Why do I do this to myself? I’m tempted to say, “Why do WE do this to OURSELVES,” but that would destroy the illusion that I’m the only person that has ever felt this way. I had a few great days, as though maybe she was out of there for a while, but it didn’t take long, didn’t take much to bring her back in. It’s a sad curiosity, and a dangerous one to heed: do I still miss her? Do I still yearn for her? Do I still ache? And the answer, being yes, sears and burns but is tempered with the ugly fact that “I knew that already,” just like I know it would hurt to look at the sun, to touch boiling water, to say something hurtful to someone I love. But it feels like fear to resist it, to dodge the breadth of its reach. Why fear a feeling? And yet, even though I knew that already, with each new hard-learned lesson, I never really retain the knowledge that I’m not facing a fear but rather embracing one: the fear of the truth. For until I can say, “She’s in my heart as an ache, and she’ll always be there,” I’ll always have this curiosity, nagging me to walk up once more to a hot stove, place my hand on it, and then pretend I didn’t know already that it was still hot.

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