My Skin

I’m a bi-racial man born to and raised by a Korean father and an African American mother. Both of them are dead. My father died when I was ten and my mother a couple of years ago. Most people I meet think that I’m Asian. They don’t suspect that I’m really Blasian. Unless I cut my hair low, they wouldn’t know that I have black in me.

It was easy to pass as Asian because of my light skin, eyes and hair. I work at a firm where there are few African Americans. I date only Asian women. I have tried hard not to think of how hurt my mother would have been if she were still alive. Experience had taught me that it was easier to just have people believe that I was Asian than to tell them that I was black too and then have them stare at me in disbelief and confusion.

So, I live my life passing as Asian and denying the African American part of me. And then, my world is turned upside down when I meet Jully.

It’s Friday and I’m standing outside of the building where I work. It’s just after twelve. As I look around, trying to decide where on the premises I would like to have my lunch, I spot a woman standing there. I immediately think that she’s a prostitute. Maybe it was the fake afro and her outfit and the fact that she just seemed to be hanging around like she waiting for someone. And what disturbed me about the whole thing was that I was instantly attracted to her.

My eyes traveled over her slowly and I found myself becoming aroused which befuddled me. She wasn’t my type. I wasn’t into black women. Sam, one of my co-workers joined me at that moment. Turning to him, I asked, “Who’s that woman over there? She looks like a prostitute.”

“A prostitute? Man, you’d better not let Dave hear you say that.” Dave was our supervisor.

“Dave? What is she to him?”

“His sister.”

“I didn’t know Dave had a sister.”

“You’re probably the only person in our department who doesn’t know that.”

I turned to look at Dave’s sister. She was staring at me now. I felt my face get hot and I looked away. Sam looked amused. “I’m going to have my lunch now. Excuse me.” I didn’t ask him to join me because I wanted to be alone. Sam was a nice enough guy but he talked too much.

I walked past Dave’s sister and headed for the bench. I sat down and opening the bag, I took out the veggie burger and onion rings and large Vanilla milkshake. Every other Friday, I treated myself to a burger or pizza or wings or whatever I was in the mood for that day.

As I sat there, I wondered if Dave’s sister was still there. Did Dave know that she was there? It didn’t matter to me if he did or not. I just wanted to enjoy my lunch and not think about anything or anyone. Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I was tempted to turn around and see if she was still there.

I took out my cell and watched a favorite show of mine on YouTube while I ate. It was a nice, sunny day. I took off my sweater. I wore it when I was in the office because of the AC. I put it on the bench beside me. I glanced at my watch. I had half-hour left.

“Hi.”

Startled, I turned around and my heart leaped in my chest when I saw Dave’s sister standing there, leaning against the wall, looking down at me.

“I hope I’m not disturbing you. I waited until you were finished eating before I came over.”

Of course, she was disturbing me but I didn’t say so because I didn’t want to be rude. Instead, I said, “You’re Dave’s sister.”

“Yes. I’m waiting for him. We’re going to have lunch together. He called to say that he’s running late. I thought I’d wait out here instead of inside.”

“Oh.”

“My name’s Jully.”

“Jully?”

“Yes. It’s spelled J U LL Y but pronounced like JU-LEE. What’s your name?”

“Aaron.”

“Aaron as in Moses’ brother.” She smiled. “I saw you talking to Sam.”

“Yes. He told me that you’re Dave’s sister.”

“So, you were curious about me, huh?”

“I’ve never seen you before so, yes, I was curious.”

“What else would you like to know about me?”

“I don’t mean to be rude or insensitive but why are you dressed like that?”

“How am I dressed?”

“When I first saw you, I thought you were a–“

“A what?”

“Well, you looked like a prostitute I saw standing outside a park some time ago. She was dressed similar.”

“You know I ought to slap you silly for thinking that I’m a prostitute just because of the way I’m dressed.”

“I’m sorry–“

“You should be. You shouldn’t go around assuming things about people based on how they look or dress.”

“You’re right and again, I’m truly sorry.”

“Do you want to make it up to me?”

“Yes.” I was willing to do anything. The last thing I wanted was for her to tell Dave and I possibly end up losing my job.

“Take me out for a drink this evening after you get off of work.”

“All right.” A couple of drinks wouldn’t hurt and if that made things right between us and saved me my job, then I was up for it.

“Do you drive?”

“Yes.”

“Meet me at the front of Massachusetts State House.”

“All right. Where would you like me to take you for that drink?”

“Do you know where French Quarter is?”

“Yes.” I had been there before with a group of friends.

“Good. That’s where I’d like you to take me.”

“All right.”

“Good. See you at six sharp.” She turned and walked off.

I watched her go. That was my first encounter with Jully. And truth be told, I was looking forward to my second one.

4 comments

  1. This is so beautiful and for various reasons. I appreciate you sharing a bit of your background. It reminds me of my post “Somewhere in the middle” when someone offered the perspective of being biracial which i hadn’t even considered. Anxious to read about the next encounter with Jully, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there, I’m so pleased that you think this is a true story. Aaron and Jully are fictional characters but I have heard of people passing for various reasons. I should check out your post. You will soon be reading about their Aaron and Jully’s second encounter. I’m delighted that you think this story is beautiful 🙂 Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my, that was the purpose of reading it twice, lol. That happens often when I read because on simple word sends my mind elsewhere. I have to really focus w/ no distractions. Still beautiful though, also I guess because I don’t write fiction, I assume most of what I read is real. Thanks so much, have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No worries. No need to apologize. I take it as a compliment when my fiction is seen as true. I’m happy you still think it’s beautiful :). And you’re welcome. Have yourself a great weekend too.

        Liked by 1 person

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