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Smoldering Skies

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He begins to feel strange as he runs his fingers over the notebook he has.

It’s empty, pages blank and white. But for some odd reason, Pete knows he has never seen it before. How it had gotten into his house, he didn’t know, but he felt strange as he looked at. Flashes of blue appeared before his eyes as he ran his fingers along the spine of it, and he drops it onto his bed.

Pete shakes his head and hugs himself. Strange.

His house is cold, empty. But he feels as though there’s a presence in it, something other than him. It’s not a scary presence, though. It’s warm and comforting and feels like home, but still feels lost and weirdly alone.

--

It had been three days since he began feeling strange. He had woken up that morning and the world felt off balance, like something had gone missing. There was a strange feeling of emptiness in Pete, more so than usual, and he hated it. He hated it because he didn’t know why he felt like this, why something felt missing.

What had happened, he didn’t know, but all he knows is that he can’t stop wishing for the feeling to go away.

There’s pictures on his fridge that he notices when he pulls it open on the third day, starving. It had been to difficult to eat the past few days.

The pictures are of himself, smiling at the camera. Beaming really. Pete frowns and pulls them down to inspect them. Why would he have pictures of himself hung up on his fridge? He enjoyed the way he looked but he wasn’t a narcissist. There wasn’t any reason for him to have pictures of himself hung up like this, for everyone to see when they ventured into his home.

The air is strange and still, and he can’t help but feel like someone’s watching. Someone with piercing eyes that never seemed to stay the same color.

Pete shudders and tosses the pictures onto the counter. He couldn’t look at them anymore.

--

On the seventh day, he feels even more strange about it all. The house is too silent after his dream of soft singing and bright laughter. Whose laughter it was, he didn’t know, but he felt like it was all to familiar. The same feeling of loneliness accompanies him as he dresses for the day.

A smell lingers on one of the older t-shirts he has. It’s a vanilla smell, unlike the cologne he wore from time to time. It was vanilla and light sweat, mixing together to make the most comforting scent he had ever known.

Pete pulls the shirt on, and he shudders. It feels like a pair of lips are on his, but when he opens his eyes again, there’s nothing. Just the same feeling of blue green eyes watching him and an image of a face. Soft and round, eyes kind, but intense. It’s frightening, how his mind conjures up the image of the face so easily, like he had seen this imaginary person before, like he knew them, and like he knew them well.

He had never seen someone this beautiful, had never dreamt of someone like this.

--

For days afterwards, he continues to see the face in everything he did. Everything reminded him of the blue green eyes and soft lips, of the person his mind desperately conjured up. It was like it was trying to tell him something, but Pete couldn’t figure out what.

He knows everything is wrong when the clock stops ticking and the air stands still. “Patrick.” Pete croaks out, not knowing where the name comes from or why is mind was screaming it to him. It was the only thing he could see, the only thing he could feel. Patrick, Patrick, Patrick.

The other one was Patrick.

In an instant, it all floods back to him. Patrick, with his beautiful face and his kind heart. Patrick with the world in his hands and all the love in his heart for Pete. Pete, with the same feeling towards him, completely in love and never wanting to let go.

And then, something. The snuffing out of Patrick’s existence. Some higher being had decided that Patrick didn’t belong there, that it was a mistake to put him on the Earth. And Pete remembers his world shattering into nothing, until it became something.

Nothing that became a something, but this time around, it was without Patrick. Without the knowledge that he had ever been here, that he had ever existed at the same time as Pete. His mind was blank and his heart empty. Patrick had disappeared and had taken it with him.

Pete gasps and hunches over, head and heart in pain. Patrick. He needed Patrick, but he knew it was impossible. He had ceased to exist to everyone, but for some curious reason, the Universe had decided that Pete had a right to know what had happened.

His doorbell rings, cutting him out of thoughts. He can’t move, can’t speak, can hardly breath, even. Everything is wrong because Patrick is gone. The world is off balance and empty. Everyone was gone if Patrick was.

Pete clutches his head, so in pain, before he loses consciousness.

--

When he awakens, the world feels different. Pete doesn’t want to open his eyes. There’s hardly any point to it if Patrick’s gone.

“I know you’re awake, Pete.” A voice murmurs. Pete’s eyes fly open and he sees him. Patrick.

He’s here and he’s real, and it’s his hands on his face as he kisses him. “Patrick.” Pete whispers as they draw apart. Patrick is real and the world is right again.

“You overdosed again.” Patrick tells him, voice shaking, lip trembling. It’s then that he sees his eyes are shiny with tears. “You almost left me.”

Pete wants to argue, because that wasn’t right. It was Patrick that had left Pete, Patrick that had been gone for so long, and Pete that was alone. It wasn’t right, what Patrick was saying. Made up. Instead, he keeps his mouth closed.

“You were out for about a week.” Patrick informs him, eyes wet as he lets the tears fall. He climbs into the hospital bed beside Pete and curls up against him, smaller than he’s ever been. “Please. Don’t leave me.”

Pete strokes a hand through his hair as realization sets in.

“I won’t.”