Every Time She Smiles
Gordon carefully wrapped the box and attempted to fix any mis-measured folds with a healthy dose of tape, he strung a ribbon and, to his amazement, tied the nicest bow his pudgy fingers had ever managed. There was a nervousness in the pit of his stomach, but he wasn’t sure why yet, he wouldn’t figure it out until later than night, when Gloria was opening her birthday presents. They sang for the newly-nine-year-old, ate cake and laughed, then it was time for the gifts; exercising great restraint, she carefully opened each package rather than tearing through them. She appeared pleased to get beautiful shoes from Lacy, and forced a smile at Alex’s Monster Road game cards, but upon seeing the mix of surprise, curiosity, and deep, sincere joy rushing across Gloria’s face when she opened his box, Gordon realized what that nervousness was: he liked Gloria as much more than a friend.