The Smile On Your Face
Amari was grotesque. Powerful arms hung limply from his broad shoulders like octopus tentacle. They were just long enough to look out of place on his large frame. His hand pushed away dark scraggly hair from his right eye which roved intelligently around the crazed stone streets, while the other half-heartedly attempts an imitation. He was not fat, but neither was he thin. When he walks, it’s always left shoulder forward, as if his torso was placed on a few degrees sideways. He limps. His broad shoulders curl inwards ever so slightly, so at first glance he looks a little like a hunchback.
Despite this, Amari was beautiful. His one good eye reflects both kindness and intelligence at the same time. He smiled often- a broad, kind smile that radiates with confidence and compassion- and he is as strong as an ox. Despite his awkward frame, he is nimble and quick. His voice is not harsh as people might at first expect, but actually quite fragie. It carries in it a feeling of calm and thoughtfulness, as if he cares for every word the other person is saying is vitally important to him.
This is the strange figure that shuffled down the colorful market street of Florence. The morning air was muddied by the shouts of street venders and black market deals, all vying to gain his attention. Amari simply smiled and ignored them and walked past.
Gradually, the streets began to become less crowded as he neared the edge of the market. It was a meeting with his brother Bryn that he had in mind. He rounded the well-known corner and smiled. There was his younger brother, with his run down cart piled high with leather. Talking animatedly with him was a beautiful young woman. It was a familiar scene. Bryn caught sight of him almost immediately.
“Amari!” He yelled in greeting.
“Brother,” replied Amari as he enveloped him in a bear like hug. They had always been the best of friends.
They’d made a pretty odd pair growing up- Amari with his limp and hunched back and Bryn always so tall and majestic. Bryn had always been good with the opposite sex. They were drawn to him in numbers that amazed Amari. Still, Bryn never despised or looked down on his older brother for his abnormalities. He’d always just accepted him, and for that Amari was very thankful.
“Amari, this is Adeline,” said Bryn gesturing to the woman beside him. “She is visiting from Paris.” Amari glanced over and smiled, nodding his head in greeting.
“It’s a pleasure,” he said, and he meant it. The woman raised her chin, and looked away from Amari.
“I must be going,” she said to Bryn in a proper French accent avoiding Amari’s perceiving eyes. Amari waited a few second while she strolled away before he spoke again.
“Charming,” he said with a sarcastic smile. Bryn shook his head knowingly and laughed.
Florence was beautiful at night. Amari sat with his legs dangling off of the side of a short stone wall that stood in the way of a 100 foot drop off of a cliff. The overhang provided a breathtaking view of the city. The sun hadn’t yet sunk below the hills in the west. Often, Amari visited this spot just to think things over. He always had so much to think over.
He heard her soft footsteps before he actually saw her. Amari smiled to himself. She more often than not was the object of his thoughts. “Hello, Luciana” he said, startling her. Her forehead furrowed slightly in frustration as she plopped down beside him. She had meant to surprise him. Amari looked over at her, trying to gage her reaction as she looked over the breathtaking view before her.
He could not help but think that she was the most beautiful person that he had ever known. She wasn’t perfect, no one is, but he loved her just the same. The gust of wind blew her jet black hair away from her shoulders. She was short and lively and her skin was dark, even for an Italian. If anyone were to ask what he loved most about her, he knew what he would say. It was that she was so happy and full of life. She lived every day of her life with a smile and a kind word. He loved her.
“Hi Amari,” she said with a joyful smile. He looked deeply in her eyes, holding her gaze, and then looked again towards the city. The smile on your face lets me know that you need me, he thought. Sometimes silence says so much more than words ever could. The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me whenever I fall, she think to herself when lightly grasped her tiny hand in his. She laid her head on his shoulder, and for a brief moment, he was completely content.