On Sunday, I gave C curry in The Boy’s hot case. I thought she would send it down on Monday—I think I told her it was his lunch box.

Anyway, she didn’t. In the evening I sent her a text about it. Tuesday, the hot case did not arrive still. I sent another text. Wednesday, I pretty much figured I would have to go and get it myself. There was something about the hot case that she couldn’t cope with.

I was walking home, and ran into one of her old neighbours, a day student at the same school. Not in the same class, but in the same school. She said C was sick.

Not surprising maybe. C had to know after 3 days I would come for the hot case, and in the past she has had some vague but intense physical pain when she expected to see me. Isn’t disordered attachment fun?

I walked up as soon as school got out. I saw her before I got to the hostel. She and her friends were standing near a holy site kind of thing—a small one. She had that so depressed she might be dead look on her face. I went and stood next to her.

“Why you come?”

I said her friend had told me she was sick. I asked her what happened. Some kind of mysterious pain in her side. Gone, evidently. She began to cheer up. She asked a friend to get the hotcase for me. Why a friend needed to get it, I don’t know. Maybe she wasn’t allowed to leave her assigned place, or maybe she couldn’t bear the hotcase. I went with the friend to the gate of the hostel and waited there. The dog who bites sometimes and can’t make up his mind about me was sitting in the pathway. It seemed better to wait. We were upon the point of making friends when the friend returned with the hot case.

I went back up and C was standing near the holy site where she had been before, but in the road. I stood next to her and talked to her for a while. I can’t really remember what was said. Mostly arrangements. I would see her Sunday. She didn’t want to come down. She wanted to study. I don’t think she actually does study when she gives that excuse. It’s just hard to come to my house. I said okay. She should get to have some choices.

She again wanted vouchers. She had that beautiful, shy, I adore you look on her face. I don’t really know what causes that. It would melt a stone. Still, I did think for a minute and said yes. I thought, but I don’t really know what I thought about. I hugged her and went down again.

There was a very long chat over text when I got to my house, because she wanted 100 and I had given 50. I asked her why before deciding, and I told her I was thinking about it and thinking was important to do for her. These exchanges I think are important, even if they over something minor. That experience of having someone ask your point of view and take it into consideration. I eventually said yes. It was based on the reasons she gave me and also thinking she wants balance left over just in case. Who knows if this is right or wrong: she might be talking on the phone all the time and not studying at all. But the exchange over it makes her feel heard. And it’s going a lot better than before midterm. There is less desperation. The little parts aren’t screaming.

I don’t really know what she does on the phone, if she talks to the people she says she wants to talk to, or if she tells me the people she believes I will approve of. She does lie to get what she wants. There isn’t much I can do about that. Sometimes you have to do your best and just let go.

She has been telling me lately she misses me. This is partly to get vouchers out of me—I want to chat with you, she says. Then sends 2 or 3 messages at most, which doesn’t cost 50. But I think it is also true. I think she does miss me.

But I also can’t imagine that. I can’t imagine why anyone would miss me or want me. I think it’s a failure in my ability to imagine attachment altogether. It’s sad actually. Really, really sad.

There is one more thing. One of C’s friends whom I have never really met—I have seen her, actually, but not ever talked to her beyond good morning—has been chatting with me on Facebook. Not often, but maybe 3 times. She is actually a real person. I know that she is. I recognize her from seeing her in the bazaar. The first time, she asked to adopt her as sister, and I said yes for some reason. I just had a warm feeling about her in that moment and impulsively agreed. I don’t have any idea what that means.

But there are times when I wonder if I am really chatting with C. It does just sound a lot like her. Their names are very similar—different by only one letter, but it isn’t really that suggestive. They are both very common names. CZ and CW and the Z name rhymes with the W name. However, for girls, those two second names are among the most common. It’s somehow more the voice and the feeling I have when I am chatting. It just feels the same.

Also, tonight, the madam dropped off and I think only C does that. Every other student says, “Yes, madam.” “No, madam,” “Good night, madam.” “Did you eat dinner, madam?” It wouldn’t be maybe terribly surprising, if that helped C cope with her shame, to pretend to be someone else for a while, someone with almost the same name but who isn’t actually her.

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