For the 100th Time 

By Lily Hoveke

“You just haven’t found the right one yet.” 

I hear new friends say for the 100th time.

And for the 100th time, I sigh and passively agree.

It’s easier to accept what they say rather than try and change their minds.  

“How would you know if you’ve never tried?” 

My best friend asks.

Her ignorance makes it sting more. I know myself better than she does.

She keeps asking the same questions.

“I mean, how do you know for sure?” 

Why do you keep asking me that?

It’s not like I’m making a life-altering decision.

A label doesn’t always have to be permanent. 

“You’re still young. There’s no way to know for certain.” 

How does everyone else know when they’re young? 

I am not the first to be misunderstood 

I will also not be the last 

Why do you think I waited until I was an adult to tell you?

“Maybe when you meet the right one you’ll feel differently.” 

Maybe I will, but that does not change who I am right now. 

“Is this because of what happened when you were younger?” 

My trauma did not alter the way I was born. 

“Maybe you should try getting on medication for that.” 

When did pills become the solution to everything? 

“You’re just saying this to fit in, aren’t you?” 

I’m like a triangle trying desperately to squeeze into a hole made for circles.

What part of this is fitting in?

“How did the conversation with [redacted] go?” 

The same way most of these conversations go.

I was honest. I set my boundaries.

And yet, it wasn’t a match.

It went the same way it did the time before,

and the time before that. 

“How do you expect to have a normal relationship?” 

I don’t know. In fact, what if no one ever loves me because of this?

What if I am destined to spend my entire life alone?

What if I can’t have what everyone else does? 

“Don’t stress about dating, it’s overrated anyways.” 

This one coming from my friends in committed relationships always makes me laugh.

If the relationship was so overrated, you wouldn’t be in one. 

“I felt that. I’m in the same boat, and I feel just as lost.” 

Coming out to other people is never easy.

And yet,

They were the first friend who truly understood me.

They taught me to be confident in myself.

We sit together, enjoying the night.

Talking about our struggles and triumphs that the rest of the world never seems to understand. For just a few hours, the two of us are finally at peace. 

“How would you know if you’ve never tried?” 

Because I know myself better than an outsider. 

“Why can’t you just be normal?” 

I am. Fuck off. 

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