Linked Like We Once Were

Illustration by Raquel

We don’t talk. She can’t, so I won’t. And that’s it.

Which is why my heart thumped like my mother testing a watermelon when she showed up in my inbox. I took a deep breath to brace myself and read the subject line:

Invitation to connect on LinkedIn

Just like that, a form email from a website I don’t even use filled my ears with her voice and pushed my tongue against her crooked teeth. An automated message, practically anonymous, triggered the emotional memory of a hundred emails breathlessly written, dizzily read.

If I search her name in my Gmail account, I’ll find all those notes with YouTube links and articles. I’ll find the photos my friend Caleb took of us for his class project, the ones that show how in love I was even before I knew it. I’ll find the longing messages we sent after we “broke up” because I moved away that all end with “I love you” — and then, suddenly, the emails we sent when we tried to stay friends after she moved on a...

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Adrian is a writer, a Texan and a sometimes-heretical Presbyterian. They write about bisexuality, gender, religion, politics, music and a whole lot of feelings at Autostraddle and wherever fine words are sold. They have a dog named after Alison Bechdel. Follow Adrian on Twitter @audreywhitetx.

Adrian has written 141 articles for us.