"Buying Smiles"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

About a guy that has a debate with his conscience about a girl he likes...

“Buying Smiles”



He liked nothing more

than doing things for her

no matter how small they were

it made him feel

closer to her

and the closer

he was to her

the better he felt.

She allowed him

to preform simple

mundane tasks for her

all of which she could

easily do herself

and for the most part

preferred too,

But he couldn’t see

the obvious.

He liked to buy her gifts

nothing of much consequence

she reluctantly accepted them,

He really enjoyed

trying to find

A special gift

that reflected her unique personality,

He tried to assure her

he didn’t want anything

in return,

He just likes to make her happy,

Which in turn makes him happy.

But are those really

Your true intentions?

Asked his conscience.

Whose sudden appearance

annoyed him

more than it

surprised him,

He wanted to be truthful

with himself,

So he decided to give his conscience

A straight reply,

As he prepared to defend

his actions

of his asking for,

Nothing in return policy,

For gift giving,

his conscience asked,

You don’t buy these gifts

for anyone else that you know,

do you.

He wasn’t sure if his conscience

was asking a question

or making a statement,

so he just threw out

what he considered to be a fact.

Everytime I give her a gift

she would always give me

A smile or a hug of thanks,

That shows she really likes the things

I do for her.

But aren’t you just trying

To buy her attention?

Asked his conscience,

She gets free stuff,


But is it really free?

His conscience,

Looking him in the eye

with its hands on its hips,

What if you offered her $50.00 dollars

for a kiss and she said sure

and kissed you on the lips

then stood there with her hand out

as you counted out to her 50-dollars.

Why don’t you just do that,

Instead of spending the money on a present,

A kiss is better than a smile right?

Maybe for $75.00 you could get

A little tongue too,

said his conscience.

That whole thought is perverted

I would never ask such a thing of her,

He said, pushing back against his conscience.


And if she took your gift

and just turned and walked away

No smile,

No hug,

Not even a word,

would you still get

That happy glowing feeling?

Or would you say,

What a Bitch!


I would never call her a bitch,

As he glared back at his conscience


She likes the thoughtfulness

Of my gifts,

If she didn’t she would tell me,

We’re close like that,

Still looking back at his conscience,

But reducing the intensity

of his stare a notch or two.

Are you sure she hasn’t done just that,


Said his conscience,

But maybe just politely,

Your infatuation,

Over shadowing

Her words.

Well she did say,

You didn’t have to do that,


Think a little harder said his conscience

he looks down and pauses

as if he is in deep thought

once I asked her what size

Hoodie she wears,

Small, in case you’re wondering

and she said not to buy her anything,

But her birthday was coming up,

And she just didn’t want me to feel

obligated to have to buy her something,

Looking a bit shaken as he made his reply.


Says his conscience, how do you think

she felt, when you hand her a $50.00 hoodie,

and stand there,

Staring at her, like some dog, waiting for a treat,

she is the one who was,


You had free will,

To buy her a gift,

But she has none,

Common courtesy,


she gives you something back,

a smile,

a hug

a Fucking handshake,

but something.

You are just buying her smiles,

His conscience says in a very loud

and commanding voice,

While shaking its head

and looking away from him,

Ashamed at having to point out

such remedial things,

To a grown man.

That last rant from his conscience

Stunned him,

He started to feel nauseous


Wanting to say something

but unable to formulate

Any words.

His conscience could see

all the pain he was in

it walked over to him

and without saying a word

put its arm around him.

He looked at his conscience

with watery eyes,

I feel so dirty

those smiles and hugs

I thought she freely gave me,

Moments I truly cherished

all seem so tainted now.

Telling her I wanted

nothing in return

while all along

expecting her to

not only give me

something back

but something that’s

very personal.

Don’t be so hard

on yourself

his conscience said

trying as best he could

to comfort him

you just made a mistake

there was no malice involved

just think how much more

it will mean the next time

she looks at you

and gives you an honest smile.

Those words seemed

to cheer him up a tad

he wiped his eyes

with his sleeve

hugged his conscience

and said


His conscience looked back at him

with a feeling of pride

hoping he heeds

the lessons learned today.

Well it looks like

were done here

if it’s ok with you

I’m going to get a little shut eye

I heard you on the phone earlier,

Going out drinking

with the boys tonight

and how did you put it

to your friend

“You’re getting Drunk”

 “Getting Laid”

And going to party

“Like its 1999”

So I figure, I going to have

A busy night ahead of me


I have no idea what that “1999”

reference means

“It better not be drugs”

Says his conscience

looking him sternly

in the eyes

as he starts to fade away.

He has a wisp of a smile

as he is left alone

with his thoughts in a room

that only moments ago

felt cramped and dark

but now he feels the sun

that has always been their

on his right shoulder

he embraces the

comforting warmth of the sun

sitting in a chair facing it

closes his eyes

and in minutes

both he and

his conscience

are asleep…


Tom Allen…07-06-2017…

Submitted: July 11, 2017

© Copyright 2022 Tom Allen714. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



Unexpectedly interesting, but this shouldn't be in the "Fantasy" category.

Wed, July 12th, 2017 12:13am


Thanks for reading it, Sorry for the miss direct, never quite sure if what I post is a poem, short story or what heading to put it under...Tom...

Wed, July 12th, 2017 6:56pm


How many of us have had debates with our conscience about one thing or another, Tom. This was really well done, the backwards and forwards arguing until some kind of resolution is met. Very nicely done.

Sat, July 15th, 2017 6:45pm


Thanks very much...As I type my reply and see your cat Ziggy, I wonder if cats argue with their conscience? Tom...

Sun, July 16th, 2017 4:10am

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