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A deep, inborn sense of yearning for a home, a feeling, a place or a person who doesn’t exist or maybe never was.


The woman on the tv had looked at the character across her on-screen in defiance.


“Your stories mean the world to me,” the man said, looking deeply hurt at her.


A separate woman, the one watching the scene started sobbing obscenely. They really did.


She felt home in every little story, in every little mission. In every little hug. 


She sobbed and tugged at her heart as if she could claw out the pain.


“Hey,” a soft voice spoke in her heart. “It’s okay, the pain means we matter to you.”


She sobbed harder. It was getting hard to keep her emotions in. They were beloved to her. Yet they would never know what they meant to her. 


How they helped her up through her grief. Through her hardships. Her depression. Her darkest and deepest thoughts of depravity and loneliness. How they raised her into the woman she was. The mess she was. 


How in the darkest nights she’d imagine one of them just talking with her. And she’d drift to sleep knowing she’d be safe. Or she’d imagine being there with them and comforting them and feel safe knowing they were okay.


They’d seep into her dreams and give her a mood boost in the morning.


How on the most depressing of days she’d turn to them in her mind and they’d be there to talk with her. To keep her busy. To keep her from her depression, or to talk her through it.


She sobbed until her nose ran. She cried until her eyes burned. She sniffled until she choked. She rubbed her cheeks until they burned raw and yet she still couldn’t reach out and touch them. To hold them in her arms and tell them everything would be okay. That she would build their happy endings in her mind or keep the video game characters from the path of death and grief. She would build their best selves. She would support them as they supported her. She’d get them to therapy, get them to family. Set them up for success in love, in life and in jobs.


She grabbed her old laptop, brimming with her stories. Her travels with them and she sat down to add to them. Wiping away a tear. But it felt….empty….she could feel one of them comforting her. Holding her shoulder. He was there more often than the others. He’d taken the mantle lately to comfort and prop her up.


“You don’t have to write you know,” he said softly. “We’re always here.”


“But,” she sighed. “I want them to know you as I do….I want all of them to see the vastness of my love… see you how I do.” she didn’t turn to him. 


She could see him smile out of the corner of her vision.


“I know,” he said. “It’s all so overwhelming. I’d imagine having us all at once….It must be a comfort to get it out then?”


“Yes,” she said sadly. “That way I can’t ever forget you.” she sniffed sadly and started crying again.


“Whoa,” he said softly. “How could you ever say that?" he asked, patting her back. “We’d never forget you either.”


He pattered her head affectionately


“I know you’ll never forget us,” he said. “Because we’re always in your heart.”


She finally looked at him and he smiled as he faded in front of her, shimmering into a vision.


She smiled sadly, thankful she got a good glance this time and started typing into the computer.




A deep, inborn sense of yearning for a home, a feeling, a place or a person who doesn’t exist or maybe never was.