The Lie Behind Her Smile

The Lie Behind Her Smile

A Story by Ciara

Ella’s eyes were breathtaking. The color fluctuated between a gold that resembled beams of light and auburn decorated with dark speckles. But their beauty goes past the color with her bubbly personality reflecting through. In only one glance, I was captured by her and she became my muse. Ella was my inspiration in life and the reason that I use to believe the eyes were the windows to the soul. But that belief faded seeing as my muse is gone now.

  Just as everyday, she greeted me with her eternal smile. Ella's warm voice melted my heart; even idle small talk was captivating. But her tone shifted a bit. I began searching her eyes for answers and then something unusual happened. Ella's smile fell, her gaze becoming tear filled and jaded. She recovered to her usual self instantly, but her moment of obscure abnormality was unsettling. Her falter plagued my dreams. The image of beautiful eyes reflecting despair haunted me.

I awoke to the sound of a light knock. It grew louder as I tried to ignore it. Reluctantly I pulled myself out of bed, prepared to lash out at whoever was behind the door. But I held my tongue when I saw my father in tears.

“Son… your friend Ella...I’m so sorry…”

"I'm so sorry" gave away what was coming next. I wanted to hide. I wanted to believe that everything would be okay. I wanted to go back in time to hold her, to tell her not to go. "I'm so sorry" painted the rest of the picture.

“Ella, she… she took her own life last night. This was found in her hand… it’s written to you.”

The beautiful eyes had reflected despair, shadowed by a goodbye.

Immediately I slammed the door. My fist smashed through dry wall. "NO! IT'S A LIE!" The dresser crashed to the ground. "SHE IS STILL ALIVE! SHE IS... she has to be." My knees dropped to the floor. "No. It can't be true." A painful wail sounded through the entire house. "I should have said something. I should have asked if she was okay. I SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING!". I wrapped my arms around me, hoping that I could keep from falling apart. But at this point, nothing could hold me together. She was gone. All that was left was that one piece of paper...written for me. A river ran down my face as I read.

Dear Eric,

 I love you. You are the only reason I could barely manage to smile every day. But the bruises from my tormentors and the fear of boys using me as their toys, never go away. And at home my parents have already forgotten that I exist. It’s as if I am already gone. I can’t keep hiding behind this fake smile. I am done. Good bye, Eric. Thank you for being there for me. You almost made my smile real.

Nostalgia for her last smile welled up inside me as I realized how oblivious I was to her misery. How could I not realize the pain behind every joke, tears after every laugh, and a struggle for every smile? Her stoic façade concealed the agony of an aching heart, yearning for peace. Enduring the pressure of the lie behind her smile led to the end. Her last words brought the wistfulness that tied the noose around my neck. The folded piece of paper and a pen fell from my cold hands, my lifeless eyes fixed on the last line on the page, I will make your smile real. The ink was still fresh.

© 2016 Ciara

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Added on December 1, 2016
Last Updated on December 1, 2016