The Sometimes Smile

October 4, 2007
By Carrie Hartmann, Cincinnati, OH

When I look in the mirror, I see a frizzy, brown-haired girl with permanently blushing skins, green eyes, and a sometimes smile. Sometimes this girl is happy and laughing, sometimes she is smiling politely while planning a quiet escape to the next room, and sometimes she’s not smiling at all. Then I see a broken girl, a girl reaching out for a hand to hold, a girl searching for a voice to call her own, a girl wandering for a place to hide. Sometimes, this girl puts on a mask. Her eyes remain stony, but her face projects a happy image, and her smile can be turned on and off as easily as a light switch. Her true thoughts and feeling are locked away in a locker that she lost the combination to long ago. And sometimes, just sometimes, she’ll peel the mask away, and her lips will slowly part, revealing her teeth in quiet happiness. This is the beauty of the sometimes smile. The times in which it’s real are the most precious of all.

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