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By Adreyo Sen
When she was five, she was a brave little boy, addicted to G.I. Joe, who dreamt of earning her father’s gratitude by saving him from terrorists. She was in love with her pretty English teacher.
When she was twelve, still unable to tie her own shoelaces, she was no longer sure if she was a boy or a girl. She knew God had given her a tremendous gift for words; she wrote poems that spoke of a terrible love she had yet to experience.
When she was eighteen, she thought she was Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities, and sought to change the world with her self-effacing dedication. At times, however, she wished she was Lucie Manette, a golden thread linking together all the boys she’d come to love in her six years at boarding school.
In college, she was in love with a tall woman who brought fire into her mute existence. But the woman didn’t love her and laughed at her stuttering proclamations of eternal devotion.
When she was twenty-four and ready to fall in love with the madness that would leave her a bitter yet gentle shell, constantly suspecting that the world scorned her, she compulsively sought company, seeking to escape the sickness she felt when she was alone.
Her best friend was a bearded PhD student she longed to wrap herself around.
“We have coffee all the time,” he said to her one day, “And I still don’t know who you are.”
And she wondered if she was an absence, a meek hello at the edge of a forever stranger’s vision, before sadly limping away.
#TheUnreal #Absence #She #He #Transgender #ComingOfAge #AltLit #Identity #Love
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