Just the other day, I was perusing a post from one of my favorite bloggers. Her name is Rarasaur. It appears that she’s guest hosting the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge. The prompt is indeed a nifty one, so I thought I would give it a shot.
Miss Rara told me to write about life from the perspective of someone else. I was intrigued to say the least. My brain flew in a zillion different directions, but I finally settled on this story.
This is called “In Another’s Skin.” Enjoy.
I wanted to be you. I wanted to be you so bad that I forgot what it meant to be me. All I could think about was what it would be like to walk around in your skin. All I could picture was how people would talk to me. They would smile and wave at me. They would pat me on the shoulder as I passed them in the hall. They would like me. They would know me.
When I saw myself in the mirror, I felt one thing: mediocrity. I almost couldn’t bare the sight. The thin grease in my hair. The bleached tint of my eyes. The loose flaps of my skin. I was ugly.
But you, you were perfect. You were always perfect. Perfect face, perfect body, perfect hair, perfect eyes, perfect skin. You were beautiful.
So one night, I asked. I knelt before my bead, placed my head on my praying hands, and I asked God to let me be you. I pleaded to Him. I begged to Him. I begged to wake up and be you. I prayed so hard that I cried. That was my only desire.
I fell asleep believing I would continue in a cycle of disappointment. I fell asleep believing that God would ignore me, as He had so many times before. I fell asleep with no hope of a brighter future, no hope of happiness.
I fell asleep with the same feeling that I had when I looked in the mirror.
But I woke up.
When I opened my eyes, it was like I was doing it for the first time. The world had a different color. Everything was brighter and louder.
Things were different. I breathed differently. I saw differently. I heard differently. My heart didn’t beat the same. It was stronger and more decisive. I breathed, and I felt alive. As my lungs filled with air I felt something that I had never felt before: power.
I felt new. I felt vibrant. I felt invincible.
I was you.
I peered down to see my body. I had your hands. I had your feet. I had your face. I had your body.
Finally, by some miracle, I woke up in your skin. Finally, I was you.
I ran to the mirror.
I couldn’t believe who was staring back at me in the glass. Your perfect face. Your perfect skin.
I stared in disbelief. Was this really happening? Yes, it was. He heard me. He answered my prayers. Finally.
Then, I did what was only logical; I smiled. I stood there for the longest minutes of my life, smiling into that mirror. And I started to laugh. Slowly and quietly first, but then loudly and exuberantly. I was shouting with laughter. I burst with happiness. My wish came true.
I was you.
I stared at myself and thought of all the things that I would do, all the things I would say, and all the people I would talk to. I thought of my life in the future, and how I could enjoy opening my eyes in the morning. I thought about feeling the attention of everyone around me, feeling their eyes cover my body, feeling their thoughts drift to ideas of me. I thought of being known, being recognized, being relevant. I thought of living life with happiness. I thought of living life with love.
These images soaked my brain. I could hardly process it all. I was you. I was in your skin.
But then, something happened. Everything started to drain away. Slowly. Like water circling a drain, slipping and spinning into no where, sliding away from my head, all those thoughts emptied.
I felt something else. Something heavy. Something black.
I looked down, feeling the energy drain from that body. I stared at the floor. After a moment, I looked up. I looked into the mirror, and I saw your eyes. I saw your eyes, and they were black.
Consumed with darkness, I saw terror. I saw horror. I saw all the things that had been done to you. All the vile, disgusting things. All the abuse you’d taken. All the nights you suffered. All the pain you absorbed. All the darkness you lived.
I saw the violence in your eyes. The violence that had built up so much that it had to get out. I saw your thoughts. Your thoughts of hurt and destruction. Your thoughts of misery and agony. Your thoughts of fire and burning. Your thoughts of torture and mutilation.
I saw your desire. And that’s what scared me most.
I saw you. For the first time, I saw you.
I shut those eyes, squeezing the eyelids tight. I couldn’t keep out those horrible, ugly thoughts. I begged God to put me back. I begged, and pleaded, and prayed to God to put me back into my own skin. I fell to my knees, needing to get out of that trap. Thrashing, clenching my head with my hands. I fell to my knees, eyes closed, praying with all I had left.
And when I opened my eyes, I was kneeling before my bead, head placed on my praying hands.
I was me again. I was in my own skin.
I didn’t think it could be. I didn’t think it was possible. But you’re life was worse than mine. You felt violence. You felt contempt. You felt pain.
You felt hate.
All I felt was ignorance.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” -Atticus Finch