Alison was a nail biter – always had been, and she imagined she always would be. She’d lost friends, boyfriends, relatives, all turned away by the sight of her gnawing on her already-bitten-to-the-quick fingers. It boggled her mind to see how upset it made people, and she now considered it a litmus test for potential friends and romantic interests. She reasoned that someone who couldn’t be near a little redness and blood probably lived a very coddled life and wasn’t very interesting to begin with.
At one point, she had aspired to stop gnawing. She envied the long, delicate fingers and glossy nails she saw in magazines, and she wanted to be able to get a manicure without the salon girl squeamishly putting on gloves upon seeing her savaged hands. But the more people extorted her to please quit, it’s disgusting, it’s vulgar, it smacks of mental illness, the more inclined she was to claim it as her quirk, the thing that set her apart from others. She knew on a visceral level that it wasn’t feasible to have open sores on her hands forever; eventually she would get flesh eating bacteria or some other illness through the holes in her hands and LEARN HER LESSON. Then she would be forced to eat crow and enter some sort of program to get over the chewing. But for now, she was 24, and no one could force her to stop biting herself. And that felt like a true taste of adulthood to her.