you’ve got a rash.

I got ready very early and wore high heels that hurt my ankles. It was my second date with a guy I’d recently met. Everything went well at first. We sat down, made polite conversation, cracked jokes and ate spicy Thai food. The drive back home was fairly predictable. Once I got into his house, my whole head started to hurt. I blamed it on the cheap wine we drank.

Then I started feeling hot, so I blamed it on his broken air conditioner. Then I caught a glimpse of myself in his TV screen. I was as red as a tomato. Even worse, one side of my face was swelling up. My nose started to bulge. I looked like I’d turned into the red version of the Incredible Hulk.

Trying not to ruin the mood, I put my hood and my sunglasses on. It seemed like a good idea at the time. He noticed immediately that something was wrong. I tried to leave, but he was “worried” and wouldn’t let me.

Next thing I know, I was being shoved into a car and driven to the closest Ride Aid.

As soon as the pharmacist saw my face, she handed me Benadryl. I proceeded to down the whole bottle in the store. My swelling stopped. He called the next day to check up on me. I never called back.

— 21 y/o from Japan

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