the first thing about what to do next.
In addition to being terribly shy, she grew up in a conservative family that kept to their own kind. She also reached her full height early on, which well-surpassed most boys, if not men. When asked out by a church member whom she went to school with, she declined without pause. There was no way she was going out with him after he humiliated her with a comment about bishops being polygamist (her father was a bishop, but was not a polygamist) in science class right in front of the boy she had a terrible crush on.
“No,” she said. “My grandmother is coming over and I have to wash my hair.” It was the truth, but later she would hear the “have to wash my hair” excuse used in sitcoms, clearly intended as a lame excuse.
All these years later, this same boy now man tried to friend her on Facebook and she declined. The only grudge she has ever held.