The last few weeks I've been staying with this girl I've known for years. She is a saint, or maybe an angel. It's not that she's always been there for me, because most of the time we were on our separate ways. But if I ever needed a place, like I do now--just somewhere to lie low until the bruises fade, metaphorical and otherwise, and I'm back on my feet.

I try to stay out of her way, more for my sake than hers. She only has one request of me, and that's "I don't want to be touched."

She didn't used to be like this. When we were both teens we dated for a while, like teens do, exactly like we were the only people in the world, until that faded, as teenage relationships do, but somehow the friendship never did. I guess it's because she's a living saint.

A few weeks ago when I called her and told her I needed help she said sure, as I knew she would, as I felt so guilty for knowing, and when I tried to hug her at the door she just cringed and said "I don't want to be touched," and I couldn't ask, right?

If only. A few nights in I asked and she looked at me like she didn't know what I was talking about, and I stupidly pressed the matter until I could see she was uncomfortable. I decided I'd drop it, but damage done--she wouldn't talk to me for the next week.

I'm not so good at knowing how to thank people for their hospitality so I just try to stay out of the way. Clean up, leave no messes, that sort of thing. She's talking to me again now but now I think it's time to find someone else to stay with, and I don't think there's a way I can really make it up to her.

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