CREDOS: Good to have a friend — II

SQuire Rushnell

The next morning, Virginia was at my kitchen door with a tray full of manicuring equipment. The sun streamed in the breakfast nook window as she spread my hands out flat on the table. She surveyed the damage and set right to work.

“First we have to file off the rough places and trim the snags,” she said.

There wasn’t much to file but she filed and filed. Then she gently pushed back my cuticles and trimmed off snags.

“Ow!” I said when she pushed on a tender spot. My fingers weren’t overjoyed with the attention, but I was intrigued that she would spend so much time on such awful-looking hands.

Finally she opened a small bottle of clear nail polish and carefully polished each stub as if it were a magnificently long nail.

“There!” she said triumphantly. “See you tomorrow.” She quickly loaded up her tray and left.

I sat there a long time looking at my shiny stubs. No one had ever spent that much time caring for them before, especially not me.

That afternoon I attacked a long put-off project.

I spread fabric on the floor and took out the pattern for my new dress.

As I worked to place the pattern pieces just right before cutting, I felt my bottom teeth rub against a fingernail. I quickly separated the two. Within a minute I felt it again.

“I’ll ruin the polish,” I wailed.

By the third time, I realized my hand had a mind of its own, bypassing my brain.

The next morning Virginia came again. She took a cotton ball and some polish remover and took off yesterday’s polish. The nicks smarted, but I didn’t complain. Again she filed and filed, pushed back cuticles, painted stubs, and was gone.