I didn’t really explain this, but I had an idea about Aliya. She wasn’t mine. I loved her like she was mine, but she was not mine. She did not love me like I was hers. She loved me, but it was not in the same way or to the same degree. There is a different feeling when someone loves you, but you are not theirs. There are limits. I know, because there are other students I feel close to and that I take a special interest in. One girl comes to my house at least a few times a week usually, just to kind of drop in. I care about her. It’s a kind of aunty feeling I have for her. She is not mine. I care, but she is not mine.

To my dad, I was less than nobody. I was a paper plate. Relationships mostly lie somewhere in between that, like my aunty feeling for the girl who visits me.

But I am C’s.

I don’t know how to explain that, but I think this is what has been so hard about the last two weeks for me. All of that pain she is feeling, all of the anger, it is because I am hers. She is angry for not respecting her boundaries because she needs me to see her. She is afraid of my leaving her because she needs me to see her. Behind all of her trauma reactions and her pain and her anger and her detachment, I am hers like no one else is. She is prepared, at any moment, not to be mine. She is ready to put the brakes on her feelings for me, but I am hers.

And it’s scary. I think it is something primal and very young that I am feeling. I don’t think it’s the more sophisticated, “She might leave me.” It is just a shaking all through my body, an awareness that I actually exist and I could stop existing.

In the afternoon, I think I am really going to get some work done. I feel energized and determined. For about five minutes. Then this fear floods me. It seems to be about C. Normally, I would go and see her around now. I would be thinking what to bring her. It was around 2 pm.

I feel really worried she is missing me or that she might feel abandoned. I sent her a text on Thursday that I won’t come to see her. It is her choice. So she knows why I am not showing up.

I still feel worried, and there is a bit of cycling involved. Some shame. Some self-hatred.

It feels really important not to contact her, to let her tell me when she wants me. She needs me to be there, but she also needs some control. I am giving her control. She has a right to that.

Around four, she posts about problems with friends. It’s awful for me, the pain I feel on her behalf, the intense sadness that she is hurting. I don’t comment on her post. I think that embarrasses her. After a while, I “like” it. She is not on messenger, but eventually I send her a message so that she can read it when she is ready to. Just that I am here and I care about her all the time, that we are always connected.

I really miss her.