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All for that smile… or so I would think.

Oftentimes, I find myself working towards making others burst into laughter or crack a smile. It was quite Intoxicating, and from the moment I started making my first jokes in grade school I had been hooked. My life had been defined by the thousands of smiles I had created.

But I would often find myself thinking the contrary. Where did those smiles lead me? Surely nothing much if it results in me sinking as I am now.

To greater finances? I wouldn’t think so. Smiles may get me a pleasant word or too, but I never managed to sell a laugh.

Then how about better relationships? I suppose I did gain pleasant relationships from making others smile, but a smile is not enough. People desire talent and relatability, which  you won’t find from a job-hopping shut-in.

But how about self- gratification? Isn’t laughter contageous? Quite the contrary, I would argue. Seeing others laugh and enjoy themselves often left me envious of what I could have lived. 

But then what defined me? Surely there’s something! Yet the longer I continue this inner argument, the more I begin to feel insecure about what I had lived for.

The bubbles seem to swirl around me, resembling those whom I made smile. Strangely I couldn’t identify a single one of them. In my head, I had never quite considered any of them as friends or lovers. The fact that I could not remember s single face justified that.

Then are friends and lovers just those whom we remember? If so, I would say my lovers are the days I could never forget. While it would be expected that my favorite days would be those in which I made the most people smile, they are instead when I spend the most time alone.

I could still see the stars above me, whirling and shifting as I gazed upon the vast cosmos that day.

I could still feel the wind blowing against me as I opened the windows and sped over the limit that day.

And I could still feel the shale and sand underneath me as I sat hours upon hours, looking at nothing but the waves. 

The thought of waves suddenly made me aware of the water shifting under me. Opening my eyes, I saw the rays of light dissipate around me, creating a beautiful shade of color. The debris seemed to rush past me, paying no heed to a simple person like me, similar to how people seem to just drift away from me. I would often make others smile while hoping for a chance of a blossoming relationship, yet my efforts were always for naught. 

In fact, the reason why my favorite days are such may be in part of this desire. Those were the days I didn’t have to interact with others. Talking and gossip always resembled fingers scratching a chalkboard. In fact, I would even cover my ears out of instinct, causing others to look at me in confusion.

Then does that mean even my favorite days were just excuses for a pathetic desire to stay away?

The sound of a motor brought me back to the present. I could faintly make out the silhouettes of others above me moving in a frantic manner. I smiled, realizing this may have been the first time in my life I have managed to attract some attention. Thinking nothing of it, I closed my eyes with one thought in mind.

There’s nothing I could have done.

Yet as I continue to sink even deeper, this thought circulated throughout my mind. It ran through the very fibers of my being, disrupting the war in my head. 

There’s nothing that could have been done.

But when I think about it, what have I done? I’ve always just moped, keeping to myself and never trying for a better future.

There’s nothing I could have done.

Have I ever attempted? Have I ever done anything other than stare at the smiles of others in disgust?

There’s nothing I could have done.

Have I ever tried anything other than making others laugh? Ever took the extra step to learn a hobby or get to know someone else better?

There’s nothing I could have done!

I began to shout in my head, now trying to convince myself of this fact. Yet when this though planted itself in me, I began to wonder. Maybe there is a chance for this sorry fellow to get up. Maybe there’s a chance I’ll experience what I’ve come to hate. 

Maybe i’ll be able to make someone smile not momentarily, but for a long, long time. 

When my mind began to think these redundant thoughts, I suddenly lost the ability to think. There was only one thought left in me- I must escape.

Not just the water crushing me down, but also my monotonous lifestyle. Maybe there is a path for me other than the one I was leading at the moment.

And while these thoughts circled around me, I began to feel myself wading towards the surface subconsciously. 

I began thinking of the possibilities of something better. 

I began to feel my past self detaching itself from my soul and filling up with beautifully colored experiences.

And I began to feel a sense of relief spread over me as I saw a hand reach for me. Grabbing it, I felt myself get hoisted up. With a quick rolling motion, I sprawled onto a hard, soggy floor. 

Coughing out the water in my lungs, I began to see the faces around me gather closer. When I finally managed to sit up, I was hit with a torrent of questions, yet they all went in one ear and left from the other. The only thing I could distinguish was the face of my savior, smiling back at me.

And with that, I crawled my way towards him, uninterested from the rest of the world. When I finally did reach him, I stopped and reached out my hand, a phrase escaping my mouth.

Will you be my friend?

And with that phrase uttered, I felt a smile form on my face.