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anagapesis

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“I know where those feelings lead.”

So she shed them. Wrapped herself in a cocoon of her own feelings and shed them away, so she’d emerge like a butterfly, beautiful and different from before. (It sounds so easy when she says it now, “Touga who?” and she can say so with a smirk on her face and a flip of her hair. She wants it to sound easy, like she hadn’t cried and fretted and feared and struggled with her feelings for what felt like forever.)

(But now it’s gone, and she no longer can remember how it felt to long for him, his face in the morning, his embrace and his kiss at her cheek.) (I know where those feelings lead.)

What feelings?

What feelings?

***

He comes to her one night, years after her own graduation when her hair is cut short and her clothes are cut more like a woman’s and less like a girl’s. “Nanami,” he says, and for just a second she wonders who this man is and what he wants before the moonlight hits his hair and lets it shine vibrant red. “Nanami, I found you. Finally.”

She lets him speak. It’s nothing to her, after all, all his apologies and wishes for their future (she stifles a laugh at that, their, and he catches her and stares). “We’re not even really brother and sister,” she reminds him. “Remember?”

(There’s a ghost of a tug at her heart, but it only recalls the pain of his words, there is no loss.)

“I lied to you,” he said, like it matters anymore so many years away from it. “I lied, we were both adopted, we were always real brother and sister, we were always—”

She laughs.

“No,” she reminds him. “No. We’re not.” (Brothers don’t do what you do.)

“You can’t have forgotten me, and your feelings…”

I know where those feelings lead.

“What feelings?” she asks.

He leaves shortly after.