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I did not see it coming;
I was not quite prepared.
Empathy, it did not know
And frightening me, it dared.

It lurked behind me like a shadow.
It followed me both day and night.
But whenever I tried to confront it,
It disappeared from sight.

It was peculiar, this thing;
This serpent from the past.
A manipulative beast of poison
that pushed me into its path.

On the darkest night in December,
I was at the end of my rope.
I walked outside into the rain
and begged for it to go.

Then finally I saw him
Right before my very eyes.
It was the size of a wee boy
With a presence more powerful than mine.

Chills ran down my spine
and I asked him just one thing:
“Boy, why do you haunt me?”
He stared at me and grinned.

I watched him slowly walk away
and disappear into the night.
But I heard him whisper in the breeze:
“Because you were afraid of the light.”

– Tia D. O’Grady