There was  time I could remember how light felt inside me. I remember the warmth of it, the innocence of it. I could remember what it felt like not to have a swarming sickness in my belly, beckoning me into the dark like an old friend.

I remember when it and I were never friends at all.

But that was a long time ago.

Before I had a smile that would illuminate any room, bring to life any kind of rapture found in the souls of any person in its path. Now there is no smile. I could swear instead of illuminating souls, I now take them, perpetually haunted by sorrows hidden away so tightly by their once-owners.

To see so much and to feel so much has done its damage. Too much too young and too soon. No family left, no friends. Everyone gone in some form or another. None of it good, none of it pleasant.

Sometimes I can still remember how many times my heart broke. At some point it just got tired of fixing itself. So now I am just a shadow, collecting souls and sorrows like I was the only true owner of any of it.

It would give me relief to lay them down to rest, but they have burned into my skin and sunk deep into my bones. Forever imprinted by those who pause in my path, locking eyes with me. I wonder if cold chills ever spill across them and they know what they’ve somehow lost. I wonder if they know it was me who took everything.

Even my candles burn black with my sins and their sins. Even they turn cold against my skin.

Only when the first rays of sun hit my skin do I remember the light and how I once had it. Then I remember how I lost it.

Then it goes cold.


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