Today’s daily prompt: Salad Days
Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days? Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).
The first scene that comes to mind when I think of “the good old days” is my bicycle lying on its side on someone’s front lawn. This was before I started playing Neopets all day, before video games, and before I realized I was bad at sports (Soccer? Sure, let’s play! Basketball, why not?).
This one time, my sister almost got into an accident. There was a big hill next to my house, and we loved to zoom down it on our bikes or scooters. My sister was riding a switchboard (skateboard with a handle on it), and she didn’t stop at the intersection or see the car coming. One of my neighbors at the time jumped out onto the street and tried to stop the car. Thankfully, her switchboard and the car missed each other by a hair.
I remember my mom furious at my sister and thanking my neighbor. Thinking about it now, those were the good old days. It was a time when I played outside, the world was my playground, and we were actually friends with our neighbors. After we moved during my high school years, my family stopped caring much about building a relationship with our neighbors.
We also stopped putting Christmas lights outside our house. Now it’s the old, lazy and busy days.
My short story series, inspired by NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo and the daily prompt.
“I hear there’s a high school reunion party. Are you going?”
“One sec, don’t talk to me yet.”
Connor’s fingers continued to tap furiously away on his laptop. The clock read 7:48 am, which meant he had another ten minutes or so before he had to submit his term paper. From across the table, Samantha sipped her coffee peacefully.
At 7:57 am, Connor submitted his document and gulped down his now cold espresso.
“You should have edited that before submitting.”
“I also should have started on it a week ago.”
Samantha smirked at him. “Another productive all-nighter. Don’t you just love being in university?”
This wasn’t Connor’s first time pulling an all-nighter. In the four years he had studied at Princeton, he probably pulled more all-nighters than the number of books Samantha read.
“So what were you saying earlier?”
“High school reunion.”
Connor slammed his laptop shut with relief. “Already? Doesn’t that kind of thing happen when we’re all thirty and have kids or something?”
Samantha shrugged and sipped her coffee again. “We’re almost there. Seven more years.”
For five years, Connor and Samantha studied together at Princeton University. Well, they didn’t study the same things of course, because simply getting acceptance into Princeton was a miracle for Connor. He applied on a whim to the department of social sciences, but without Samantha’s help on his application, he may not have made it in. On the other hand, Samantha was offered a full scholarship to the department of literature.
That wasn’t surprising, considering the girl was the author of Salad Days, a best-selling young adult fiction novel, before the age of eighteen.
Connor allowed nostalgia to sweep over him as he took in the surroundings of the third floor campus library. “High school doesn’t feel that long ago.”
“Because we still spend our mornings in the library.”
Connor chuckled at Samantha’s comment. Upon moving to New Jersey to begin his undergraduate career, Samantha became the only social connection he had. In a new city of strangers, she was the one familiar face. He clung to her like it was the first day of kindergarten.
Connor shook his head. Who would’ve thought that five years down the road, he’d still be having morning library sessions with Samantha? Laptops replaced lined paper, coffee mugs replaced water bottles, and manuscripts replaced novels. It was as if he was watching a montage of his life, seeing time pass by but it was still Samantha’s green eyes and brown ponytail staring back at him from across the table.
“So, are you going to it?”
Connor scrunched his nose. “Probably not.”
Samantha’s eyes flickered at him in a teasing way. “Why not? Don’t you want to relive your glory days?”
Connor scoffed, thinking about his glorious high school days. It was fun, there was no denying that. It was probably the highlight of his teenage years- the parties, the girlfriends, and the fooling around. Mother was there to do the laundry and cook for him. He lived like a king.
Now he lives like a coffee addict.
“Are you going to it? You sound interested.”
“I might as well. I was planning to go back and visit my mom that weekend anyways.”
“Show her your new book?”
Samantha held up her latest manuscript proudly. Her publisher had approved of it last week, meaning it could hit stores as early as next year. Connor knew she had been slaving away at it between her school work for the last three years, an admirable feat when he could barely manage to stock his fridge with groceries every week.
“I would like to show your dad as well. It’s thanks to him that I got my first book published.”
Connor braced himself for his next question. If Father was brought up, his name would also have to be mentioned. “And you’ll show Stevie too?”
Samantha hesitated. “Yeah, I will. I don’t think he’ll read it though.”
Connor nodded at her reply. It was a disappointing but predictable answer. Samantha may have become his friend and Father may have helped her reach her dreams as an author, but Stevie never accepted their apology or efforts to help him through financial struggles. And although Samantha never stated it, it was clear that her relationship with Stevie had been damaged because of them.
Stevie never forgave Father for the accident and now he hated Samantha for forgiving them in his place.
To be continued…