Smiles for Elizabeth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A well written story about love. I don't want to give too much away but I can hope you enjoy it! Smiles for Elizabeth is my first short story.

Submitted: August 11, 2014

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Submitted: August 11, 2014

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Smiles for Elizabeth

My world is a hollow shell of one part ignorance and another part wonder. My mind seems unbearably clustered with feelings of regret. I've spent the whole year just chasing and running after a shadow of a person who I thought I knew. Elizabeth. 
-One Year Earlier-
As I walked down the curvy streets of Melvin Pass  to Country Inn's open MIC, I felt a sense of adventure overtake my nerves. The streets were heavy with the snow that had fell earlier that day, and the chills seemed to sneak past my impenetrable armor of sweaters and coats. I had a warm black peacoat that seemed to easily catch every snowflake that happened to fall within it's thick wool embrace. The sounds that echoed from the restaurant were apparent and  my destination was slowly becoming clear. I decided it best to  check the time, it had just hit 8:30 but I was scheduled to come at nine. With these thirty minutes I wanted to prepare myself to give the most heartfelt and emotional speech I could muster for this crowd. I went over to an old wooden bench to began to recite it in my head, but my thumbs and fingers began the futile attempt to wrestle my nerves into submission. I was afraid. 
I decided it was best if I just went into the restaurant and watched some of the other performers in the hopes that it would ease my stress. The lights were very dim as I was submerged into a sea of rounded two-person tables. I took a seat at the nearest empty table and decided to order some food; with the hopes that it would feed the restless butterflies that tormented my confidence. The music was nice and the people around me seemed to be enjoying themselves. One light would constantly flicker on and off. but that just added to an already overwhelming rustic ambience. My doubts and fears seemed to just drift away like the claps at the end of each act. I wanted to go find the director and see where I landed on the list. 
I shuffled my eyes around the dimly lit room as I was able to spot a slightly overweight red headed woman holding a clipboard. I pushed out of my chair and attempted to navigate myself to where she was standing. Her eyes were open and a smile welcomed me to her existence. I shook her hand and introduced myself. 
"Hi my name is Philip Leman and I believe I'm scheduled to preform tonight." As i said with an ever so charming grin.
She seemed confused at first but then immediately her eyes darted down to her clipboard. She searched somewhat frantically for my name and once she found it her eyes brightened once more. "You will be performing after the next two acts sir."   Her smile then  faded and her attention was drawn elsewhere, and I returned to my seat. 
The next two acts seemed to pass by very quickly and I found that my fingers had once again began to twitch and wrestle with each other. My neck had also slowly became covered with a thin layer of sweat that i hoped to god was invisible. At long last I finally  heard my name called from the PA system, but what I heard was more than just my name. I could have sworn that voice was the voice of an angel. My ears had felt unworthy to be graced by it. I never noticed the beauty of that voice until I heard her say my name, "Philip Leman". I could listen to her say my name all day. 
I slowly shuffled my way to the stage, after receiving a couple pats on the back from the people around me, I felt a small seed of security bloom into a flower of confidence. 
"Hello everybody, my name is Philip," I said as the MIC echoed. "and I'll be sharing one of my original poems." 
I shuffled back into a more comfortable spot and did just as I practiced. 

Waves crash around my insecurity
Against the rocks of impossibilities
I'm willing to drown if it means I'm saved
But all this doubt is in the way
Let me know how it feels to swim
Let me know how it feels to sin
The evil that lurks in the depths of water
Tanning in the sun we're just getting hotter
I'm afraid of the sun and its blinding light
But I'm afraid of what the ocean just might
Hide and conceal beneath its waves
The ground just seems to be unpaved
Smiling as we suffer together
Knowing that we'll fall in love forever
Staring off into this gorgeous sunset
These are the memories I'll never forget
But the surf just crawls up to where I lay
Making it impossible for me to stay
Next to you and enjoy this love
Because the sea has finally had enough
The tide comes in to wash you away
Oh my gosh what a wicked day
As we cry and begin to preach
Oh what a horrid day, at The Beach.


I received a light applause and a mixture of faces that eventually had become bored with thought and became more entertained with the promise of a new act. I finally ventured off the stage and back to my round wooden table. My emotions were anywhere from depression to disappointment. I wanted a standing ovation! I wanted my name to be chanted by the crowd and to know that for once that I might be worth something. Just as I had began to rise up and leave I heard an all too lovely voice. 
"Philip?" the angel beckoned.
I turned my head to be greeted by the face of pure beauty. Her lips danced with her smile and teeth shined off the sparkle in her eyes. "Hello, nice to meet you." I stammered as I tried to stay as reserved as possible. 
"Hi my name is Elizabeth, and I really enjoyed your poem and was really hoping we could talk about it." she said as her hair gently rested upon her shoulders
My mind began moving a million miles and hour. This love goddess that had descended from heaven to just grace us with her presence, wants to sit and talk about my poem? "I'd love to." I said with obvious nervousness.  "I actually have a table all set up!"  I then immediately darted to the other side of the table and pushed out her chair.  She took her seat and I took mine and for just that moment my breath was having trouble with catching up to the words that my mind wanted to say. She was literally breath taking beauty. 
"First thing I want to ask you is what was the meaning of the poem ?" She then began to rest her chin ever so carefully on her intertwined fingers. Waiting. 
"The beach to me is all about love that is impossible, but because the lover makes it so. He creates the walls and rules that limit his own ability to truly experience the gift of love. However he seems very content with just staring at what could be instead of actually taking a chance. (Asking her out). Basically he is fine with just lying on the beach instead of going in the water. The poem just ends with him blaming love and basically not learning anything. " I finished with a small charming grin and allowed her a second to take it in. Much like my poem I had memorized my explanation, you know just incase. 
"Wow that's absolutely incredible!" she said  "I thought it was just about the hopelessness of summer love but It truly does have a symbolic message that is much deeper!" Her eyes were opened wide and a smile began to stretch from ear to ear as her hands perfectly mimed every emotion she felt. She was flawless. "Listen, Philip,  I'd love to talk to you all day, but I have to go back to my job. It was very nice to meet you and I hope to see you around here some more." She gave me a lovely smile and then slowly disappeared into the sea of tables. Gone forever.
I sat at my table taking in all of my emotions. "I have to come back" I said to myself. I know I only just met her but life without her now seems meaningless. I put on my coat and started towards the door. I stopped right outside the exit, hoping to hear on last dose of that amazing voice. 
"Next up is Michael Crawford" the angel sang.
I rushed outside and felt the bitter chill of the December night. I wrapped my arms around my body and warmed myself with the euphoric feelings of love and hope. 
But then morning hit. 
My first thought was Elizabeth. I spent my whole day wrestling the thought of her. I couldn't wait longer.
I went back to the restaurant and went straight to the same red haired women with the clipboard. "Hi, do you know if Elizabeth is working today?"
She had a very confused look on her face. "I'm sorry I'm fairly certain we don't have an Elizabeth working here." She then went immediately to her clipboard to confirm. "Yeah sorry no Elizabeth."
"No you don't understand, I met this girl last night, she works the P.A. system, long black hair...eyes that shine on the brightest of days" I said as I fell back into my hypnotic lust.
The red haired lady looked very puzzled and said "I'm sorry there just isn't an Elizabeth who works here." she said "I mean, we don't even have a P.A. system" 
I immediately left the restaurant. I sat at the same wooden bench I had the night before. I laced my fingers trying to wrap my mind around my situation. It finally struck me. I was so displeased with the audience's reaction to my poem that my brain had created a form of positive reinforcement. I had fallen in love with one of my visions. Elizabeth.
Now whether or not that's true...and if Elizabeth was real or not, I don't care. I just want to see her again. I don't know what I have to do or what I can do but I know that maybe if I'm nice enough she'll come back. So if you see me smiling, know that i'm smiling for Elizabeth.

Andrew Taranta 

 



© Copyright 2020 Andrew Taranta . All rights reserved.

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