reasons to stop talking

“Tell me something, Haku,” they say quietly.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“Did you mean it? That day, when…”

I’m taken aback. “When what? I don’t know what you mean.”

They sigh, obviously struggling to find words, and I level my gaze with theirs in uneasy concern. I don’t know what brought this up all of a sudden, and I haven’t a clue what they’re talking about.

And yet, maybe I do know after all…

“Why’d you stop?” they ask.

I choke. “What? Stop what?”

They shake their head and deflate a little. “Never mind…”

“No, wait, tell me,” I say. “What do you mean? What’s wrong?”

“Never mind,” they repeat. They seem abruptly quite tired.

“Please tell me,” I plead. “If something’s bothering you…”

They lay back again and close their eyes. “Let’s just stop talking, okay?”

Stop talking?

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