They followed him everywhere: home, school, inside, outside. The writhing black masses penetrated his thoughts, each darker and more noticeable than the last.
He wasn’t sure when they first started showing up. First grade maybe? Second? He had never known what to do with them; they were simply something he just had to deal with in life.
He figured everyone else must do the same, but did not ask. As he got older, he realized that this wasn’t normal, that something was wrong with him.
Countless nights researching gave the shadows names but he still walked around with them by his side.
When he left to go to college, when he left that miserable house, the shadows faded. They would be paler and would pick and choose times to show back up.
He still had no control, but they did not suffocate him.
As time went on, the shadows began to leave him. One day they were there, the next they weren’t. But still, the most stubborn ones remained.
Just out of the corner of his eye, or maybe in the reflection of the mirror, he would see them dart in and out. He could not yet forget them.
But he was tired. It was too much. The shadows drained him, and in his new life, he needed all the energy he could get. He *wanted* it.
He needed to find a way to get rid of them, to move on from what he had experienced.
*The shadows of the evil and the past are good for nothing*, he told himself. *Let go.*