a smile forever…

The place was usual. The scene was usual most of the days. The colors, the people travelling by that road were usual. The weather was usual. The sounds, the rush was usual. But something was different. The clocked ticked as usual but someone had made time stand still. Someone who was a usual face. A usual for the place, not the people. For them he was a person that they occasionally spared a glance and sometimes a few coins. Coins that were thrown at him, not to be given but to drive him away. They flinched every time they saw him, their eyes screamed in horror, the voice was carried to his heart , their faces were not so good to conceal.

He had gotten used to their stares, he had slowly and painfully learned to lower his eyes as he begged for food. His respect had been broken to pieces the day he had first opened his fist , the way his fingers were spaced. But he felt himself lose a one of the broken pieces every time something harsh managed to pierce his heart. The way he had to every time knock a window, hoping that they would slide it down. Most of times, he faced his own reflection that stared back at him through one of the moments when he dared to lift his gaze. His sunken eyes stared back at him like a dried hollow tree that had lost hopes to blossom. If ever did the glass slid down, a coin or two did land in his palm. A few out of pity, a few genuinely understanding his hunger.

The weathers had written their own stories for him. The summer made his feet burn, the winter made him shiver hopelessly and the rains drained him to his core , sometimes his despair mingled with them too. Nobody did ever notice. He did not know if being a leper had  reduced him to a body that struggled to live by with whatever  little life he had with him or being a beggar. His leprosy had never rid him of his will to live nor had his own set of the dark moments of loneliness had. He never did mind the distance they tried to maintain, it never ripped him.

But their stares had. Their mocking had. Their flinching had. Their refusal to smile had robbed him of his ability to look up. His own bleeding limbs seemed less painful than his lost identity. He could not quite recall when he had laughed, when he had smiled willingly. He watched the sun and knew the difference that it so clearly emphasized at every sunrise and every sunset. He was the sun that would never rise again, he moved slowly towards the horizon, his time would come. He questioned the sun if there would at least be one different color for the time when he would set, for a few seconds at least, to acknowledge that he had lived.

This rushed through his mind at this present moment. He could not recognize, could not trust the new curve on his withered face, the new spark in his eyes as he stared at them. They had fed him home cooked food, quenched his thirst. They had said they watched him that noon, weak and frail. They had come to take care of him. They had come to genuinely come for him. They had sat beside him as he at, they had talked to him, they had lost their words when he had narrated his life. For the first time throughout his misery, had someone come for him. He had smiled. He did not recognize the emotion, but he felt the warmth, it made him feel good.

He watched them lift his body and carry it away. His soul floated at the horizon, smiling. The sky was a mixed shade of darkness and light. A mingle of colors, like they were not sure if they could ever move away from their embrace. And everybody noticed it. He had set in his world with a smile. That was a good end. He had his smile forever, its warmth glowed.



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