The Smile

The Smile

In a sickening with domineering strength, the old woman flattened the bits and pieces of the masticated cola nut on the red path, using the heel of her lanky foot. A deep furrow developed on her forehead as the last whiff mouth odor wafted through the air past her coal – black face in a wavy line. The corners of her mouth curled down into a frown, displaying a multitude of jagged wrinkles that trailed the length of her chin. Her expression testified to how time had eaten her alive. Sunken cheeks and temples completed her worn facial features. The golden rays of the rising sun hid against her bald head and made a blink. A pair of distinct large and oval-shaped eyes was all that was left of her former youthful years, which she used to gaze the dusty road in expectation.

She wobbled her frailed figure through the door way of a mud structure whose roofing had not been treated with kindness by the hammatan winds. She reached onto her hammock which has remained as a most the treasured of all that she had. From under the hammock she pulled out small box. It appeared as if contained a gold bar. She opened it and dipping her fourth finger into it, she scoop a little of a nut-brown substance into the corners of her shaking jaws and bends over for a sniff. She sighs with satisfaction and exclaims “this tobacco is the finest”. It is a ritual that marks the beginning of the day. The buff sleeved straight dress danced slowly about her knees with each labored movement. Her legs ached, making a desperate appeal for her to slow down. She ignored her limbs. The object of interest will be passing soon and she wanted to be prepared.

The little girl was close. As usual, her head lowered as she walked. Her shoulders slumped. She wore rose red long sleeves over a snow white pair of pants. The rays of the sun illuminating her coal-black skin could not hold back the tired mouth of the old woman. She exclaimed “joy of my morning” and suddenly brought the little girl to a halt. The old woman smiled which displayed a reddish tongue. There were glimpse of decayed fountain of beauty as she smiled and moved slowly towards the little girl. She took two steps backwards and pivoted on her heel. Through her innocent eyes, the old woman read the story of the girl’s conflicting emotions. Softly, she said “I don’t mean you any harm. I’m just an old woman who could use a little company. Sit with me.” The little girl played with a little ribbon tied to side of her veteran hoodies for several seconds. “OK,” she finally sighed.

This maintained the beam on her face as she struggled a turn to lead the way. She sat on a stool that stood at the door of her mud hut. She leaned forward and pulled another closer to herself and gestured for the girl to sit. Leaning forward, the little girl pulled the stool a distance away from the old woman and sat. “Do you mind a calabash of water?” the old woman asked. “Thank you very much, but I’m fine” the girl replied. “My name is Nogmoo (translated love). What’s yours?” The girl shrugged to mean I’m not telling.

“I’ve watched you every morning walk by my door for a year now.” “My aunt’s house is near by.” Raising her head and glanced at the face of Nogmoo. “Why do you always look so sad when you pass by? Its every thing fine at home?” The girl nodded. “Then why are you not always happy.” Nogmoo’s experience is way above the girl as she moves her shinny dark lips saying “I’m lonely in this neighborhood” “but there are many children of you age around, how then are you lonely” Nogmoo exclaimed. “Sandra is adored by all the boys; they say she is the most beautiful. When she hits her foot against a stone everyone says sorry and shows concern. But when I fall down, no one notices. No one cares. Not even Karol”

“Who is Karol?” Nogmoo asked. The girl smiled and stared off into space. “He’s this really cute senior prefect of my school that I like” Noticing how beautiful she looked when she smiled, Nogmoo said “why don’t you speak to this cute boy that you admire?” “I can’t, Karol doesn’t admire the likes of me.” “She said this to you.” Nogmoo asked. “No, but he’s never around any girls who look like me,” she huffed. “You are too old to understand.” “Maybe I should bleach my skin. Then, people will like me.” “That’s not the answer. It’s dangerous.” Skin tone may not be the problem, Nogmoo thought. She really did empathize with the girl. Only a person lacking a heart wouldn’t. She picked up a box from behind the door. Nogmoo looked from side to side and leaned toward the girl and whispered, “Do you believe in magic?” Eyes bucked, “I’m from a Christian family and we don’t believe in magic” the girl said. “But are you allowed to make a wish?”

“This magic box makes every wish come true. I want to see you happy from now onwards so go ahead and make that wish for your happiness.” Disappointment washed over every wrinkle of the old woman’s face. She thought this time this girl will be different. Well, not really. There always seemed to be only two things girls wished for: love and beauty. The girl waved goodbye as she left her. The old woman facing the sun shook her head. “she didn’t even wish to smile all the time”.

write by Dilys

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