For such a very long time, I was only shadows and darkness. For most of my existence, in fact – I was born, I lived and was never sober, sick in the alleys; I died, on a moonless night and all on my own but for the demon who killed me; I survived, walking and talking and killing, and now I was the demon dragging others down into their own personal torments until they, too, lost their soul; I was returned, forcibly dragged into the light, but it hurt and I hid again, running further than I ever had before. The dark, in varying shades of grey and black, was all I knew.

I wanted nothing to do with anything, or anyone, for such a very long time, so I sulked in the shadows cast by the skyscrapers of New York City, which I made my prison bars. But then – there she was. So young, so sweet, so innocent. And she hurt, with that gut-wrenching pain I knew all too well. The tears streaming down her face as she stared in the mirror, unable to recognize herself, was more familiar than I cared to admit. She was so young.

And she was also my muse. Golden haired and dewy eyed, she burned brighter than any star in the sky and, for the first time in my recollection, I wanted to be somebody. I wanted to be somebody, so that one day perhaps I could pass a day or a night without despising myself with every fiber of my being, with every atom that made me. And, above all, I wanted to be somebody worthy of standing in her light.