I know it’s cliche to say he smiled with his eyes; but he did smile with his eyes. The moment he heard any form of a joke - bad, good, a simple play on words - his white pearls and cotton candy gums were revealed, along with amusement childishly dancing around a bright fire in his eyes. He emitted bliss, and his eyes would shine bright with the tears of laughter I had, once again, successfully caused. He always squinted slightly because of how large his grin was - when he smiled, he smiled with meaning. Then, even after his smile slowly sank into a resting state, his eyes continued to sparkle with the same happiness, or delight, or whatever word you would use to describe such an emotion. Though it was something that it took me a while to pick up on when studying his behaviors, when I did, it was impossible to miss it from then on.
I seemed to never adjust to that smile - that small form of a blessing sent down in the form of a simple expression - and I most likely never will. Especially considering that when he smiles, no longer is he smiling at me; no longer laughing at my jokes, or my silly mistakes, or any attempt I make to humor him. No longer is his expression inviting, as his cloudy eyes scream stay away from me! every time mine met his. I know what I did, and I’m sure I deserve the treatment, but I have never regretted an action - a deliberate decision - more in my entire life. Had I known I would’ve lost him, I wouldn’t have done it.
Hence why we were sitting together awkwardly at lunch, him avoiding contact with me - especially eye contact - a thick tension in the air separating the two of us. On occasion I managed to catch his eye, but within a few seconds, it was lost, as he pulled away from the interaction, embarrassed and hurt. Each time it happened, I felt crushed, and couldn’t help but think how much easier it would be to avoid this hurt that plagued both of us if I hadn't asked to talk. We sat there for nearly half the lunch, in pure silence, waiting for the other to speak.
Eventually, he began collecting his things, readying to leave, as he finally gave up on me - not that I blame him, I’m not sure I would have even given myself the time of day. I bit my lip, trying my best to swallow my pride, and call out to him. “Where are you going? We haven't even talked yet.”
Slowly, he turned to me, holding a expression that made my heart sink. Dancing upon his face was a small frown, accompanied by a hint of dissatisfaction within his eyes. When he is upset, he’s upset with meaning. “I have nothing to say to you. I thought you wanted to talk, that you wanted to fix things. I guess I was wrong.”
With the small outburst, controlled in volume yet seemingly louder than any noise I had heard in my existence, he started his way from the table. Instinctively, I stood up as well, following him. My pace was quick to allow myself to catch up with him, but not quick enough to draw attention to us. “I'm just bad at confrontation, you know that,” I excused, my feet syncing with his. Shaking his head in disapproval, he quickened his steps, making our feet fell out of line.
“Look, I'm sorry, alright?” I said, stopping in my tracks, my voice soft. “I know what I did is dumb, and I knew I shouldn't have done it but… I couldn't help myself. I just,” I paused momentarily, choosing my words carefully.
“I know it's selfish, but I just want to make you smile again. I want to see the shine in your eyes and how they get all squinty and,” I stopped, sighing, knowing my rambling wouldn't help my case. “I just wanna make you smile again.” My words sounded childish - I sounded childish - and suddenly I regretted meeting with him. Of course, I would embarrass myself; of course, I would make myself seem vulnerable and insecure and insignificant.
I ducked my head, and resorted to stare at my feet, avoiding his accusing eyes. I felt his hand fall onto my shoulder, causing me to look up, my eyes falling line with his.
He was smiling, maybe not necessarily smiling with his pearly whites teeth, but with his eyes. They sparkled with satisfaction, happy with my answer.
He smiled with his eyes.