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When did I let someone into my life like this?

That was the first thing that came into Gani's mind when they woke up and saw Daga sleeping beside them. He had the habit of grabbing onto the nearest thing in his sleep and Gani didn't mind. They liked the slow rise and fall of his chest, the steady heartbeat that drowned out the drone of the apartment room fan.

Gently, Gani pulled away from Daga and they felt his hand ghost onto theirs.

Goodmorning, It said with a gentle squeeze.

You too, Gani squeezed back and let go.

They watched Daga sleep, trying to decide on something. They looked around uneasily and sighed.

"I'll be in the office" They settled with saying that and left. Daga only responds with a hum of acknowledgment.

When did I let someone into my life like this?

The thought pops up into Gani's mind again as they listen to Juanita talk about a missing family from their database. They already knew all the details: A mother, a father, two kids and a dog.

How suburban, Gani thought.

Juanita picks up on Gani spacing out and clears her throat, which makes them glance at her in confusion.

"Have you been sleeping well?" She asked, slightly annoyed but mostly concerned.

Gani hesitates before nodding. Juanita also hesitates before asking them something.

"Is that man- Daga is it? Is he giving you trouble?" She asked and Gani just stared at her. They shake their head and stood up, halting her from asking further.

"Speaking of Daga, I asked him to be the one to pick you and Tala up in case something goes wrong. He knows his way around, you see…" Gani explained. Juanita stared at them as they talked with a spaced out look.

"Are you ok?" She asked and Gani only laughs.

"I think I should be asking you that, this is the first time you're travelling around the Backrooms, right? Usually I would have told you to not go, but well I think you'll do fine so uh-" They said glancing at the door. Juanita smiles in a way that made Gani sigh.

"I get it, sorry for asking about Daga" She shrugged and left before Gani could explain themselves.

"Wait- no-! Tangina…" They groaned.

When did I let someone into my life like this?

The thought was slowly creeping through their head when they paced back and forth.

Something had happened to them, they thought. Something happened to Juanita and Tala and Gani couldn't help but feel hazy from the anxiety.

It didn't make sense, none of them could die but…

Gani shook their head, and sat down. They watched the door closely, unconsciously rocking themselves back and forth in their chair.

The door opens and Gani runs to Juanita and Tala. They both looked fine, roughed up, but fine and Gani couldn't help themselves but panic.

"Are you two ok? What happened? Wha-" Gani blabbered, and Tala just patted their shoulder as a response.

"Had a run-in with a hound. Don't worry boss, we handled it pretty well." She said with a smile before casually walking into the office.

Juanita just sighs and smiles at Gani, making them feel kind of stupid. She patted their shoulder, it kind of felt empathetic somewhat. Gani hugged her for a moment, before letting go.

"Sorry about that" Gani said.

"It's alright, I'm going to go take a break for the rest of the day" She said before walking into the office.

Gani didn't notice Daga was there in their mildly panicked state until he gently tapped their shoulder.

"Hey… Take a break Gani, you look like shit." He said, with a nervous laugh.

"Oh- Uh- Yeah…" Gani said, leaning into Daga's shoulder. Daga hums in response and Gani couldn't help but smile at that.

When did I let someone into my life like this?

The thought echoed.

When did I let someone into my life like this?

The thought persisted.

When did I let someone into my life like this?

The thought started to spill over.

When did I let someone into my life like this?

The thought started to drown them.

Gani wakes up and all they could see was a fading image.

This is a dream, they acknowledge. They sat up and the first thing they notice was the creeping scent of salt and the crashing of waves. They were here again, and they started to walk through what they could discern as a forest.

They looked over and saw the blurry image of Daga looking over at a lake. They reach out, and the world around them started to tether at their fingertips.

They grab at Daga and he felt cold, he felt empty. Did they do this to him?

Of course they did.

Gani doesn't even love him.

Gani woke up and shook off Daga like he was something to be rid of. They left the room before Daga, who woke up from being shoved by them, could even process what happened.

Daga found them near an open window, with their head in their hands. He leaned at the next window and waited for Gani to notice he was there.

Gani shifts a bit and reaches out to him, they don't look at Daga but their hand found its way into his. He held it as if it was fragile, and he kept their distance.

Despite the one-window distance, Gani can feel Daga's heart beat through his pulse. It was slow, stable, only growing faster when Gani closed the distance between them.

Daga couldn't help but laugh a little, and Gani makes a tired huff in response. They let go and gently grabbed his face. Gani leans over but stops. They hesitate for a moment.

"Can I tell you something?" They ask and Daga hums.

"I don't know if I love you" They said.

"I don't mind if you don't" He answered back.

Gani kisses him, lingering for a moment before letting go. They gave a gentle squeeze on Daga's shoulder before heading back to their room, leaving Daga standing alone by the window.

Daga follows them back and climbs into their bed. He doesn't sleep and knows that Gani is probably awake as well. They sit in that silence, and the mechanical drone of the fan filled in for the conversation they should be having.

Gani speaks up.

"You aren't the first person to have made me like this", They said and Daga waits for them to continue.

"Though… You're the first person to stay", They whisper.

"Gani, I really don't mind how you think of me. I'll stay here until we get sick of each other." Daga says, reaching over to brush away Gani's hair from their eyes.

"That might take a while." They sigh in relief and turn to meet Daga's eyes.

"I really never cared about love, I don't hate it but I just never cared. You didn't change anything but I guess-" Gani pauses.

"Guess what?"

"I guess I got anxious. I think that I do love you, just not in the way you might want." Gani finishes.

"Don't trouble yourself for me Gani. Like I said, I don't mind how you think of me" He says, "Plus… I like the way you show how you love me like-"

"Alright! alright- Time to go back to sleep. Sorry for bothering you, let's go back to bed." Gani says cutting Daga off with a hand to his mouth.

Daga laughs and Gani couldn't help but smile.

When did I let someone into my life like this?

The thought comes up again in their head, but it was answered by the way Daga gently grabbed their hand and kissed it.

"Don't get mad at me when you wake up are still tired ok?" Daga teases and Gani laughs.

"I love you too…" They say.

It doesn't matter anymore.

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