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2 April 2006 / April

Spring Smile

Another Spontaneous Story, perhaps? (This one quite obviously influenced by the weather outside.)

She smiled. The sunshine was infectious in its boundless, infinite joy, expressed with radiant light, and she felt it seep into her very bones, pushing out the small scraps of darkness and coldness that lingered from the winter. It wasn’t winter anymore. It was spring.

She let out a little laugh.

“What’s so funny?” came a high-pitched voice from about the level of her belt. She looked down, pushing her long cinnamon brown hair back behind her shoulders as it struggled to obey the will of gravity. Standing next to her was a little boy, not more that five years old, with unnaturally large deer-like eyes and dark hair that waved about in the wind.

She crouched down, still smiling. “Nothing’s funny. I’m just feeling happy, that’s all.”

“Why?”

Her smile widened. “Why not?” But the boy seemed so cute and innocent, standing there in his scuffed up sneakers and torn denim jeans, so receptive of any word as the ultimate truth (ah, how she remembered that feeling!) that she felt inexplicably compelled to tell him the truth.

“I’m happy because it’s spring, and the sky is blue.” She paused. The anticipation of releasing her secret pulsed beneath her skin, like a heartbeat, and for a moment she quietly savored it. “And I’m happy because I’m going to meet my father soon.”

“Is he on a trip?” The boy pronounced his r’s like w’s, in a way that was simply so adorable that she wanted to sweep him into her arms and hug him.

“Yeah,” she replied slowly, “I guess you could put it that way. He’s on a trip.”

The boy nodded thoughtfully, his hair bouncing up and down as his head did, then shrugged and, without another word, ran off to join his friends playing kickball on a nearby field.

For an instant, she felt the pang in her chest that always accompanied sudden absences, but she suppressed it, smothered it beneath layers of assumed beliefs and superficial worries.

The sunlight glinted off the ripples in the river, turning the water to quicksilver with its blinding light. It was almost welcoming in its brightness, but there was a harsh edge to it, something metallic that did not belong with its natural fluidity.

With the smile continuing to linger upon her lips, she stood and began to walk towards the river.

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