to die alone


There’s this boy that was obsessed with me. Ok. Let’s call him a man, because he has his own apartment and a job. The man really liked me. I really liked the man—as a friend. I considered dating him but it was only for like a week, and then I realized we’d be best suited as buddies.

This news came to his horror of course, but at least I told him. He needed to know how I felt. I didn’t want to string him along. Weeks passed and months passed and the friendship built. He would make tiny jokes and comments about “getting with me”, most of which I let slide because my intentions were laid out. Right?

Eventually, tension built up in the relationship. Even when trying to be sensitive around conversations that implied I was dating other men, he would take it hard, and personal. Trying to make the subject lighter, I would giggle around his jealousy but that was a bad idea because it did not make the subject lighter. In fact, over the days everything felt heavier, both in the conversations and the silences. 

He distanced himself. It was hard because I didn’t want to date him but I did really enjoy his companionship. This made him feel stifled and he maturely arranged himself to not come to close to me in the physical world and even less so in the digital one. A slight rejection tainted my mornings. The texts stopped coming. What do you do when you want to be friends with someone and they can’t be friends with you?

I felt like I was being honest and friendly. I didn’t do anything wrong other than be myself, and when I asked him to explain, he said he needed to stay away from me to “protect himself”. A comment I immediately recognized as weird guy shit that I’m unable to translate. Protect yourself? From what? What did I do to you? He was unable to answer. My feelings of rejection had now turned into jadedness. Whatever. After a while I thought he realized how silly he sounded and we made plans to meet later that day.

I always enjoyed spending time with him but this time it was different. He was googly-eyed. Unable to pay attention, staring at my lips and laughing to himself. It made me nervous. What was going on? Am I playing some sort of sick role in his mind? A role I have no control over? Yes.

He told me he would write me poetry. He edited my sentences to include him and his visions of us. Snapped some photos. I realized then I had stepped on the borderline of creepy. I had to go. Right before I got on the train he made a comment about my singleness and I told him I was happy to be single. It wasn’t to rub into his face but for some reason when a woman makes that statement, people always think that’s what she’s doing.

As he stood on the platform with me he looked me straight in the eyes, laughed and said: “You will probably die alone.” 

I laughed with him. I don’t know why, but I appreciated the eeriness of his comment. It was grimy and cold. The words in my mouth felt like marbles. Smooth yet hard enough to scratch my teeth. I guess I laughed because the statement didn’t scare me anymore. It used to. Oh my god, it used to—but I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately and I was amused at this idea of having to face it alone.

Is that what we are all so afraid of? To die alone? What is it we want? Do we want to die with a smile on our face? Do we think by being married, we will die with a smile? Have I lived enough life now that I could smile either way?

The train was zooming towards the station. “You will die all alone. I can see it.” The words came out even louder this time to compete with the volume of the train and I sensed he enjoyed the conviction his amplification offered. He couldsee it. There was a glint in his eye as if he had the power to make it possible

The darkness behind him turned into a blend of silver and I hugged him goodbye. We are not afraid of dying alone. We are afraid that no one will be there to watch us go. 

Alex Wolf