She hates the feeling she gets whenever she sees him.

She tries to say it's really because he's a wimpy whiny brat.

She tries to believe that it's because she just doesn't have the patience, nor the presence of mind to deal with him.

But it's really a different kind of feeling.

It feels as if her lungs were filled with quick sand, feeling them burn for no apparent reason at all, feeling the quicksand flow up towards her throat, closing it, constricting it, making it hard for her to breath. Then going higher and higher, closing her pores, making her eyes burn too, feeling the breath leaving her body, and then a hot waxy feeling leaking other eyes.

She tries to choke it, and she tries to convince herself it because of the smog and dust and heat.

But the lingering feeling in her heart tells her otherwise.

------------------------

She loves his hands.

She would never say so out loud, but she has always admired those hands.

Small, thin fingers that always were expertly plucking at the strings of his cello. Agile, nimble hands that were able to create a delicious meal even if all they had in the pantry was miso and noodles.

The same fingers that had at times saved her, at times embraced her, and still other times, times that felt like nightmares chocked her. The same hands that would nervously clench and unclench that could throw tables and chairs and ask for forgiveness.

She catches him quietly humming to the tone of his cello, the same earthly grand noble melody with just a hint of sadness and melancholy.

And she can't help but clap.