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Not Until You Smiled
He knew her. She was the girl that came to the coffee place almost every night. She would always talk to him, even if he didn't talk back. She would be as pleasant as a cheery robin in the early light of the morning. What he couldn't figure out was why she was sitting here crying in the rain. She didn't look like the type to cry over anything. She just didn't look good when she cried.
Before he realized it, he had stopped and she was glaring up at him. "Do you have a problem?" She asked, her makeup streaming down her face as though she were crying soot. He shook his head. "Then go away."
"Why are you crying?"
"The Hell does it matter?" She sniffed, wiping her face with her one sleeve. She was sopping wet, seeing as it had been pouring for over an hour now. He was making is way home from working the later shift, and had been kind of surprised when this girl hadn't come by at her regular time. Here she was, black shirt ripped and wet, auburn hair sticking to her face like webs, makeup streaming down her perfect cheeks and giving her a ghostly appearance.
"You shouldn't wear makeup."
"You're much prettier without it." He found himself sitting beside her, his huge umbrella covering them both. She stared at him with her bright, mossy-green eyes, and he could feel her name on the tip of his tongue. He couldn't quite reach it, though.
"Don't play the flattery card." She said bitterly, turning away. "It's worked too many times on me."
"You shouldn't cry, either." He continued, facing forward. "The look doesn't suit you. You're better off smiling like you normally do."
"So you recognized me?"
"Because I recognize you." When he turned to look at her, she was facing forward now. She had smeared the makeup on her face in an attempt to wipe it off. The rain got heavier, and it pounded on the umbrella. She looked up at a flickering street lamp above their bench beside the empty street.
"Why are you crying?"
"Because I've lost a lot tonight." He nodded. "Why are you here?"
"This is how I get back to my apartment."
"I mean here. On this bench. Talking to me." He shrugged. "You've never said anything to me beyond a repetition of my coffee order."
"Eh, I didn't expect much. I mean, look at me." She smiled then, her green eyes sparkling and lighting up. Amber.
"You know my name?"
"You've told me before, right?"
"Yeah, sorry, I just didn't expect you to care, let alone remember." She laughed, and it was like bells.
"I didn't. Not until you smiled." She stared at him for a moment, seemingly studying his face. He just stared back at her. Suddenly, the light flickered off longer than before, and when it came back on, her hand was gently touching his cheek while her lips pressed against his own in such a delicate fashion that one would think she was handling a precious artifact. When she pulled away, she fixed her eyes across the street again.
"Sorry. I've lost so much, what's one more thing going to do to me?" She asked him.
"What exactly did you just lose?"
"Any chance I had with you."
He paused. "I don't think you lost it." She looked up at him, surprised, but smiled and turned away again. "I wasn't lying."
"You're much prettier when you smile."