Written by Nishi Nandineni


I’ve gotten used to it—the screaming, the heart-wrenching pleas.

I’ve begun to ignore it; like I was told to do. 

But that doesn’t help the ringing in my ears, the hollow feeling in my chest at every sound—at every sight. 

I don’t feel pity. Nor do I feel any sympathy.
But I do feel something else. 

Something… hurtful. Hurtful to me. There’s a certain hesitance now before they scream. A certain hesitance that comes with a gulp down my throat, and a bead of sweat down my forehead. 

I’m not sure what to call it. A moral compass, maybe, but it isn’t as if I stop. 

It’s a hesitation. 

That’s all. 

I simply watch them–their pain, their desperation. It doesn’t make me feel good or proud. At least not like it used to. 

I felt as if I was simply obligated, forced. 

I felt… wrong. Guilty. 

I didn’t know how to describe it. I’m not sure if I even can describe it.

It was an odd emotion. Complicated. 

I just felt as if I was on two sides–my thoughts on one and my actions on the other. 

My body, in the wrong, my mind in the right. 

My body, in the dark, but my mind…

My mind was in the light.

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