I could hear Asha crying from the mansion. Everyone heralded Kyoshiro as a hero for sacrificing himself to save Asha but for some reason I still didn't trust him. That's why I stayed quiet at his ceremony. That's why I stayed in the background with Chesh. That's why I didn't speak with Asha. But now she was cryin'. I stepped out onto the balcony, sighing as I walked. Chesh had commandeered the bed and was fast asleep, making that strange little snore you hear from a cat every now and then. I leant on the balcony railing and put my head in my hands for a minute. By the time I looked up our latest newcomer, Harmony, had jumped off her own balcony and was heading for Asha. She called out to her, shouting words of encouragement, but they seemed to have no effect.
"Harmony! Hold up a sec, I'm comin' with" I said, glancing at Chesh before jumping off the balcony.
The two of us walked towards Asha, trying to work out what we'd say. I'm pretty sure Harmony had a good idea but my mind was blank. Every time I thought of somethin' to say, I played it back in my mind and it just sounded terrible. I figured I'd just let Harmony do the talkin'. We reached Asha, who was almost hidden in the shadows, and I looked at the ground.
"Asha, none of this was your fault" Harmony said softly.
I tried focusing on the conversation between her and Asha but I just couldn't. My brain was still a tangled mess. I'd seen Asha die today yet here she was, fine and well. I'd seen Kyoshiro die today and heal Asha of her affliction. Two deaths, one body. Well, no body. Asha was still crying, even as she spoke. Before any of us knew what had happened, I'd thrown myself at Asha and wrapped her in a tight hug. She stumbled back a bit with the force but then stood there, no doubt wondering what was goin' on.
"You're not goin' anywhere, girl, ya hear me?" I said, tryin' to hold back my own tears. I never cried in front of people. Hell, I never cried in front of myself. I'd prepared myself the day I met Asha for the day I'd see her go. But I just wasn't ready. She was one of the few friends I had and I wasn't lettin' her go that easy.
"You've got friends here. If they forgave you once then they'll forgive you again, even if it wasn't your fault" Harmony piped in.
"I... I don't...." Asha started.