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A new reason to smile

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What can a smile show? Joy, contentment, love, peace... What can a smile hide? Anguish, loneliness, disillusionment and suffering. A smile can be a sign of life. Or a mask for unhappiness. As much as she spent years of her life telling herself that "everything was fine", she knew that behind her smile there was much more than the happiness that was stamped on her lips. Maísa knew this. There was a battle to be fought, first of all against herself. A battle so that masks and false smiles would finally be put aside, so that true happiness could enter.

Chapter 1

How often do we look in the mirror and remember the dreamy child we once were? And how much courage do we have to look deep into our own eyes and forgive ourselves for the wrong choices that have hurt us so much, or for everything we have allowed to be done to us for so many years?

Nothing lasts forever... neither the joys, nor the sorrows, anguish and pain.

The reflection before my eyes makes tears well up and slide down my face, while I feel my chest tighten as if I could suffocate at any moment.

A woman who is no more than a shadow of the dreamy, impeccable girl she once was, who feels capable of flying higher and higher, but who at the same time feels trapped, tied to her husband, because she is too attached to principles that no longer make any sense after everything she has been through.

Deep in my soul, I hear that little girl screaming, "What did you do to me? Why?"

Realizing that everything I believed to be true was nothing but a meticulous trap I allowed myself to fall into, hurts... sucking all my strength every day I spend in this situation, unable to take any action and move on.

I have discovered that my wonderful "Disney princess" castle is nothing more than a gilded cage, and that I am nothing more than a trophy that the "prince" boasts of being the only one to possess.

He fills his mouth to talk about me to others, praising and extolling my qualities to anyone who will listen to the wonders he makes a point of telling, extolling the "woman of his life," to whom, within the privacy of the walls of our home, he does not direct affection and recognition. I have given into his hands every dream, every day of my life for years, but I have never had any of those dreams cherished. I am no more than the wife whom he judges, ridicules and belittles.

It is hard to look back and forgive myself for so much pain, for having allowed someone to tear and fragment my soul into so many pieces, and to forgive myself after remaining for so long steeped in a deep illusion that he would one day be the man I dreamed of so much.

"He will change! Of course he will! After all, he loves me! He promised!"

How many times have I repeated each of these phrases to myself, trying to justify the masochism of submitting myself to an endless wait for something that never happened and never will happen.

But when I close my eyes, I hear the voice of every person who tried to warn me about all this, echoing inside me, throbbing, cutting, bleeding wounds that never heal...

I turn on the shower, once again my confidant, and before the hot steam dulls the mirror, I see my reflection. The swollen eyes from crying so much, the black mascara stains that I tried unsuccessfully to clean. But what hurts me the most, to see my eyes erased, the lack of brightness, of dreams, of the color of life... marks of what he swears is love, and of what he always promises will be different, that it will be worth trying again.


Murilo has always been the kind of guy who doesn't go unnoticed, always gentle, smiling, helpful to each of his friends. It was not only his beauty that drew attention, but his attitudes, his voice, his caring little gestures.

I came from a series of very short, superficial and frustrated relationships, expecting more from people than they really had to offer because they were shallow, while what I most wanted was to dive deep into a relationship that would make me feel complete.

My family was well structured, where love was never lacking and respect was always the basis of everything. Of course it was not a perfect family, but even with its flaws, the warmth and protection were always part of my life, and this made me unable to even imagine that there could be relationships so different from the ones I knew until then.

My world was rocked to the sound of old songs, totally different from my classmates, while I waited anxiously for someone who would understand me and fill the void that bothered me so much. I always felt out of place, too different to fit in with the most popular groups in school, not interesting enough, not pretty enough to walk the halls with the most harassed and disputed "patricians" of the time. I was a typical teenager who isolated herself from the world because she didn't feel she was part of it. And that's how Murilo came into my life, bringing with him the weight of an already suffering existence, the scars and marks of a totally destroyed home, not knowing about complicity and security, but acting as if everything he had been through was normal, since he was always compensated for it, getting presents and getting what he wanted by playing his little games and blackmailing.

Being with Murilo was easy, simple. Everything happened so naturally, and what started as an inseparable friendship soon became a relationship. We fell in love with each other and the harmony was perfect. He was everything I had hoped for, everything I had never found in anyone.

Despite the differences, we respected and understood each other well, and the trust I had in him was wonderful, it brought peace.

We both knew everything about each other, and since we had no serious relationships before, there were no scars or wounds that could affect our relationship. We had before us the future, which we planned together with dedication and care.

The first of our plans was marriage, and what was to be our honeymoon trip, became the next step: moving to Canada, and there starting to build our family, and our future together.

Chapter 2

We started dating during our senior year of high school, and how we enjoyed every moment of it! The planning of the prom, every detail of the trip we would take later during the summer, the anticipation of saving money together... Everything was incredible with him.

Murilo was my safe harbor, my home, my place in the world, with him I felt I could be whoever I wanted to be, soar to the highest heights, and dream beyond what reason told me was possible. My life finally had color, had joy.

We had an insane year of pre-college preparation, Murilo decided to start doing some odd jobs to earn extra money for our trip, we spent the little time we had off together, dating and dreaming about the future we had ahead of us.

Time seemed to drag on, until finally the prom was approaching, the girls were talking about nothing else but their dresses, hairstyles and make-up, and at that moment I could feel like them! I wanted to look beautiful, I wanted to impress my boyfriend


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