A smile can change everything. It was a smile that changed everything, including my life.
She sat on the large stone chessboard, feet sinking in the lush green grass. And that smile on her face. A smile to kill for, maybe even die for.
"Come sit next to me", she said.
I obeyed her. Only if she wasn't smiling now, I would've sat anywhere I wanted to.
She looked away at the sinking sun and smiled at me.
"I love sunsets!", she said.
It was a simple statement that wouldn't have meant anything had anybody else said it. But not her. She was different.
I held her hand. "I love you", I told her.
She smiled again. "I know you do."
I watched her face, looking for a sympathetic answer. Her knowing this wasn't enough. Where was the "I love you too!"? Had I said my lines wrong?
"So you don't love me?", I inquired.
"I do love you. You know that. I've loved you ever since we met. It's just that..", and she broke off..
"Go on, I'm waiting for you to finish", I replied.
"I've waited too long for you! You never reciprocated my feelings. I couldn't keep waiting forever", she said. The smile faded away as tears welled up in those beautiful eyes.
I looked at her, stunned to hear her reason. She had a fair point. I would've done the same had some girl never felt for me. There's no point waiting for a bus that ain't ever gonna depart!
"I know this is shocking for you. But you've gotta understand my situation."
"Roy.. Please talk.."
"Huh? Ya. I am a little taken back but yes, you are right. You did the right thing."
"You sure you are okay?"
"Ya. No. I dunno. But I guess I'll be fine. Don't worry about me. I'll manage. Have always managed."
"Hmm.. The sun has set!", she said turning to the sky.
I gazed at the horizon and saw an orange haze in the place of the sun. I felt like crying. My eyes welled up but the tears won't roll down. They never did! They always failed me!
"I think I should get going or I'll be in trouble. My mom would start calling up anytime now!" she said and started wearing her sandals.
"Come I'll walk you to your bike.", I said.
"You know you don't have to be so formal with me. Doesn't suit you.", she said. The smile was back on the face.
"I know but this is something I should've done a long time ago", I said.
A bigger smile.
She sat on the bike and started the engine.
"Guess I'll see you soon. Take care and I'm sorry again", she said.
"Hey, it's alright! I deserved this. You drive home safely. And please get a helmet!", I said, trying really hard to be normal.
"Ya ya, don't start with the lecture again. I'll buy one if they make it in my size!", she said.
"Excuses!", I retorted.
She winked at me and pushed the accelerator.
"Goodbye Roy", she said as she left. I thought I heard her voice turn into a cry as she rode off towards the gate.
I stood there watching her go. I stood there waiting for her perfume's fragrance to die. This was the closest I would ever get to her.
I returned to the seat where we'd seen the sun set and sat down. I remembered how my heart had sank when she told me she couldn't be with me. It must've been six feet under by now. Life had come to a standstill. The dream was collapsing and I could do nothing.
And all because of a smile.