I walk through the park in my unswerving white denim shorts, tanned legs on show and looking fine; I'm working it. Me and my girls are doing our thing – slayin – you know what I'm sayin? While I nod along the girls are hollering and spittin', hyped for the night ahead, but my throat is raw all busted and blue, so there ain't no way for me to hit the ball back. I've been screaming on the inside for years now.
"Hey girl, what's up with your legs?" Alisha shouts.
"Ain't had no complaints…" I say but I know she's right, and that something's really weird – cause it ain't just my legs; it's my arms and back and belly – my whole body is being weird. But I ignore it and keep rolling to the shoobs with the gyaldem.
The party is lit, the tunes bang and the girls love it. But I ain't feeling it. As I watch, Alisha gets off with Dan and Tash slays with her moves. All I want to do is sit tight and sip my drink. I think about mum.
Later, I look at myself in the bathroom mirror, and the weird yellow has spread; now my eyes are the same colour as my legs. It's OK; I think – probably just some bad fake tan. But I ain't ever been this yellow before. I say nothing and try to forget about it; I'm not gonna let it ruin a peng night.
Our house sits in its own dump of darkness. That's not unusual; mum likes to sit in the dark. She never sleeps. Just like my favourite jeans, she's getting more and more faded. I watch her horizon shrink, and I say nothing.
I take off my pumps and climb the stairs. By now mum would usually be standing at the bottom giving me that look. , her space is vacant.
The harsh bathrooms light hits me hard. It burrows deep pushing my retinas into floater alert. My tunnel vision expands slowly, and I root around knocking over bottles of acetone and jars of moisturiser. Mum's tabs don't move, not even a wobble. They sit untouched. It's like they have their forcefield of stability. Just like yesterday and the day before.
I swallow the painkillers and head back downstairs. It turns out it wasn't such a peng night after all.
Some sort of allergic reaction they say. But I know I'm 100% yellow both inside and out.