Her Smile

June 6, 2011
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Her smile is infectious, wriggling its way into your heart and warming it like a space heater. Every morning, in the band room, I live for that very smile. The one that spells innocence and sweetness. The one that draws everyone in. The smile that sends me soaring. My wandering eyes catch hold of her every few minutes and sip in her being, one morning she’ll be helpful, comforting, and caring, while the next she’s happy, smart, and outgoing. She’s always different, always changing, morphing to fit the needs of those around her, to better help the friends she loves.

When she laughs, it’s like the ripples of water when a pebble falls in, reaching out to all corners of the earth and spreading it’s happiness. When she laughs, I can’t help but laugh myself, no matter how ridiculous or absurd a thing she finds joy in. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t give to keep seeing her smile and hearing her laugh every day.

But here, right now, she huddles to herself across the room. She doesn’t make one sound besides the pen against the paper, rapidly spelling out what’s going through her mind. I can’t see her face, but that doesn’t mean the tears aren’t there. When her friends came up to her, she pushed them away. She told her mother she’d be fine; there was just an eyelash in her contact lens. She told the teacher she just needed a moment to absorb everything. What would she tell me? Would she lie to my face like she did to everyone else? Would she let me in and open up? Would she push me away? I just couldn’t stand to see her so…unlike herself.

The last of her friends trickled out and I quietly closed my band locker. Step by baby step, my feet carried me over to her. The braid still sat perfectly on her head, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say she was just taking a nap…and, sleep-writing, or something. When I got to her, she almost doesn’t notice my presence. I’m standing above her now and I can almost see the emotions erupting out of her like lava out of a volcano. I clear my voice and it startles her to look up at me.

The tears hadn’t fallen in a few minutes, but it was obvious that she had been crying. Her face was a little blotchy and her eyes were red and puffy. I stared at her eyes. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something else was there. Her eyes were always so clear and confident, open and loving. And when she smiled, sparkles danced in them. When she laughed, they sang happiness and joy. When she cried, I could see pain ripping through that happiness and joy. The pain tore her apart, inside and out. And her pain tore me apart.

She just kept looking at me, watching to see what would happen next, waiting for me to say something. Except, I didn’t know what to say. I was almost on the verge of tears now, and I could tell she was working really hard to hold her own waterfall in. We stayed like that for a little while, and finally I thought of something to say. “I don’t get how a girl as sweet and as happy as you can have something that bothers her so much,” I whispered. But she heard me. She hung her head low and smiled a small smile, at what I could only guess. “I feel bad for you,” I said.

She whipped her head up and I noticed a tear had fallen. Desperately, she whimpered to me, “Please don’t. Don’t. Don’t feel bad for me. Please.” Her voice cracked and her lips quavered.

I sat down. Her eyes followed my own and I can see her working to hold the tears in. “It’s okay to cry. Everyone does. Even me. I mean, I get all red and puffy and I sound like a baby,” I whispered. She let the waterfall go, which let me in.

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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

None0 said...
Jun. 2, 2013 at 12:11 am
Possibly one of the best emotional pieces I have ever read on this site. The flow is seamless, and the language was incredible. You actually managed to use some showing language to convey emotion (I've been trying to do this for months... guess I'm just not good with emotions). The only thing I'd recommend is  replacing the rest of the telling language with showing language (if you can actually do this, I will be amazed), and also, work on the content a little. I feel like ... (more »)
Love.Hate.Passion. said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm

You Blew My Mind.


Amazing , you really have a way with words :) There is always so much emotion in your writing , and you execute it so beautifully. I love reading everything you write , it's marvelous. Keep it up!

DoubleN replied...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm
Thank-you :)
DoubleN said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm
thank-you! this feedback is so motivating, and i love to see what people think :)
Medina D. said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm

How to begin...........

I felt such emotion when i was reading this article. 

Its clear that the narrarator is in love with this girl, and you made her sound so perfect that for her to cry would be a tradegy. 

The picture you chose went well with the story. 

And at the last scene, i was awed----no words required.

CarrieAnn13 said...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm
Another great article!  It was just a little slice of life, what short fiction should be.
DoubleN replied...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm
Thanks, again! This kind of happened, too, but I wasn't ready to do the entire thing from my point of view, so I just pretending I was on the other end of this.
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