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I told him I was visiting my girlfriend in the Philippines and he said, ‘Why would you do that to yourself?

He has visited the Philippines with me three times.

We have graduated together, and traveled the world together.

I think about this man and how he has come to share that rhythm for the past two years.

He kisses me, and tells me about a man he met at the San Francisco airport.

These days, I try not to imagine who will steal my love from me first: another Hello Kitty, or some faceless blonde head more deserving of that love than me.

It is an irrational fear, I know, but one that I have yet to shake.

On that grand stage, spotlights gleaming, it was easy to believe the tragedy of that story was but a testament to the magic of the theater. To him I was Kim, was Hello Kitty, was the woman in the sorry state, either desperate enough or conniving enough to be loved. This is the single story forced down the throats of women like me by countless movies, operas, TV shows — even my country’s history books.

In the final scene of the musical, Kim, dirty and sobbing, surrenders her son to the arms of the gleaming white American family she is sure will give him a better future. It is the story I tell myself on those days I am forced to remember that America is not my home.

He taught me how to snowboard, I taught him how to cook.

He was there for me the day I spoke to my mother for the final time.

Still, surrounded by strangers with familiar faces, faces like mine, one cannot deny that this is the feeling of homecoming.

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02-Jun-2019 15:36