Five days and sixteen hours ago, I told Eleven I needed to leave him. I had spent a terrible night, one of many terrible nights. We had missed each other that week due to illness. If I had only understood the week before — I regret, I regret, I regret — I mourn.

Because that’s what it is when you don’t have someone anymore, someone who has grown into your world. The loss is as if he has died. We were inseparable. I thought we were. I thought I was not so stupid as to throw away someone who loved me as I was. But I have, I’ve hurt him, and I am deeply ashamed. No matter what was imperfect or even bad between us, I am still spending terrible nights. I wonder if we needed to break down in order to rebuild. I call myself stupid and I call myself careless. When you are unusual, the people who are unusual with you are to be treasured; when one of those is somehow more distant from you than before, where do you look for others who are unusual in just the ways that complement your own?

Who will love or understand an immigrant girl with disabilities and a wish to mother the world?

I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow but sleep is as far away as Eleven. My head aches. My stomach churns. I cannot remember feeling lower in spirit. I walk in fog. I contemplate telling my professors and my dentist to leave me in peace for a week so I might truly rest. I have spent much of my day sewing. Do you know that in two weeks I have taken three and a half yards of red and wheat plaid flannel and made them into a winter gown? By hand? Every seam is sewn from rolled, hemmed pieces, selvage to selvage. Those rolls are slipstitched into place. When I am stronger I will tighten the sleeves; they are ungainly. Tonight I am (I cannot use the word satisfied) able to leave it at “finished, relatively attractive, suitable to be seen in court”.

And all I wanted as I stitched was to lay my head on that chest one more time.

tonight your ghost will ask my ghost
who put these bodies between us?


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