By the pool that night, you tried to hurt me. You wanted to be “let in” — to see emotional depth in me that you were convinced exists. It doesn’t. “Let’s play a game,” I said. “Make me cry, and I’ll tell you anything you want.”

Your attempts were revealing. I think you channeled your mother, old lovers, ex-friends and more, snarling “you’re shallow” (true) “you’re fat and disgusting” (also true) “you’re stupid” (yes) “no one cares about you” (agreed) and others I can’t remember now. I nodded along, having long ago accepted that people will think these things of me.

When you had exhausted your store of insults, you concluded, “you really are a robot, aren’t you?”

I suppose I am. Or maybe I’m just not moved by any of the obvious things. Try harder.

(Disclaimer: This is part of the letter series)

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