I once knew a girl who had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. Her smile was wide and bright, spreading across her face as her eyes sparkled and her lips formed a perfect moon’s crest. She never got into trouble as she would flash her dazzling smile and confuse our teachers. As a child, I would bear hours of punishment but see this girl prance away free for the same crime.
In my childish eagerness to live like a free bird, I would stand for hours in front of the mirror and flash my smile from different angles but only get a dull response from my reflection. Frustrated at her good fortune, I decided that if I couldn’t smile, she couldn’t either.
So one day, I called her to my corner during lunch break, eager to try my last resort. She sat down and cleared her throat “Yes?” she asked. I stared at her trouble-escaping face, anger bubbling inside me “Amanda has disappeared.” I blurted out. She squinted at me, confused “What?” she asked. “Yes.” I squinted back, nodding my head.
Amanda was my family friend and had moved to a new city over the weekend but because she barely had any friends at school, it was a believable story. “It’s because she smiled all the time. It annoyed everyone” I lied “So the shadow took her.” I concluded, pausing for dramatic effect. The girl stared at me, saying nothing.
“I think you’re next.” I said matter-of-factly, folding my arms. She blinked, surprised “What?”. “Why ‘what’?” I shrugged, feigning indifference but praying that she bought my story. “You smile all the time.” I said as she looked around, confusion clouding her face. “Oh well,” I continued “I’m just looking out for you.”
I stood there and watched her shrink in fear. She clasped her hands together, “Ye-yes” she stammered. So gullible. I swallowed a chuckle- mission accomplished.
I hardly saw her smile after that. And whenever she did, I would catch her eyes dart around nervously. And for that, I was content.