Italy was cruel to me

Submitted into Contest #92 in response to: Write about a character who thinks they have a sun allergy.... view prompt


Gay Adventure Romance

I absolutely hate summer. In all complete honesty, that one is the season I despise the most. You can get angry all you want, but nothing, I repeat – nothing – shall stop me from complaining about the sun. I have never understood sunbathing. The whole procedure, to me at least, does not make any sense. I see it as people lying on their backs waiting for the sun to make them crispier and, for some reason, darker. You cannot watch anything on your phone, read a book, while you are facing the sun because you will burn your eyes. Even if you are positioned on your stomach, you face is in the sand. I don’t want to go off about how dangerous sun bathing is, at the very least, in terms of skin burns and maybe cancer. Wanting to fry in the burning light for some social acceptance appears to be silly and worthless, but people are free to spend their time however they enjoy, as long as it does not harm third parties.

Summer is just extremely awkward. It is the only time of the year everyone finds acceptable to be half naked outside. I am all hands in for the body positivity. The issue I have is hypocrisy towards other seasons, when it is not as welcomed to not wear any clothes apart from bathing suits, or sometimes none of those either. I will never understand, why elderly German women find it acceptable to walk around topless on family resorts. I am in love with the concept of freeing the nipple, but why is a certain category more privileged here? I wouldn’t say that I am jealous of the society, who allows themselves to wear revealing clothes, however, maybe just a little.

For as much as I can recall of my childhood, I very rarely played in the sun. When I did go out with friends in the summer, I would always feel; sick afterwards. At first, my mother suspected that the reason for my sickness was heatstroke. But time passed, I began wearing hats, drinking more water, but I would still feel weak and nauseous. I came to a conclusion that I am allergic to the sun. This, later on had led to me being repulsed not only by sun related activities but summer as a whole.

Not that long ago, my girlfriend and I went on a holiday. We couldn’t have picked a place for quite some time. Mostly, because I was very negative towards any warm countries, but she wanted to have a road trip across Italy in summer. And after negotiating for a few days, I had finally given in. I didn’t want to upset her, and I wanted to make this holiday special to her – I wanted to propose.

Packing and planning the avoidance of the sun did take a lot of time. And still after multiple packing and unpacking to fit more useful bits in, I still didn’t manage to put everything I was hoping to in. We set off and the flight went perfectly. I have never been calmer on a plane, usually turbulence is horrible. But this one, it was special; I could enjoy myself for the first time.

We started off in Rome. Some say that it is a poem in the form of a city. Valerie, my girlfriend, loved the architecture, while I was more focused on the cuisine heaven that the capital had to offer. We visited Milan, Bologna, Verona and Pisa. San Vincenzo was supposed to be the final destination of our journey. This was when I was planning to offer the love of my life my heart, soul and future.

I thought I had it set up perfectly. She is very romantic, so I tried to live up to the expectations I set in my head. We have never spoken about proposals. About marriage – yes, but the things before that – not really. Despite my strong dislike for the sun and possible allergy, I attempted to plan our visit to some café for a couple of drinks in the afternoon, and later we would have gone on the beach. Right when the sun would be going down, I would propose.

The morning was very well executed by me. I brought her fruits in bed, gave her a massage for her back. She usually needs that, especially on trips, where we walk a lot. At around noon we set off to the city from our hotel. I found cocktails refreshing, but I was still very nervous. She might have noticed it, but didn’t say anything. That day, it was a lot warmer than on the previous days of our holiday. I wore my hat and lots of sunscreen, but I recognised the potential threat of me laying down in bed not because I would have just got engaged, but because of a heatstroke.

I had a little too much to drink because of how afraid I was to lose the ring. She noticed my nervousness, my angel, and took me on a stroll around the town. We talked about nothing and everything. The time was passing too quickly, so we had to sprint to the beach to witness the sunset. I let her stand alone for a few moments while I was preparing myself to say the speech. But right when I got down on one knee, she did the same. I am sorry for not bringing any extravaganza into the women loving women relationships, but we did propose to each other at the same time after half a year of dating.

Certainly, I said yes, she said yes, we exchanged the rings, still standing on our knees. When we were getting up, I did it too fast and collapsed on the sand. The next thing I witnessed was me in a hospital bed. Val had to rush me to the hospital and get a translator to help us out. It took them a few tests and hours to try to figure out what was wrong with me. But at the end, it was not just a sun allergy, it was thermoregulatory dysfunction. That is a condition in which abnormal changes in body temperature occur spontaneously or in response to environmental stimuli.

They still let me go home the next day, but further on I will not go to Italy ever again. And I will still need to get hospital treatment but in my home country and my future wife, not just girlfriend, by my

May 04, 2021 21:51

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Nataly Feldman
16:03 May 10, 2021

The end of the story should be 'by my side'. I apologise for the inconvenience - I am not sure why it happened.


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John Carpenter
09:53 May 10, 2021

By your what?


Nataly Feldman
16:04 May 10, 2021



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