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By Tamanna Yousuf

I feel empty.

I haven't felt whole in a long time.

even in that wholeness there was a perpetual emptiness sleeping in me.

sometimes, she packs her suitcases up, and almost reaches the door to leave,

she goes out, takes a walk,

I almost think she's gone. almost.

then I sense the soft tip tap of her feet,

and I hear her knocking back at my door the very next day.

she's like a parasite feeding on me, making my heart feel heavy all the time.

she makes others feel empty too.

empty in their words.

empty in my words.

the annoying presence of an uninvited guest lingering at my doorstep at all times,

just waiting to pound on the door,

coming back in.

she tells me it's nice to see me again,

and I almost find her comforting to be with,

then it's suddenly too tiring to be with her.

emptiness is a messy resident,

she leaves her things lying around everywhere.

I don't have the energy to clean her mess up half the time.

she is very subtle, but clever.

she leaves her things everywhere,

and always forgets to take them back.

when she leaves, she comes back telling me she's just here to get that thing back.

it's always something or the other.

don't trust her. it's a trap.

she hides in unresolved traumas, finds crevices to stay in, unexplored attics of your brain you didn't know exist.

she's here to stay, she says, and closes the door behind her, smiling the same smile at me.

By Tamanna Yousuf

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