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E for Estrenar

Estrenar

Language: Spanish

Meaning: The definition is to wear or use something for the first time but it could be applied for meals, clothes, houses, cars, everything!

The saying ‘First impression is the best impression’ has been drilled into our heads for so many times since we were young that we would never forget it. A lot of us don’t even know what the actual meaning is, though the commonly agreed upon meaning is ‘the first impression you create on someone is the one thing they will remember about you, always, no matter how different you behave later on’. This probably makes our life more difficult than it already is. Imagine. Just imagine. About ten seconds is all you will get to impress the other person, even one who is going to be your future partner. How tough would the world become? But then, I have found more truth in this statement that sadly seems to have a pretty good idea of human psychology.

Why so? A simple analysis (simplified from complex findings, reports and months and years of experimenting to prove what we already knew) revealed that, when we really notice something, the first impression is what is sent directly to your brain, which has a special (maybe one marked with a star, a small asterisk, to show its importance) area to note it down, and not erase it like it usually does. First impressions are the opposite of dreams in that regard. You forget ninety percent of your dream five minutes after you wake up, and seldom remember where or how the dream began. But when you see something for the first time, it gets stored in a separate area in your brain, (if that particular object / place/ human / whatever really makes an impression on your brain) and you don’t forget it that easily because it is not lost amidst the clutter of everyday mundane thoughts.

Remember the first time you wrote with a pen? (Not the subconscious scribbling when you were a toddler. The first time you actually took pen to paper and wrote. Moving from pencils to pens were kind of a huge deal where I come from.)

Remember the first time you rode a bike completely with no one to support you? (Like no side wheels, no dad or brother or friend holding the bike and running behind you)

Remember the first car / bike you owned? (The feeling you associate with buying it, with the first time you got behind the wheel or climbed over the seat and the first burst of the motor or ignition and the first time you moved on it)

Remember the first book you owned? (your own personal story book – one that was either gifted to you or bought for you and one that made an impression on you enough to be a strong memory)

Things like these always have a special place in our mind and heart, and no matter how many seconds come, that first one will always be special. It might be the first use, the first wear, or the first time you ate your favourite dish, the first time you used your favourite mug and the first time you sat on the couch you bought… The list goes on. The English language says, ‘first use’ and that is a very normal, ordinary bland word for something so special. Spanish comes to the rescue with a word that sounds exotic to us (but maybe very common to them) but at least it isn’t a phrase.

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Flash Fiction #5

“Elisa Parker?”

The name was pronounced like a question. Elisa looked up from the book she was reading. She raised one eyebrow at the attractive young man standing before her and swallowed once, nodding her head. The man seemed to be just a few years older and his military buzz cut and straight backed posture indicated that he was a serious professional. He was looking at her strangely, like he had been caught unawares. The moment passed quickly and he blinked once, a long blink that helped him concentrate.

He looked down at a chart in his hand and cleared his throat, “Hi, I am Ed – Edward, and I have come here because your… Umm… Chart here says… you require medical assistance…” He looked up awkwardly from the paper and gave her a discreet once over, obviously not clear about why such an attractive young woman would need medical assistance. Elisa swallowed again, strangely savouring his rich baritone and the way he pronounced the words with a Spanish accent.

She realised she had been staring and shook herself, giving a sad smile and saying, “I, umm… I am handicapped… This… is the first time I…”

Saving her from further embarrassment, he smiled a full, practiced smile and held out a hand to help her up. Thanking her stars that the request for medical assistance was met with such a satisfactory person, she handed her bags over to him. As he guided her towards the walkway, he asked, “Your first time in a flight?”

“Estrenar”, She muttered, feeling strangely nervous and exhilarated. Something about the quiet man beside her made her stomach flutter. He nodded knowingly, surprised she knew this word and even more surprised to see she had used it for him.

Estrenar was sometimes about first feelings.

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