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Comfortable in Your Skin

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Different. The word rang in her head. “I’m worse than different, I’m a freak! I have to cover who I really am. I’m from another world,” thought Hikari. Hikari Misaki, to say the least, had self-esteem issues. Thoughts like these always came up when she took off her “human-like” skin before she slept.

It was the next morning at 5:30a.m. She had to wake up early to be ready for school. She did the usual: put on her skin, pulled back her tentacles, and put on her wig. Unfortunately she couldn’t look like she did back home, being the first one to a new found planet to say the least had downsides. The hover car was broken so she walked to school. On cue, Hikari arrived at the school and saw the holographic board, “Sakia High, The best school in Japan! 2318-2319 school year.” Her skin was loose because she had left it in the cleansing solution a little too long. Hikari would have to be careful.

Hikari came into the classroom and saw her friend Odette, the only student that knew her secret and her insecurity. The girls exchanged good mornings and started to chat. Due to the setting Hikari tried to talk about participating in activities she thought “normal” adolescents did, but of course they were all lies. Odette was done with listening to things she knew were stone cold lies.
“Hikari when will the charade end? It’s time you accepted yourself instead of lying like you just did to me. Are you going to keep telling yourself you’re human? Will you lie to yourself too?”
“You don’t understand!” Hikari said her voice getting louder,” You get to fit in! You had a choice, I don’t!”
Everyone stared at the two girls. With a look Odette told Hikari she understood. “I’m sorry. I crossed the line.” Odette whispered quietly. She and Hikari both sat down and waited for class to start.

As class started, Hikari’s skin problem came back to haunt her. Her skin was beginning to slide off. The mere thought of everyone getting a glimpse of the real her made her hands shake, her spine tingle, and made her stomach go on a rollercoaster. Giving the only excuse she knew, “I have to go the bathroom!” She ran out the door before her android teacher could say no. Of course, she didn’t go to the bathroom-too many mirrors-so she went outside.

Hikari was adjusting her skin when she saw him. Tadashi Oda, the boy she daydreamed about, the one she loved, the one that she saw herself with. He was late for his classes but not worried, knowing rushing wouldn’t help.

Then it happened. He saw the real her, the “her” without human skin. He walked over with widened eyes and Hikari said the only word she get out of her shaking lips, “Hi.” That’s all it took to make him pass out. Hikari’s whole body screamed! “Is he allergic to aliens?!” she thought. The internal screaming stopped and Hikari started thinking logically. She checked the nurse’s dark office around the corner. Empty. She flicked the lights on, easily carried Tadashi in with her above average strength, and put him on the bed. As soon as she laid him down he sat straight up.
“YOU’RE AN ALIEN!” he exclaimed.
She shyly answered, “Yes” There was a pause before she continued. “Please don’t tell anyone. If you want me to stay away, I will.”
Hikari started to leave when Tadashi said, “Why would you say that?! You are amazing! I wish I could be an alien.” Hikari mouth began to open and her face registered anger.
“He doesn’t understand what it’s like!” she thought, “How could he say that?!” Then she stopped and smiled. “He thinks I am amazing. He likes the real me.”
After the pause Tadashi asked “Are you telling me you want to be human?”
Hikari replied with the biggest smile, “No, I’m comfortable in my own skin.”




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