Finding the Smile

–Give me a smile, please?  He pleaded,  locking eyes with her while flashing his own smile, trying to get a reaction.

–I can’t.  I don’t want to.

He sighed, turning away from her.
–Why not?

–It’s not something I can just produce without reason.

–Think about something happy then.  He paced, looking over the still blank canvas.

–Okay, I guess I’m happy now, but it isn’t going to push me into smiling. She said, still straight faced.

–Think about something funny then.

–I’ll want to laugh, and that shows off my teeth.  I don’t like my teeth; they’re not pretty.

–Is that what this is about?  He stopped, turning towards her.  –You don’t need to show your teeth.  I just want to be pleasant for this painting.

–You’re being pushy.

–Please Ma Donna, your husband is paying me to create this for both you.  You wouldn’t want to look so solemn for your husband, would you?

–I don’t care.  He never calls me by my first name, and when he does it sounds so coarse.  Why don’t you say it for me?

He sighed again, now avoiding eye contact.  His cheeks grew slightly red.  —Ma Donna Giocondo, that would be inappropriate-

–Monsieur da Vinci, please?


Her mouth curled up ever so gently.  Without another word, she stood still, leaned daintily against the stool.  He sat down across from her, and began to sketch.

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