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I swim, but I do not see. The water is thick with turbidity: fibers of fish scales, the forgotten breath of deforested sea weed. A snorkel leads from my puckered lips and broaches the thin surface above me. The snorkel is my division, because I am not as decisive as I might hope. I cannot fully detach myself from one world for another.
When I finally broke, it was very difficult to un-break. I cried a lot. I didn’t understand why this was happening to me. I’d only had a handful of sexual partners and the only unprotected sex I’d had was with boyfriends who had been checked for STDs. I was immunised against HPV when I was 21—a fact that scared me more than anything, the knowledge that this thing could have been hiding inside me for up to 5 years completely undetected.