"Nail Biter"

Sitting in her sullen solitude, she bit her nails. Her delicate fingertips, made stubby and red through her conduct, made a perpetual trip to her black lips and white teeth, creating occasional rivulets of blood that she wiped away in an unconscious manner. Stowed away upon her shadowed stoop, hidden behind the hood of a jet-black hoodie, her luminous brown eyes stared towards the concrete before her, and she hid her face away. She concealed her pimples, those bespeckling, innocent scars upon her cheeks and brow. She enshrouded her pale, delicate face, distraught in disposition. She pushed her unruly black hair back, though it lingered upon her nose. Make-up added with an unskilled hand retained their smudges from old tears. Concealed, enshrouded, and cloistered on her corner she bit her brittle, weathered nails and waited.

Beneath her pale palm, nestled on her knee, rested a black bound book. Pages from cover to completion contained letters that she never sent, poems that she never freed from their bound prison, and stories that never graced a tongue to read aloud—all but a few pages for caring eyes, a single set of caring eyes. The only eyes that ever seemed to care, it seemed, in this world of judgmental pupils and callous corneas—the only eyes that cried like hers and laughed like hers, the only eyes that kept that youthful luster past the age of twelve, those youthful eyes she prayed would come again. Hours passed, but they never showed.

Arguments seem so pointless past their painful prime. Sour words spoken between friends seem to tear deeper as the hours pass, never losing their bitter sound, and betrayals seem to trounce all reconciliation and deliver such deep regret. It takes years sometimes to wear away the pain. Yet she hoped that he would understand her and forgive her for her rashness, for her foolish phrases and selfish sentences; she hoped that time and love would outweigh her words against him. Her doubt grew as her nails shortened. Though she still hoped he was coming, she feared he would arrive too late.

The monotony of empty footfalls had sung their weary lullaby for hours before another set arrived. They were different. She recognized him at once simply by the sound of his hurried shoes. Looking up to see his face, she blinked—not due to the now dim sun, but because the regret and forgiveness flowing from his own eyes, shining with such force, overwhelmed her own. No words were spoken since none were needed. She arose, and the two embraced closely together.

Such a simple scene may show no climax or inspiration to any person passing by. One may merely smile at the black, withered roses he gave her—this strange "emo" youth of pale skin, unkept hair, black and mournful apparel—as well as the make-up underneath his eyes. An astute fellow may even laugh a subtle laugh at how both their nails seemed so badly bitten, yet caught in this moment these two unique lovers lost themselves in something more than an embrace and a moment of forgiveness. They got caught in one of those rare times, after one bites their nails to the quick under undue tension, during which time seems to cease and all one seems to sense is the tranquility of one's breath and the resolution of one's dreams. They saw the climax and the inspiration, and to the girl, time ticked softer than she ever knew it could.