Miss you, raani. Xx

Dear M,

I’m sorry I wasn’t quite myself the last time I was in your arms. I know you noticed how I kept leaning away from you (as I pretended to be engrossed with whatever Darth Vader was proclaiming on the bright screen in that dark room). I know it probably hurt when in my last hours in Texas, I decided to sleep in a separate room — not on your bed, where we’d usually find our limbs entwined. I know you felt my hesitation when I kissed you at the airport, lingering on your lips a few seconds less than our goodbye kiss a few months before.


p.s. thanks for our double date with E and her girl. it was a sweet last date

Dear M,

I’m sorry I broke up with you a week later. You’d just moved back into your dorm for spring classes, and I feel fucking awful for starting your semester in such a shit manner. I think I cried more than you during our call, but you always held everything in until you’d held in too much. I didn’t break up with you in Texas because I was scared of seeing you hurt in person. It was selfish of me, and I regret that. You didn’t want me to send back any of your stuff, so I still wear your hoodie when it gets chilly here. Do you still sleep in my lucky shirt from time to time?


Dear M,

I’m sorry we fell in love. It was careless of me to let us take cheesy photos and write each other poems and short stories. It was careless of me to send you my favorite ring and call you jaan. It was careless of me to sing you to sleep over phone calls. It was careless of me to not consider that one day, you would be out to your family, and I would not. It was careless of me to not consider how burdensome secrets are. It was careless of me to love you, when my mother expects me to one day marry a Muslim man. It was careless of me to not realize that our love would change as my identity did.

“Miss you, raani. Xx”

Remember how much you tweeted about me? Called me jaan, raani, princess, your girl, muñeca — loved me in the 3 languages we collectively spoke, but all those terms of endearment always felt so feminine.

It became so natural for you to call me your girlfriend, I didn’t know how to tell you I wasn’t a girl.

You arm wrapped so comfortably around my waist and your hands rested so gently on my hip, I didn’t know how to tell you I hated my curves.

We fell in love, two girls. But I’m not a girl anymore.

You asked me to be your girlfriend, and for a while, I was. You did not ask me to be your nonbinary partner, or (maybe) your boyfriend, and it seemed unfair to impose either of those upon you when they aren’t what you signed up for. My gender is my own burden to bear.

And I know you probably thought you could love me no matter who I am, but I don’t want you to see me change.

I would rather you don’t watch as I grow increasingly dissatisfied with my body, try to make my voice sound deeper than the one in which I sang to you. I would rather you not grow used to my discomfort every time you make me feel delicate, feminine.

I’m sorry it’s been a year and my words maybe still don’t make sense to you. I’m sorry if it still hurts, but I’ve seen you flourish, and I’m hopeful that you’ve rested your heart in more certain and capable hands. I’m sorry I didn’t give you a better goodbye.

(once) your girl,