As Jenny tipped her head and cast him a dreamy gaze, Narain understood what they needed from each other. One day she would muse about her foreign boyfriend just as he would always remember the American he dated in college. Both would keep this relationship as a souvenir of the people they had once dared to be.
She imagined, now, what it would be like to accept herself completely. Every mistake she had ever made. Every mark on her body. Every dream she hadn’t reached or pain she had felt. Every lust or longing she had suppressed. She imagined accepting it all. The way she accepted nature. The way she accepted a glacier or a puffin or the breach of a whale. She imagined seeing herself as just another brilliant freak of nature. Just another sentient animal, trying her best. And in doing so, she imagined what it was like to be free.