No longer burdened by what’s left behind

Henry frowned at Eishi and then poked him. “Why’re you so down?” he said, tilting his head to one side.

Eishi scowled. “Cassidy was murdered,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s not – I can’t just get over it the way the rest of you seem to have.”

“Eishi,” Joram said, his tone gentle. “It’s not that we are cold. You truly seem to be more… effected by her loss. I think Henry’s… just worried about you.”

Henry nodded. “I don’t want you to be sad, Eishi,” he murmured. “I just… don’t know how to help you.”

“Because you won’t tell us what’s really wrong,” Amera said, nodding.

For a moment, Eishi was silent. Then, he heaved a deep sigh. “We… we didn’t tell you,” he said, his voice cracking. “We weren’t sure how – how you’d feel about it – about us.”

“You and Cassidy were seeing each other?” Joram asked. He sighed and threw his arms around Eishi’s shoulders. “Take all the time you need, Eishi! I don’t know what I’d do if anything ever happened to Cianal!”

For a while, Eishi just cried softly. When, he quieted, he wiped his tears away. “Somehow,” he said, his voice faint, “I feel better. Thank you.”

“Any time,” Joram said, settling back on his own cushion once more.

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