Uncertain Smile by Orin Drake

        Oh, that uncertain smile. She smiles like she wants to, but she's not allowed. Never been allowed. Did I ever see her really smile..? I thought I did, but... maybe it's just a dream. I remember it, though. Once. Only once.
        She died that day, I think. I think we both did, but I really can't remember. And she won't tell me. She won't tell me anything. She won't tell me her fucking name and I need to know her fucking name.
        Sometimes I wish I could carve the smile into her face. I have to remind myself, that's not who I am anymore... but she only has respect for scars. --Maybe "respect" isn't the right word. Scars are more valuable than medals. Scars are the real spoils of war.
        She has faded scars down her back. They trail to both shoulders, and one runs from her right shoulder to her left hip down the front of her body. She asks me why I only look at her scars. She prefers it that way--that I do not touch or act... only look. She thinks I accept this from her because I'm lonely.
        I'm not lonely, I wish I could get through to her. I'm not lonely, I'm alone, and there's a big fucking difference. I want to accuse her of leaving me, start a big, violent, bloody fight... but she doesn't remember. I don't think she'll ever remember.
        Maybe I'm the delusional one. Maybe she's been human all along and I never really knew her. Half-memories that fade but never fully disappear when I wake up could be only that. Dreams.
        But they're not. And sometimes, when I can bring myself to look into her eyes... she knows. Something locked deep within her knows we don't belong here. And it hurts. And it kills. She won't remember me. By choice, she won't remember.
        "Say all the things you never meant to say." I know she told me this once, before... But that's like showing your cards. That's like letting everything that's safe and protected be open to destruction.
        "I want a house one day." She tells me from time to time. "In classic American suburbia. And I want 2.5 kids. And two cars. And to have a decent job and college funds and barbecues with neighbors and co-workers. I want everything in the movies. I want what's always on TV."
        There is silence for a while as the scope--or lack of scope--slowly tears through me. "Maybe I am lonely." I reply. I feel my throat close. Eyes wet.
        This is not what we are. This is not what we were ever meant to be.
        I don't want to have to leave her behind.

Content copyright Orin Drake 2011.
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