Prompt 12: Smile

With this smile, I can get anyway with anything.

6:07pm

I’m decked out from head to toe in fancy attire. Face made up, hair contained, squeezed into a dress hand picked to make you jealous.

After all, it’s a family staple celebration; it’s all in or not at all.

I stand next to my mother as another camera flash goes off, blinding me momentarily; she wraps her arm around me smiles wide, picture perfect.

{more about posing and then her catching her mother’s eye}

-,-‘you’re gonna ruin the picture.’ Jumping from her eyes and stabbing me in the chest, but I can’t mother. I honestly can’t, smile for one more second or pose for one more picture.

I mumble something about needing to pee and leave before anyone can reply. I weave through party go-ers and distant family, something building inside of me that I can’t understand.

I weave through friends and hired staff, feeling like I’m going to implode.

I weave until my hand lands on the handle of my salvation; stumbling into the bathroom and slamming the door shut behind me.

I stare at the ceiling trying to blink back the tears, swallow the lump forming in my throat. All these flashing lights, all these smiling faces, all of this fake happiness being forced fed to me.

I sit on the toilet, the tears winning the battle, yank paper from the roll and wipe at my eyes. What is going on? I don’t even know why I’m crying right now.

I yank more paper from the roll as my phone buzzes on my lap, Marcus’ face filling up my screen. I swipe left, letting it go to an already full voice mail. I lean forward to set it on the sink, catching my reflection in the mirror.

I don’t even recognize myself.

I look like a doll.

I look like a ghost of someone.

I look like a puppet.

I stand up, drop the paper in the trash, and place my hands on the sink, staring in the mirror.

I stare into the eyes of a girl I don’t recognize, of a girl I’m tired of looking at.

I stare at this girl, who acts happy.

I stare at this girl who says ‘everything’s alright’.

I stare at this girl who smiles with tears in her eyes.

This person in the mirror, the person I’m pretending to be, who looks like me but isn’t me.

This is not the person I want to be.

My phone vibrates on the counter and I’m shaken from my daze. It’s Marcus again, this time it’s a text.

^Where are you?

^Gosh, can’t a girl pee. #privacy!

I have no desire to go back to the party but, I guess I can’t stay in here forever.

I look back in the mirror; thanks to the invention of water proof make up, I’m still picture perfect.

There’s still so much rattling around in my brain that I don’t understand, and I won’t be able to figure it out in here. So, I’ll just return to the party, look like the doll, play the puppet, and smile.

That’s all I have to do: just smile.

I’ll smile and hope that it looks real. I’ll smile until my cheeks ache and I feel like I can’t smile one more time.

I’ll just keep on smiling, because if it’s fooled me, it’ll fool them too. (550 words)

 

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5 thoughts on “Prompt 12: Smile

  1. Hi there! I just came across this post of yours and your blog in general and I couldn’t help but comment and tell you how much I adore your blog and love this post! Keep up the great work, I am going to follow you so I can keep up with all your new posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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