Archive for April 1st, 2012

1st April
written by amber

The Smile

She is in the coffee shop. My daughter. She is talking to a man, she laughs without shame, she smiles as she reaches across the small round table to touch him on the arm.

I stand in the lobby of the hotel and I can see into the coffee shop but I am hidden from her view unless she turns her head and looks away from the man. But she won’t do that. She has eyes only for him.

She works as a receptionist in the hotel’s spa on the fifth floor. I felt it was a safe place for her to work, a place where she would not come in contact with young men. It was to be for only a short while until her mother and I could arrange a suitable marriage for her.

Today I have come to pick her up at the appointed time. I, instead of her mother, because my wife took a fall today and is lying in bed with a cast on her leg.

My neighbour very kindly helped me to remove all the dangerous ice from the steps and the walk. He said it was like closing the barn door after the horse got out – some kind of Canadian folk saying, I suppose. Then I got into my car and came to pick my daughter up.

I think if my wife had not taken those pain killers, she would have warned me that, contrary to what I believed, our daughter has not been putting in overtime every day for the past three weeks. My wife has been picking the girl up late so as to allow her this hour with this young man.

I watch and see the way my daughter smiles. I wasn’t permitted to see my wife’s beautiful smile until after our wedding. This is the same smile.

So few things are the same. This ice, this cold, this having my wife learn to drive and also to work part-time outside the house, this loud obnoxious music drowning out the conversations in the coffee shop, these thin and scantily-clad young women coming through the hotel lobby on their way to the fifth floor spa.

But the smile is the same as the one her mother gave me. A smile of love.

I can’t help but smile myself. My mind says this is wrong, but my heart smiles.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

Sorry, readers, to present you with such a small number of happy stories! I hope you enjoy this one.