Once upon a time, the sun was my best friend. We did everything together. We went swimming, ran through sprinklers, skipped through cornfields, and got great tans.
The sun and I got along so well because I had a superpower called "Holy-Smokes-Look-At-Me-I-Never-Ever-Sunburn-Ever-Because-I'm-Just-Too-Awesome!!!"
I felt sorry for all of the poor people around me who did not have my superpower. Those poor, poor people.
I never used sunscreen a day in my life. My ninja skin didn't need sunscreen. And I laughed at everyone else who did use sunscreen because they were pathetic. I mean, come on. Sunburns can't hurt that bad, people.
I was happy in my life of un-sunburned bliss. I always had a healthy tan. I never had to smell like sweaty palm tree oils. I never had those awkward white streaks on my face.
The summer after I graduated from high school, I worked two jobs, which meant I never spent any time outside. Which meant I became pasty white (not a good look for me, fyi).
The next summer, I went to Paris on a study abroad program from my university. We decided to take a river-rafting trip down the Dordogne River in southern France, and I decided that it was high time I got my beach babe tan back.
I snickered as I watched my fellow students lather themselves up with sunscreen, trusting in my amazing superpower to protect me from that bright, summer sun. I didn't put on a single ounce of it. I didn't need it. I was too epic-ly awesome.
So we got in our canoes and set off down the river.
All I thought about the whole way down that river was how tan I would be at the end of the day. Oh man. It was going to be magical.
It was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky. And the southern French countryside was absolutely breathtaking.
We saw trees (which, for the record, were a lot prettier than the ones in this picture. And there were also more than three. I just got lazy when I was drawing this and figured you people were capable of using your imaginations. So... do that).
We saw castles (which apparently are randomly brown-ish. No idea why the picture turned out this way. But there you go).
We saw fat American tourists.
And the whole time, that sun was beating down on us. I drank in that sunlight and vitamin D all day long.
We spent the whole day out there on that river. Time passed.
And then more time passed. Pretty soon, we'd been out there for seven hours (and, in case you need to see it as a pencil drawing, here you go:)
We finally clambered back onto our tour bus and headed home.
But on the way home, I started to feel achy. My skin started to feel hot. My stomach heaved.
By the time we got back to the hotel, I looked pretty much like this (but actually a little bit worse):
Yep. I was sunburned. Me, the girl with the ninja skin, had been beaten by the dumb sun! And not only was I sunburned, but I was sunburned bad.
I swelled up like an elephant. My knees got so big I couldn't bend them so I had to waddle around like a duck. My legs were so puffy I couldn't wear pants anymore and was forced to walk around in a skirt for two weeks straight. I turned purple. I looked like a baby walrus minus the teeth.
And when my skin peeled, I looked like a reptile.
So basically, my point here is that the sun is evil. You might think it is your friend, but it's not. It hates you. It hates everyone.
The moral of this story is that I don't have ninja skin. I'm sorry you had to find out this way.
If you liked this story or the illustrations, you can check out my other story posts!