She tells me she no longer believes the old narrative that she is unintelligent; that she has passed five out of eleven classes and that she wants to learn everything. I imagine her saying that with her charming and sincere exuberance. She says she has learned that her “strong” appearance is there to protect a heart that is sensitive and “made of mush”. She is learning to embrace that. She tells me that she feels me in her heart at times and that she reaches down to touch it. She thanked me for that.

I feel a quiet and soft joy for her. I can remember her saying to me seven years ago, “You are so much more than me. I don’t deserve you.” It broke my heart that she believed that. I knew the essence of her. And now knowing she would never again say that to me, or anyone else…that is so lovely that it makes me cry. Beautiful, beautiful human adding her beauty to the world.

And that’s that. We’ll catch up in a couple of months. I will likely lie a bit (or focus on the soulful parts and not the private hell bits of my life) so as not to burden her. She will share something that makes me happy for her. Perhaps we will write letters to one another every few months until we are old and grey. Perhaps this will be an unconventional way to grow old together. I have, after all, always said that I would rather not share a bed with anyone.

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