The candles have started to flicker out of existence, but she doesn’t notice as she sits in the almost-dark and let’s her mind wander.

The candles won’t go out, though, because they never go out. The almost-dark never becomes full-dark, because nothing ever changes here. The lights flicker and fade and flare back into life because she just can’t let go of what once was.

The scars never heal, the pain never fades, and the light never quite leaves her eyes because she’s frightened of what that will mean. The darkness will eat her, swallow her whole, and she doesn’t want that.

But she doesn’t move either, doesn’t change the candles or open the curtains to let in more light. Doesn’t let go of the life that was, the life she used to lead.

In the back of her mind, where rationality still reigns, she knows there’s no turning back. She knows that the only path left to her is the darkness, but she just can’t let go.

The candles flicker and fade and then flare back into life.

There’s what feels like a cavern in her chest, reaching right through her skin, her muscles, her soul, reaching to the other side. She wonders idly when it got there, or if it’s always been there, just like everything else.

The light begins to dim, and she wonders if this is the end. If this is what she’s been waiting for…

But then the light flares again, and the cycle continues, and she knows it always will.


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