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It began with one zit, right in the middle of her forehead.
It is completely normal to get acne when you are a teenager, but it was a rare occurrence for Bahati. Bahati’s skin was flawless. Every night Bahati would go to the bathroom and clean her face, moisturize it, and apply as many anti-aging creams as she could. She was a firm believer that wrinkles had to be prevented, not cured, and that no one was ever too young to use anti-aging lotions.
When Bahati woke up that morning she grabbed her clothes and walked into the bathroom like she usually did. Without looking at herself in the mirror she undressed, turned on the shower, waited for the water to heat up, and took a short shower. She scrubbed her skin with the bar of soap and sponge like every morning. When she walked out of the shower she dried herself and looked in the mirror.
Her eyes filled with fear when she saw the small dot on her head. She was paralyzed. Bahati had never gotten zit before. Her world was breaking apart; her precious dark skin was no longer perfect. She did not move an inch until her mother walked to the bathroom to tell her that she was going to be late for school.
“Bahati, what the Hell are you doing? You’re going to be late to school again!” The mother opened the door and looked at her daughter. She saw the fear in her daughter’s eyes. “What’s wrong sweetheart?” The mother looked at her daughter and noticed the small zit on her forehead. “That’s a first!” The mother’s laugh was interrupted by a high pitched scream.
Bahati felt to the floor and held her head with her hands. What would happen now? Everyone in school would be looking at her zit and thinking about how horrible she must be. Everyone knows people with zits are dirty and disrespectful, and, oh God what would people think of her? She wasn’t dirty or disrespectful. She was clean and nice like every proper lady should be.
“I can’t go to school.” She whispered under her breath, and walked back to her bed. She lay down and closed her eyes. It was all a nightmare and she would wake up with her perfect skin any moment now. When Bahati realized that she was not dreaming she moved to the edge of her bed and took the nail filer she kept on her nightstand. Her mother left her on the bed without a word and went off to work.
“Must get it off, must get it off...” Bahati whispered under breath. She placed the filer against her forehead, where the zit was, and began rubbing. Her skin became irritated as she scratched the top layer of skin cells off her forehead. Still the zit did not disappear. Bahati continued, feeling the sharp pain on her forehead when she began scrubbing dangerously deep into her skin. The zit was gone by now, but what if it came back? No, she had to scrub deeper.
Bahati scrubbed and scrubbed. Blood poured down her forehead, but she continued, not caring for the unbearable pain that flowed though her body.
When her mother came back that night Bahati was still subbing the filer against her forehad. Her mother opened the door to her room and looked at her from the door frame. Her mother immediately screamed at the sight of her daughter.
Right in the center of her forehead, where the zip had once been, Bahati’s skin had been scrapped off, showing the bone beneath. Bahati kept rubbing the nail filer against her forehead with blood pouring out of her head and down around her face.
“Must get it off…”