Alone is not the same as loneliness

“There’s seven billion people in the world,” he told her. “You are definitely not alone, as much as you might think you are.”

That made it worse. That many people and she didn’t connect with a single one of them. Did he realize how much worse that was? Was there only something wrong with her, that such words weren’t a comfort? Or was the fault with him, where he thought the quantity mattered more than anything.

She looked outside the restaurant window. “There’s about a thousand people in this town,” she replied. “Until we get away, the other seven billion don’t matter.”

And if the thousand people here didn’t make her feel alone, didn’t make him feel alone, they wouldn’t have been trying to escape.

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