Smile

There was a boy who never smiled. He wasn’t unhappy. He didn’t lead a miserable life. The boy simply didn’t smile. If there were a pile of puppies, at most his eyebrows went up and his forehead crumpled into a wreck. At most he looked surprised.

One day, on the playground, he spotted a girl who didn’t smile. He remembered she used to smile. He’d seen her smiling all the time, but no longer.

He went to her. She looked down and away and clamped her lips tight over clunky braces.

“I don’t mind if you don’t mind,” he said.