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You’re so good natured! he says
Aw! Look at your smile! You are so smiley and nice!
Then he grabs my face and plants two slobbery kisses, one on my cheek and a surprise one on the lips.
I hated him from that moment.
Smile for me! He would demand many more times throughout the week.
“I will smile when I feel like smiling.” I would reply tersely.

The power of an involuntarily sweet smile is that my bitter thoughts are less apparent. A child’s face is hard not to love. They could be evil and scheming, and we wouldn’t know. Then there’s me. A harmless vulnerable young girl traveling alone.

I find him brutally, painfully, teeth-clenchingly annoying, but I am not afraid. I am taking a bus away today and feel a flood of releif, but I was never afraid.

Under the charming smile is a will to kill. Part of me wishes he would try, just get a bit closer, so I could have an excuse to really teach him a lesson. I clutched a knife under my pillow that whole week.

“It makes me uncomfortable when you kiss me on the lips,” I had offered, giving him the cultural benifit of the doubt. People do weird shit in India. “But what if I enjoy it?!” He demanded. I hated him from that moment.

Am I really so good natured? Fuck you. I clutched the seat of the car and told him I couldn’t stay with him. No no no! I’m sorry! I will never kiss you again! Not in my whole life, not in 200 years!

None the less, fuck you.

I will stay, but I’ll sleep with a knife under my pillow.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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