Are we left behind?

Madrid, 2021. Adelaide Livia.

Everyone is going forward.

Everyone is getting a new job.

Everyone is graduating.

And here she is, browsing for another book to buy, with guilt creeping inside her.

She knows she shouldn’t feel wrong to do things that sit right with her. But she also knows that she has to do something. There has to be something new that she does or creates.

She doesn’t know whether she’s pushing herself too hard or not. One thing she knows for sure is that she’s overthinking without actually getting things done, because she is too busy fighting the thoughts in her head.

She is a soldier trying to win a battle in the warzone that she created.

It’s not like she hasn’t tried anything to fix this issue. She has tried every step that she knew to not overthink, or even to not think at all. But she always lurks back into the bleak state of her mind, and in the end, she finds herself sitting alone in the corner and waiting for people to turn up and drag her out. And when that certain person comes, she will feel guilty and starts to question,

are you well enough to take me?

But also,

are you insane enough to take me?

Because she knows she can be a lost cause. She’s a lot for one to bear, she acknowledges it, and she doesn’t know what to do with it because she feels like everything she does seems like the wrong choice.

And just like any other romance fiction goes, it starts to change once she meets someone with groundbreaking responses that change her life forever.

“You are worrying for your future. That’s nice, you’re anticipating. But when will you have time to actually do it? Because probably, when the time comes, you’ll be worrying about the next future as well, and it will always go like this.”

“People are thriving, and you haven’t yet. So what? Do you have the same start?”

But what moves her is not the sentences he says.

It’s the fact that he’s still there, even after God knows how many excuses she has, how many times she objects to his responses, how many times she admits that he’s right yet she doesn’t know what to do. He’s still there, even after it all.

“Dude, why are you staying?”

She knows that she’s hoping for some amorous, charming responses. That’s what boyfriends usually do when they are faced with such a question.

“I don’t know.”

There. Three words, one harsh truth.

And for the first time in her life, instead of thinking that it may not be his desire to stay with her and she’s probably right—that she’s unworthy to love and fight for—she prefers to appreciate his current existence more than anything in the world. At least you’re still here, and that’s what matters for now.

“Do you think we are a bit left behind?”

He takes a puff of his cigarette. His eyes do not meet hers, but she knows that he’s listening and he will have some answers. Because he always does, and he always has.

“No. Why would you think we are left behind? Whose life standards are we following? We’re not in a competition.”

She smiles. She doesn't know if that’s the answer she should be getting, but that’s the answer she’s receiving.

And she feels more than enough.

He is enough.

And she hopes that she’s enough for him, too.

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Adelaide Livia

Adelaide Livia

a literature student who probably hasn’t read your books-every-literature-student-has-read list.