i think it was his smile that made me fall in love with him. from the first time i met him, he was happy, unassuming, and sweet ... just up the stairs. we had a sleepover on the floor as a matter of happenstance. we were just friends. then ten years later on a cold october night i saw his smile -- crooked yet familiar -- and the clothes of a priest as he walked towards me. for the rest of the night i leaned against the wall and listened to him talk. i gazed into his big, beautiful eyes. i felt so tiny. his cheeks were rosy from the cold. i wanted to throw my arms around him and never let go. it felt like i had been expecting him to arrive like a child waiting for her parent to pick her up from the airport. or almost like we had made a secret pact to meet there on that night ten years ago. if we had only known. maybe we did? the problems were enourmous. somedays we were lucky to survive. we tried. and yet sadly, less than two years later, his smile has faded and there is no resemblance of kindness or regard for me. in fact i don't remember what his smile looks like. only his eyes are vaguely familiar, hauntingly so, piercing into me like a knife in my back. these are the same eyes that told me the truth when his mouth could only tell lies. once illuminated with love and hope, they have become shallow and dim. it will be his eyes i feel for the rest of my life. eyes full of sadness and things left unsaid. eyes full of disappointment. choices. broken promises. and every morning when i wake up and look into the hopeful eyes of our daughter, it will be his eyes i see.