Yesterday was not a great day. Actually, it was terrible. The anticipated crash down from the hopefulness transpired, in the expected way.

I wanted to give C some study tips. We said we would talk about this Saturday, but the day did not turn out as expected and there did not turn out to be time.

So on Friday of the next week, I finally thought about it again. (We had a 3-day holiday. Thursday, my mind was just on other things.)

We met at lunch time, after a delay and after hunting C down, who may or may not have remembered the appointment. (A girl at the high school attempted suicide. It was probably someone she knew. I should add, for a country fixated on happiness, the suicide rate is astonishingly high. C needed to know all about this, evidently, while I waited….)

I talked to her about that. I had intended to help a class 5 student with maths after that, but there wasn’t enough time to do anything by then. I stayed with her and talked to her. I asked her something about next year. Earlier, I had said (chatting online), “I wish you would stay with me next year.” She said she would ask her mom. That came up, as did some other stuff I couldn’t quite catch that she said. Well, she didn’t want to stay with me. She wanted to stay in the dorms.

And it hurt. On top of the delay, which was not very considerate, on top of the idea that actually the only time she has ever come to my house I had to physically go and get her, on top of the idea that she refuses to let me come to her house, she told me she would stay with me only to please me in the moment. She didn’t mean it. She didn’t trust me to understand what she really wanted. I felt an enormous distance between us, as though all of our relationship was imagined. I had thought, frankly, that everything that read as reluctance before came down to her fears about teasing. Asking her mom about staying with me seemed to be evidence of the correctness of my conclusion. And then that disappeared. So I was hurt.

I also thought I would miss her, that the thing that helps me to endure the pain every day would disappear, and I would be completely lost. I didn’t honestly know I would keep going without the promise of seeing her every day as a kind of bribe to try to keep coping. Tears came to my eyes. I couldn’t speak. After a minute, I could again and I said something. I can’t remember what. “I won’t see you,” maybe.

“I hurt you,” she said.

“It’s not your fault.” I turned away from her again, feeling the tears rise up a second time.

“When we have outings, I will come and see you.” Her voice is very tender when she says this.

I live a 15 minutes away from her walking and she doesn’t come. I don’t believe her.

The bell rings then and I just sit there. “Ma’am doesn’t have class?”

“Actually, I do.”

“I want to go.”

I suppose I say yes. She needs to, or she will be late for class. She stands and I launch into something about not having children, that I won’t have children, I only have her. I tell her to think about it at least. She can be a boarder when I am gone.

I survive teaching for 3 periods. It goes, in fact, rather well. I seem to be able to teach quite decently when I’m sad. It’s terrible when I am tired or when I am angry, but if I am sad, it seems to be fine, even if I am so dissociated, my head feels separated from my body. Then there is prayer, which I go to. I want to talk to C during it, but the captains are busy gossiping the whole time. I am not happy with them, and it also doesn’t seem acceptable to have a brief side conversation when I want to scold them for having one long side conversation.

I am miserable. There are good reasons for her to stay with me, including academics, but what I ended up saying to her makes me feel that it’s all about me. I just want the butterfly to live in my house, even if it belongs outdoors. So after prayer I tell her not to ask her mom about staying with me. I don’t want her to stay with me. I am thinking only of my happiness. I should think about hers also. I tell her I am being selfish.

I say again not to ask her mom about it. I don’t want her to. Something happens to her face then. It’s like the person inside her dies. She says okay. It’s awful. I don’t know how she feels.

Now, I think she felt unwanted, and I know that blank look on her face was hurt. But just then, after saying it, I didn’t know. It hurt though, like suddenly we had no relationship.

It’s a terrible night.

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