My veins hum in extacy. This scene is familiar, a cigarette in hand, wind in my hair, my lips dry and cracked. But I am different.

Larger, of course, taller, filled out, no longer skin over bones. The darkness didn't eat me afterall.

It's been three years since I've seen you, mother dearest, and my babies too. Four years since I've seen the creature you married. I don't think I'll ever heal. But.

Right now, right this moment,
I am whole.

Sure, I am held together with tape and glue and promises, but I've found the pieces, gathered them, nurtured them and held thier hands. I've sewn myself back together, held a lighter to the stitches, so they might hold. And each piece holds only a little bit of hope, but together, together, they are my freedom.

You have not defeated me. I am mine.