New Orleans, LA - 2019-08-15

Ashley: I'm an immigrant child and my parents are from Granada. Their lives were so much different than mine. They had to marry to get where they wanted to be and it was very much the expectation.

When I was 14 my mom died. My mom and dad's relationship was yen and yang. Dad worked and mom managed everything. When she died he could not exist anymore.

When I became an adult, it was really about being able to stand on my own two feet. I definitely saw any romantic relationship as a distraction. I became single-minded in my attempts to be financially independent. I'm the youngest of three. Both my older siblings are married. Both dated a lot. I did not.

I think I come across as a very extroverted person but the truth of the matter is, I'm extremely introverted. I love being alone. I'm a teacher and I get home after a day of work, close my studio apartment door and the silence is exquisite.

BW: How old are you?

Ashley: 32. Never had a boyfriend, never had a relationship.

BW: Are you a sexual person?

Ashley: Yeah. But I don't like emotional intimacy or the feeling of needing someone. It bothers me, a lot.

BW: Does it bother you that it bothers you? Is there a part of you that thinks you're missing out?

Ashley: My brother just got married and he and I are similar. Seeing him fall in love and become a half to someone else was an interesting process because it made me feel for the first time that someone with my personality really could be happy in a marriage. But there is that part of him that is different. He is a very accommodating person and doesn't get frustrated easily. He's all goodness and light and rainbows. I just have this edge. I'm a tough person and I know that about myself.

BW: A lot of people have this deep-seated fear that they may die alone.

Ashley: Ha. I don't feel that at all because it's been proven wrong. My dad found the love of his life. They grew up together. They were married for over 20 years and she died. Same thing with my grandmother. She loved this guy, she gets a stroke, she's in the bed for seven years alone. The truth is, either way, it hits you.