Margot

Margot.
She looks like a ’70s model, a demure gaze into the camera, under shy lashes. A grin that shows a slight gap between her two front teeth, big enough to fit a penny through.

A friend of a friend’s.
We met at a party. There were balloons and clinking glasses. Laughter. Hers was ridiculous sounding. When I made her laugh, it felt like I’d achieved something. I felt I should always make her laugh, always.

His girlfriend.
He’d just arrived and walked up to us, put his hands on our shoulders, and grinned. ‘I see you two have met!’ He let go of me and put his arm around her. ‘Sorry I’m late, honey, I was stuck in traffic.’ A kiss. Suddenly I couldn’t breathe.
He asked me what I thought of her later. I told him she was nice.
‘That’s it? “Nice”?’
‘Yeah, I don’t have a thesaurus.’
I had a universe of words about her, ready to burst out from my chest, but I bit my lip shut.

Someone took a picture of the three of us on a Polaroid camera. I asked the photographer if I could keep it.
I’m on the left, Margot’s boyfriend - my best friend - in the middle, and Margot on the right.

I put the smile on Margot’s face.
I put the smile on Margot’s face.