I will smile.

September 1, 2010
I used to believe that there were little people running around my room at night hiding all my things, because random things would disappear whenever I needed them most. My teddy bear, Mr. Clutter Butt, was one of these. He disappeared the night Daddy left. I ran to my room to find Mr. Clutter Butt, because I needed someone to talk to, but he wasn’t there. He never came back.
I used to think that maybe Mr. Clutter Butt would come back, and than maybe Daddy would come back, too. I never told Mommy about Mr. Clutter Butt disappearing, and I never talked to her about Daddy, because she would cry every time I brought him up.
I used to smile whenever i tasted the first spoonful of sherbet of the day. Every Saturday during the summer my Daddy used to take me to carnivals and fairs, and every time we went he would buy me a cut of sherbet. I used to dip my little plastic white spoon into the plastic red cut and ease out a spoonful of sweet green happiness, and I would smile. I used to smile at the taste. I used to smile at the sticky mess it would make on my chin. I used to smile at the way it turned my teeth green. Daddy used to smile, too.
I used to think that Mommy was a queen, and I was her Princess, even after our King left the castle. We used to dance and sing together in pink dresses and pretty ribbons. We used to play knights and dragons until our palms were sweaty and our elbows were bruised and all we could do was slump into the sofa and pant. I used to think Mommy was invincible. She could do anything. She could make ice cream for us on a hot day and fix the air conditioning all by herself. She could read, and write, and sing, and sew, and paint...and she could smile. She could smile better than anyone else I knew. She loved to smile. I think it was her favorite thing to do.
I used to dream that someday I would be just like her. Just like Mommy. I used to dream that someday I could find a perfect Daddy that would love me forever and never leave me. I was gonna be smart like Mommy, and pretty like Mommy, and brave like Mommy, and I would be able to smile better than anyone else.
I used to stand out on the porch in the mornings when the sun was just crawling to the center of the sky. The door would need an extra tug to shut behind me, and the wood on the second step down creaked. I would peer into the neighbors’ yard and watch the kids play with their doggy, and wish that I had a doggy. My favorite days were the days when the sun was so bright that even if you wore sunglasses the sun still hurt your eyes. Those were the days when I knew everything was gonna be okay again, because it had to be. Just like the sun had to shine, the world had to keep going. It had to be okay. I had a Daddy and a Mommy. I had to. That’s the way it was supposed to be.
I used to think about everything upside down. My Daddy was a pilot once, before he had my mommy and me, and he told me all about his adventures. He told me that whenever he had to fly around for a long time--like across the ocean, he would turn the plane over and fly that way. He said he could think better than way. He said he thought about all kinds of things. He thought about what he wanted his future family to be like. He said we were the perfect family for him. Just the one he wanted. So whenever I wanted to think, that’s how I would do it. Like Daddy. Instead of a plane, though, I would use the couch. I used to think about what the world would be like upside down. Not just my living room, or my house, but the whole world. If the whole world was upside down, maybe everything could be different. Maybe things could be better.
I used to laugh. Mommy and Daddy would joke, and I would laugh. We all laughed together. We laughed because we were happy. We were happy together, and we were happy about life, and we were happy together because we didn’t have anyone else to be happy with. Mommy didn’t joke after Daddy left, so I didn’t laugh anymore.
I used to think it was amazing how beautiful Mommy could be when she put on a pretty dress. She was always beautiful, though. She was the most amazing woman in the world. I used to want to be just like her. I put my hair up the way she did and copied the way she walked and even talked like her. After Daddy left though, she didn’t want to be beautiful anymore. She didn’t want anything anymore.
I used to think my family was invincible, because we loved each other so much. I used to think Daddy could never leave Mommy, because he always said she was the only woman in the world he could see. I used to think that I would never have to grow up, because Mommy and Daddy said I was their little girl. I used to think that Mommy could never die, because she was the queen.
The preacher cleared his throat and the music began to play again.
“She was a woman of character and strength and beauty.” His voice echoed through the room.
“She was invincible.” I echoed back.
“She was a good woman.”
“And a good mother.”
We sat alone in the empty funeral home, not looking at the coffin. The very few people that had been at the funeral had left long ago, after the service was over, but I didn’t want to leave. Not until I had cried over my dead mother.
“She would be so happy that you are here.”
“She didn’t even remember who I was...”
The front pew was a sad place during any funeral, but I needed it to be sad. I wanted to cry. I needed to cry. My queen was dead.
“She loved to smile.” The preacher said.
“She did...”
She didn’t cry. It wasn’t like a queen to cry. She only cried when Daddy left. I didn’t have a “Daddy” to cry about...so I didn’t need to cry. Not if she didn’t like to cry. She wouldn’t want me to cry.
She would want me to smile.
So I would smile.
For my queen, for my friend, for my mother.
I would smile.

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thepreechyteenager said...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Great ending :)  I loved how you took short, progessive steps towards her final smile, it reall gave a sense of traveling towards a revelation.  I also liked how you had this from a little kid's point of view.  It made everything in the beginning feel very innocent and pure, and as the story progressed it really made the reader feel for the character. 

This did have a couple grammar/spelling mistakes, but I'm not gonna judge you very much on that because this was re... (more »)

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