The Ache Behind Her Smile

Draft after draft, my thoughts cascade into pictures of memories.
Memories that burn my skin when I travel back to how each moment made me feel.

The smile she wears all the time - I cannot deny how it illuminates even the darkest places of the room. The love in her heart made her shine so bright that makes it hard to notice.

Her heart is pure and innocent. Fragile, like glass. She was not mine. She wanted to be his.

For a while he took her in his reassuring arms, and loved her in ways that shattered everything about how she perceived love to be. One step came after another, leading her to the dance of death - enchanting, on the surface - hence she was swept off her feet. I wanted to cut in, for she was like a precious diamond on the dance floor that I wanted to save from a beast that thought of her as prey. But her smile and eyes that sparkled as he took her for a spin, halted me to step further. I achingly fell more in love from a distance.

I was just. . . there.

I watched her blissfully surrender to his advances like how he pretended to look at her the way she wanted to be adored. I struggled to control the rage I felt, I wanted her to look away, I wanted her to look at me. But how she smiled... that beautiful smile, sweetly tormented me. And I, breathless for a moment, just stood there.

I was just. . . there.

How she talked about him was dagger in my chest, and how she spoke of how she loved him kept hammering it deep. But I wanted more, more of how she brings life to every story, to every thought she had to share. I was bound to be damned. I knew very well that her heart was his, but in every pause after seemingly endless words she spoke, her velvet lips curve into a smile and just right before she laughs - I am right there, lost in her spell.

I was just. . . there.

That dreadful moment came. Her silence was deafening, it roared like thunder, as if the heavens were in rage and weeping for her lifeless soul. She was dark and helpless, groveling on the floor as she clenched her fist with dirt. She muttered the faintest cry that crushed my heart. I was bleeding, too.

I gently tilted her chin up for I wanted to look at her with eyes of love, and by surprise she still sweetly smiled at me, but the way she looked at me - those pain-filled eyes that bled tears continuously burning her cheeks. I was struck like thunder, and the raging storm in my heart did not cease until I carried her. She unfurled her fingers and wrapped her arms around my neck, I could not look at her for the second time for I had to be strong, strong enough to hold her while fighting my tears.

Before dawn, she whispered words that will continue to haunt me forever.

"I've always wanted it to be you. I've loved you before you even started to be there. Forgive me, for growing tired of waiting for you."