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I see you are confused.

Oh, don't worry, I know you feel betrayed as well. But more than that, you simply don't understand, do you?

You wonder: Why, if this house is so lonely, does it not welcome an intruder?

You wonder: Why doesn't it wish to keep me inside its desperate, pulsing walls?

You wonder: Why won't it let me fill its barren hallways with more than ghosts?

Let me tell you a story.

One day, wandering down a twisting suburban road, you see a house with the most magnificent garden. The front yard is clearly maintained by a loving homeowner with few responsibilities and much free time. At the edge of the yard, just before imported grass and soil meets imported concrete, a row of colorful carnations draw your eye. Driven by a sudden, irresistible urge, you pluck a single flower from its home and smuggle it back to yours.

(You don't stop to reflect on why you took it. It was simply because it was pretty, wasn't it? Not because you were jealous that another homeowner had put in the effort to turn their residence into a place of such beauty.)

You dig up a clay pot from the dusty shelves in the basement. You fill it with soil from your own neglected, pitiful excuse for a garden. You find the sunniest spot on your bedroom windowsill and mount the flowerpot with pride, satisfied that you'll have a bit of natural beauty to look upon each morning.

The flower stands strong for a few days. Every now and then, you sniff it or run your fingers along its petals, basking in the warm feeling it gives you.

When more than a few days have passed, you notice something wrong.

You're watering the flower regularly. It has plenty of sun. So why is it wilting? Why is it beginning to droop, beginning to lose the vibrant color that drew you to it in the first place?

You increase the amount of water you're giving it, ever so slightly.

The flower keeps dying. It crumbles in on itself, a pale and wrinkled thing. A monument of your failure, perched on your bedroom window to greet you each morning.

You feel an odd sense of betrayal. You took such good care of the flower. It has water and sun. That's all it needs to live. What more does it want?

Filled with a visceral disgust, you pour enough water into the muddy soil to drown the wretched flower, choking it out before you rip the stem from the dirt. You dump the mess in a corner of your backyard, lifeless and worthless to you.

You see, intruder, I have tried to keep people. I cared for them with all the love a house could give.

It wasn't enough.

So, perhaps you understand me now when I say: I am showing you mercy.