I look at myself in the mirror -- I run my fingers through my hair and it comes out in my hand -- a clump of thick dark brown hair. I sigh in despair; the reflection does the same.

I study my skin -- my face is blotchy and there are dark rings under my eyes, my skin looks almost yellow -- or is it merely the light?

The eczema on my head drives me crazy, but scratch the scalp and I know more of my hair will be lost.

The beep of the computer attracts my attention -- an incoming email.



I look twice -- it doesn't really say that, does it? No! An invitation to the Copacabana -- the hottest spot north of Havana? More likely to be just another chatroom full of interesting yet sad individuals. But then, what am I? I wish Mother wouldn't keep setting these things up for me. I've got my own friends -- or I did.

The main reason I hate going into chatrooms that my Mum has found is that she's told them all about me and my condition. I can't be myself once they know.

May as well check it out.

Click on "Connect".

I enter the chatroom #copacobana.

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