I had to get out of the space. There was a faint smell of Goldfish and Fig Newtons, and it was warm. The hives were starting, and I couldn’t resist itching them. Although the hives seemed to always be there, I hadn’t gotten used to them. Besides, I usually had the goggles. They didn’t eliminate the allergens completely from my body, but they certainly helped. I lay down on the rug in a hopeless attempt to get away from the allergens, but they were everywhere. The rug smelled like mango bubble tea, probably from a spill the day earlier. I needed out, but was trapped. I asked myself for the billionth time: what the heck am I doing here? I thought I could stay here to hide from the allergens, but it did not work. In fact, it epically failed. But I had to do this for Batina. Batina, my beautiful best friend.

Batina was like me. She was the only one that got it. The allergens everywhere. The weird looks we got when walking down the street. We met here, and I had to be here. I knew she wouldn’t come back, but I needed to try. Her death had scared me. Her death was because of the allergens. No one on earth has the same condition, but I’m scared I won’t be able to keep my secret any longer. If I get discovered, I’ll become something like a display case and scientific wonder. By the way, that’s not a good thing. But if I just look like a moron who wears funky goggles in the summer, no scientist is going to put me on a lab table.

Anyways. I survive. But I admit it’s extremely annoying. Humans are obsessed with the allergens. They wear them all over their body, but only Batina and I seemed to care. Only Batina. We used to buy each other packs of goggles every year for New Years.

We were the best of any friends, more similar and different than any other friends. The allergens ruin my life, but I admit, they led me to what keeps me alive. Kept me alive. Emphasis on kept. When Batina died, I’m ashamed to say that I did not attend her funeral. She wouldn’t have wanted me to anyway.

The allergens were getting stronger. I could feel them crawling on my skin like grubs. I shuddered, thinking of The Bug Incident. Let’s just say it involved bugs crawling on me. I’ll leave it at that.

People sometimes ask my favorite hobby. Actually, that’s not true. I’m extremely antisocial, so no one asks me anything. But… my favorite hobby is reading. There are no allergens. Wait. No. There are mentions of the allergens, which causes my throat to itch, but there aren’t actual allergens.

But sometimes I think I see Batina in the distance, but of course, it’s not her. I really hope that, wherever she is, in whatever dimension, she can be around the allergens. The colors.