With one word, a single decision, I have shed my skin.
The person who glowed with promise is molted and peeled away. The newness has sloughed off of my skin and become a sheet of gray leather decomposing in the corner of my enclosure.
I know I will have to grow again, but at this moment I cannot move, cannot think, as my entire body is a raw wound, and it burns when the air hits, worse when it's smothered.
I've taken my old skin and stuffed it, sewing it tight with glass eyes where mine used to sit, and I hold it close to my body, the contact searing my flesh.
I hold her close and I tell her I will make her proud, I bite my tongue so she doesn't realize it still burns to hold her.