When I pestered her about what she actually meant, she’d always only say you won’t be able to understand until you do. I don’t think I’ve ever did, though. This body of mine was never my own. There’s a different copy of myself living inside of me. Even my scoliosis plays into this, because I’d always know the bones that are crooked, out of place. And it didn’t matter if I have what most would deem as a masculine body, because even in my voice I can feel this otherness living inside of me. When I talk, everyone asks me to repeat myself, and it’s like whatever I say in my own voice will never make sense. By the time it leaves my mouth this otherness garbles it, and I’d have to take another breath to force it out. And when I do say what I think, I’d just be met by a silence, and the conversation would just move on.

After that, I remembered I had lunch with you. I grappled if I should tell you, especially at Delifrance, your favourite café. But you knew something was up the moment you saw me. I could never hide anything from you. Worry was already burrowing in your eyes, your brows tensing into a knot. You set the menu you were holding on the table, and I heard you take a big breath. Your shoulders rose in slow motion.

That’s when I told you.

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