We didn't talk as he held my hand. The night was, unsuprisingly, even hotter than the day had been, and I repressed the urge to wipe the sweat gathering just underneath the collar of my cotton yukata.
"You want something before we go?" he said as we walked to the station, lost in a crowd that was slowly moving in the same direction. I barely shook my head in the negative, my throat suddenly desiring the cool sweet rush of shaved ice to spite me. I just wanted to go home.
"You sure?" he asked, a look of concern on his face, his large, warm eyes unhidden by the simple glasses he wore. His concern for me made my skin burn in irritation.
"I'm fine," I answered, deliberately looking away from him and his concern, finding very little to see but the backs of others.
I knew I was being difficult. I didn't need to tell him why.
His thumb rubbed a warm circle against my hand. Neither of us were leading the way through the crowd. We were caught adrift in the motion of others, walking down the narrow side streets like in a dream.
"I'm sorry," he said. The irritation under my skin sunk deeper into me.
"For what," I answered softly.
He stopped, his thick body a boulder in the stream, his grip surprisingly strong as he anchored me to him. I let him pull me towards him, bringing me to stand before him, sheltered by his body from the stream of motion.
"Satchan," he said softly, his inescapable warm eyes taking me in.
... and this is where I get stuck for the night.
The pic is a guerilla shot from the Kumagaya Matsuri last week.