One For the Angels, Part 3 (Conversations With Dead People Challenge)
I tried the cigarette, and nearly hacked up a lung. He was right. I didn’t smoke. Laughing, he slapped me on the back until my coughing fit ended.
“Why’d you stop me?”
“Told you. You’re too damn young to die.”
“I’m too young to be widowed.” I took another tentative puff.
He shrugged again. I wanted to knock his remaining teeth out.
“You’re hurting. Who isn’t? Hurting’s what makes you you. Tells you you’re alive.”
“Thanks for that brilliant and original bit of insight, Clarence.”
“Just ‘cause something’s cliche doesn’t make it untrue. Go home, kid. Your mother needs you.”
“What do you know about my mother?”
“You got a mother? She needs you alive. Trust me, I know.”
I winced at that. Life had clearly beaten him down. Yet was trying to get me to go on. “What’s your name?”
“Gotta go. Got an appointment.”
“Don’t worry, kid. We’ll meet again. You stay out of the drink, a’right?” I turned to look out at the water. Suddenly it didn’t seem so appealing. I looked back. He was gone. (cont.)