They sat in silence for a few minutes as Asha tried to rein in his emotions, Rei’s eyes focused on the surface of the river so he didn’t have to look at the normally easy going man. Asha was hardly ever sad so to know that he had been the cause of that kind of stress made Rei feel that much worse. When Asha’s sobs had turned into sniffles Rei got up the courage to open his mouth.
“Why are you here Asha?” he asked.
“Because general Biro told me to come find you. He said that you’ve missed training three times this week,” Asha snapped. “You’ve been lying to me all week!” Rei kept silent, he knew better than to argue. “I don’t understand why do you keep lying to me? You were never like this before and now suddenly it has been lie on top of lie. Why? Why can’t you just tell me the truth?”
“It’s not that easy,” Rei murmured.
“I’m your lover! Or at least I thought I was but with you pushing me away so much I don’t know anymore. If you love me why can’t you tell me the truth?” Asha said.
“You really want to know the truth?” Rei asked.
“Yes Rei, I want to know the truth,” Asha replied.
“I’ve been skipping training and lying to you because I’ve been trying to gather up the courage to kill myself,” Rei told him point blank. He watched Asha’s face visibly fall in shock.
“What?” Asha exclaimed.
“I’ve been skipping training and coming to the river because I’ve been trying to find the courage to throw myself into it but I’m a coward and can’t,” Rei explained. Asha was sniffling again but this time out of disbelief rather than sadness.
“So I was right to be afraid,” he mused. Now it was Rei’s turn to be confused. “When general Biro told me you were missing I couldn’t shake this feeling that you had done something awful,” he explained. “And when I found your shoes and jewelry I was so afraid that I was too late. I sat here for an hour and the longer I waited the more sure I became and I just started to cry.” Suddenly Asha turned completely towards Rei and wrapped his arms around him in a crushing hug. Rei laid his hand over the other man’s before gently kissing his forehead.