I am alone now, and trying to catch up on everything I couldn’t process in the last week. Yesterday, I just felt wrecked. My friend left and I went and lay down and I didn’t really get up again after that.

I still feel wrecked, but it’s a more specific kind of wrecked. Mysterious still, but more specific. I think I’m picking back up from the last thing that happened that I couldn’t process.

On Tuesday, the last day of exams, I sat and talked with C for a while. We talked about her school—that she had changed her mind about boarding school. “I don’t know maths and if I stay here ma’am will teach me.” True enough. She talked about her National Language exam, which stories she had studied and which one she felt was totally hopeless.

Her friends walked by and one of them stuck her tongue out at C. A minute later, C stood up. “I want to go. There are some…talks.” She couldn’t think of the right word. I told her to go. She came back a minute later and sat with me a bit longer, studying. Then, “The teacher on duty is coming.”

So I went to the staff room and she went to do her work.

Anyway, I think that struck me. I know what “talks” are when you are “running 14” as C is, or what they usually are. It is usually who likes whom and what ought to be done about it or what has been done about it. I remember what everyone else was doing and thinking about when I was 13, and it was not what I was doing. They were all a bunch of tangled yarn inside, but it was not like my tangled yarn. It was probably a lot more like C’s tangled yarn.

I think now it reminds me of how I felt when I first started to feel something romantic for Nata. All I knew of sex up until then was that it was something that hurt. It was humiliating and violating and physically extremely painful.

I think it was agony for me to be attracted to her, because I could only associate it with hurting her. The thought I have in my head as I think about it is just, “I don’t want to hurt her. Why do I want to hurt her?” As if that was the thought I had running through my head then. So I am just trying to sit with these feelings. That is what helps. But it is agony.

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