Delighted by the message the doctor had given her, Kestrel danced into her room. "Hi, honey," she said, approaching Jeff to give him a quick peck on the cheek.
Since her last appointment, Kestrel had used medication to keep her rash under control. It wasn't completely gone yet, but she knew now how to be rid of it entirely. "You're in a good mood today," Jeff observed.
"I am," Kestrel agreed. "I figured out the cause of my rash. I mean, I didn't figure it out, but I got my results back, and I know what's causing it now."
"And is it me?" Jeff asked with a chuckle. After her fear-inspiring visit to the dermatologist, Kestrel had revealed her fears concerning the coincidence by which she'd discovered her rash so shortly after she'd begun dating him. With soft kisses and a half-chuckle, Jeff had talked away most of her fears, but Kestrel had secretly still wondered about the timing.
Now, she knew the truth, and with a grin she announced, "It's your aftershave."
"What's my aftershave?"
"I'm allergic to something in your aftershave," Kestrel clarified. "At least, I probably am. The chemical I'm allergic to is a common ingredient in most aftershaves, and my doctor told me to check the label for what you use."
"I knew it!" Jeff wailed in mock horror. "It is all my fault!" Kestrel answered his joking with a sweet smile. While Jeff was indirectly the root of her disease, at least now she knew the issue was simple a curable, rather than some mental block on her own part that made her unable to continue her relationship with the man she loved. Looking back to Kestrel, Jeff added, "How could I have used so much aftershave that it would get all over your body?"
"Well, it started on my face and spread," Kestrel explained. "All I have to do is keep taking my medicine and avoid any more exposure to the chemical, and I'll be fine."
"Guess I'd better throw out my aftershave, then," Jeff announced.
"I'll come with," Kestrel responded. "I can show you what to look for on the labels when you buy aftershave in the future."
She linked her arm in his, and Jeff leaned in for a kiss, but Kestrel stopped him with her hand. "Not until you've washed your face," she warned.
Jeff smiled, then agreed. The pair walked arm-in-arm into the bathroom.