Jellie from the narrator's eyes: through all of her years so far
Jellie is a girl with many different smiles, with many different laughs and many different twinkling sets of eyes. Yet, they are all sincere. Just seen differently through other sets of eyes.
Jellie from her mother's eyes: 2014
Jellie squinted a little and nodded. "Yes, maybe," she responded to her mother's question that was proposed a mere five seconds before.
"Angela, I know that squint."
Jellie squinted again. "What squint?"
"A squint different to the latter one. The previous was your what-on-earth-did-my-dear-mother-just-say-I-was-not-paying-attention squint."
Jellie squinted. Slowly this time.
"Would you like me to repeat the question?"
"Nope. You used up your one question just then, dear mother, I'm afraid. Angela Lily only acknowledges two questions a day. Considering dad forced me to endure his question about how to upload photos to his computer, your request about whether I would like you to repeat your question leaves me with eleven hours, thirty minutes and about forty seconds until you are welcome to ask me your previous question - which could be considered a third question - again."
"Jellie," her mother squints her eyes at her then.
"For you, there are exceptions." Jellie grinned innocently.
"You do know you are a nightmare, right?"
"Mother. That was another question."
"Jellie. Angela, dear. Would you please pass me the cheese?"
"Gosh, mother .Why didn't you just ask?"
Angela was apparently five when her family began to call her Jellie. Every Sunday when her mother made jelly for dessert, Angela would do what she called the "jelly dance" and wiggled as if she were the green or orange or red or yellow or pink funny dessert.
Her mother tells this story when she explains her daughter to work colleagues or new friends or anyone, really. Jellie doesn't know it, but she does. Her mother then goes on to smile with pride. "I think this dance was the start of Jellie becoming her nickname."
If Jellie heard her mother say this, she would flush red and wish she wouldn't say it anymore, but her mother made sure she never did hear because it is her favourite thing to say. Because it always lead to her mother grinning about her daughter's smile; that innocently mischievous, kind smile.
Jellie and an afar admirer: 2009
As Jellie walked down the corridor at lunch time, books held tightly to her chest, she noticed Philip from her Geography and also her History class looking very wide-eyed in the face of two bullying, egotistical what-nots (as she once told them to their faces). After closer inspection, Jellie heard the taller of the bullying, egotistical what-nots snigger and say with apparent evil ease, "You're a freak. What kind of person writes this in their spare time?"
Quickening her pace, Jellie approached the bullying, egotistical what-nots and when the smaller one narrowed his eyes at the taller one, they both turned to face her. Seeming a little put out.
From the corner of Jellie's eye, she could see Miss Addlington. This would take some careful execution.
"What did you just call him?" Jellie said, expressionless.
"A freak," the smaller one said, seeming a little nervous as Jellie's confrontation.
"A what, sorry?"
"A freak," the taller one said, with apparent confidence. The smaller of the two, Dan laughs. "Philip James is a freak."
"Adam [the taller of the bullying, egotistical what-nots]. With me. Now."
As Philip, Dan and Jellie watched Adam being taken to the head-teacher's office with Miss Addlington, Dan whispered an apology and scurried off. "Um, thank you, Jellie," Philip said.
"You are more than welcome, Philip. Are you okay?"
"I'm okay," he nodded. He didn't seem uncomfortable anymore and that made Jellie happy.
"Glad to hear it." She sent him a smile and asked if he wanted to sit with her at lunch.
He hesitated but took up the offer and they sat on a bench in the sunshine and ate their sandwiches. All the while, Philip couldn't wait to sneak another look at Jellie's smile that shone like sunshine.
Jellie from the eyes of her granddad: 2009
Jellie was only eleven years old when her granddad told her she was something the world should watch out for. He'd always known it and always showed her in a plethora of different ways, but when she was eleven and called into the head-teacher's office with him because out of a school of over a thousand pupils, the head-teacher had often been told of Jellie's kind nature and way of looking out for those being bullied, his heart smiled with joy and pride. And as the head-teacher uttered these words, Jellie's granddad smiled at, once again, Jellie's modesty. She was missing her smile that was worth an uncountable amount of rainbows and the pots of gold that so famously are attached to them. Only, when people complain that pot of gold does not exist, it is because Jellie's smile is that pot of gold. As Jellie's granddad nodded in agreement, he took another look at his granddaughter; flushed a little with a modest smile that said, "you are welcome" to anyone she had helped with her kindness.
Jellie from the same previous afar admirer: 2014
It was February the fourteenth and Philip approached Jellie at lunchtime. She was reading on a bench outside in the welcomed sunshine. When she noticed a presence, she looked up. "Hello Philip!" She grinned that grin.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Jellie," he said it a little nervously, but he felt strangely confident.
Her smile didn't waver and Philip knew that she wouldn't let him fall, "And to you too!"
Philip looks down in his hands, a folded over piece of paper willing him on in his palms. He knows Jellie doesn't avert her eyes, and is oblivious to the paper in his hands. That's just her style. She wouldn't intrude.
"See, the thing is. About five years ago, you stepped in when I was having a rough time."
Jellie's eyes widen a little, not as if she can't remember, but as if she wouldn't ever have thought her act would have made a mark on his life. But it did. As well as all of the marks she left before that event and all of the marks she left afterwards. Marks that made Philip's heart swell with a feeling he didn't want to lose.
"Adam and Dan were calling me a freak."
Jellie considers this for a moment and sighs sadly, "Yes, I remember."
"Well, the reason they said that was because of this." Philip hesitated and then with all of the strength the marks Jellie left of Philip's heart had given him, he waited for Jellie's hands to move a little and he placed the folded piece of paper into her hands. "Happy Valentine's Day, once again, Jellie."
Philip turned away, but after about five seconds, he heard Jellie say aloud, with undertones of a whisper, "Wait." The whisper portrayed something beautiful, something meaningful.
He turned back and watched. Jellie's eyes carefully indulged in his words. His eleven year old's words. Before today, Philip would have thought watching Jellie read his letter about Jellie and all of her wonderfullness would be torture. But it wasn't. It was calming.
Jellie stood and seemed to stop before holding his eyes, "May I keep it?"
There was a quiet that sung a song between them. Then she closed the distance between them and she clumsily took his hand. "Will you be my valentine, Philip?"
Philip felt a smile take up all of the room on his face, while Jellie smiled her sincere, mischievously kind, sunshiney, rainbow-y smile back at him. But he saw something else in that smile then. And he liked what he saw. "I will be your valentine."
So here is my second short story of 2015, especially for Valentine's Day! *Big smiles from me.* On Monday I will be posting Philip's letter (which you will be to read HERE when it is posted)!
A Smile & A Letter,
The Girl in the Moonlight.