“I wanted to tell him then how loneliness can become a tangible thing, after a while. It’s something that you carry with you on your shoulder, hold up like a friend with a twisted ankle. It sits with you and walks the streets with you. It’s a selfish thing and it refuses to let go or even split its attention. Of course, like a particularly annoying itch, you can convince yourself for a while that it’s not there. You can go to libraries and sit with friends and drink more coffee than your body can handle and you can feel surrounded and happy. But eventually you have to scratch it. Loneliness steals you away from the world, as if you’ve been cut loose and you’re lost, untethered, somewhere far above everyone else. Just you and this feeling that you just need someone to put a hand on your shoulder and turn you around, to look at you and tell you the three words that matter most: You’re not alone. Don’t be scared. I am here. It’s not about love or lust or any other inadequate word; it’s about being touched and realising that you are no longer by yourself.” – Chloe Rattray

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