“I think I have this fear,” I confessed in a quiet voice-

I’m trying to be honest with what I feel, and maybe this is what I truly feel:

I am scared to do my whole life alone.

I stayed awake till 3 AM last night – despite terrible jet lag – and spent the bulk of the night on my bed with Cousin Sis, probably my favorite person in the world of late, catching up after my week away. As usual, we spoke about everything – things and events that happened recently and in the past, random anecdotes, and strangely: love, too.

“If there’s such a thing as first love in my life, that was probably my experience,” I admitted to her, recalling what transpired – or didn’t, truthfully speaking – a little over a year ago. “I will readily and openly admit it,” I told her, “what I felt for him at the time – what I’d confused over then spent months recuperating from. I think I was at fault for putting narratives in my mind and extrapolating hypothetical situations when nothing happened. But that was the thing… why it was so heartbreaking; in any imaginary setting, there cannot be an ‘us’ – because that boundary cannot be erased.”

She’d earlier stated that she felt Third Sis’ was the type who came off strong and fiercely independent, yet in truth needed someone. More than wanting, she needed someone. That surprised me. I told her I still saw my sister’s inclination as desire; want. All perspectives, of course. Then I surprised Cousin Sis by asking her for an honest opinion – what does she think of me when it comes to this? She did a face, her do-I-say-it-or-do-I-not to which I grinned silly and told her to just say it! “I have something in mind about myself on this,” I admitted to her, “and I’m curious to know if what I think about myself aligns with what you think of me.” She sighed, then revealed her thoughts, “I think you’re someone who would be fine with or without – whether you’re in one or not. You’d like to be in one, it’d be nice, but you’ll still live and live well, if you’re by yourself.” 

I laughed, hearing her words. I had to; friggin’ on-point, I told her. Or at least – that’s what I think too.

“But these days, I think the idea of growing old alone pains me a little; it scares me?”

An introspective pause. “It makes me rethink this whole marriage, relationship business. It makes me think twice about my earlier, younger resistance. It makes me sad, thinking that I might grow old by myself. I can do it, like you said, and I’ll do well by myself – I think so, too – but I don’t know how much I will like it. How much I would want that. And sometimes I hate the idea that people have of me – just because I can survive by myself doesn’t mean I choose to be alone. No one chooses to be alone, you know? I don’t think so, anyway. But then again, I don’t know how not to live for myself – I don’t know how to live for another, how to live with a person. Like when I was growing into my own person, you know? There was no way I could have done growth with someone else. It was something I needed to walk and experience alone.”

And now I’m here, on the other side – and it suddenly feels off-putting and strange to find myself still a party of one.

“I think I have this fear,” I confessed in a quiet voice, “that I’m not going to find someone because I’m just not physically or characteristically attractive enough; too much of this, too little of that.” The idea of love is foreign, but also annoyingly intriguing. “When I think of love – all the best ones I know are tragic. When I think of marriage, the one I’m most familiar with is the one that did not work. Still married, still intact, but… bittersweet? And when I think of love, there’s a reason I’m such a sucker for Korean dramas and their penchant for melodramas – I love those. The tears, the tragedy, the unrequited love. I love the heartbreak, because I know them well. I know them best … but I… I don’t want to do my whole life alone.”

She laughed at the Korean drama bit, then said in a knowing tone, “He’s on the way. I think he’s on his way.”

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