Like a closet, there's always that one thing inside that remains untouched. It could be something precious to you, like the little orange bear your father sent home from Iraq that you'd cry into faithfully every night because you truly had no one to turn to, and daytime didn't hurt as badly. It could be something horrible, like the memory of his departure, or the chest racking sobs of longing as you wished, and hoped, and prayed," Dear Lord God, please bring daddy back." I could recreate the moment, even though the picture we have hanging in the hallway that I've, thank goodness, somehow learned to look at without literally crumbling to the ground, says 1,000 words. And until now, I've never really realized how much I was going through. I was a strong kid, but that was before people showed up. Before I let anyone in. And, quite frankly, I really, truly, wholeheartedly, regret it. Because now, I need people. Now, there's something stuck in the door of my seclusion cell. Now, I cannot block the threats of emotions. And trust me, there are plenty.... I remember the days when I could live without fear; Without being hurt severely by a slip of the tongue from some random stranger. I miss those lovely, carefree days. And I loathe the terrible tragedy that came after. The Present. Now, I can't watch a movie without crying. I can't be sympathetic; only empathetic. And, trust me, this life is miserable. I hate myself for letting you in, reality. You destroyed me. You began to viciously corrode my hard work, my dedication, my very being. Your acidic touch disintegrated my dire need to be alone. To be an eccentric. To be secluded. To be ME.