I have something to tell you. 

You would think it’s a rat, roaming around inside the walls. It makes a strange, scratching sound like someone trying to get out. I, of course, will never let it escape. Why should I? It never would come back if I did. I feel better with it trapped inside the substantial walls of my house, always moaning and screeching to be let free again.  

Some nights, I lie awake listening to it beseeching me and I snort at its desperation. Oh, what consolation I feel hearing it hammering away at my walls. My walls are too thick to be broken, too strong to be penetrated and too tight to let it breathe easily. The joy! I can sometimes feel it carousing through my whole being like cool silver, energising my very soul. I rub my hands in triumph for what I have achieved is something no mortal could ever do. It is the thought of this victory that keeps me going through life.

In the supermarket, I sympathise with all the people hounded by theirs, for mine is locked up. I see them hustle from corner to corner, from shelf to shelf with their kids and their problems all in one, big parcel. Outside, everyone is in a scurry to get somewhere. Me? I just saunter along nonchalantly, smiling at the drivers honking in the traffic jam. I am in no hurry.

Tonight, it wants to talk to me. It reminds me about everything I’m missing.
“You have to let me move on! This is not the way it was meant to be,” it argues.
“I don’t think so!” I reply with a smirk. “You must learn what it’s like to wait. You must wait…for me!”
It persists. “You don’t understand! Think about all the changes that have happened….”
I interrupt it, “What changes? I’m the same and nothing has changed.” I blissfully tell it about my life and the serenity that I now feel.
It is frustrated soon and starts its banging and screeching again.
I am happy.

One fall evening, when the ground was thick with leaves as yellow as a dead man, I had decided to get rid of it. Nothing could touch me after I had bolted that door. Since then, I have been bold, for I had thrown in all my fears of tomorrow with it. I no longer have them to keep me stirring at night. I now sleep tranquilly when I want to. I have no appointments to keep. I have no one to wait for.

It is talking again. With a festering tongue and a voice hollowed with my barrenness, it begs me. My ears take in the whining and my senses are fed.

Somewhere, inside me, a voice still calls occasionally. A voice from happier days, a voice from before that fall evening. It asks me to move on. It has become easier to drown it now.

You can’t hurt me anymore with your almond eyes, your enthralling smile and all that you took away with you into the grave that fall evening. Unseen leaves float noiselessly to the ground and it is always autumn for me.

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