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A Smile

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    Green. Brown. Grey. The world around me had been reduced to a blur of colors flitting by. The only thing keeping me grounded was the grip of the knife I held. The cold of the storm was muted in comparison to the iciness of the weapon in my hand. I shuddered. It was a weapon. It was destructive. I was destructive. Oh, god. What was I going to do?
    The knife slipped through my fingers and hit the stone path with a clink as I collapsed onto a beaten down park bench. My mind reeled. Where was I supposed to go now? I should just go home. Sit down somewhere nice, figure things out. No. They would look for me there. I would be found. I would be in trouble. Shivers ran down my spine. I’ll get out of town. Maybe out of the country. I’ve always wanted to travel. But that would make it look like I’m running. I can’t have them chasing me down. Pounding in my head shook me from my train of thought. I’ll just stay here, then. They wouldn’t look for me if I was right here. I’ll avoid suspicion. Maybe call an old friend to use as an alibi. Yes. I’ll go home. I’ll play innocent.
    Innocent? Why should I play innocent? He deserved it. My entire life was just an opening act for the great performance that he put on. For our parents, my friends… But he was awful. Every day when I was a kid, people would ask me: “why don’t you have as many friends as your brother?” and “Why don’t you play as many sports as your brother?” and “Why is your brother so much funnier than you?” Even Mom and Dad preferred him. They would always praise him for being so liked. I had friends, too. I wasn’t captain of any football team and I still got into college. Not him, though. He dropped out. Still, he was perfect to them. Every step he took was sacred. Every single step. NOT ME. I worked through college. I got a degree in psychology. All I ever heard was, “Why not a doctor? You always like the sciency things.” I cared about what I was doing. I wasn’t taking steroid injections just to keep my job. I CARED. I worked with patients for HOURS. Every day I worked and I worked and I worked. FOR WHAT? He was appreciated. He was loved. He was everything I wasn't.
    He was no more. The world around me focused. I stood slowly and picked up my knife. A smile crept across my face. He was gone. He would bother me no more. Rain continued to pour as I strolled back to a main road. I looked down at the steel blade and saw all the blood had been cleaned off by the rain. Nothing would hold me back now. I would no longer be tethered to my past. I stowed the steel blade in my jacket as I hailed a taxi that was driving down the street.
    “711 Old York Drive.” I told the driver in a polite tone.
    “Going anywhere special today?” The conversation was anticipated, but I no longer had an appearance to maintain. I smiled delightedly.
    “Just going to see my parents.”




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