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Updated: Feb 2, 2023

As the morning sun illuminated the room, I lay there, my boyfriend beside me tossing and turning in discomfort. The aftermath of his recent knee surgery had made the mornings particularly harsh for him, with pain and discomfort plaguing him the most during this time. Sleep had eluded him in the past weeks, leaving him groggy and irritable when the day dawned.

As I observed him struggle, I couldn't help but reflect on my own existence. More often than not, I found myself exposed, vulnerable, and overlooked. Despite the love I felt from Tony, it was a reflection of a larger issue in my life - of always putting the comfort of others before my own, of the longing to be truly seen and acknowledged.

Gently, I pulled the blanket to cover my bare legs, my body shivering from the chill. I was all too familiar with the feeling of being cold, a common affliction for women like myself who were small and thin. My eyes met Tony's, but he remained unconscious of my distress, lost in his own world of pain.

Tony and I had been together for six months, our anniversary fast approaching. Our connection transcended the superficial and reached deeper into the realm of literature, film, philosophy, and learning. We both shared an insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding, an urge to explore the mysteries of life.

Tony, a poet at heart, had a way with words that was both bewitching and romantic. Through his words, he opened a window into his soul, revealing a heart that was beautiful and full of passion. It was this vulnerability that had drawn me to him in the first place, when we had first met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

From the moment I laid eyes on him, I knew that Tony was my kind. I had a radar for people, a gift that allowed me to scan a room filled with strangers and single out the one person who would understand me. With Tony by my side, the world no longer felt so hostile, and the anxieties of social interaction were assuaged.

Our relationship had been intense from the start, with attachment being a topic we frequently discussed. As recovering alcoholics, we were aware of the dangers of codependency and of getting too attached too soon. But we couldn't help but fall in love with each other, and soon we had become inseparable, a pair of Siamese twins, never spending more than a day apart.

The COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted our lives and our AA meetings, with the warm and comforting church being replaced by the sterile virtual world of Zoom. As one of the younger members of my group, I had taken charge and ensured that our meetings continued uninterrupted. It was during these virtual gatherings that I noticed Tony's absence and reached out to him, planting the seed that would eventually blossom into our relationship.

Sixth months later, this morning, he stole my covers. I was cold and shivering but I am not afraid.

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