My smile felt like it stretched my skin far more tightly than normal.
This is normal.
I handed him his present, hand slightly shaking.
I must maintain eye contact and soften my gaze.
Faking sincerity is difficult, but I have perfected it over the years.
Force your forehead muscles to lift when he makes a joke when he looks at you.
He is expecting my face to beam back love and affection.
My mind is solely filled with contempt.
The sharp rusted edges of our relationship have only worsened with time.
Frantically my fingers attempt to rub off the dirt, polish what is left.
But my hands pull away covered in soot and blood, leaving no noticeable improvement.
This is damaged beyond repair.
I must wait until he can see it too.
I can’t blindside him.
But as I feel my mouth form the words, “For you.”
I can only think, “Fuck you.”