February 15, 2013
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It started with a smile. A smile that lit up the room and held the attention of each and every person. A smile that drew slightly awestruck gazes from onlookers. The smile became eye contact which caused a blush. The blush created intrigue and it became a game. The intrigue drew the players in closely, making them willing to play the game they were unknowingly part of. The proximity turned the smile into more smiles. Theses smiles were accompanied by secret meetings and conversations with the thrill coming from the fact that it was secret. The secret meetings became secret kisses and feather light touches. The touches grew stronger, the kisses more passionate. The secret meetings held new meaning and the thrill was ever present.
Then the meetings turned into a baby no one was ready for. The baby turned into a rushed wedding that barely anyone knew about. The rushed wedding grew into a dysfunctional marriage. It led to drinking, cheating, gambling, and almost everything but the smiles it all started with. There’s no more blushing, no more intrigue. The players feel like they’ve lost and they’ve given up on the game. There are several secrets but none that they keep from the rest of the world. There are no kisses and no touches, passionate or not. There are forced conversations with the unspoken word “divorce” weighing heavily in the air. The thrill has been absent for years, vanishing alongside the smiles.
The baby has grown into a teenager that watches his parents fight almost every night. He wonders if it’s like this for every family and assumes that it is. He doesn’t want what his parents have. Doesn’t want the anger and the lying and the constant betrayal. He doesn’t believe in the concept of love. He thinks it’s something people made up so that they could feel better about themselves. So they could say that they hadn’t found “the one.” So could pretend their perfect match was out there somewhere. He thinks of running away almost every night. There's really nothing keeping him here. There's nothing that he thinks is worth staying for. Until he sees a girl with the most extraordinary smile. It lights up the entire room.

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