This Is What It’s Like to Be a Woman (Alone and Together, Part Nine)

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For two years, I was obsessed with a man named Jack, and I hated feeling that way. It was difficult. I knew things could never work out between us. I was serious and driven, while he was irresponsible and unintellectual.

He was outgoing. He was the life of the party. He was from California.

He wasn’t right for me.

During the entire two-year period of our relationship, we went on only one official date.

It was wonderful.

We took a walk in a park by the river between two bridges with the city behind it. I told him that this was my favorite place in the city and by the look he gave me he knew I was saying I loved him, and that whenever in the future I was in that same place, no matter when it was, I would always think of him.

The next day, he broke up with me.

I cried the loudest and the longest I had ever cried in my life. The dorm was mostly empty but I’m sure a lot of people heard me anyway though no one asked me about it later.

That was nice of them.

After that, I felt different. I felt older somehow, and, for the first time, really mature.

I had become a woman.

I was nineteen.

The best things in the world come from pain.

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