The word itself can be as sharp-edged as a samurai sword, and just as quick. It is, in fact, so fast, that you're not even sure that you felt it at first. The blood oozes out, and all you can do is stare at it, dumbfounded. "Did that just happen?" You ask yourself, even as you bring a welling drop of blood to your lips and dip your tongue in it. You are numb. The metallic taste prickles your lips, and your whole body feels asleep. You start to laugh. No. No nonono. It couldn't have happened. The wound is barely even visible; just a short line, but it slices all the way through. Maybe you stick your finger in it and see how far it goes. Farther, farther, farther still, until you poke out the other side. The crimson begins to crust over, and the realization dawns on you; It hits with the cruel pounding of a hammer – knocks you over like nothing else. Someone, or something, has struck you in the head, and feeling throbs back into you…life rushes back into your fingers and toes with a pain like no other. It can't be true, it mustn't be true, please please, oh please, God let it not be true.

"Friends." That's what he said.

You stare at your ruined self, the blood tacky and black-looking now. Your vocal cords ache with suppressed tears, and your tongue is the last to become unfrozen. "Friends," you manage to say. "Friends."