i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

She draped her skin over a chair at night

She took her skin off every morning

Every morning she stretched her skin to fit back on her body. Her husband couldn’t understand why she took her skin off every night when she went to bed.

“Why do you take your skin off every night dear?”

“I don’t fit into myself very well. At night, I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not.”

She peeled off her face and tugged off the rest of her skin. It was dark again. She could stop pretending to be happy and pretty and nice.

“Good night dear,” she said to her husband, as she draped her skin over a chair and climbed into bed.

Peeling off others expectations.
She didn’t know how to set boundaries.
She forgot who she was.
Only when it was dark would she allow herself to be sad and ugly and angry.
She thought she couldn’t show her real feelings.
She thought anger was ugly and setting boundaries was mean.

It is morning and she put her skin back on. She dressed and walked out the door, smiling and pretending.


This story was published on a Friday, one year, ten months and twenty-one days ago, on September 20, 2013.  Hooking up with Five Minute Friday, using the word prompt “She” at Lisa-Jo Baker.com

Write for five minutes flat, no editing.


Today, August 9th, 2015, at 2:23 in the morning after watching four episodes in a row of Dare Devil, She will leave her skin on when she goes to bed.

She will become more like herself.  Less pretending.
She will show the ugly.
She will say no.

She will remember who she is.

Do you ever feel like you pretend?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • jand williams

    Loved finding you here. Loved meeting you through your words. Loved remembering why I want to keep my skin off, so some of the angry lonely ow-ies beneath can heal… making it so pretending isn’t needed anymore. Soooo, hi, new friend. 🙂

    • Hello Jane,
      How is my new friend today? Is your skin on or off? Mine is back on. But I am learning to say no. Hopefully soon I can be complete without pretending. My mother wanted to have my middle name be Jane. It is Berdeane, my mom’s first name. She always calls me Pamela Jane.

      • jane williams

        … deciding trading in for a new skin where we could both be happy is working out pretty good. (It’s the QUIET, introspective skin that still has a hard time breathing in this fast moving, on-the-surface culture we live) . But it doesn’t pretend very well, so I guess I’m good. 🙂 (and, by the way, I think Berdeane is unique and beautiful!)

  • oddznns

    I am SOOO glad you sorted out the email thing. Now I don’t have to go into tribewriters facebook or wordpress to search for your posts. This is a beautiful piece Pamela. It immediately caught my eye. Great going.

  • Jamie Hoffman

    Beautifully written

  • I love this story Pamela, so inventive and yet so much like life.

  • I remember when I used to pretend a lot. Now, I would have to say I try to be transparent.

    Loved your post and your descriptions.

    • Thank you Anne.
      It is getting harder to take my skin off at night, as I learn to be honest and angry and set boundaries.

      Hugs to you Anne.

  • I love the imagery here, and can relate so well – or should I say I can pretend so well!

  • Yes, sadly. I’m working on being more transparent in my life. Less pretending. I appreciated the picture you painted with your words. I see myself in this woman! I long for continuous and genuine smiles, true happiness and to place my worth where it belongs. I am happy to have found your blog through Five Minute Friday. I’m going to explore now!

    • Hello Jjona,
      Thank you for coming over to visit. I think many women hide behind a mask. Mine is slowly coming off as I write each day.
      All the best,