I thought she was dead. I thought, rather wished, that she was gone forever. Hadn’t I smothered her long enough? It had been so long since I had heard her trembling voice or seen her fearful eyes that I was certain she was gone for good this time and I was me again.

But I was proven wrong when she manifested herself in all her former pitiable form,  through my body. She had been crawling beneath my skin all this time, peeking through my eyes, whispering one pitch below my voice. She was always there, just sedated enough on the temporary belief that life was good again and yet partially awake for the fear that it won’t last. Why the fear? I thought I had buried it deep enough that none could discover it. I was sure this was my final act of making her disappear forever. What was it that was still fueling her? Why had she survived? Would she ever leave me be?

-Iflah Laraib