"I EXIST."

Location

Only my echo responds.

"Oh," it says. "Anything else?"

I stop.  I did not expect a question in return.

"No.  I just wanted to be heard."

"Oh.  Well, I heard you."

"That’s all?  You heard me?"

"Isn’t that what you wanted?"

I stop again.

"No.  No, I guess it’s not.  I want to be understood."

"I don’t understand."

"That’s the problem.  I want you to see me."

"Oh."

"What’s wrong?"

"You want too much."

"Is that bad?"

"Sometimes."

My echo goes silent.

"I EXIST."

"Oh."

"Didn’t you hear me?  I EXIST.  I AM HERE.  LOOK AT ME."

"Why?"

"Because I deserve it.  Because I EXIST."

"Oh," my echo says.

"Oh," I say.  "You aren’t much help."

"Then give me something to help."

"Me.  Me right here.  Help ME."

"I EXIST."

"Wait, no-"

"I EXIST."

"You’re too loud-"

"I EXIST."

"I can’t see you-"

"I EXIST."

"PROVE IT"

I freeze.

"Oh."

"Yes," my echo whispers. “Oh.”

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