Smiling Faces

Previous – Interesting Private Things

Emilian

Good Morning Black Mountain! The high today will be a balmy eighty-nine degrees. Clear sky, nice weather to sit out and enjoy yourself in…

The weatherman’s voice slides through one ear and out the other as I walk out onto my patio, staring at the cloudless sky in a daze.

Misa’s back.

She returned late last night. I saw her through my window, standing outside her apartment as two hard faced fellows in suits brought her bags to her door. I realized she was on the water after I tracked her phone, except I didn’t think my text about the Titanic ignoring iceberg warnings would make an impact, assuming that’s what made her return.

Hopefully nothing transpired on Timothy Hollow’s stupid fucking yacht, or by those men that drove her home. I’ll kill them all and no one would know if so.

Hmm.

Perhaps that’s why Misa didn’t text me back yesterday. Too busy figuring out how to escape her date. I get it. Little Tim boy is a sketchy guy. Felt it the first time I laid eyes on him. He’s hiding something, but whatever it is remains a mystery.

Other than his yacht registration, which was vague, I couldn’t locate anything else. No school records, no properties, businesses, or listed kin. Not even a money trail. He’s invisible. That doesn’t happen without some pull in high places.

Someone is pulling hard for this guy…

I was going to probe further until Misa returned. Although, if they’re not together, perhaps there’s no need.

Keep your enemies close… Hmm. Another gem I learned from Earth studies. I’ll keep searching, but later.

My phone chimes in my pocket. I check it, hoping for a text from Misa. There’s none. Instead, it’s news and highlights from the basketball game last night.

I wonder what she’s doing today.

Hey. I text Misa.

Hi.

She wrote back fast. But… that means nothing. Stay focused.

I go back inside and stretch out across the couch to get my thoughts straight. Misa doesn’t know that I know she came home, so I have to remember to play dumb.

How’s your trip?

It’s over.

Best news ever.

Already? Was it that bad?

I imagined something different.

Well, let me know where you went so I can avoid it.

:] Don’t worry, you’d never be where I was.

Hmm. Now I’m intrigued.

I was in the district.

Gotcha. Cool place. Sorry it didn’t go well. Are you okay?

Timothy must’ve really fucked up, but her delay in responding makes me think she isn’t okay. I set my phone down and stare at the ceiling, awaiting her message.

Ten minutes later, she responds.

Yea. What’re you doing?

Watching daytime TV. It’s torture. What’re you doing?

I lied. Misa doesn’t need to know I’m lying on my couch in silence with my focus locked on her.

Drinking tea, playing with my sunflower. Thinking of a name for it.

Nice. Let me know what you pick.

I will :]

[:

Can’t believe I’m responding with smiling faces. I never used those before. But with Misa, it’s different. I enjoy smiling now. Even through technology, I feel her as if she were here beside me.

I set my phone down and close my eyes with a million thoughts, each one about Misa.

I want her bad…

Misa

I said no, Timothy. I text him.

He’s upset I left him after he confessed and apologized for the redhead he has on the side. It’s off and on, he told me last night, referring to their dating status. Whatever that meant.

He doesn’t get that I want nothing to do with him.

But why, Misa? I miss you. Let me take care of you.

Last night was strike two. I text back.

So, I have another chance? We met for a reason.

No!

I put my phone on silent. I took a nap to relax, not to be woken up by whiny texts.

Oh well.

At least this happened before we got into a relationship.

Sigh…


I enter the pool area of my apartment complex, stunned at the tranquil silence. It’s the middle of the day and nobody else is here.

Perfect.

I set my towel and water bottle down on a table beside a dark blue deck chair and look around. I feel like I’m in a relaxing jungle. There’s towering palm trees and exotic plants far as my eye can reach, bursting with vivid tones of jade, fuchsia, yellow and orange. The pool is massive with sparkling dark blue water, a calming boulder waterfall, and an intimate looking grotto.

I drop my flowery black bikini cover and feel the sun drench my skin. It’s warm and relaxing. I wore my favorite pale pink bikini today with the cheeky bottom that makes me feel sexy.

Until I spot a guy staring at me.

He’s low-key in a black cap and sunglasses sitting in a lounge chair off to my left. With his sunglasses on, I can’t be sure if he’s looking at me or past me.

I put my cover back on and pretend to look for something in my bag only to look at him again.

He takes a long sip of something dark and frothy from a mug. Not too muscular, not too lean. He’s wearing black swim trunks with a white drawstring at the waist. His skin is light brown and glistening in the sun. Thin dark hair trails down his long legs and across his chest.

He puts the mug on the table beside him and leans back in his chair with one arm resting behind his head. He’s oozing with confidence. It’s hypnotic.

I turn away but feel him watching. Ugh, he’s so…

It’s hot and I’m baking here like a fool with this cover on.

Maybe I’ll head back inside…

No. Stop being stupid, Misa, just take it off. Get in the water. This is the clothing everyone wears when they go swimming… It’s normal to be practically naked in public. No one would swim with furs on.

Take. It. Off.

I take the cover off and sit. My sunglasses slide down the front of my face. Forgot they were there. I readjust them and look over to my left.

He’s smiling now, still looking in my direction.

Ohmygosh. He is watching me.

Who is that?

The way he smiled, those lips… Looks so familiar.

He gets up, walking in my direction.

Emilian!

—tbc

written by kirsten curcio
written by kirsten curcio

Kirsten is a mother and wife. She has driven through the Smoky Mountains twice, survived a hurricane, loves nature, travelling, photography and art.

Ghost Human Bones offers fiction lovers short stories and poetry. Dive into surreal, romantic, funny, haunting myths of our world and beyond by Kirsten Curcio.
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