The dreams I have these nights are hopeless. I remember what happened by the way it drapes on my skin. The laughter (that hurts our sides and is so loud the neighbours wonder if we have finally lost our minds) the way people stare at me like they know my secrets. I smile at them if they knew what I knew they would blush like a schoolgirl. The lazy pancake-making at all hours of the night (but we put our dishes in the machine because we not barbarians) – swaying to music playing lightly on my phone to break up the tension that is building in the kitchen. It is hardy and hungry and unquiet. We are careful not to touch outside of the room and when we do, an arm brushing past another arm or an accidental bumping into the other we apologise and giggle as if we have never intentionally touched each other before. Covering my face as I stifle a nervous fit of laughter when you come up behind me to hold me as I finish the last of the cooking. Explaining later that it has been too long since I have been touched. You nod and agree that it has been too long since you have touched anyone. Writing the letters that say all of the words that my heart tries to get me to play out in actions but I cannot because, at the moment, I am useless. It is one thing to be craved or desired but the need to be safe and understood is just as strong. Being a seeker, looking for the depths of one’s soul, finding what makes them wholly vulnerable and what makes them feel truly alive… these are the shadows we fall into.