Never let go

She was the girl who never learned to let go.

At nine months, her peers were learning to drop things, letting their toys go falling to the floor over and over, shrieking with joy at their new game. But she continued to clutch her toys to her, fearful of losing them. When her parents unclasped her sticky, chubby fingers from her lifelines of stuffed bears and building blocks, she would cry inconsolably.

Later, she failed to learn how to let go of a swing rope; refused to let go at the top of a slide; clutched ice-cream cones in her fist until they melted and dissolved into a pulpy mess. She wouldn’t let her teachers take her homework from her to correct, wouldn’t let anyone near her hair with a scissors.

Throughout her life, she braved ridicule and irritation in the face of spent friendships, failed at school and work assignments to avoid graduation or promotion, and into drawer upon drawer poured a sea of receipts and cinema tickets. She avoided funerals and flea markets. And one by one, every man she ever loved walked out on her.

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