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  • This was the view from the room in which a discussion took place. This was the view I looked out on while trying to explain my side. This was the view she looked out on while smoking her cigarette, opening the window to let the noise of the city ooze in to fill the silence.

    I had hurt her two evenings before (and many times before that I found out during that discussion). This time, I had laughed when she had shown concern (as I found out during that discussion), as I did not feel worthy of it (as she found out during that discussion). She had left yesterday morning without saying goodbye, and later that same day cancelled our evening plans. I had walked the streets all day, not sure of what I had done but one phrase kept coming to mind. I bought her a card, and within it I wrote the words, 'Don't give up on me'.

    The following day, this day, we went for a day trip round the city. We did not have a conversation that day. There is a picture of us on a stoop sitting one step apart, we smiled, but we didn't even try to pretend we were happy. We were further than that one step. I still cannot bring myself to look at that photo as the emotion in it is not true.

    So, this evening, when she found my card, we discussed. We spoke, we listened. I was terrified, I had a friendship here that I never thought I was worthy of anyway, and I could have broken it by a thoughtless gesture. I had never had a friendship that I had been that concerned for before, or since.

    I didn't know what I had done when I bought the card, when I wrote the words. I just knew that I didn't want to lose this person, and I didn't want her to lose me. For in that moment, if she had given up on me, so would I.
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