Skin

Skin

A Story by Imagine This
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This story was written by Isipho Bakana, a young talent girl.

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You’re too into b***s to want to kill yourself.’ My words dry up in my throat and hurl themselves back into my voice box, backing themselves up in a corner of uncertainty and disbelief at this senseless demonstration of ignorance. The way his words rolled off his tongue as though what he was saying was seamlessly acceptable.

I feel as though home isn’t just a place full of my safest sounds. It’s the Boys II Men that whirs through the small speaker in my mother’s room while I blast 808’s and Heartbreak through my earbuds. It’s looking out the window and staring at the skeletal trees that carry their leaves so gracefully as they’re tinged with an amber hue around the edges; signalling that winter is waiting just around the corner to make its grand entrance. It’s the air, and how it carries the aroma of lavender and nicotine that trails down from Mrs Thompson’s third floor apartment, the familiarity of my girlfriends shampoo as I smell her bouncy hair while hugging her goodbye. And I hold her extra tight tonight before walking her to her car because it might happen tonight.

But I said that yesterday, and the day before that, and I’ll probably say it tomorrow as well. But tonight, I lie in my bed again and wonder if it’ll be done tomorrow.

Sometimes the Monday mornings are so mellow that I almost forget to swing my legs off my bed and into my skin.

My thick skin.

Starting with the mask of deception, and then come the arms of affection (which I personally think are the wickedest because when the streetlights pour into my cluttered room and when the affection gets peeled off, only the scars of self-hatred are left). Lastly, I step into the feet of a coward. Feet that are willing to walk away from anything.

The thing about having thick skin is that you have to drag it with you everywhere you go. Haul the smile from the cracks in your skin and plaster it across your face extra hard so it doesn’t look fake. Laugh with your outside laugh when you’re inside just so everyone can put their doubts aside. Walk these school corridors with a bounce in your step, not because you want to look cool, but because the skin underneath just wants to stay in bed all day cuddling with the neighbour’s cat, yet the thick skin knows better.

As I mentioned before, this particular Monday morning is rather mellow. We all file into the English classroom with loud, indistinctive chattering floating about the room and we take our seats while we anxiously await the register question.

“How are you feeling today?” A simple question. “We’ll start at the bottom .” Our teacher says, “Xulu?” Necks crack to face me and all eyes are now on the thick skinned kid.

“Suicidal.” I say audibly. An icy layer of silence blankets the room.

‘You’re too into b***s to want to kill yourself.’ Khotso says loudly before toppling over in laughter. My words dry up in my throat and hurl themselves back into my voice box, backing themselves up in a corner of uncertainty and disbelief at this senseless demonstration of ignorance. The way his words rolled off his tongue as though what he was saying was seamlessly acceptable.

© 2020 Imagine This


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Added on March 26, 2020
Last Updated on March 26, 2020

Author

Imagine This
Imagine This

Mbombela, Nelspruit, South Africa



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Amaphutha Amaphutha

A Story by Imagine This