Smile

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Her name is Liz. As a contemporary woman, she constantly has to remember how happy she is. Liz gets everything she’s ever planned to have. There’s absolutely no way someone with this name is a failure. She is married to her perfect match – some would say there was a relieve in her face at the wedding day. With Robert, she has a beautiful ring, a house on the hills and two beautiful kids. And Liz wants them to be as happy as she reminds herself to be. Sophia and Liam are the name of her dreams.

Every Sunday, the family goes to their favorite brunch place. Every Sunday, there’s a picture to be taken. Liz picks out a scenery for this afternoon souvenir. She has a good number of followers on Instagram, going beyond the friends and family usual numbers – posing her life and family smiles for everyone to see. Robert, always supportive, sets the phone’s camera while Liz drags the kids to her side. Sophia, a few years older than her brother, gets bothered by the sun in her eyes. Her mother seems not to see. Liam smiles unaware of his surroundings. With the light hitting their faces, Sophia doesn’t want to be photographed today. She says it out loud. Her mother seems not to hear. Liz pulls the daughter closer, Sophia picks her nose. Liz, smiling and ready for the click, pushes Sophia’s arm away from the nose, strong enough for the girl to understand something is wrong, as if she doesn’t know. Stubborn, she uses the other hand to touch her nose. Sophia knows what she wants, or in this case, what she doesn’t want.

Liz fears how Sophia is different from her. The girl doesn’t relate to the woman by her. There’s little resemble left between them, even though Sophia is exactly like her mother. What happened to Liz cheeks? And hair? And lips? It’s all part of the perfect Liz. She is so unique, she looks exactly like all the women in her neighborhood.

Liz gets her picture, and posts it, and waits. She gazes at Sophia with anger, deserts for Liam who only cares about his drawings on dad’s phone. Sophia observes her mother, the girl just can’t compete with the perfection Liz personifies. As they leave the restaurant, Liz gets a good number of “likes”, so much so that she can feel good about herself. Well pleased, she smiles at her phone.