“What is this?” he asked, looking at my arms. I breathed deeply. The tension began to strike.
I stared at him uncertain whether I would reveal to him the truth or tell him white lies. If he were not to poke my arms then surely he would not see anything, would not see any white spots on my skin.
My dad used to tease me when I was a child. “Your husband will be surprised with your first night together.” He laughed. It was a joke. But it bothered me whenever I thought of Lee. What if my dad’s joke would turn into reality?
It scared me, knowing that maybe Lee would be the same as my high school friends.
“Psoriasis! Psoriasis!” They kept shouting even after the class had long been dismissed. It was on the day when my report on our biology class was about the skin as a part of the integumentary system, the organ system that protects the body from various kinds of damage.
I was ashamed of what they did. I could not move my entire body and could not stop from crying. Nobody cared to ask me why I was crying.
“Wala, wala,” I said. “There is something in my eyes.” That was only alibi that I could think of.
I treated them as my “barkada,” but they never went back to the classroom for me. They never even asked me why or what happened. In the first place, they never even knew how painful it was to reveal the entrusted secrets I tried to bury. For three years of being with them, I kept those hard feelings. It was just that I never wanted to destroy the friendship that we have made, friendship that left scars.