Hallway Grinning

I’ve seen it before.

The same scene, the same girl,

Played out in a hundred vaguely different variations.

She arrives on the floor, the elevator doors sliding shut behind her with the same heavy clunk I’ve become accustomed to over the past three years.

I’m sitting in the hallway when she arrives, stepping slowly, distractedly, around the corner.

From my seat in the middle of the hallway, under the one florescent light that glows always, unblinkingly, I watch her.

Outside her door, five down from my own, she leans against the white painted wall, slowly slides to the ground.

Her knees pulled to her chest, she rests there.

Phone resting in her palm, she pulls the screen to her face, and I watch it’s white light illuminate her features, glow pale blue off of her curly hair.

Hands resting on her knees, I watch her thumbs fly over the miniature white keyboard glowing on the screen.

She’s writing a text.

I know because there’s a format, a you-then-me, a we-take-turns give and take in conversation, and as my computer warms my lap, I watch her participate in just that.

This is the part that I love. The part that settles deep within my own heart, even as I watch her heart engage.

It’s her face that I love. Lit by the phone’s screen, I can see her eye crinkle, her teeth flash in the shadows. I can see her grin.

And I know, there in that phone, on the other end of those texting thumbs, there’s another one doing exactly the same thing. Another one talking with her, listening to her, loving her well.

I know it because I can see it, etched there on her face. Amidst the crinkles and valleys of her happy face, I see joy, contentment in her soft face.

And as she types, texts, grins, I watch. Because I love her joy.

~Natalia

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