she always felt empty. all the things that were supposed to make her happy never made her feel anything. she always sensed there was something more out there, some other life for her, something that could make her feel like a complete person. even as a little girl, she could feel it whispering to her from the shadows. but she just smiled and faked her way through life, pretending any of it meant anything to her. once she fell in love for real and she thought it might change her and it did for awhile, but the emptiness came back. only her research made her feel alive, only the possibility that there was a whole other world hiding behind this one, that there was something extraordinary out there beyond the dullness of the day to day. it felt like hope. maybe she could be part of that world. maybe then she could feel complete. maybe (and ironically) dying for real could kill the terrible deadness inside her and she’d come back with the ability to feel things, really feel them. but that’s not what happened at all.