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That’s what they always tell you: “Smile”.

When you greet a friend – smile. When you welcome a guest – smile. When you take an order – smile. When you explain what’s in the dish – smile. When you get scolded or asked for manager – smile. When client is being a dick – smile. No matter what is happening – just smile and fortune will smile back at you. Or something to that extent.

- I’ve been here like what?.. 4 months? Oh, just a little bit more, I guess. How many times did you ask me to smile?

I turn around and look at Gavin. He is strapped to a chair and I can see some dried blood on his head, a little behind the right eye. Right where I hit him with the meat mallet. Oh, and yes, he’s got tape over his mouth, so it’s not like I was actually waiting for his answer. I’m just… Dunno. Savoring the moment? Or, maybe, I am still “getting into the moment”? How do people actually do this kind of stuff?

What stuff you ask? Oh, that’s easy: killing others. But I guess, I need to back away a moment and explain, right? It’s how they do this in books and movies, right? Tell the “origin story” of a villain. Although, it’s not like I consider myself one.

I was not much of a people’s person as they’d say. I mean, I had some friends or, at least, I called them as such. Perhaps they could be considered more of acquaintances, than friends, but it does not matter. What matters is, there were not that much of those in my life. It would be more accurate to say, that at some point I lost them. Or maybe not so much as “them”, but my own appeal to them. Over stupid thing, really. There was that girl who were copying a dictation from me and I told teacher about that and then someone started calling me a snitch and then everyone was...

But, come on… She could have bad hearing and needed to see a doctor, right? Maybe she even did, for what I know?

But no one cared about that, obviously. Point was, she got scolded and was not able to smile and, in our society, in this day and age, it’s still considered a bad thing, when someone can no longer smile because of you. Almost like a sin. My dad did not help much in the matter, too, saying stuff like: “I’d better you were cursing left and right, than be a snitch”.

Point is, I’ve been… Shunned. There was no bullying or anything, guess myself still being a reason: if someone joked too much, I’d just give a good punch in the nose and then no jokes would come my way for some time. But as I said there were still some people, that I could think of as friends. At least, they talked to me occasionally about some interests we had in common. Now that I think about it, they did this generally when there was none of their other friends around.

Does not matter. I am getting off track here. You are curious why I want to kill my man Gavin here, right? So, what matters is, I was not able to smile.

I think it started around the time I became “the snitch”, although not too sure about that. The best I could manage is a very slight, almost indiscernible twitch of the edges of my mouth. And it was not just the physical aspect of smiling. In all honesty, I am not sure I had an emotional smile for a very long time. Between the social segregation I’ve been put in, teachers ignoring my efforts at anything, telling I am useless and talentless… Not like they were off the mark by far, but still. You do not do that to a kid. You should try to inspire the young ones!

But I am digressing a bit again. We are not here to talk about the “norms”, right?

When I went to university it became slightly better. At least, teachers did see my diligence. Or what thy though was diligence. In fact, I was simply bored, and studying was a way to get around that boredom. And my results were far from superior, even though they were not entirely bad. And then my mom died.

Yeah, I know, typical. Death of a parent becomes a turning point, yada-yada. Soon after dad also showed just how much of a scumbag he can be, and I became a 3rd year student with no support whatsoever. And a man’s gotta eat, you know. So, I found a job as a waiter at restaurant not far from my place. And here comes Gavin.

You know the kind, all smug and handsome and smiling, emitting light as he’s a lightbulb. Laughing and living without a care in the world and now “teaching me the ropes” of the job. He was… Just… Aaaaaaa! Constantly telling me to do this or that and always, always, to days on end… Smile





- Why the fuck should I smile, you mighty imbecile? – I yelled at him. – Why? Huh? Do you not like how I work? How I carry plates or how I swipe off the tables? Do you not like my face or my voice, huh? Why do you not tell me now with a smile on your face? Tell me, why should I be smiling when the only person who, at least, tried to accept me died of fucking cancer? Yes, she beat me with a belt more often, than she should have, tried to literally choke me to death once even, but still! Still! She tried to accept me without those smiles even! So why should I smile now, when I was not even able to cry for her?! Tell me, you smiley-master piece of shit!

I kick the chair, on which Gavin resides and he falls on his back, moaning something through the tape. Say, what? That piece about me not crying got your attention? Oh… Well, yes. After she died and to this moment – not a tear. I do feel sadness, or at least, what I think people consider one, but no tears. I know I can physically cry, at least I did cry from pain more than once, but not in this case. But enough about that, come on. This is all about smiles. I mean, if someone was writing a story about this, it would have been titled “Smile”, as the main concept behind it all. So, back to killing.

I turn back to the kitchen table and grab the meat mallet. The same I’ve already used to knock Gavin out, when we were closing the place. It still has some blood and hair on it, so I take it over to the kitchen sink and wash them off. It’s just I prefer things to be clean, if possible.

Now I get back to the moaning Gavin and bend over him: “So, Gavin. Give me your best smile!” I tear off the tape and he tries to say something, but I quickly jam his jaw up to shut him:

- I said “smile”, not “talk”. Now smile.

He shakes his head. In response I push his jaw harder and also press down his throat a little to make him a bit more cooperative.

- Smile.

He complies.

And I bash his almost perfect Aryan face in. And again. And again. And again. And a few more swings to turn his head into a bloody and hairy and bony pulp of a mess. Ah… Dammit, I forgot to tell you why I did this. Well, it’s simple. You see…

He annoyed me.

Now that it’s out of the way I feel… Lighter. I feel how the edges of my mouth start tightening a bit. I touch them, but no – there is no smile. As if something tenses up my face muscles. But a smile would be so appropriate to represent my feelings right now! What to do, what to do?

I look around and my gaze falls upon kitchen knives. Hm… What if I use that?

I put the mallet into the sink and go to the knives. I check out the paring knife: it has curved edge, called “bird’s beak”, and seems easy to handle for me. With it in hand I stand across one of the steel cabinets, in which I can somewhat make out my own reflection. Enough for my purposes.

I put the knife’s back into my mouth near the right cheek, edge against skin and push it. It’s so sharp I almost feel no pain at first, just the iron on my tongue, but painlessness does not last long: I start to gag a little and my hand is shaking, but I am able to complete a small ark ending around my cheekbone. I spit out blood and do the same on the left side.

Now is that not a good-looking smile, huh? I can even stick my tongue through the slits to emphasize how big of a smile I have. No one will complain about this face. Now to clean up and then I can go about my business and…