Maintaining My Identity Apart from Him

my name is elizabeth

In college, it happened every year: One or two of my girlfriends would get into a relationship and drop off the face of the earth. She’d stop accepting invitations to hang out; her AIM profile would be filled with sappy song lyrics and maybe the date she and her new boy made things official; whenever we did see her, it would always be with him, as if their relationship mandated that they never be separated by more than 10 feet. When her name came up in conversation, we’d roll our eyes and shake our heads, a silent ode to our fallen comrade. If and when they broke up, she’d sheepishly resurface, never acknowledging her disappearance; the rest of us wouldn’t either, except for maybe a passive-aggressive comment or two as we reacclimated to her presence. Soon, it would feel as though she never left – unless, of course, she met…

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