“For years I didn’t feel much of anything besides the hollowness and the hunger. It was like I was a bottomless pit and if I didn’t devour others I would devour myself instead.”
Is it possible for a person to be born with a hole in their soul instead of their heart? Can someone have a spiritual defect as easily as a physical abnormality? I wouldn’t have thought so once but it’s true that sometimes it seems as if there really is a hole in Tanim’s soul and no matter how many comforts, promises, and assurances I pour into him, they eventually drain away. In their absence the self-loathing and shame creep back like a sickening mold in the cavity of his hollow chest. Alcohol and sleeping pills only take him away from his dark thoughts for so long. Even my own words barely make a difference. So maybe it’s true; maybe he really can’t be filled. Perhaps Tanim was born like this, the way some people are born with a congenital heart defect. A hole in your heart can be fixed, though. How do you sew up a wounded soul? I’m no surgeon and certainly no therapist. If I can barely keep my own scars from ripping open, how could I ever fix Tanim? Maybe one day the emptiness will simply swallow him whole, and myself as well.