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Losing Kieran

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:08 pm
by mpayne03
Last night I had a dream about Kieran.

When I was in elementary school, Kieran transferred into my class from another state. I could only imagine how awkward it must be, starting school with a completely new set of people. So we became friends. You know how elementary friendships go. You hang out at school all day, bitch about your teacher, then go home and watch cartoons and occasionally do some homework. At least that’s how it was at my house.

After some time, Kieran and I started becoming very close. His family started going to the same church that I attended with my parents, which meant our parents became friends. And of course, we got to spend more time together. We did things most elementary aged boys did at the time. We played video games, we played with our action figures, and even spent the night at each other’s houses. We were pretty good friends, until we went to middle school.

There were a couple of different middle schools in my county’s district. Kieran and I ended up going to different middle schools. We didn’t know it at the time, I just assumed I would see him on the first day of classes. We didn’t have a falling out or anything, we just stopped seeing each other. I even stopped seeing him at church. Maybe he moved? That would explain the different school and leaving the church.

I joined the band in middle school, and continued playing into high school. I had almost forgotten about Kieran. I made new friends, and started taking my studies seriously. Music and band became my focus. When I was a freshman in high school, I got into the All County Honor Band. While I was in the auditorium warming up, I saw him.

Kieran was warming up on the saxophone. The strange thing was that he hadn’t changed at all from the last time I saw him. Puberty had begun in me and most of my classmates. We were naturally growing into adults, but Kieran remained unchanged. He still had a chubby baby face and hadn’t grown an inch. We were around the same size in elementary school, and now I towered over him. I walked towards him.

We talked, and even his voice remained unchanged. We were 15 years old, and he still looked and acted like an 8 year old boy. Maybe he was a late bloomer? I had heard stories of children starting puberty at a later age. But this was a bit too strange for me. We talked about where we were now, turns out that his family did move out of town. He was at a neighboring high school now. Our conversation was cut short when the band director signaled us to our seats.

I didn’t see too much of him through the honor band rehearsals and performance. I caught glimpses of him, but every time we had a break I couldn’t find him. After the performance, I wanted to talk more with him. I told my parents I had found Kieran, and they were excited to see him and his parents again. However, I couldn’t find Kieran or his parents in the crowds of people. I gave up, and left the performance hall.

That was the last time I saw Kieran.

The only other memory I have of Kieran was when his father died, a couple of years after the honor band. It was a tragic and sad death. He suffered a heart attack while driving a car. Luckily, no one else was hurt. They say that he died before the car hit the tree, which brought some closure to the family and the community. At least he was gone before his body was destroyed in the car. Still, I can’t even begin to comprehend the pain Kieran was going through. I wanted to reach out and give my condolences, but I couldn’t find a new address or telephone number for them. They didn’t even have a public funeral I could attend.

Many years later, and I am now a master’s student in music. I earned my bachelor’s degree in music and in a year and a half I will have my master’s degree. I teach a couple of music lessons on the side. So far, I’ve been successful in my field. I had completely forgotten about Kieran, which happens sadly. Sometimes, life takes us on a different road and we fall out of touch with old friends. Kieran and I just went down different paths. But last night, I had a dream about him that disturbed me to a new level.

I was at his house, not doing anything in particular. But Kieran was sitting down, turned away from me and looked outside through a window. He still looked like a child from what I could see. I called out to him, but he didn’t turn. Slowly, I started to approach him. An uneasy sense of dread came over me that I couldn’t explain. Something, I don’t know what, wasn’t right. The color of the room seemed to depress and turn grey. The vibrant colors of the room slowly diminished. I reached out and touched his shoulder, and he turned his head sharply. His eyes looked as he had been crying.

“Help me.”

His voice, still unchanged seemed to beg in a way I’ve never heard before. I asked where he was, what had happened, what could I do. Suddenly, his eyes turned pitch black and his mouth opened unnaturally wide as he screamed. My spine spasmed with sick vibrations, and I felt bile come up in my throat. I’ve never heard a scream like that. Not from anything human.

“HELP ME!”

This voice was different. It was deeper, much deeper than any man’s voice. It almost sounded electronic, which disturbed me so much I woke up screaming. I ran to the bathroom and threw up before I made it to the toilet.

I had completely forgotten about Kieran until this dream. However, these dreams aren’t out of the ordinary for me. From time to time, I have quite disturbing dreams. Not every night, just enough to freak me out occasionally. But this dream stayed with me for most of the day. Curiosity eventually got to me. I needed to see where Kieran was at.

My first search was Facebook. I typed in his name, and nothing came up. I even typed his name with a couple of different spellings, just in case my memory failed on the correct spelling of his name. But still, nothing. I looked up his mom, his brothers, and nearly gave up. But then I remembered something about his sister. Kieran’s last name was Barr. And all of his brothers and sisters had strange names starting with the letter “K”. One of his sister’s name was Kandi. Kandi Barr. Cute and funny, and fitting too because she was so sweet. I typed it in and found her! Her profile picture looked exactly as I had last seen her, well over ten years ago. I clicked on the profile and waited for my laptop to load. After a couple minutes of loading, I got an error message. I tried searching again, but I saw no results matching “Kandi Barr”. I searched again and again, but nothing showed up.

I called my mom after this. I told her that I had a dream about an old friend.

“Oooh, which one?” she asked.

“Kieran, from elementary school.”

There was a brief silence.

“Who?”

“Kieran…you know his parents went to church with us for a while and I played in the county band with him.”

“You didn’t have any friends named Kieran in elementary school.” Her tone was cold.

Silence.

“No, remember he transferred in from another school and you dropped me off at his house…he lived on that really big hill…and his dad died in that horrible car accident a couple of years ago?”

“I’m sorry, but there wasn't any student that transferred into your class, the PTA would have known about that.”

My mother was the president of the PTA for the last few years of my elementary education.

“The PTA throws welcoming parties for any transfer students. We live in such a small town, it’s only polite to make any new comers feel welcomed. Hardly anyone moves here, I would’ve remembered throwing a party.”

More silence

“Your father and I worried about you while you were growing up. You never really had any friends at school or church. Not until you got into band and music, you took such an interest in that! That’s why we supported the program so much!”

“But what about the car accident with his dad…it was all over the news!”

“THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN! Maybe you thought it did, but no one in this town died from a heart attack while driving a car! Nobody named Kieran moved into this town, now you need to forget that you ever mentioned to me! Okay?! Can you do that?!” She was sobbing.

I hung up on my mother. I usually wouldn’t do that, but I was a bit frantic. I searched his father’s name and obituaries online. I knew that it would be one of the first things to pop up, because it was so sad and tragic!

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was if his family never existed.

I thought about the events of the day. Trying to find him on social media, almost finding his sister, and then my conversation with my mom. Something didn’t add up though. I didn’t catch it right away, because I was becoming frantic. But when I mentioned the car accident, I never mentioned his father having a heart attack.

She knew something. And she wasn’t telling me.

There is something really weird happening. What happened to Kieran and his family? I know I couldn’t imagine an entire family. I’ll confront my mom tomorrow about the car accident and the heart attack, but she’ll probably tell me I’m crazy. But I know what I said, and what I didn’t say. If she knows, others must know as well.

The dream I had last night was enough to disturb me for the rest of my life. Kieran wants me to help him, but help him from what? I will update you later on what I find out. I just wanted to write this down because I can’t forget. I can’t forget about Kieran.

*******************************************

I didn’t think I’d have to do this again, yet here I am.

It’s funny how the human mind works, it can completely block memories out. It’s a defense mechanism. Like the dream I had about Kieran six months ago. I had almost forgotten about it. Nothing spectacular happened after my last entry. I had the dream, I started thinking, and started questioning things that shouldn’t be questioned. I tried to call my mom back to confront her about Kieran, but she didn’t pick up.

I dug around, as deep as my limited resources allowed me. The school’s admin system couldn’t give me any information about prior students unless I was an immediate family member. “Try looking up your friend on Facebook,” they told me before the line disconnected. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t find anything on the Barr family. I was frustrated, but as time progressed the frustration dulled and I moved on with my life. There wasn’t anything else I could have done, then.

I’m writing this new entry because two weeks ago, my mother died.

After my phone call with her in my last entry, I tried to call her back. To make amends. She didn’t pick up though, and I couldn’t get ahold of her for the next couple of days. Not until my search for Kieran started to fade did I hear from her again.

“Listen mom, I just wanted to apologize for our last conversation. I was out of line, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“I’m sorry too, K******. It’s not your fault, but I tend to get emotional when your father is mentioned.”

There was a slight pause.

“He’d be so proud of you, K******.”

“I know, mom. I miss him too, I can’t believe it’ll be seven years this October.”

“My god, I can’t believe it’s been that long. I know it’s silly, but I still have our wedding picture sitting next to the bed. It’s one of the only things that survived the fire.”

We reminisced about dad, and the wonderful man he was. I try not to think about him too much, or else I shut down. It’s my fault he died, even though my mom did everything to convince me it was an accident. If I were there seven years ago, I could have saved him.

Two weeks ago, my mom went outside to get the paper. She bent down, had a massive stroke, and died on the porch.

I got a job teaching high school band as soon as I finished my masters degree, not long after my last entry. I haven’t been teaching for long, only since the start of the Fall semester. When my mom had the stroke, I was in my office sipping a mug of black coffee. It was my planning period, and I was picking out new music for my upper class band. The school’s secretary called my office phone and connected me to the police. The rest comes in blurs, the officer’s voice so blunt and direct.

I identified her at the funeral home, still in shock. I had talked to her the day before, and she was fine. No headache, no slurred speech, nothing out of the ordinary. “These things do happen sometimes,” is what they told me. A perfectly healthy person can drop dead in an instant, without any prior health issues.

I hardly remember the funeral. My alarm went off, I put a suit on, and I drove to the funeral home. My church’s pastor talked about my parents and how long they had been members of the congregation. Other distant family and friends I hadn’t seen in years talked about my mom. I sat there, emotionless. We drove to the cemetery, and as she was being lowered into the ground, I started to cry. Someone put their arm around me, I didn’t check to see who it was though.

It’s been two weeks now, and I’m just now going through her things.

Most of it were things you’d expect. Photos, video tapes, jewelry, clothes, and more shoes than one could imagine. As I thought about my parents, I felt my emotions taking over my body. I collapsed in my mom’s bedroom, finally feeling the emptiness turn to sorrow. On the bedside table that had my parent’s burnt wedding picture on top, I noticed a small black box taped on the underside of the table.

I wiped my eyes, and felt a sickening sense of curiosity begin to take over. This was extremely unusual, my mother didn’t keep boxes taped under tables. She didn’t have secrets.

After pulling the tape off, I laid the small box on her bed. It was about the size of this journal I’m writing in now, only big enough to write notes in. At the front was a piece of paper with my mother’s handwriting.

“You were right about Kieran. I’m so sorry, I just wanted to protect you as long as I could.”

Inside the box were mostly pictures from my childhood. They were of Kieran and me. Some were from our house, some were from school and church. I saw our teachers photographed with us, and the pastor that gave my mom’s eulogy. He was positioned between Kieran and me. We were dressed up for a children’s church presentation.

There were class photos of us, with the rest of our class mates. Near the end of the photographs were pictures of us at the honor band. What chilled my blood most was the fact that I didn’t take those pictures. And my parents didn’t get to see him that day. Which leads me to wonder…who took those pictures?

There’s a video tape at the bottom. I was still in shock, but I had to know what was on the tape. I turned on my mom’s TV and the VCR she still has hooked up in the family room. I had the box of pictures next to me, making sure that it was always in my sight. The tape started playing, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on the TV.

This was the last time I saw Kieran, prior to the honor band. It was the summer before I started middle school, and he must have slept over at my house. One shot showed us eating breakfast, then cut to us playing video games. I could hear my mom talk behind the camera as she filmed us.

“What ‘cha guys playing?”

“Pokémon Coliseum,” Kieran spoke.

“What’s it about?”

“Mom, you’re distracting us!!” I whined.

My mom chuckled, and then left the room.

The next scene has left me speechless, even though I’ve watched it close to thirty times. Just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me.

Kieran is in the middle of the shot, with his backpack on. I’m out of the picture.

“Did you have fun this weekend, Kieran?”

“Yeah..” he seemed distant.

“Are you excited to start middle school in a couple of weeks?”

“I guess. I’m scared though.”

“Why’s that? You’ll still have K****** with you! I made sure you’ll be in the same homeroom together!” It’s like you could hear my mom smiling.

“Oh, thank you.” His eyes glazed to the wall facing the driveway.

At this point you can hear a car pull into our driveway.

“Your mom is here, Kieran! Hey, K******, come say goodbye to Kieran!”

A flurry of little footsteps, and then I come into the screen.

“See ya later, Kieran! Gimme back my copy of Pokémon Yellow next week!”

I run out of the frame, back to my room I supposed. The camera focuses in on Kieran and he appears to be on the verge of tears.

“I really wish I didn’t have to go.”

You hear my mom offer an “Awh!” and the camera moves toward the window overlooking our driveway. Instead of the SUV that Kieran’s mom drove, a motorcade of black bulletproof cars lined our driveway. My neighborhood street was lined with these black cars, and men in suits were filing out towards my front door. You can hear my mother offer a confused “Huh?” Then an astounded “Oh!”

And with that, the tape cuts out.

Memories, along with the human mind, are such susceptible things. I vaguely remember this happening, although I didn’t realize it was the last time I’d see Kieran before the strange encounter at the honor band. I had almost forgotten about my dream six months ago, as if something wanted me to forget. I’m sorry, I know this doesn’t answer any questions. If anything, I’m more confused than I’ve ever been my whole life. Both of my parents are dead, and I think my mom knew exactly what happened to Kieran.

I need to take some time. Time to grieve, time to reflect. And most importantly, time to think. I’m going to go over all of these pictures and see if I can’t find anyone who remembers Kieran. I have proof that he exists. And if he’s still alive, god I hope he is, I’m going to find him. I’m going to get to the bottom of this.

Re: Losing Kieran

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:19 pm
by zylokun
Ah gots ta know how it ends! D:

Re: Losing Kieran

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:16 pm
by miistical
!!! I really liked this.

Re: Losing Kieran

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:09 am
by mpayne03
Thanks!! Currently working on more installments!

Re: Losing Kieran

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:51 pm
by alexandrae
Is there a deeper meaning behind this?? It's driving me mad that I don't understand it :idea:

Re: Losing Kieran

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:19 am
by mpayne03
alexandrae wrote:Is there a deeper meaning behind this?? It's driving me mad that I don't understand it :idea:


Things will make more sense! Guess I'll have to finish up the next chapter!