Fading Smiles

Hi. I'm Hannah. I'm fourteen years old. My mom went missing when I was three years old and I'm now living with my dad who drinks constantly. He is grieving over the loss of his wife, my mother. What can I do? I have to find her. How? I don't know.

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3. The Worst Day

  "Hey Kevin!", I beam. "Hannah! How's the old man?", Kevin flashes me a perfect, white smile. I pause to admire his work uniform. He works at the best pizzaria around, Tony's Fresh Pizza. Then I answer, "Same," and sigh heavily as I plop down at my usual seat. Kevin nods his head solemnly. His dad, Tony, has been a family friend forever. Tony knew my dad is an extremely heavy drinker because of mom's disappearance when I was three. But he left Kevin and Kevin's mom when I was little and ran off with another woman. We haven't seen him since. He was my dad's only true friend. The sixteen-year-old boy laid his big palms on the red counter. "So do ya want the usual?", He says to break the silence. I nod and grumble a yes. Kevin's my only true friend. He knows what it feels like to live without a parent. But his mom is doing who-knows-what, she's always "working" across town. So make that both parents. "Coming up," he croaks and disapears into the kitchen. He comes back in a few minutes with a steamy slice of  pizza topped with olives, pepperoni, and their delicious, special sauce. "Thanks, Kev." He nods slightly, "Any time, you're my favorite customer," he looks down at me, flashing those perfect rows of white teeth. His mossy green eyes glare at me intensely.  I blush and look down. I always had a little crush on Kevin, despite the two-year age gap. He's very smart and likable. Every girl in his high school thinks he's cute. "Hannah..." his velvety voice trails off when those stupid bells jingle whenever someone enters the restaurant. I swing my head back and my eyes nearly pop out. Valerie. "KEVVYYY!", she shouts and runs to my friend. "Hi Val," he says awkwardly as she hugs him. Valerie flicks a strawberry-blond curl off her bony shoulder. "Sowwy, did I interrupt something?", she bites her glossy, pink lip devishly. "No. I mean not really," Kevin looks at me and I just look down sadly. "Hey...uh..Hannah!", she fakes a smile. I mumble a greeting. What a faker! "I, uh, mean its nearly seven, I'm about to close down the shop," he says, and I sigh in relief discreetly. "Oh," Valerie's face flushes with sadness and embarrassment. "I should get home," I push away from the counter and begin to walk out. "Wait. Hannah, do you need a ride? Your place is kinda far. I turn ungracefully and stutter, "Uh yyeah i-if you want to..."   Valerie glares at me but I stand a little straighter to match her five foot five frame, "Bye, Valerie." Kevin adds kindly yet unapollegetically,  "Bye, see you later." He politely walks her out and locks the door behind them. "Trucks in the alley, Hannah," He says. We walk into the alley and get into his car.

  "It'll be great to see your dad again," he says, eyes locked on the road. "Trust me it won't," I reply and he laughs.  "He used to be a fun guy until...", He clears his throat. "Yeah, " I say reminsicing, "You know it's the anniversary today, since she went missing." There's a long silence and he says in a low voice, "Yeah, I realized...I'm really sorry but.. I didnt want to bring it up," he looks at me as he slows at a stop light. "It's fine," I say. He lets out a faint laugh. "What?", I say solemnly but curiously. "Nothing.", he shakes his head, grinning brightly. "WHAT?!", I nudge him playfully. "I just remember when we were kids...how we played in the restaurant and bought candy at Dandy Candy across the street," he confesses.    I blush, "So?" Kevin continues driving when the light turns green, "Ihadthebiggestcrushonyou."    I crinkle my eyebrows, "Can you slow that down?", I scoff.

"I HAD THE BIGGEST CRUSH ON YOU," he says loud and clear. I sit there, shocked.    "But you were always older than me..." I say in disbelief.   "My mom was ten years younger than my dad...I guess I have, I mean had, a taste in younger gals..."     "Well i like, I mean LIKED, you too." I say timidly. "Seriously?", he looks at me quickly but then looks back at the road. I continue to look at him.

  He turns his head to face me again and just stares at me, "Seriously?"  He looks like he's about to cry.   "Yes."

   A bright light flashes around us. A long horn screeches and he looks at the road swiftly. He sits there staring into my eyes, his eyes of emerald tearing up in pity.  Whats happening? He wraps his muscular arms around my shoulders and everything goes black.

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