“I’m here for the night, but I’ll die in the morning,” he told me.

He looked healthy and strong.  Why wouldn’t he?  He always was: healthy and strong.

We spent a night in a real-time dream, talking, catching up.  He didn’t tell me about his world.  He only listened to mine.

“I’m an author,” I told him.

“I know,” he smiled.  He knew all along.

He was scruffy.  That five o’clock shadow that came by noon.

He has never held me in my dreams.  He has always disintegrated like stardust in my hands.

This time, he held me.  And it was just as I remembered.

Then, as he said would happen, it was time for him to go.

I watched him die again.

But I didn’t fight for him this time.  I sat beside him. I watched him go, knowing already what would happen next.

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