Take your scalpel and clean it of the dried blood from previous expeditions.

Make your incision quickly; I am not anesthetized. I am awake, and completely aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Peel away the skin and muscle. See my ribs? White against red. Examine me, with an artist's eye and surgeon's immortal indifference. You know this hurts me. But I do it so that you will know, once and for all.

There, trapped in a cage of bone, like a plucked hummingbird beating wildly with pain and exultation! There. That is my heart. Cut that open, if you want. See that it beats only for you.

Close me up with whispered stitches. I can't feel them, anymore. All I want to know is that you understand, now.

So why are you trembling?
My little kitten, scared and confused. The world outside of your self-imposed walls is frightening, isn't it?

I'm here.

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