Many summers ago, when I was young and nubile (okay, young), I went out with this girl who was also young and nubile (nubile, dammit!) and we were both happy for a while.
I happened to be cheating on my boyfriend with her at the time, but that’s not the point here. Ahem.
She was more Muslim than I was and over the course of our involvement, while my relationship with my man crashed and burned, our romance also burned and died, because she decided that queerness was bad and I was just deciding that it was goooood. And so we didn’t have much to do with each other after that.
As is the case with many people, she went fundo. Actual fundo. I usually have more respect for people taking on additional religious obligations, but she called herself a fundamentalist, so that’s what I’m calling her too. And we had less and less to talk about as time wore on.
She, who had never, to my knowledge, been with a man before, got married and kids.
I just heard from her. She’s left him and the kids have gone with her. She’s miserable. She was feeling horrible for a long time and finally made the decision to move. And me, to whom she hasn’t spoken in ages, I’m one of the ones she picks to write to and ask for some help on religion and queerness.
And I’m depressed. I wrote back a rambling email. I told her about all my girl loves since she and I parted. I told her how I figured God in and out of my life, and how religious I am, and all that. I said I didn’t know shit. By the time I got to the end of the long, rambling email, I was crying tip tip aansoo like some idiot.
She and I don’t get along. She’s hardline. About everything. And I’m this sort of “love me just leave me alone” kind of girl. I know that the moment she writes back, I’ll realize I triggered a million things in her and she’ll trigger a million in me, and we’ll fight about something ridiculous.
But the moment I read the email, I just wanted to call her up and find out if she was okay, and talk for hours. What is that? Is that empathy? Or is that the cold, dead fear in your heart that someday something like this could happen to you, or could have happened to you if you’d let yourself go down a slightly different road, take a slightly different decision?
I’m so depressed now.