My Skin Is One Of A Kind

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I grew up with a single mom who made sure to provide everything for me. Mom was awesome, but whenever I’d see my friends at school with their dads, I’d ask mom about my dad and she’d just make light of it: 

– (Mom) I asked him to get bread one time, looks like he’s still searching the aisles.

Even though she laughed, I knew the questions bothered her, so I stopped asking. My mom loved me a bit, and that was all that mattered. One time when I was 13, everything changed. I was just minding my own business when a fight broke out in school. I tried to get out of the way, but a kid shoved me. When I got up, I saw a huge puffy rash appear on my skin and I screamed: “What’s that?”. I was taken to the doctor who told me I had dermatographia, a major skin allergy to anything I touched. My skin was sensitive to everything, even just scratching an itch. The doctor told me it was normal for it to start at my age. She reassured me the rashes passed quickly, but the condition would not.

– (Violet) Mom, these look so ugly. 

– (Mom) Oh no, darling. You’re just overthinking it. You’ll be fine. We’ll get you new clothes. If you’re uncomfortable telling it to others, you don’t have to. 

– (Violet) Of course, I didn’t want to. 

After that day, I started wearing long sleeves and jeans, and even wore gloves. But soon kids started to have a problem with me being covered from head to toe. I would always tell them that I had a condition, but they asked me to show it to them and I didn’t want to. My illness wasn’t some freak show

– (Kids) Are you some kind of werewolf? Do you have tons of body hair that you have to keep yourself covered? 

– (Kids) Or maybe she has scales? Who knows? It’s so weird. 

– (Violet-think) Who knew people could be so annoying?

One time as I was putting my book in the locker, a girl came over to me. It was Charlotte. We were both in the same class. 

– (Charlotte) How come you always wear long sleeves? 

– (Violet-think) Another one. I was so done with these questions now. 

(Talk to Charlotte) It’s never too late to shut up and mind your own business. 

– (Charlotte) Wow, so rude. I was just asking because you know kids say so many things about you, but I know the reality. I think, well, I know you have a tattoo. That’s why you keep yourself so covered, right? 

– (Violet) Bingo. 

– (Charlotte) Whoa, really? How did you get it? My dad would never let me. I guess if my mom was still living with us, then she would’ve allowed it. 

Oh, she didn’t have her mom with her. That made me feel sad and I decided to cut her some slack. I asked her to sit with me in class. And I turned out she was a pretty nice girl. I liked her. Soon, we started watching MSA videos and hanging out after school. My mom welcomed her into our home with open arms and her dad was really nice to me.

– (Charlotte’s dad) Nice to meet you, Violet.

– (Charlotte) Dad, you’re embarrassing. Thank Goodness Violet understands how it is. 

What really solidified our friendship was when we went ice skating. I was so afraid of falling because my rash would appear. And when it did, I was so embarrassed. But Charlotte, she was so understanding. 

– (Charlotte) Ah, it’s nothing. Come on, let’s skate more. 

Over time, we became best friends and we were super close. One time when I was in ninth grade, I saw mom talking to someone in a hushed voice just as she saw me enter the house. Well, that was weird. I tried to leave it alone, but it became a routine. She’d be on the phone and the moment I’d appear, she’d act on edge. One night I heard her go out and when I looked out the window, I saw mom with Charlotte’s dad: “What the heck?”. I even told Charlotte about it, but she wasn’t too concerned about it. But I was because it started to happen almost every other night. When I confronted mom, she straight out lied. 

– (Mom) No honey, I just went out to get some milk. Nothing else. 

Hmm, but when one night I heard mom leaving the house, I decided to follow her. Suddenly, a car pulled up in front of me just then I heard a familiar voice. 

– (Ben) You look like you need a ride 

It was Ben. He was the new guy in school and a couple of years older than me, and since he was so active in the students council – everyone knew him. He was someone I could trust. So I got into his car and followed mom.  

– (Ben) So, who’s in that car?

– (Violet) My mom. I wanna catch her red-handed today. She’s been sneaking out a lot lately.

– (Ben) That’s a first.

All of a sudden, Ben hit the brake seeing a cat and before I could jolt, he grabbed my wrist.

– (Ben) Are you all right? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.

– (Violet) It’s nothing, I just don’t like being touched, okay?  

We found my mom at a small diner sitting across from Charlotte’s dad. After Ben dropped me off, I barged into the diner. 

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– (Violet) I knew it. You lied. 

– (Mom) Violet, it’s not what it looks like. Please sit, honey, please.  

I didn’t want to, but seeing mom plead, I sat down. 

– (Mom) I should have told you earlier, but I wanted to wait for the right time. Violet, Charlotte’s dad is also your dad. 

– (Violet) What? 

– (Charlotte’s dad) It’s true, darling, I am sorry. Leaving your mom was the biggest mistake of my life, but now I wanna make up for lost time.   

Apparently, dad and mom had dated but broke up after I was born and dad moved on to marry Charlotte’s mom. And now mom and him wanted to get back together. My head was spinning. They both lied to me. 

– (Violet) Why now? Why wait all this time? Does Charlotte know?

– (Dad) She doesn’t know about this, and I’m afraid I can’t tell her right now. The divorce from her mom has been tough on her, and I wanted to wait until the right time to break the news to her. Can you keep this a secret, please? 

– (Violet) No, none of this makes sense and I hate you. 

I ran out of the diner with tears in my eyes, but mom chased after me and drove me home. She begged me to give him a chance.

– (Mom) Don’t you at least think Charlotte should hear it from her own dad? 

She had a point. So I agreed for now. The next day at school I was feeling so nervous to face Charlotte. 

– (Charlotte) Hey girl. I tried to call last night. How about we catch a movie tonight at my place? 

At her place? No way. Right then I saw Ben walking down the hallway, before I could think of what to say, he came up to me. 

– (Ben) Violet.

– (Violet) Ben. So Charlotte, this is my date tonight.

– (Charlotte) Date?

– (Ben) Date? 

– (Violet) Yeah, we’re going out, right Ben? 

– (Ben) Yeah, I’ll pick you up at seven. See ya.   

– (Charlotte) Violet, this is your very first date. 

I felt bad lying, but hey, it was a good save. But at home mom told me dad wanted to talk to me alone and I had to see him, but in the evening I found Ben waiting for me at my door with flowers. 

– (Violet) Ah, oh, I am so sorry. I totally forgot about your date. I have to meet my…someone. 

As I started walking, Ben offered to drop me off and I accepted. I met dad at a park and he had nothing new to say except tell me how sorry he was about leaving mom and me.

– (Violet) Please don’t you have anything new to add to your story.

– (Dad) Listen, honey, I know…

– (Violet) Don’t you dare. You don’t get to call me that. You can’t just come waltzing back into our lives and act like everything’s fine.  

Saying that, I ran out of the park and saw that Ben was still there. When I asked him why he waited for me, he told me how he just wanted to make sure I was all right. I found that quite sweet. On our way back home, Ben got me some ice-cream and we talked. He sure was a sweet guy and I was liking him a lot. All of a sudden, Ben came near me and touched my nose.  

– (Ben) Got it. You were looking cute with some ice-cream on your nose though.  

– (Violet) Oh, I thought…

– (Ben) I was gonna kiss you? That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?  

It sure wouldn’t, but the rash, gosh, I couldn’t tell him about it. What if he was grossed out by it? I told him I wanted to take him slow and he nodded. After that day, Ben and I started to go out often, and I guess that’s why avoiding Charlotte became much easier. Whenever she’d asked me to come over to her place, I just told her I was with Ben.  

At school: 

– (Charlotte) So does he know? 

I almost jumped thinking she meant about dad but she was just talking about my skin.

– (Violet) No, and you can’t tell him. I just can’t deal with that right now.  

– (Charlotte) Okay, how about I ask my dad to come pick us up and we can go to the mall? I feel like I’m not spending enough time with you.

– (Violet) Maybe later.

A couple of days later, I was having lunch when Charlotte joined me. But just when Ben came and sat next to me, her face twisted. She got up and walked away. I followed her and when I asked what happened, she went bonkers on me. 

– (Charlotte) Ben, Ben, Ben. He’s always around you. Do you know that you have a best friend too? Who is missing you? I thought we were like sisters, but now you’re ditching me like I’m some third cousin. You don’t even come over to my place anymore.  

Well, that was because I didn’t like seeing her dad, our dad. But I couldn’t tell her that. But I realized it wasn’t her fault. After all, Charlotte was my best friend, so I decided to go to the movies with her after school and she was ecstatic. We had loads of fun at the movies. But just when we got into the cinema’s elevator, the door suddenly closed before others could get in, and the lights went off. Oh god, this wasn’t good. Getting stuck in an elevator was my worst nightmare. 

– (Charlotte) Violet, are you okay in there? I’m calling for help. Hang on in there. 

– (Violet) Charlotte, fast. I can’t stay in here.   

Every second passed inside that elevator felt like a lifetime. Finally, when the elevator door opened, I saw dad. He instantly swept me in his arms.

– (Dad) Oh my god, my baby. 

I was so worried. 

– (Dad) When Charlotte called your mom and I rushed here. I just couldn’t imagine losing my daughter again.

– (Charlotte) What did you call her? What’s going on?   

Dad had no choice but to tell her the truth. And when he did, Charlotte went completely ballistic. Out of nowhere, she transformed into a loud, angry monster.  

– (Charlotte) How dare you lie to me? You’re ditching me, just like mom did.

– (Violet) Charlotte, please, at least listen to him. Dad has a reason.

– (Charlotte) And you, you knew about this? How could you do this to me? You and your mom, stay away from us.     

Saying that, Charlotte ran off and her father followed her. I was so shocked. I didn’t know what to do. I was sure that Charlotte would understand eventually. After all, she loved me and always considered me a sister. I was really expecting Charlotte to apologize at school. But she just stared at me.

– (Charlotte) The last thing I wanna do is see your face, you liar.

– (Violet) Charlotte, you always wanted us to be sisters, right? Can’t this be a good thing?

– (Charlotte) I don’t anymore. Why did you have to lie to me?    

Right then, I saw Ben walking toward us and seeing him, I saw a vicious look on Charlotte’s face.

– (Charlotte) Maybe it’s because you are a natural born liar. You lied to me, you even lied to Ben. Did you tell him your secret? 

– (Ben) What is she talking about, Violet? 

– (Violet) Charlotte, stop right now. 

– (Charlotte) Oh no, I’ll tell you, Ben. Better yet, I’ll show you.

Suddenly she pinched me hard on my arm. By the time she was gone, a huge allergy spot had appeared where she pinched me. Everyone stared at my arm, including Ben. He didn’t say one word, but the look in his eyes made me realize nothing between us was gonna be the same anymore. Because of the stunt Charlotte pulled, she got detention while I called mom and she picked me up. I just couldn’t be at school. I refused to talk to mom and didn’t even go to school for over a week, and just locked myself in my room. I even turned off my phone. I just wanted to be away, from everything and everyone. Thank god winter vacation started and I have some time to deal with the whole drama. One day, mom entered my room and hugged me. I felt like I hadn’t hugged her in a million years.  

– (Violet) Mom, can we move away? I don’t wanna go to school, see Charlotte, her dad, Ben, anyone.

– (Mom) Honey, that’s not the right thing to do. I know what Charlotte did was very wrong, but put yourself in her shoes. I never told you, but when Charlotte’s mom left, the poor girl was completely traumatized and depressed for months. She totally lost it.   

Oh my god, turned out, Charlotte had had a huge breakdown when her mom left. She needed years of therapy and only stopped going recently. Which is why my mom and dad thought she could finally be ready but perhaps they were wrong. 

– (Violet) That would explain her reaction. She went through so much. You should have told me, mom. I should have known about her condition. 

– (Mom) Honey, we thought to tell her when the time was right, but the way things unfolded left her shocked.  

The entire night I kept thinking about Charlotte. Her mom had already left her. No wonder she was freaking out about me stealing her dad from her. I needed to make things right. First thing in the morning, mom drove me to dad’s. He had Charlotte standing up front who was so angry, she was shaking.  

– (Charlotte) Why are you here?

– (Violet) To tell you that I love you and that won’t change.

– (Dad) I love you both too, even before you knew about Violet, I loved you both, sweetheart.

– (Charlotte) You don’t love me, Violet, you abandoned me for Ben, and now I won’t forgive what you did. I can’t be abandoned again. I can’t. 

– (Violet) No one is leaving, Char. I understand you were hurt. I just wish you would’ve told me.  

I stepped closer to her and grabbed her hands.

– (Charlotte) But you hate being touched. 

– (Violet) I don’t care. You are more to me than any skin rash and it’s about time you knew it, we’re family

– (Charlotte) I should have never tried to hurt you or keep you away from my, our father. I was selfish. I’m so sorry.    

We all went into the house together for our first family breakfast. Charlotte and I got closer than ever and our dad was pretty cool too. But no one was better than mom. A week later, Charlotte made a plan for us to visit a ski resort in our town. Considering what a disaster our last outing was. It was so much fun. We both went for the ski lift and just as I sat. I saw Ben next to me instead of Charlotte.  

– (Charlotte) Talk you two. 

Well, it was awkward. Considering how hard I was avoiding Ben lately.

– (Violet) I’m sorry.

– (Ben) I missed you. 

Then I showed Ben my skin condition. And he just smiled saying how it only made me cool.  

– (Ben) Violet, your arms are beautiful. I can’t believe you’d hide something so cool from me.

– (Violet) You know, I think so too.  

– (Ben) May I?

Ben drew, “I love you Violet” with his finger and it appeared quickly in big, puffy letters. But it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. He kissed me on my lips, and I didn’t have an allergic reaction. After that, I learned to listen, trust and be proud of who I was.  

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