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Day Twelve: Anonymous

What is it like to move through a room where no one knows what you did? It is like holding a handful of water and trying not to let it run through your fingers. Guilt is not a button you can hide in your pocket, or a stain you can wear a jumper over. It is there - plainly and you will see it if you look closely enough.


When you look closely enough you won’t see it properly anyway. You’ll sense discomfort and awkwardness. You’ll know someone is holding something but not what. Even when that water spills over - and it always does - you will think it’s something else. A learning disability. Something going on in the home. Difficulty coping with school. Social anxiety. Shyness.


Most people are repelled by it, but some people are drawn to it. Drawn into it. That’s what happened to Roz. She sensed something about Jacob and rather than walking away, she dove in.


Eventually, she slipped through his fingers too.


But she did get close. Closer than Sara did - in some ways. Roz never tasted that water. Never knew what it was she was swimming in. Just fought it, day in and day out until she couldn’t anymore. She had, unknowingly, birthed a child into it.


Sara had been passing that water back and forth with Jacob since the moment one of them started the lighter. Maybe even before that.


Is it possible to feel guilt proactively?


Would it have stopped them?


There was no point thinking about it.

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