Looking The New Year IN THE EYE!

Looking The New Year  IN THE EYE!

The slightly musty odour of burnt fireworks mingled with the aroma of delicious food wafted into her nostrils, and the deafening music blaring from loudspeakers crashed around her somewhat pointy ears like a thunderstorm. The chilly, almost-January breeze had cut through her thick blue and white quilt, and her nostrils had begun to twitch, indicating the beginning of another cold.

She had been sitting up in bed, looking at the clock, and her eyes had travelled with its needle-like hands as they struck 11:15, 11:30 and 11:45.

A new year would begin in fifteen minutes. She had wondered why she was in bed. She wasn’t sleepy – maybe she just hadn’t gotten the point of celebrating New Year’s Eve. Anyway, she couldn’t see what was so especially special about New Year’s Day either.
The plain white ceiling had begun to swirl, reminding her of whipped cream on a vanilla milkshake, and memories of the year had come flooding back to her.

 They had been in an incoherent, jumbled mess. Bored, unhappy faces, trailers of movies she had watched over and over again, the blurry, colourful pictures she had clicked on the day of the school picnic, images of her teacher smiling at her cynically when she had forgotten to bring her text book yet again, and irrelevant memories like scenes from a tea advert had whizzed past her eyes.

The song Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer had been replaying over and over in her head as each image brought with it a different emotion.

Out of these images, only a few had stood out, firmly etched in her memory – each of these them vivid and fresh.

The apprehension and dread that had filled her as she had entered the dentist’s and the loud , painless crunch that had made her squeal in relief as the dentist had pulled out the last few of her remaining milk teeth was probably the image that had carved itself into her memory more firmly that any other. She supposed this was because this had happened only a few weeks ago. It seemed rather insignificant now, but in the weeks leading up to her dentist’s she had thought of nothing else.

The unpleasant, sinking feeling of déjà vu when she had realised that she had lost her chemistry class work for the second time in three weeks seemed rather ordinary to her now.

The warm, cosy feeling of falling asleep in the theatre while watching one of the most awaited movies of the year made her smile now, when it had seemed a rather embarrassing thing to do a few months ago.

The mortifying, terrifying feeling of humiliation that had welled up inside her as she realised that she had forgotten the words of her well- rehearsed speech in front of hundreds of sniggering schoolmates made her now to shudder with anger as she pictured the smirks on the faces of the audience.

Chewing her pencil in frustration as she had tried to answer a particularly tricky question that she had struggled to understand while studying now made her bite her lips in annoyance as she realised that it hadn’t been such a fiddly question after all and that she could answer it perfectly well now.

These memories seemed rather commonplace now, but a few weeks and months ago; they had affected her and had made her do things that she had later regretted.
But they were not completely unpleasant, she had thought in a rare moment of reflection. Even though her year hadn’t been perfect, it had taught her things; things she hadn’t thought were important, but which had made her feel better when she had needed consolation. Maybe her year hadn’t been so bad after all.

And in less than one minute and thirty seconds a new year would begin, bringing with it its own shares of embarrassing moments, frustration, not-so-great moments and happiness.  And she would face it in the best way she could, challenging it to throw anything it wanted at her.

She felt rather reckless as she climbed up to the terrace, and was just in time to look the New Year in the eye as people all over the city shouted ‘Happy New Year!’.

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