It felt like rejection when they didn’t smile back, but they didn’t trust her kind of smile.
Hers was just a little too wide.
A bit too eager.
And they weren’t used to that, so they defined the pure – so pure – as fake.
False like the lies that they believed.
Lies that said a smile carried a motive.
And she knew that only people carried those, but her smile took the blame.
Questioning its validity because smiles such as hers were reserved for children, or fools, or frauds.
And she saw how it made them uneasy.
How smiling had trespassed onto their properties, and knocked at their doors at the most inconvenient time.
How she had crossed some invisible line.
So she toned it down.
Dimming the light of her countenance.
As to not shine so brightly in the faces of others.