I was 17, living on my own in the US, and I had a huge crush on one of my high school classmates.
She invited me over one night to do our homework together. She lived in such a beautiful house. Her mom was cooking, and it smelled so homey. Her dad came over and helped us with our homework. Her younger brother kept popping in and out of his room, making us laugh.
It was such a beautiful night, and she and her family were so kind to me that night.
I wasn’t jealous — just hyper aware of everything I didn’t have, or couldn’t possibly have, that night.
I wasn’t mad — just hyper aware, and resigned to my unique fate in life.
Now, two decades later, I have my own home, my own beautiful family that I love.
And if one day Issa brings a friend over, like me, I would want to make them feel as welcome, and as accepted, as I felt that night.
The world can be lonely, but it’s also full of beautiful, kind people.
Picture: Vichinie, statue from “Travelers” series by Bruno Catalano, Venice, Italy