Chapter 40:

sceNe 40 - ᴀ Neᴡ ʟᴏᴏᴋ

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN / Kracked Moon

Enough time had passed to feel like life was getting back to normal. Once being eaten alive was becoming a more distant memory, supplanted by how many times Cryztal apologized to me, I was able to focus on what really was captivating me about all of this. For the first time in a decade, I thought my body looked beautiful.

Three years of what felt like constant bullying and a miserable feeling of not being welcome made me express my feelings onto my body. At the time, it created a release, but by the time I had finally made new friends, the damage was done. I wasn’t dumb. I knew cutting my wrists would be too obvious. But my upper arm? Too easy. And my thighs? When would anyone get to see them anyway? I thought no one would love me, so why hesitate?

I don’t feel the same anymore, obviously. I made wonderful friends in high school, and I couldn’t be happier dating Cryztal. And even if being devoured felt terrible, my body was refreshed and renewed. It was her immense destructive power that brought me this confidence. I even caught myself stroking my previously ribbed skin in disbelief, but also in pleasure. The only problem was that no one could know.

The issue wasn’t necessarily the fact my skin was clear now. The problem was that some people knew I had scars. Specifically, Sandra knew. And even if I was staying at Cryztal’s more and more, I couldn’t risk going into work or being seen by Sandra exposing that my skin was healed by a magic potion that reassembled me after my girlfriend basically killed me. Whether she believed me or not, I doubt she would think Cryztal was as cool if she thought that I was at risk of being eaten again.

I had to be extra careful because we decided to go shopping together for swimsuits. Sandra just wanted to find a new one, whereas I learned I outgrew the one I had in high school. Not a lot of swimsuit options in-store cover your arms and legs fully, and diving suits and rash guards were more expensive than I was looking for, and look pretty dorky. It was also an excuse to spend time together since I really wasn’t coming back to the apartment much.

The trick for me was I needed to keep her eyes off of what I was grabbing, because while the goal was to get a swimsuit I could wear around Sandra, I actually wanted to get my first bikini swimsuit! This mostly meant peeking while Sandra was trying on what she found, and hoping she wouldn’t see me and start asking questions. I managed to grab some two-piece swimsuits and get to the dressing room while Sandra was preoccupied.

Undressing in the changing room made me feel nervous enough. There was a lock, but Sandra wasn’t always someone who worries about locks. As I tied on the first set I chose, I was fixated on my own body. The top was definitely too tight, and I didn’t like the color, but I couldn’t stop staring. That really was me I was looking at. I look hot!

The second two-piece fit better in general, but felt a little revealing by the legs. As a reflex I went to cover my legs, only to remember there was nothing to cover. I didn’t even have stretch marks or anything. I genuinely could have been looking in a magazine for all I knew.

I even started to think, Maybe I should have Cryztal eat me again if I ever need a tuneup.

Before I could pretend to take that thought seriously, Sandra interrupted me trying on the third swimsuit, and said she wanted to see too. I quickly changed into the only swimsuit I might have bought if I still had my scars. It was a one piece suit with an open back that had some frills and covered past my elbows and knees, as well as having a tight collar. I didn’t even bother looking in the mirror before letting Sandra in.

“That looks so good!” She cheered, but seemingly more excited for me than for herself.

I blushed as a reflex. “Are you sure? I wasn’t really thinking when I grabbed it.”

Looking down at myself, it definitely covered my body exactly how Sandra would have expected. I was surprised we didn’t have to go to a surf shop to find something. Before I had found some modest swimwear options for muslim women online, but couldn’t find anywhere local to try them on, let alone expect a hole for my tail. I’m not used to ordering online to try something on, and didn’t want to ask Cryztal for help. But now that I didn’t have to cover up, as long as no one like Sandra would see me, it wasn’t as important.

I ended up buying the swimsuit that Sandra liked, as well as one of the two-piece swimsuits that I felt looked good on me. Of course, I made the mistake of ringing out before Sandra, so she just had to ask about the bikini.

“Did you mean to grab that? You don’t have to buy it just because you brought it up here.” Sandra used this line a lot when she thought I was buying something by accident or out of guilt.

“Oh! That’s for Cryztal! I thought I would surprise her!” It was the best I could do on my toes.

Sandra looked puzzled. “Isn’t that top a little big for her?” She laughed to herself. “Sorry, I mean her chest doesn’t look like it would be that big.”

“If it doesn’t fit her then I’ll wear it under something if we go to the beach!”

That answer seemed to satisfy Sandra for the time being, but I felt like I was going to say too much. Was my chest really that much more full than Cryztal’s? I never really thought to compare my body to hers, let alone worry about comparing our bust sizes. I didn’t really think about whether or not she liked how I looked, just that I liked her. And despite sleeping in the same bed, we hadn’t really fully undressed in front of each other, so I didn’t know exactly what she looked like naked. It's a little tricky to get in the mood when you’re suddenly remembering not being able to feel your legs, and then your girlfriend starts sobbing and apologizing.

I can’t focus on that right now! We need to rebuild our bond and have fun dates together! With my new swimsuit acquired, and all kinds of body confidence, I was more than stoked to take Cryztal to the waterpark! That would be a perfect date!