Edward had been working in a debt collection call centre for two years. Very few people had loved him throughout his life. He had been caught up in the nine to five routine of going to work. He had been sloppy, that was true. But by this time in his life, at twenty-six years old, he had gone through so many things that he thought that the whole of existence was a joke. A joke or that he was living in perpetual hell.

In his first high school class, at year seven, after the abuse and trauma that he had suffered during his early years. He became a compulsive liar. When the girls of his high school class asked him if he had a girlfriend in his previous school. He responded that he had. If only to fit in, if only to become normal. Because he knew whatever he had undergone in primary school was anything but normal. Once he believed that he had convinced his classmates that he had a normal upbringing. Which then again, he probably didn’t. So he went to ask out all the girls in his high school class out on a date.

What happened after that? They all rejected him. They thought he was a loser. Two years passed and he had no romantic life apart from looking up porn. His father was angry at him for looking at the pornography that he had stored under the bed. But realistically, what was Edward meant to do, everyone thought he was a loser after all. That porn wasn’t much, just penthouse.

He discovered the internet and he stuck to the internet. He had heard of something while growing up called the black internet. But he never accessed that, why the hell would he?

In the debt collection centre a woman fell in love with Edward. Her name was Sam. This was over the period from 2013 – 2014. She was a Sikh. On the first date they went into a restaurant and ordered Italian food. Some pasta or something like that, Edward couldn’t remember.

Because of her cultural heritage, she was still a virgin. And Edward respected that and her wishes to remain a virgin until her marriage. They never once had sex.

On the second date. After they had been to a park, someone had burgled her house. Edward didn’t know who, but because he had been through this type of thing before. Being robbed. He remained close and supportive of her. And was able to guide her through the process of calling the police.

They cuddled, they hugged, but never did they have sex. Because Edward respected that about a foreign culture that he knew very little about.

And in his debt collection job. Sam became his manager. Now they couldn’t come out and say they were in a relationship. Even though they were. Because of her Sikh heritage they had to remain confident about the relationship. Edward was pressured into talking about the relationship with managers above Sam. But Sam had problems of her own because of the working relationship that they had. It was another ultimatum. Thrown at him from his workplace.

So without the money to defend himself legally. Edward quit his job as did Sam. They went to India. But there is no happy ending in life.

And so they broke up. Sam married another Sikh as was her cultural heritage and we are all trapped by circumstances that we do not understand. And that was the first and only girlfriend Edward’s ever had.

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