It had been three years since I saw Kyle. Although pictures of him were sparse in Facebook, in my memory he was that shy 11-year old boy. We were close, almost like brothers. My mother didn’t like him, and she told me never to go to his place. Yet she tolerated him out of pity--Kyle was the youngest of five children, all raised by a single mother.
I remember one day when he came over at my place with a large sweater that was an old hand-me-down. His sweater had two small holes on the back and one near the collar. When he took it off, the holes on the back stretched and then merged into a larger one. I felt bad and offered one of my sweaters. I even picked my favorite sweater--a plain green sweater with a decal of the Philadelphia Eagles at the front. He turned down the offer, but I insisted, told him it was cold outside and I didn’t want him to get sick. Eventually, he caved and took it.
Last night, in my dream, he was wearing that sweater. There was something odd by the way he stood at the far edge of unreality. I remembered approaching him slowly like a predator mindful of his steps. The scene turned into a green pasture, grass curling beneath my feet and the mountains stretched before the edge of the cliff. Kyle had his back towards me, and the sun blazed around his head like a halo.