The Day I Fell In Love
By Lyla Malcomson
This is dedicated to my boyfriend, who helped me overcome something I didn’t know I could get over: my insecurities. It’s also dedicated to myself, as I am slowly learning to love myself more and more every day.
The day I fell in love. It was a gorgeous, sunny day in November. While the weather was perfect, my mood was the opposite. I was extremely self-conscious that day, more than normal. At school, I could feel every single pair of eyes staring at my face—at my break-outs. This might not be a big deal to some, but for me, I have to hide my face. I’ve gotten pretty good at perfectly covering my face with my hair, turning to the side slightly so no one notices it. And that day, my skin was at its lowest point. All I wanted was to just go home so no one would see it. Although, I’d never dare tell anyone I feel this way, because it’s embarrassing.
Well, that day my mom was taking me to the dermatologist. She picked me up in front of the school. My boyfriend walked me to the car, greeted my mother, and kissed me goodbye. He knew I was upset, and my mood was off, but I wouldn’t tell him why. But as we were about to drive off, he asked, “Do you mind if I come with?” I wasn’t so sure. I knew the dermatologist would take off my face makeup and pick at my skin. He would see my skin bare naked, all red and gross. I just couldn’t let him see that. But on the other hand, I thought he would make me feel better. His presence was all I needed for my mood to lighten. So, I hesitantly said sure, and he jumped in the car.
When the doctor called me in, my mom and I walked in and they did what they usually do. Once they finished up, I walked outside. I saw him smile that big smile of his. But I looked away. I tried to hide my face using my hair. He took my hand, and we walked to the car. He didn’t let go of my hand the entire car ride. I couldn’t believe it. He just saw my skin like this, with no makeup, and he really didn’t care? I started to worry less; at one point I forgot why I was even upset. He was next to me, there to protect me.
When we got to my house, he sat next to me and just held me in his arms. He picked up my face, his hand cupping my chin. I couldn’t bear to make eye contact with him, up close. But I saw his big, brown eyes and I swear, as corny as it sounds, nothing else around me mattered. And as I finally looked up, he told me how beautiful he thought I was. He told me my acne doesn’t change how he feels. I just blushed. I was speechless, this warm feeling in my heart took over my entire body. He cared enough to look me in the eyes and tell me I’m beautiful. I truly started to forget about my skin. I didn’t feel like his eyes were looking at my skin, instead they were looking right into me. And in that moment, I knew that warm feeling in my heart. I knew it was love. I was in love. How could I not be? I felt like I was worth something despite my flaws. When I realized that he looked past my not-so-perfect skin, and still thought I was beautiful, I started to love myself more and more. He taught me that I am more than my acne, more than my insecurities. And to me, that is love.
Lyla Malcomson is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Queens, NY.