Short Story: Nostalgic Perceptions

Emma walked into the gas station and saw the guy at the register, Daniel looking rather blue and depressed. To the common person rushing in and out they probably would never notice but since Emma was in no rush, she was able to notice the dazed look in his eyes and the inability to show anything but a half and somewhat ironic smirk upon his face.

After grabbing the cheapest sugar free and calorie free energy drink, Emma walked up to the counter and quickly looked him over.

“So what’s wrong with you?”

Daniel looked up at the sole patron currently in the gas station somewhat surprised. “Pardon me?”

“Your eyes look glazed over and you have the look and movements of someone who is incredibly hungover but I feel as if you weren’t drinking last night. So what’s got you so down?”

Daniel shrugged his shoulders while ringing up her drink. “Well I guess you aren’t wrong, I am a bit in the dumps today.”

Emma handed him the exact cash and change amount. “So what is it that has you so blue?”

“You really wanna know?”

Emma nodded in reply.

Daniel looked towards his right out the window at the cars passing by and sighed. “Alright, well I was just thinking back on about a year ago. I was in this great relationship with a wonderful girl and my life just seemed so perfect when I reflect on it. Now we’re apart and it feels as if my life has just completely turned to shit. I’m working in a fucking gas station and she’s at college probably fucking guys better than I’ll ever be. I guess I just long for better times, before everything turned the way it did.”

Emma smirked and shook her head in disbelief. She then began looking for something on her cell phone. She tapped the screen and the song Stay (I Missed You) by Lisa Loeb came on.

“You hear this song? Do you hear how sweet and wonderful it is?”

Daniel nodded in reply, his arms crossed over his chest. “Yes I suppose I do.”

“Alright, well if you were to read the comments for the music video on YouTube, nostalgic assholes would have you believe that everything from the 90s was this warm and sincere. That everybody nowadays is just completely shallow and only care whether if a girl can shake and twerk like a pro. That the 90s were the best and we’ve lost something.”

Emma grabbed her cell phone and once again tapped the screen. Lisa Loeb came to a conclusion and now Tootsee Roll by 69 Boyz came on.

“But if you were to do any basic research you would also realize that this song came out the very same year as the last one. A song designed only for girls to shake their ass to from a group called the 69 Boyz with members named Quick Skeet and Busta Nut…….”

She paused the song.

“When you’re so far away from the past, you’re most likely only going to remember the key moments and for whatever reason completely forget all the bullshit. But if you keep a clear head, you’ll realize that there is never one perfect time in history. Every year and decade has great moments and tragic moments. Life is only going to be bleak when you look back and think you’ve peaked and everything now is a never ending decline. Are you seeing it now?”

Daniel smiled a large and honest smile, showing all of his pearly whites as he nodded. “I think I finally do.”


Emma saw the bulge in Daniel’s right pocket where his cell phone was located and quickly pulled it out, handing it to him. “Type in your security code.”

Daniel unlocked the phone and handed it back to Emma. She quickly typed in her name and phone number into his contacts and handed the phone back to him. It was in his hand for barely a moment before she pulled his collar so his lips were level with hers and gave him a long kiss.

“Text me when you get a chance.”

Emma grabbed her energy drink and made her way out of the gas station. Daniel smiled like a love struck fool, watching as she walked to her car and began to back out. He then thought back on his ex and their relationship, finally taking the time to truly think everything over, not just the peak good moments, which sadly tended to be only moments that took place between their bedsheets.

“What was I even thinking? Besides the sex she was an unbearable cunt.”


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