Sometimes Aya finds it hard to breathe. Tooya/Aya
But Aya is older now, and knows that nothing is ever so simple. Living can be hard, even when you having something to live for. Sometimes people try to take life away from you and it is hard, so very hard to stop them. Even breathing is difficult sometimes. Aya knows. Sometimes she hears the catch of Touya's breath as he lies prone in their bed and feels his pain like it is her own.
He's ill now, worse than he ever has been. They've had two blissful years together. She doesn't think there will be a third.
Touya is sleeping. Aya lies down next to him, her forehead pressed against his own. She reaches for his hand, so large compared to her own dainty palm. His fingers curl around hers, warm and strong.
Aya has learnt a different kind of happiness: her child's smile, Touya's gentleness, sunshine on a winters day - these things, beautiful and fleeting but forever - are all she needs.
Touya's chest rises and falls in a steady, comforting rhythm. Aya tries to match it: breath to breath. Heartbeat to heartbeat. He hasn't left her yet.
Aya closes her eyes.