This could be considered a companion piece to "Sunrise" in a way. Another short essay for Mars, but this time Kira's point of view. Contains spoilers for books seven and eight, in an obtuse, symbolic sort of way.

Having gone through something similar to Kira, I didn't find this essay easy to write, but it did seem appropriate.

----- Touch By: Ariel-chan -----

It terrifies me, sometimes, that something so life-altering can start with a simple touch. Or maybe the frightening part is that a simple touch can change one's life. One touch can rip apart families and destroy relationships.

There's a huge thing behind this touch, of course. There's a monster rising from the black. It reaches out, and it too touches the victim as it has touched the perpetrator. From there it spreads to those around the affected person, the afflicted person. That's the psychological impact, the emotional impact.

It is devastating and horrifying, but sometimes I can push it away. I can push it to the side and see what happened without the monster.

And it's all touch. One long, painful, complicated touch.

So this physical contact is such a part of it, so tied into it, that any touch can awaken the monster.

I'm so afraid now. You make me feel whole again, healed, shining in that light that have always had for me. But will you stay with me if I cannot bear your touch? Will I ever recover, or will every loving touch remind me of the monster that infiltrated my body?

The monster rises from the back and wraps its arms around its victim, dragging her into the dark with it. That part of the victim, the part that longs for touch, lays trapped in that darkness.

And every time you try to touch me, that part of me weeps.