She was just standing by the stairs. That’s what she was good at, standing — standing and observing. She was also good at sitting and observing, and sometimes even observing while laying down. Today she was standing. She stood and watched the world happening around her, a blur of faces and voices that seemed both beautiful and meaningless. She looked, but none of the faces stood out to her. The loud girl with the snub nose blended together with the boy who wore his shirts too big, and while she could see them both, neither registered as interesting. She wasn’t waiting for anything; she just didn’t know where to go next. The stairs were inviting and well-lit from the large windows, so that’s where she stood.
To the casual observer, she was nothing special. Pretty, maybe, but not in a flashy way. Nothing about her demanded attention. Not her straight hair, which was a subtle shade of blonde. Not her blue eyes, which sparkled brightest when she was alone. Not her body, which was feminine, but a little too soft to be considered really beautiful. Her face was attractive in such a way that she was often called “cute”. Her clothes fit her well enough and managed to flatter her body without demanding focus. Even the way she carried herself gave one the idea that she consisted solely of what met the eye.
With a more expressive personality, she might have been noticeable. Lively movements and a bright smile would have changed her appearance completely. She was capable of these actions, of course, but preferred not to do them unless provoked.
Contrary to what some might believe, provoking her into liveliness wasn’t hard. All it took was an ironic comment or a genuine laugh to make her break out a grin. Often it didn’t even require a joke — her mind was so full of humor that even the mere possibility of one caused her to laugh. She often laughed at nothing. When a joke was made, she was always the first to chuckle. And when she made a joke, it was worth listening to. It didn’t happen often, at least not audibly. Most of the things she laughed at in her head were things she was sure others wouldn’t quite understand.
Even if she was wrong, even if others would understand, she didn’t care to share most of what crossed her mind. Telling others about a thought either revealed its reality or blew it away. She disliked when what she said was taken too pragmatically, just as she disliked saying meaningless things. Certain things, of course, required telling. But most of her thoughts stayed inside her mind, swirling through a grey area. Her grey area was where she was comfortable — a thought there could at once be real and nonsense. Paradoxes existed comfortably and every concept could be dealt with easily. Her mind was her playground.
Maybe it’s because of this that she was content with a simple appearance. As she stood by the stairs, she felt no need to put herself on display. She didn’t owe anything to the people around her — there was nothing she thought she wanted from them. But even though she felt independent from her peers, she found colorful displays of individuality distasteful and grotesque. The idea of being so desperate for confidence in one’s own self as to feel the need to prove uniqueness to everyone around struck her as ironic, and not in a funny way. This was one of her many hypocrisies — to be normal was to be boring, and to stand out was garish. Of course in her mind she was neither.