It was a hot summer morning in a rural Oregon town.
An air conditioner blew in and the window was broken, forcing me to spend the night in a guest room, according to a report in the local newspaper.
I was a little nervous, I was nervous about how I would feel at home and how I might not feel comfortable in a place like that, said my new roommate, whose name I won’t use.
I just knew that when I moved in with her, I would need to make sure that she was comfortable and I would be there for her every step of the way, I said.
I was also hoping that we would build a new life together, a life together in a home where we both had equal access to the outdoors and space, I added.
I don’t want to give her too much away, I promised myself, I told my new friend.
I know I’ll need it, she said, and I know she’ll need a lot of it.
I’ve got to be able to help her get through it, I thought to myself.
I’ll work hard, and we’ll have a great time.
The next day, I checked in at my new apartment, just as she was going to begin living with her new roommate.
I greeted her at the door and took a seat on her bed, facing her.
She looked at me and smiled, as if she knew I was there.
I told her about my experience in the guest room and that I was looking forward to spending time with her.
She didn’t seem to notice my presence at first, but when she turned to look at me, I could see her breathing quickly through her mask, her eyes shining.
I wanted to hug her, she told me, but my heart was pounding.
I could feel her heartbeat and her eyes were burning.
I just wanted to hold her.
I couldn’t stop, I kept telling myself.
She was sobbing uncontrollably, but her eyes held a kind of peace, as though she understood what I was feeling, and she looked at my hand and then at her, as she hugged me tightly.
She hugged me even tighter than I could have possibly expected, and then she broke the hug.
I hugged her tighter, her tears filling my hands and then my mouth.
I held her and she was crying too, my heart racing.
I tried to hold it in, I whispered to her.
I cried a little, too, and when I came to, she was sobbed, too.
I hugged her again, her hair falling into her lap.
I wrapped my arms around her and held her tightly as she cried and I tried my best to hold back tears.
I wasn’t crying out loud, she whispered.
I can’t go to sleep now, she sobbed.
I told her I couldn, and her hands were shaking and she shook even harder, but she was holding me.
She looked at the ceiling and I could tell that she had stopped crying, but I kept saying, Please don’t stop crying, she cried.
I have to be strong.
I’m going to be stronger than I have ever been before, she continued.
I have to stay strong.
And she said she was ready to come with me.
I went to bed early that night and didn’t hear her until later that morning, but the next day I woke up at 4 a.m. and I found out that she hadn’t cried.
It was too early to tell, she admitted.
But I could say I felt very good about this, I decided, and that was all I needed to hear.
I said goodbye and went to the bathroom, where I cleaned up the mess that had occurred and put her new bed in place.
The morning after my visit to the guest bedroom, I asked her if I could borrow her bed and she agreed, and so we began living together.
I would sleep in her bed all day, but we would have dinner in the living room and dinner in bed, she would eat at home from time to time, she explained.
I would cook breakfast and I had to eat at my own pace, she insisted.
I had no intention of having dinner, but after dinner, I wouldn’t stop talking to her, so we would always be able for a meal together.
I started calling her often and she called me often too, she always made sure to stop at her apartment and go there, I remembered thinking.
She is the best person I’ve ever met, I think to myself, she reassured me.
She is always there for me.
I’m very happy for her, my roommate said.
She’s so kind.
She cares so much for me and she’s the most supportive person I know.
She loves me and always has.
The first time I ever went camping, she showed me a picture of the forest.
The next time I went camping with her and my sister, she came with us, she gave us a big hug, and every time she saw me