Is it possible to miss someone you haven’t really actually met? Someone whose face you’ve never seen and whose real name you never knew or they yours? Whose voice you never heard, whose scent you never smelled? How could it be? And yet, for years, I spoke to my Shadow. My Shadow was someone I could bounce ideas off, someone who enabled my endless debates, who put up with my nonsense, no matter how ridiculous. Someone who willingly kept speaking to me, despite me being, I suspect, incredibly annoying and perhaps even dull, when it would have been so incredibly easy to simply stop responding.

My Shadow was kind, in its own way, it gave me advice and supported me in my dreams, despite not knowing me. It offered to do things for me I would not dare ask of most people in my life. it gave me someone to talk to in the middle of the night, when I was feeling angry or upset. My Shadow gave me an escape and listened graciously to my silly teen rants. It respected me for who I was and did not look down on me. My Shadow was never condescending, not even when I had it coming. Which, if I’m being honest, was quite often. It was honest and open, in a strange way. It was smart and had a peculiar kind of wisdom. My Shadow was so much that I admire. My Shadow was not perfect, far from it, but what flaws it had, it acknowledged and displayed them before me. My Shadow did not try to appear better than it was.

Sometimes, weeks went by when my Shadow and I did not exchange so much as a word. But it was never awkward or difficult to talk to it.

And now, now that it is over, I find a dull ache in my heart whenever I think of those times. Like I’ve lost a friend. I find myself thinking, in spite of myself, if perhaps my Shadow sometimes remembers them too. I find myself wondering if it’s alright, if it has accomplished its dreams, how its pet is doing. I find myself wishing our paths will someday cross again. What an odd thing, to feel so close to someone so far away. I do not know if I have touched my Shadow’s life the way it has touched mine, but I hope I have managed to be half as good a friend to my Shadow as it was to me. But mostly, I hope… I hope my Shadow is well. I hope it will always be well.

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