February 12, 2018
By Anonymous

As he shared the inner workings of his brain, I gazed at him. His words poured out of his lips as they filled the car and drifted into my ears. My lips curled up without realizing it, an irritating tick I seemed to have whenever I was near him.

“What are you smiling for?” He inquired as he squeezed my hand.

The combination of words struck me, knocking me out of balance. It was a question I had not dared to ask myself before, neither was it a question I could answer lightly. I cowardly decided to blatantly lie with the most deceiving word in the English dictionary: “Nothing.” The genuine answer was complex and confusing, and most dominantly f***ing terrifying. What can at first impression seem as a simple question was, in fact, one of the toughest things I could ask. I could lie to myself like I had countless times before and claim that it truly was nothing, nothing of true value. But suddenly at that moment, even if I hid it from him and everyone else, I couldn't deny it to myself. I was smiling because at that space and time, in this tiny place found in such a vast trivial universe, I found meaning. I was smiling because he was there and I was there with him, feeling things I never allowed myself to feel before. This time it wasn't up to me if I felt them or not; he had gotten under my skin damn it and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Everything I resented before, what I used to naively refer to as moronic and unlogical, started making sense. Words and thoughts I would never dare to think and much less say out loud were invading me, rewiring my brain in ways I did not comprehend. And he was the one to blame. Hatred and love were what I felt. Hatred for making me feel so vulnerable, so unquestionably scared for what was to come. Yet love, for making me want to find out anyway. So why was I smiling? Because of him. Because of the wholeness of him. But somehow "Nothing" seemed like a better option, a safer one. These were things I wasn't ready to admit fully to even myself. He nodded and smiled not believing my answer as if he knew what "nothing" actually meant, but he didn't. One day he would.

The author's comments:

A quick writing piece after a moment of inspiration.

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