There's a sense of surprise that surges through you when you first see him in front of his house. And he's wearing the blue shirt he used to wear back in 7th grade.
But something's off-- puffs of weed begin to fill the air. And when he finally looks at you, it's the sense of realization that smacks you in the face.
He smiles, and you begin walking towards him with shaky legs.
Your blood is furiously pumping loudly in your ears, and it's so cold, so cold that you can't believe you're still in sunny California. And is that snow? You can't tell.
But what you can smell is that sickening smell. It has you internally cringing, nose wrinkling -- and you know he can see you. You hope (you pray) that he doesn't think you're judging him.
And you want to believe you aren't judging him -- even though you are.
(Just remember that you're no better than him.)
"Does it bother you?" He questions and you shake your head. There's something that rings inside your head -- it's telling you: bullshit, you fucking liar. "Then why is your nose wrinkled?"
"Because it's cold." And there it is again: bullshit, you fucking liar. "And the smell is strong." Ah, that's better.
"So it does bother you." He smirks and takes another puff.
"The smell does." You admit.
"Me doing it doesn't bother you?" He inquires more specifically this time.
There's something about the tone of his voice -- his nonchalant tone, his straight face, the curl of his fingers around the blunt. He doesn't care. You don't need to think twice about this one.
If he doesn't care about himself, then he certainly wouldn't care about what you think. And you've been out of his life for at least four years -- what are your words going to do about it?
Silence is louder than words itself. And you've learned this the hard way. (But hasn't he, as well?)
But you don't want the conversation to end this way -- not when it's been so long. "Are you well?" And this time, he's quiet.
The only sound is gushful winds and huskies howling, and the sound of pumping blood is still blasting loud in your ears. And then there's a sigh, and then you decide to look at him.
And this sight of him is so horrifying -- you can scream rightfully so -- but you don't because you love him too much. "I wanted things to be different."
"I never gave the past a second thought." His eyes are black and dripping with blood, his skin is rotting and his mouth is deforming. "I never gave you a second thought either."
And you smile, even though you can feel the tears burning your cheek. "Well," you sigh, "some things just can't be helped." And he smiles and takes another puff. "You'll be dead in a week."
"You can only dream."
And when you wake up from this dream, you're drenched in sweat and tears. The pitch blackness of your room is torturous, and you can still feel his pieces of flesh falling on you, on your face.
His rotten lungs hanging across your room, in front of your eyes. His deformed face is imprinted in your walls, in your mind.
And there's a smell -- this disgusting scent that's filling your nostrils.
You sit up, your bloody world is spinning, and you realize that your window is wide opened.
When you get up to close your window, nothing's more horrifying to see yourself outside -- smoking. And then you scream. And then you wake up, trembling.