Her heart was a sanctuary. When people would come in, no matter how temporary their stay, she always tried to make them feel safe. While they were there, she tried to let them know that they were wanted; they belonged.
Once someone found their way in, they held a key to her heart for the rest of their life. These were the people who were welcome to come and go as they pleased. She never kicked anyone out, even when she wanted to, even when they deserved to be. She may have encouraged a few to vacate the premises, but she was only bluffing. She never expected anyone to actually leave, but when they did, she always reserved a space for them just in case they ever wanted to come back. She would keep their rooms open and empty, waiting for the day they needed it.
Now her heart is a hotel, haunted by the consequence of fleeting memories and ghosts of everyone she trusted enough to invite inside. Each room is an open grave waiting to be filled with all that she could never lay to rest, like the unfinished business of everyone who has ever walked away. There are no vacancies, only an abundance of reserved space for people who may never return. She holds on so tightly to these ghosts that there are no rooms left to fill with people who are actually eager to stay. The ones who have taken her for granted have made a hotel of a heart that was always meant to be a home. Now, she turns all new travelers and potential guests away.
The ones who never return don’t realize the weight of the cobwebs that collect in their absence. The shadows that accumulate in every corner of those rooms left behind have become the breeding ground for something sinister. These dark things wander in on their own, a consequence of negligence and time.
Now, each abandoned room serves as a warning: Be careful who you let in. You never know what will try to fill the spaces that they leave behind.