Sometimes, the only person left to blame is yourself.

It was a very nice bruise. It wasn't the biggest I'd ever had, but it was still rather impressive. A big fat purple creature, shinging proudly as it perched truimphantly on the ridgy protrusion just below my left eye - a prime spot for a bruise, very public. Everyone would be able to admire it there.

I sighed and looked away from the big bruise, turning my attention to the smaller ones on my arms. These ones were mostly green, like tiny gremlins crawling up the side of my arm. I wondered where they were crawling to, for they were all going in the same direction. Were they going to meet up with the yellow ones on my legs perhaps? They'd have to get across my ribs to get there, scrambling and scuttling over each cylindrical protrusion like skiers on a mountainside. What would they do when they found the other bruises lurking there? The sprawling black and blue ones - the biggest of all the bruise monsters - the ones that invaded vast swathes of dingy white skin like huge paint smears on a discarded canvas.

No, I thought , of course they wouldn't do that. All bruises, big and small, skinny and fat, black, yellow, green or any other colour, they all went to the same place. That little spot on my chest, slightly off to the left, where the deepest bruise of them all was hammering pitifully away beneath the papery protection of my skin. It hurt sometimes, that little bruise, hurt so much I sometimes wished it would stop altogether. But it never did. Not even when more multicoloured creatures rose up and marched against it, crawling out of the sore red skin like ants out of a burrow, throbbing and revelling in their new existence. Not even when there were so many of them sitting on my limbs that I couldn't move. They were heavy things, bruises, they sat on your limbs, your chest, your face, anywhere they could find. I got so tired carrying all of mine it was a wonder I could still sit up at all.

But they didn't mean it. No, the little creatures never meant to hurt me. They were just there, they couldn't help that. They didn't mean to ache all day, or pop up in places that hurt so much it kept me awake at night. Bruises don't want to hurt.

I smiled, and the gremlins on my faces smiled with me. They knew I forgave them. I always forgave them.

Now if only everyone else would forgive me ...


The End

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