Week 338 – I could have told them I was innocent but not now
Panic swamped Emma, and it had nothing to do with the fact that she was in the middle of the ocean with a man she didn’t know. A man who still scared her.
It was the sun. Her personal enemy, and it was about to rise through the sky.
Diagnosed with xeroderma pigmentosum when she was small her extreme sensitivity to UV light had dictated so much of her life. From struggling to make friends as a child because all the kids called her a vampire, to struggling to date as an adult because no guy wanted a woman who was virtually housebound. As a child she had shed a million tears over her peers cruel taunts, her mantra had become “I could have told them I was innocent but not now, I don’t need to defend myself from ridiculous accusations of being a vampire”.
It didn’t work.
Not as a child and not as an adult when the taunts became different but hurtful nonetheless.
The night was her friend, she could catch a few hours outdoors without having to layer her entire body in sunblock and clothes, but not she was about to be caught by her nemesis and she was completely unprepared.
“I don’t understand,” the man said, even in the thin light of predawn she could see his confused expression. “I don’t know what happened on that yacht but I’m not trusting anyone with our safety until I have answers.”
Maybe it should help that he had said our safety and not his safety, but honestly it didn’t. He’d accused her of hurting babies, and he’d brought her out here unprotected, and she was boiling mad at him.
“I don’t mean the boat. If you’d said something felt wrong I would have believed you, it’s obvious you have some sort of training and I have none. I’m talking about the sun. I have a rare condition where my body can’t handle ultraviolet light. As soon as the sun is up I’m going to start burning. Badly.”
Emma could have sworn something close to regret shadowed through his black eyes, but then he looked up at the sky.
Following his gaze she saw thick clouds were building.
“Don’t think the sun is about to be our biggest problem, starlight.”