The evening breeze cooled my sticky, sweat soaked skin as I swatted at the mosquitos in search of a meal. A welcomed chill ran up my spine as I glanced up at the summer stars above the rickety, wooden balcony that provided me a seat. The boy across from me rearranged the cement block he rested on, catching my attention. I breathed in the smell of salt and dirt coming from his sun-stained and tired body. A smirk crept across my lips as I watched his muscles tense and release in an effort to find comfort sitting on cement.
Catching my eye, he smiled. I knew the meaning of his dimpled cheeks and adoring, lined eyes; he is completely content. He loves me. I chuckled in realization and he raised his eyes from beneath his dark brown hair, “What is it?”
“I just realized I can count how many different smiles you have,” I revealed.
A smirk. Another smile, but this one was utterly different than the last. This smile was devious with plotting eyes, un-parted lips, and a slight snort of taunt. I paused, using my fingers to count out the number of different smiles I had seen the boy make. 1. 2….”Four! Or five.”
I returned his smirk with one of my own, returning to look at the stars. “Are you going to share,” he asked.
“Oh,” I replied nonchalantly, trying to hide my eagerness to share all the ways I can read his face, “there’s your true smile, your smirk, your photo smile, the smile you use when teasing people, and maybe one more, but I can’t think of it.” After a few moments of calm, summer silence I continued, “Your true smile is the cutest. I wish it came out more.”
“Yea?” I nodded in reply.
“Between those beautiful eyes with crow’s feet and long lashes and your dimples, I can’t help but smile back and feel…,” I trailed off to avoid the gush of sentiment I was about to express. Even in the darkness I could tell he was rolling his eyes as his smiled his devious smirk. He disliked his crow’s feet, but they were distinctive and charming. In spite of his teasing smirk, I knew he appreciated my words.
Propelled by my discovery of his smiles, I reflected out loud, “Everyone has different smiles. You truly know someone if you can read their smiles. It’s easy to tell if someone is sincere or lying.” We locked eyes for a few more minutes in the cool, wet air of a humid summer night. The crickets’ song and traffic sounds provided the soundtrack to our night. At this moment all the reasons I loved the boy ran through my mind, but all I could think about were the crows feet and the dimples – my weaknesses and the signs of his joy.
We returned to our individual activities. I continued to examine the stars and the yards around us. He resumed his struggle with the cement block. It was a relaxing night, a first after a long heat wave. Everything seemed in place and not even the mosquitos drawn by my sweaty skin could disturb the peace. For once, silence conveyed more love than words.
Points for the reader who can name the celebrity behind the eyes (sorry, the points don’t count towards anything).