give us a smile, darling

“why aren’t you smiling”

He asks as he leans back from his seat in front of me on the bus.

I think it’s almost midnight, I should be at home.

I look at him like he’s stupid,

Raising his hands he pleads he meant no harm,

But I’ve lost interest in what’s outside the window.


“do you have a boyfriend”

He types into his phone before passing it to me.

How original.

I tell him yes, he tells me I’m lying.

He tries to kiss me,

Offended when I coldly reject his drunken advance.


“you don’t look like you’re having a good time”

He says as he slides closer to me on the couch.

I’m not.

The problem solver then asks me to smile for him.

I shoot a toothless grin,

It’s the politest way of saying fuck off that I can think of.


“give us a smile, darling”

He leers as I try to brush past him

He makes kissing noises at me,

Thinks its ok to call me darling

And asks what else my mouth can do.

I don’t smile for the rest of the day.


“do you have a smile for me?”

He asks as he sways in front of me.

I’ve never met him before.

My frown deepens but he doesn’t stop.

So I walk away,

And he curses me as I do.


“you’re a really lovely girl”

He says as we sit side by side in the garden.

I think this is going well,

Until he follows with obscenities.

Yet he is the one left in shock,

When I pour his drink over him.


“you should smile more often”

He tells me, thinking this is great, unheard of advice.

I don’t tell him I already know how to fake enthusiasm,

That I know to how smile at the right times,

That I know how to pretend I’m having fun.

And only when I’m vulnerable I drop the act.


2 thoughts on “give us a smile, darling

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