I dated Carla for a year after the abortion as a way to punish myself. She had no idea how much I was grieving or why, but she could see my pain and poured it over herself hoping to help. My agency dried up as she assumed responsibility, my expression along with it. I became a puppet husk and floated without purpose on the ebbs of her compassion. I couldn’t bring myself to explanation, to a declaration of desensitisation. I could never say I’ll never love you. I broke three hearts for stopping one but couldn’t hurt myself enough.

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