Snufkin had been off all day is what Moomin observed. Then as they were walking back, he fainted, which was a highly unusual thing for him to do. Thankfully, he was easy to wake.
“Are you okay?” Moomin asked.
“I’m fine.” Snufkin said before trying to stand.
“You just fainted!” Moomin exclaimed.
He shrugged it off, “Might be the heat getting to me.”
“Have you been sleeping and eating well?”
He nodded and started walking.
“I don’t think you should be walking.”
“How else will I get back?”
“I could carry you.” Moomin suggested.
Snufkin shook his head, “I should be fine now.”
“You’re swaying!” Moomin pointed out.
“Moomin, I am fine.”
“Why aren’t you telling me what’s wrong?” Moomin sighed, “I’m your best friend.”
Snufkin stopped in his tracks, tensing up, “I am telling you.”
“No you’re not!” Moomin exclaimed before yelling at him, “I wish you would just speak your mind!”
Snufkin gasped and coldly said, “Well, if you wish that then I wish you would just shut up.”
He then left, not seeing Moomin’s look of realization and him trying to apologize.
He got back to his tent late that night. He hadn’t been sleeping or eating well, which was why he fainted, but he could never tell Moomin. Especially not now. He doubted they were still friends.
The next day, after a long night of tossing and turning, he woke up from an hour of sleep. Little My had woken him.
“What did you to Moomin?”
He gave her a confused look, “I haven’t done anything.”
“He can’t talk.”
“Oh. I hope it wasn’t because of our fight yesterday.”
“You had a fight with him yesterday?”
“Did I say that? I’m sorry. It’s just that we made stupid wishes in the heat of the moment.” Snufkin started rambling and Little My listened with curiosity.
“So, Moomin wished you to speak your mind? I think it came true along with your wish.”
“What do you mean by that?” He asked before what just happened caught up to him.
He clasped his hand to his mouth and Little My started cackling.
“It’s not funny, Little My.” He said then got up, “Now, if you excuse me, I’m packing up my things. I’ve caused to much trouble.”
“Wait until I tell Moomin!” She kept laughing, “He’ll feel much better about not being able to speak.”
“Please just leave me alone, Little My.” Snufkin pleaded and she looked a bit shocked as she took off.
“Moomin! Snufkin is just rambling on and on.” Little My exclaimed, “He even started to cry.”
You better not have made him cry, Moomin scolded, but it didn’t work as well in writing.
“He’s leaving as well.”
To that Moomin got up with his pencil and ran out.
Little My snickered and followed.
Moomin saw Snufkin on his knees looking into the river, hand over his mouth. As he got closer, he noticed that it seemed like he was hyperventilating. He went over and touched his shoulder.
He jumped, moving his hand, and turned, “Oh, Moomin, Little My told me that you can’t talk. I’m sorry about that. It’s my fault. I’ll be leaving today and you won’t have to see me again.”
Moomin wrote down and showed him, I’m sorry. It was my fault. I was trying to pressure you into talking about something you obviously didn’t want to talk about.
“I didn’t want to worry you. It’s nothing. I just haven’t been sleeping well. Then when I finally got to sleep for at least an hour this morning, Little My felt the need to bug me.”
His rambling was broken off by another note from Moomin, It’s fine, Snuf. I should’ve respected that you wanted to fix it yourself. How long has it been going on?
“I don’t know. I think two weeks now. Some nights I don’t sleep at all. I can’t figure out why either. I think it’s because we’ve been experiencing such cold weather in the middle of summer. Then no fish seem to be bitting and I’ve been too tired to forage.”
You’ve been cold and starving? You could’ve asked for a blanket and food.
Snufkin stuttered out a sigh, still crying, “I know I should’ve, but it feels like I would be a bother. Do you ever feel like that? That if you try to ask for help, that for whatever reason, in that moment it’s where they decided that they hate you? That you’re not worth their time. Am I worth your time, Moomin?”
His speaking was rapid. He was obviously panicking.
Yes, you are always worth my time, Moomin wrote.
Snufkin buried his head in his arms, “You say that now, but I have a feeling that I’m going to say something stupid and it’ll make you resent me. Then maybe I should say to give you a reason to hate me.”
Nothing you could say could make me hate you.
“It’s funny because I’m so sure you’re lying, but I know your not. It’s just my mind trying to convince me that it’s the worst case scenario. Most times I don’t listen, but it’s so prominent right now. I can tell you now that you don’t know that because I love you more than a friend and that honestly isn’t where this friendship is going.” He then stopped rambling and let out a sob.
“Is it fine...” Moomin started to talk then smiled, “Is it fine if I love you more than a friend as well?”
Snufkin looked up at him.
“I know you couldn’t help, but ramble. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said what I said.”
“I shouldn’t have said what I did either.” He sighed and looked away.
“You know you’re always welcome.” Moomin said and offered his hand to him.
He turned to look at him and took the offered hand. Then Moomin pulled him into a hug.
“I meant what I said.” Moomin said, “I love you.”
Snufkin hugged back and let out a sob of, “I love you too.”
When Moomin pulled back he rubbed their noses together and at Snufkin’s confused look, he explained, “It’s a Moomin kiss.”
Which made more tears bunch up in his eyes and roll down his face, but he explained, “It’s not sadness, more so tears of happiness.”
Moomin smiled and said, “Do you want to come eat lunch with us?”
Snufkin smiled back and nodded.
As they were walking up to the Moomin House, Moomin mentioned, “I hear it’s suppose to be really cold tonight, why don’t you sleep over?”
Snufkin laughed and nodded.
From the window, Little My smirked and yelled, “Moominmamma, an extra plate needs to be set. Moomin invited his boyfriend.”
Moominmamma smiled from inside the kitchen, “Thank you for letting me know, dear.”