The sky is like nothing else. It is gray; it is dark; it sinks low with an impending storm.
The same could be said about the hollow eyes of the boy who sits next to me on the couch. He says very little. Around a warm and freshly empty mug he wraps his chilly, colorless fingers: fingers I have known well. I have known them on my shoulder, on my cheek, embracing my back. They are poised, and posed: so very, very still.
I can hardly see him breathe, and hardly believe him to be alive. Only for those split seconds when his eyelids allow themselves to be heavy, does he regain his color. His eyes were a different flavor of gray, once.
It seems all of him is gray now, from his frosty lips and dry skin, to the pale, distressed hair he attempts to keep hidden. The bags under his eyes hold the only color on his person.
As his gray body concentrates wearily on the world outside, his mind plays with the thin slice of paper that sits in front of him, crinkling it and throwing it away. Words are asleep on that paper, words scrawled with skinny lines in a faint manuscript. They are words that will not wake again for a very long time; the eyes that were meant to read them have closed.
I move closer to him, inches at a time. Although my focus remains outside the window, my cornerstone is next to me, on the couch. He offers no response when my arm, cautious, folds around him, but he lets his head lean into mine when it lands gently on his shoulder. He is so very still, contemplative and drowning in an ocean I cannot know. My empty hand finds his fingers, pulling them away from the cup, which has lent them no warmth. With every candle in my soul, I try to burn through to him.
“I loved you, you know.”
He cries now the way he has always cried: slowly at first, and then like a storm. He is an ashen raincloud, dropping his elixir to tap on my windows, shaking me, bleaching the whole world gray.