Emptiness felt like a living thing. A parasite growing in the center of your chest, somewhere behind your heart, taking every ounce of warmth and light and happiness and consuming it until there’s nothing left. Emptiness feels like exhaustion, like there’s no reason to fight, no reason to take another breath, no reason to try to survive. But emptiness also feels like freedom. Because it doesn’t just take the good, it takes the bad, too–the anger, the bitterness, the pain–and when it’s done, it leaves you with just you. A cold, shell-like echo of yourself, but still you.
―Ava Jae, Beyond the Red