He shivered in the warm summer breeze, leaning his head back onto the porch railing, remembering the way her hair had smelled of pina colada, and gasoline. He remembered the way she used to look at him, the look in her eyes reminding him of the way an old dog looks at his owner. Faithful. There was always love in her gaze.

He remembered swimming with her in the dead of winter, just because. He remembered late nights on the balcony, skipping school just to be with her, and running his fingertips along her spine.

He remembered the way her kisses had always tasted of peppermint and cold medicine. The way she loved Harry Potter, and when she'd always made him watch game shows with her on Saturday mornings.

He remembered how paranoid she always was, seeing things that weren't there. Hearing noises in the dead of night. The way she would only drink that one kind of juice, because it was her favorite. She'd always said the taste made her think of him.

He remembered that she never so much as touched a cigarette around him, but her fingertips had always tasted of nicotine when he'd kissed them in the mornings. He remembered that no matter how much she loved the color, her nails could never stay painted for more than a few hours. She would chew them, right down to the quick. She'd never notice until it was too late, and nothing could stop it. No matter how hard we tried.

He remembered the picture of her old cat, Patches, that she would kiss every morning. God, she missed that cat.

God, he missed her.