I had a thought, recently. I realized that some of the stray thoughts which disturb me most and leave me feeling most empty are absent, unprompted, and barely relevant to anything.
I was thinking about all of my favorite characters, and, of course, came upon Dimitri Nikolai Keshlov. My favorite, and most developed character. I've often said that if I could make any of my characters real he'd be the one I'd choose. I followed along that thought briefly before realizing that he's only the character he is now because of the characters I've introduced around him. Everyone he's come to consider his family. I realized how broken I'd made his character before, and how he'd be now if he WERE real and he didn't have his family and friends.
I flashed to an image of Dimitri, alone in his huge, dark house, all these years later. Slumped defeated against a wall with a half empty bottle of vodka in his hand. Too tired to cry,thinking of his family and all of the people he come to care about as if they were. The people he'd come up with in daydreams, to pass the years he'd spent alone since he sent that letter to his brother. That letter he never got a response to, and all those after it.
It was by far the worst thought I've had in a long time