The Immaterial Spirit
#16
It was not often that Himal found himself at such a total loss for words as he now found himself. "I am sorry." Himal frowned as he stepped forward to wait outside, turning to consider his friend and colleague, who appeared to be having difficulty now with the foreign English language. Himal had known that Maksimov's mother had died while he was still in childhood, but the rest . . . "I had no idea. Again, I am sorry if I have made you speak of something which you would rather not think of. My intent was only to ease any discomfort. It seems I have only made it worse."
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#17
He closed the door behind them, turning to lock it, "No apology." Smiling to himself, "I am eased by you each day, my friend. It does not pain me to speak of anything to you. Come, let us go to yours before it is quite late."
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#18
Himal felt himself somewhat arrested by Maksimov's sentiments - breath and thought stopping altogether, a sensation almost entirely unfamiliar to him - and found himself able only to nod in response, almost curtly. Indicating that Ezra should proceed him, Himal began walking in the direction of his own flat; it was not terribly far, not an unpleasant evening for a walk. "I am pleased you feel that way, my friend. I know I am not the easiest to interact with." 

Following this admission of his own failings, Himal glanced over at his friend. The lamps were only just beginning to be lit, and their light illuminated Ezra's face, causing it to glow beneath the dark halo of his hair. "Do you ever find yourself longing for Russia?"
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#19
He went ahead without much inclination that he'd noticed Himal's reaction. "I do not find that of you." and wanted to add that perhaps they were both eased by each other, but swallowed that one for now. "Sometimes I recall going to Temple with my mother, it is pleasant memory. Erh, perhaps also that I sound not so foolish in Russian." Scoffing gently, a touch embarrassed to talk about it, but not unwilling.
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