"You should stop smoking, you know. It'll kill you."
He looked at me, eyes hazy."Death and taxes, babe."
I shook my head sideways. He never listened to anyone. In fact, he'd almost always do the opposite. He used to drive me crazy with his ridiculous antics. Lookin back, I realized now that we weren't so different after all. I rebelled against most that tried to institutionalize me too. Although our degree of rebelling differ, we were the same. I should've seen that before.
"At the rate you are going, I'll be a regular visitor at the cancer ward in, say, 2 years?"
He dragged in a lungful of smoke. Out came long blows of Os, teasing me. He laughed.
"Don't worry babe. I promise you cancer won't have a chance with me," he said, as he rested his hands on my shoulders.
"You won't see me in them pathetic green uniforms. I'd rather get hit by a bus."
He bent down and planted a kiss on my cheek. As he walked out of the door towards the lawn, he cheekily blew me another kiss, wafting acrid smoke my way.
I shrugged. 29 and still too carefree, too naive, too can't give a fuck about anything, I thought.
But he was right. Cancer never did get the best of him.
My beloved rebel died in a hiking accident while trekking in Annapurna, Nepal. What a way to go, huh?
I can imagine him smiling from above, mocking me, "Toldja I was gonna exit the building in the most extraordinary way!"
Thanks for being a great friend and mentor. I'll miss our banters.
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