The Lie Behind Her Smile

The Lie Behind Her Smile

A Story by Ciara
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This story is half true.I was Ella and my ex bf was Eric. I had the suicide letter written out (to my best friend) but when my Eric came into my life his love saved me. He almost made my smile real :)

"

Ella’s eyes were breathtaking. The color fluctuated between a gold that resembled beams of light radiating off a black sun and auburn decorated with dark speckles. Any man would find himself lost in her eyes. But they were much more than their color. Her shy, yet bubbly, personality reflected through, pulling you in. With only one glance, I was captured by her and she became my muse. Ella was my inspiration in life, the reason that I use to believe the eyes were the windows to the soul. But one day, she destroyed that belief; my muse is gone now.

  As soon as the bell rang my feet became a blur as I raced to the door. To my dismay, the hallway was a mess of students filing out of the classrooms. My impatient personality drove me to eliminate anything that hindered my rendezvous with Ella. A trail of flailing bodies formed behind me, their derogatory language answered with a sardonic grin.

  She greeted me with her eternal smile that seemed to never waver. Even if her pearly white teeth were not displayed, she still had the same bright presence. Ella’s warm voice melted my heart as we discussed our day. But as the conversation went on, I no longer had her undivided attention. I searched her eyes for an answer and then something unusual happened. Her eyes lost their beauty as they became tear-filled and dull. I watched her smile fall and in an instant, she returned to normal. Something about her moment of obscure abnormality was unsettling.

  I realized that Ella’s smile was the reason her eyes were so enchanting. When it disappeared, I died. She was still Aphrodite, but the little sparkle was gone. Something was wrong. All night I stayed up pondering about that one short moment. Should I have said something?

  I awoke to the sound of a light knock on my door. Hoping that whoever it was would go away, I pretended to still be asleep. But the knocking continued, becoming louder and louder to the point where I just wanted the annoyance to stop. I stomped to the door and swung it open, ready to explode at the person behind it. I only stopped myself when I saw who was behind the door.

 “Son, we have to talk about your girlfriend, Ella.”

“DAD! She is not my girlfriend…”

 But I realized as soon as the words escaped my mouth that it was an honest mistake; he wasn’t teasing me. The look on his face was serious.

“I’m so so sorry.”

He wasn’t apologizing for assuming that I was with Ella. My father’s eyes began to water and he was looking at me…his expression… was it pity?

“What’s going on?”

Everything in me said that I should run, escape from the words that I didn’t want to hear.

  “Your gir… I mean your friend, Ella, she… she took her own life last night. Her mother is downstairs right now. She would like to speak to you.”

I became a zombie as I shuffled down the stairs. My mind went completely blank and my body was numb. Ella’s mom was at the kitchen table attempting to look composed, but her rats nest for hair and coffee stained shirt told the whole story. The pained look in her eyes matched mine. She placed a folded piece of paper in my hand and then held me close.

“We found this in Ella’s room. You’re the only one she left a message for. Treasure her last words for us.”

  Ella’s mom left quietly. I looked at the paper in my hand and as I unraveled the mess of folds, a river began to flow down my face.

 “Dear Eric,

  I love you. You are the only reason I could barely manage to smile every day. But it’s all become too much for me. I can’t stand another day of torment from the other kids at school or fearing the older boys that use me for their “fun”. The bruises from being shoved into lockers, thrown into a ditch, and being stomped on seem to never disappear. And at home my parents have already forgotten that I exist.  It’s as if I am already gone. Most of all I can’t stand another day of hiding behind that fake smile. It’s just too much. I am done. Good bye, Eric. Thank you for being there for me. You almost made my smile real.”

  I was a wilted flower. My shriveled up stem could no longer support my head that seemed to weigh a ton and I slowly sank down till my knees met the ground with a loud thump. As I held her last words in my hand, a bittersweet nostalgia for her last smile welled up inside of me. I felt as if I never really knew Ella. I was oblivious to her misery. How could I not realize there was pain behind every joke, tears after every laugh, and a struggle for every smile? 

  Her stoic façade concealed the agony of an aching heart that yearned for peace. Ella endured the pressure of the lie behind her smile until she broke. Her shattered pieces left scars on my wrists and her last words brought the wistfulness that tied the noose around my neck. I became cold and the folded piece of paper fell from my hand to the ground. My lifeless eyes were fixed on the last line of the page “I will make your smile real.” The ink was still fresh.


© 2015 Ciara



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Featured Review

This is a very good story. It is very sad to me that so many kids end their lives because of being bullied. Sadly, it is reality. Sesame gave you some very good feedback. The only thing I would add is until only has one l, u-n-t-i-l. I liked this piece so much, I read it several times. Great job!

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

This is a very good story. It is very sad to me that so many kids end their lives because of being bullied. Sadly, it is reality. Sesame gave you some very good feedback. The only thing I would add is until only has one l, u-n-t-i-l. I liked this piece so much, I read it several times. Great job!

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Its hurts to see time and time again, the beautiful youth come to a point of such despair that they fail to make it to life's later stages of wisdom and strength. I've met too many here alone, but when you aid and give them strength and hope it helps shine a light on hidden beauty and talent like sharing and touching others...which, once one gets past self, is what makes life worth it.
Thanks for sharing

Posted 1 Year Ago


I've been interested in suicide all my life, but it's rare to read a piece as original & poignant & visually believable as this. Congrats on winning the contest, which is what brought me to reading this piece. You have included SO MANY palpable descriptions of how it might feel on either side of this tragic equation. Your title is very hard-hitting & memorable. This is told with vivid honesty, rather than drama, which is what makes it so intense & relatable. I'm sorry to read in your byline that you've struggled with feelings of suicide. I'm glad you prevailed, so you can share such a story as this.

Posted 1 Year Ago


It's interesting how powerful love really is. How it can save a life. Too often we are caught with the day to day hustle and allow this fact to escape us. I'm glad you were able to meet your Eric, Ciara. The story was very moving. Thanks for sharing

Posted 1 Year Ago


Really good! I love how gripping it is.

Posted 2 Years Ago


This is great and sad. I hope writing this helped. As for some new criticism, you don't need to put the letter portion in quotations. If you space it out from the rest and italicize then it's fine. You might want to use a few words near the end to describe the environment to reflect the dark mood, sort of like how you used the kids in the hallways to describe the mood in the beginning. Hope it helps. Ps. I'm new here and if you could come take a look at one of chapters, I'd really appreciate it. :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


This is really well done. You defentiy can feel the growing pain of the lost... although I was a bit confused in the beginning where he was a teacher or how old these kids where but I understand half way through. Anyways , well done. I love it. In fact I was looking for a good example of good character description and I found it!

Posted 2 Years Ago


Great emotion! You definitely put tears in my eyes.

A little constructive criticism for you:

You need to work a bit on your adjectives. At times you descriptive terms feel inappropriate. For example, your line "My shriveled up stem could no longer support my head that seemed to weigh a ton and I slowly sank down till my knees met the ground with a loud thump." The loud thump part doesn't fit with the stage you have set for your writing. Don't let your flowery words pull attention away from the emotion of your piece.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Chills! Definitely not something to read this late at night! But still a very good story. I have friends that have harmed and tried to kill them. Thankfully, none of them succeeded. Thag plural, none, makes me sad. Im also currently working through some issues. What im trying to say is that its amazing but sad, and i can relate. God, Maura, tell your whole life story, why don't you . . .

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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16 Reviews
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Added on January 24, 2014
Last Updated on September 29, 2015
Tags: Romance, Suicide, Love, Loss, Suffering, Pain, Death, Beauty, Lies


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