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Esther Opal, Journalist


His voice sent a sharp prick up my spine, but somehow it felt right.


Hearing his voice lit my heart on fire, like the revival of a flame that had been smoldering for years.

We stood there for a few moments, the door slowly creaking back and forth on its hinges due to the soft summer wind. The same gentle gusts that moved the door flew back and forth across my face as well, causing my hair to slip from behind my ear and brush my cheek.

My eyes grew shaky and my fists clenched. I looked at my father’s figure, his silhouette standing against the moonlight from the window. He slowly lifted his arms, opening them into a wide invitation.

And with that, I allowed my aching muscles to move, thrusting my body into that warm embrace I had been avoiding for months. Those months had felt like decades, as I had been pushing this need from my heart for too long now. This long-awaited release felt like the lifting of a thousand pounds off my aching back.

I licked the salty sweat from my lips and clenched my eyes shut as my tears slid down my cheek, before falling onto my father’s sleeve. His arms wrapped around my body like a blanket, but his grip was strong and secure, reassuring me of what I had thought I would never feel again: