I like this story and the way that the way the protagonist sits in a coffee self conscious of her pink fingernails resonates with me.
Great story! Succinct and yet striking. I especially liked the ending. It clarifies a lot of what was left unsaid.
I enjoyed the way you described her physical movements of mercilessly scraping away her stubborn nail polish. This followed by her feeling regret and wishing for the color back was effective. I like that it foreshadows her inability to carry through with breaking up once she sees him. Quite a lot to accomplish in such a short piece!
I really like the emotions you're communicating with the actions of the character here. Her focus on getting rid of the pink nail polish, then feeling its loss, and the way she scratches at her arms until she draws blood, all instigate feelings of slight alarm in the reader. Then you reach that final line, "“Yes”, she said, her voice was soft, almost like a whisper, “but somehow I forgot.”" It seems to imply some kind of abuse that could be coming from the significant other or self-abuse. The result was unexpectedly intense.
The nail polish functions as a really effective metaphor for her general anxiety -- it serves to really illuminate and characterize this person, revealing a lot about her psychology and thought processes. This story manages to present quite a complex character in a very concise way.
The nail polish metaphor works for me, too--her ambivalence about it mirrors her feelings about the man she is meeting. I'd like to add that I was distracted by all the adverbs: Firmly, vigorously, distractedly, sheepishly. You don't need them. Also, you could try for stronger verbs.
The metaphor of the increasing damage she was doing to herself worked for me as well. I found the ending sad but somehow true for a woman with so much anxiety. I agree with Jean: too many adverbs for a piece of flash fiction.
Love the nail polish and the damaged, scratched nails and the bleeding, scratched flesh. It's amazing the work that can be done just by having a character interact with the world around them. Those details gave loads more meaning to the relationship than three pages of exposition. Great work, B.E!
Interesting mix of emotional turmoil expressed through obsessive dysfunction. As simple and basic as the actions are, they deftly present the feeling of understandable anxiety and uncertainty. So much so, that I feel like this is someone I actually dated. I'm concerned it might actually be her. I'd say that's pretty effective prose. Well done.
What a tragic turn at the end. I love how this character's actions reveal her essence.
Great use of the fingernail polish as a device to reveal just how conflicted she is.
I'm impressed at how much the author manages to reveal about the character with such few actions and in so few words. The reader gets such a strong sense of the characters' relationship, just from the girl's anxiety and their brief interaction. Well done!
There was great tension in this story, and every action had so much double meaning. Nicely done!