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When He Was Smiling - Emma Newman-Holden

You were never afraid of him when he was smiling

How could you be?

The curve of his lips, begging yours to curve as well

The creases under his eyes, foreshadowing how beautiful age will make him

His cheeks would glow warm crimson and your fingers had no choice but to touch,

To feel that warmth for yourself, to know he was capable of such warmth

Big brown eyes now barely visible through the waves of his grin

And sparkling teeth letting you know that you made him happy, even if for a moment

Your stomach would fill with a tight pain,

The kind of pain you like, that you ask for,

desperately pleading you to whisper things that you know you shouldn’t,

but all you heard yourself say was: you have a cute smile

Once, he told you that you were beautiful,

But not one of the most beautiful girls he’s seen,

And it felt like love


Emma Newman-Holden is college student in the Philly area, interested in creative writing and connecting to other girls with crumbling self-esteems.


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