Posted in Books & Stories

Lost Thoughts — Volume Four: Keepers of Me

Keepers are said to be departed souls who return to the metaphysical world to provide guidance for fellow humans. Keepers are not guardian angels; they have not ascended into heaven. Keepers are souls who have once been human, whether it was 1000 years ago or yesterday. The legend says that keepers can come in many forms; a faint presence, a glowing orb, or even in the form of a human being with flesh and bones. Not much is known about Keepers apart from ancient legends written thousands of years ago. It is said that every human has a keeper, but many are unaware as keepers manifest themselves in various different ways.

The legend says that keepers come back to Earth to guide us but are able to retreat to their vortex beyond this universe since their souls are free. Since the atomic energy that composes their souls can vibrate at two places at one time, they are free to come and go as they please. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, and our human bodies are nothing but a transition phase for the soul; we come from nothing and we are nothing when we die. But not all souls become keepers, nobody knows why some are somehow selected to return to Earth, but for some reason they do. Keepers keep many secrets and are a mystery to earthly beings, but they only feed off two things; love and truth.

I was lying on my bed crying, with only the street light down below illuminating parts of my room in the dark night. The street lights generated enough light for me to clearly see the fresh wounds on my arm and the bloody razor blade on my night table next to my bed. As tears escape my ears everything became a blur of faint colors as the dim light could not penetrate through the tears. My body ached with stress and despair, my mind felt like a bomb about to blow and my heart was crying out for help. I wished that the sheets could just have suffocated me in my wake. My whole world seemed like it was coming down, crashing hard as it hit the ground. My soul shattered under the fire of pain and the absence of momentary hope.

Each vertebrate in my spin seemed to throb, begging my mind to cease the pain and my heart seemed to shake my entire core. The cuts on my arm burned as the blood coagulated and sealed my skin together again. I thought it would’ve helped me forget the emotional pain but it didn’t; my whole body was declaring a state of emergency. One by one all my hopes had vanished just the same. My erratic breathing seemed to slow as my mind gradually shut down. I felt like my pain resonated throughout the entire universe, maybe it did.

I let out a sigh of relief as my tense body seemed to relax. It was almost like a hand touched my every aching bone and filled it with the essence of serenity. I couldn’t move onto my back, but I felt a presence behind me. As my mind became more aware of my surroundings I realized that something was indeed touching me, it wasn’t just in my head. But I wasn’t afraid, I felt a sense of calm and pure bliss sweep over me. I eventually managed to sit up in my bed and look at what was behind me. A young man about my age was sitting there right next to me with one hand on my shoulder, easing up the tension. Needing comfort, I latched onto him and he took me in his arms as I kept on crying. His body was warm, and he had a heartbeat! His gentle touch relaxed my racing mind and brought it to a peaceful place. The rhythm of his heart soothed me and brought me to a place almost beyond this world. He was a godsend! I clutched onto him, never wanting him to leave.

“Please, please don’t go!” I whispered in a hoarse voice. “I never will,” he whispered in a soft voice.

I wrapped my arms around him and caressed his soft skin the same way he caressed mine. His body was warm against mine and I completely indulged. I tilted my head up to look at him and grabbed a strand of his long hair. The young man had long sandy wavy hair and pale blue eyes on pale white skin. He had a long face and little pink lips with no distinctive features other than his long grunge-era hairstyle. He looked at me with sad yet sympathetic eyes and softly stroked the skin of my face, wiping away my tears. Eventually, I fell asleep in his hold and woke up a few hours later, still in his arms with my head on his chest listening to his steadily beating heart. I climbed up over him and let my chin rest on his chest as I looked deeply into his eyes in awe. My keeper.

“What’s your name?” I ask him in a soft whisper.

“Kevin,” he whispered back to me in a gentle tone.

“Are you my keeper?” I ask.

“Yes I am,” he replies with a gentle smile and his hands caressing my face,” I am always going to be here for you.”

I rested on my side and he positioned himself behind me and wrapped his strong arms around me. I placed my little hand in his and closed my eyes.

“Can you stay with me tonight?” I ask him.

“I will be with you every moment of every day,” he reassured me, “now get some sleep.”

He held me close and I drifted away to a far away world to the sound of his breathing. I woke up the next morning some ten minutes before my alarm clock. Kevin was still there, hold me. I turned over to face him, filled with exhilaration at the thought of my very own keeper. I was so relieved to have someone there to hold me and love me unconditionally like only a keeper could. His body was so warm and his touch so gentle. It was everything I needed, and I never wanted Kevin to leave.

He let go of me and sat up on my bed and I sat up next to him. He wore some black cargo pants and a plain back shirt. His unruly hair was gold-like in the sunlight coming through the window of my room. He looked so sublime, he was perfect. He took my arm into his hand and turned it so he could see my scars. He pressed it to his lips and each cut disappeared with every kiss. I watched in awe as the scars all faded away. I touched where they used to be because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I didn’t even know Kevin but I already had so much reverence for him because he loved my so passionately and so purely. My skin was soft, there was absolutely no evidence that I had ever cut myself there.

“Are they going to come back?”
“Not if you don’t make them come back.” “How is that even possible?”
“It’s possible in my world.”

Kevin gave me a tender kiss on the forehead.

“Are you like my guardian angel?”
“No, I’m just a keeper. Angels are from a completely different world. I don’t know exactly how they come about their business, but angels are not human. I am.”

He took my hands into his and I leaned over and put my head on his shoulder. I closed my eyes and clutched onto him. My keeper. I was so grateful to have him by my side. I knew nothing about keepers or much about life in the first place, but the young man next to me made me see a whole new facade of it that I hadn’t been able to appreciate before. I had given up but he had given me that faint glimmer of hope that I had been so desperately needing.

“So you were human before?”

“Yeah, I was a create of the earth before this, just like you.”

“Do all dead people become keepers?”

“I have no idea dear. I don’t know why or how I got here. I don’t know much more than I did back when I was still human. I don’t know if this is a punishment for what I’ve done or my chance to redeem myself.”

“What did you do?”

“I did something bad and I guess now I’m paying for it. But just know that I love you.”

My alarm clock went off to disturb our perfect moment and Kevin patted me on the shoulder, indicating that it was time to get up and get ready for the day. I reluctantly got up and picked out some clothes out of my closet. I grabbed some faded blue jeans and a purple shirt with black stripes. When I turned around to talk to Kevin I noticed that he was no longer in my room. I looked all over but he wasn’t there. He was gone. I was disappointed and frustrated that he had disappeared just like he had never came in the first place.

“Hey don’t worry, I’m still here!” he said as he came up behind me and pulled me into a tight embrace.

I put my arms around him in return and instantly found relief. He kissed my neck and I went back to getting ready for school.

“Am I the only one who sees you?” I inquired as I was brushing my long brown hair.

“Well, not really,” Kevin replied, seemingly thinking hard, “you see, keepers feed off energy humans give us and if it’s needed we can appear to others but that’s rather rare.”

“What kind of energy are you talking about?”

“Love. Right now I’m replenished on energy but to have me around like this in the future you’ll have to emerge yourself in agape.It is the purest form of love, unconditional love. Feel agape from deep inside your heart and soul and I’ll be here, always.”

I closed my eyes and let the love flow from inside of me for a short while but I couldn’t sustain it.

“Don’t worry, it’ll come.” Kevin reassured me, “For the moment just focus on the now. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Kevin?”

“Yeah?”

“Can you hear my thoughts?”

“No, but I can feel everything you feel. That’s where the agape energy comes in. No matter what, I will comfort you if you want me around.”

I touched his hand just to remind myself that he was real and smiled to myself. I felt so much relief from the inside out. I felt like I could take a breath without it burning like fire deep inside.

“How long will you be here?”

“I don’t know, but don’t worry about that alright?”

I smiled at him and finished getting dressed, putting on some light eyeliner to compliment my hazel eyes and tied my hair up in a ponytail since I couldn’t get it to be the way I wanted it. I walked downstairs into the kitchen where my mother was making breakfast with my two younger sisters. Ever since my dad had died when I was seven, things were awkward at the table. There was a piece of the family missing and even after nine and a half years, the pain was no less. I had always been daddy’s girl, but my daddy was gone. My youngest sister Carrie wasn’t even born when he died so she was lucky to escape the pain I was constantly feeling.

“Well you’re up early!” my mother commented as I walked into the kitchen.

“Yeah I’m gonna walk to school and grab some breakfast at Gilmore’s on my way there.”

We said goodbye to each other and I walked out the door. Kevin walked with me and grabbed a hold of my hand as we neared the end of the driveway. He held my hand as we passed over the bridge and headed over to Gilmore’s. We both walked into the small restaurant and stood in line behind a few other hungry customers.

“Do you eat?” I asked Kevin.

“I can,” he replied looking at me with tender eyes, “but I don’t have to.” “Do people know you’re here with me?”

“No, they don’t. They aren’t aware of anything.”

I ordered one of Gilmore’s world famous bacon and egg sandwiches and headed back out with Kevin following me. We walked hand-in-hand all the way to school as I ate my breakfast sandwich with the other hand. Despite the frigid morning air, Kevin kept me warm with his overwhelming presence.

“Do you know what happened here?” I asked Kevin as we walked into the school’s parking lot.

“No,” he whispered to me, “I don’t know anything.”

I swallowed hard and clutched his hand tightly.

“Well, I guess you’ll find out.”

The two of us walked in and made our way down the halls to where the memorials were set up on the wall.

“What went on here?” Kevin asked me in a soft whisper.

“Two girls got killed in a drunk driving accident two weeks ago.” I replied in a shaky voice, “I’m the one who was supposed to be the designated driver but I bailed early.”

Kevin put his arm around me and comforted me greatly as the memories of that night came back to haunt me.

“While they were bleeding to death in that car wreck I was goofing off with a homeless man at the corner store on the end of the street here. I stopped in to buy a snack on my way home and I ended up giving it to him. He was a cool old dude you know. We sat there as he ate his chips and told me about his life before his daughter got killed in a drunk driving accident.”

I broke down crying and Kevin hugged me tightly. I couldn’t shake that thought out of my mind. I bailed on my friends to hang out with a homeless man who told me some heartbreaking story of how he lost his precious daughter while my friends were actually dying in the same kind of nightmare.

“Don’t blame yourself for this, this isn’t your fault.”

“I know it isn’t, but some people blame me anyway.”

Kevin looked at me with compassion in his eyes as he stroked my cheek with his big hand. I remembered that he could feel everything I felt too. He hurt just as much as I did. Kevin’s loving hand calmed me down and comforted me like he had promised me he would. I held him tightly in my arms and indulged into the serenity his aura gave off.

“I know it wasn’t my fault that they got behind the wheel drunk and I know that they could’ve called a cap or someone else could’ve taken them home but there’s just this part of me that hates myself so much for not being there when my friends needed me the most.”

Most people didn’t blame me at all, but some of the girls’ closest friends needed someone to blame for their poor judgment that night and that person ended up being me. While the majority were supportive, the few who gave me harsh words really got to me. They made sure to remind me every day that both of them were dead and it was because of me. They really made me believe that if I hadn’t bailed early, things might have gone differently. At times, I believed it too. I wiped my tears and walked to my first class holding Kevin’s hand. I squeezed it as it brought me comfort to know that I was no alone. I walked around the classroom aimlessly before finding a seat.

“Does this mean you can give me all the answers?” I jokingly asked him trying to lighten the mood.

“Only the ones I know,” he replied laughing, I’m good in language and science but not so much in math.”

“You don’t have supreme understanding of the universe now that you’re dead?” “Not here. I only know what I learned on Earth and what I can currently observe.” “Do you believe in multiple lives, you know, considering you’re still here?”

“It would be inappropriate to say that I don’t, but this isn’t exactly my idea of the afterlife.”

“I guess that makes you the perfect companion for me because this isn’t exactly my definition of a life either.”

I finally picked out a seat at the back of the room at sat down. Kevin sat next to me and reassuringly placed his hand on my knee.

“That’s why I’m here,” he replied as he leaned over and kissed me in response to my feelings.

“Do you see other people’s keepers too?” I inquired to make conversation before the bell rang.

“No, it’s just you and me.”

“That’s kinda cool. I guess we both have a lot to learn about life.”

“I’ll make sure you have a good one, that’s my promise to you. I know that I was sent to you for a reason and I won’t screw this up. I know you have a lot of questions and I don’t have a lot of answers, but just know that I love you and you are not alone.”

I placed my hand into Kevin’s and let his love and strength wash over and guide me for the rest of the day. My school day went without incident. I stayed away from most people except this freshman girl named Rosanna, who asked me for directions in the big school. The two of us ended up sitting together at lunch with Kevin sitting behind me, completely unnoticed.

“Man, sometimes I wish I was invisible like you,” I muttered to him.

“No you don’t. Life is something to be cherished and celebrated. I wasted mine. Heck it hadn’t even started yet, but it’s gone.”

“So does that mean that I will get old but you won’t?”

“That’s right, I’m always going to be seventeen and I’m always going to carry around regret.”

After Rosanna and I finished eating, I sat down in a deserted hallway to spend some time alone with Kevin before my next class.

“What is it that you did that could possibly be so bad?” I ask him, “Did you commit suicide or something?”

“Yes I did.” Kevin’s voice was nothing but a soft whisper.

I took him into a hug and held him tightly.

“How long ago?” I asked him.

“Longer than you’ve been alive. But I’m here now and if I can make things right for you it will have made it all worth it.” he replied in a sympathetic voice.

“I love you already Kevin.” I whispered in his ear and squeezed him tightly.

I could see that he was a broken young man but that he had a big heart. He wanted to make things right and I desperately needed someone to comfort me and to help me deal with the pain of losing two of my closest friends. I hated myself for what happened to them instead of being grateful to God that it wasn’t me. My parents said it was some sort of survivor’s guilt or something but I didn’t really understand my own emotions anymore. Why did I feel the way I did? I didn’t know.

After school I walked home with Kevin and sat down on my bed next to him. I slouched my head over his shoulder and cried. He held me close and his presence was very comforting since nobody had really been there for me. My dad wasn’t around and my mom worked long hours plus she had other children who were still young to take care of. Kevin and I laid down on my bed and I let my head rest on his chest. He ran his gentle fingers through my hair and serenity swept over me. I indulged in the love and comfort he gave me. I didn’t know him but I already loved him. I knew that a keeper’s love was infinite, even though my limited human understanding could never comprehend it.

“Does everyone have a keeper like you?” I ask him as I looked into his deep blue eyes. “I don’t know how it all works,” he admitted, “but I do believe that everyone is watched over whether they are aware of it or not.”

“Did you watch over me before this?”

“No, all of this is new, I’ve never done anything like this before. I died nearly two decades ago but it’s only now that I’ve come back so to speak. I don’t know where all that time went, because I don’t remember it.”

“Well you’re here now, don’t ever leave.”

“I won’t.”

During the first few weeks of school after the accident, Kevin was always there by my side in each moment, but after that he only came by when I gave him agape. The trade of energy between us was overflowing and it was easy to sustain. During the hard moments I only had to think of him and his loving arms were around me. I spent every night with him and brought him everywhere with me. I spoke to him at length before I

went to sleep and he became so much more than just someone to watch over me. He was my best friend, my protector and my lifeline.

“I love you Arlene,” Kevin whispered to me just before I went to sleep.

“I love you too Kevin,” I whispered back, “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Honey, who are you walking to?” my mother asks as she was passing down the hall. “Nobody,” I replied in an absent-minded tone.

“You were obviously talking to somebody,” she pressed on as she walked into my room. “I was talking to myself,” I dismissed.

She didn’t make too much of a big deal out of it but told me that I should get help to deal with my grief. What she didn’t know was that I did have help, he was holding me in his arms. I also ended up forming a friendship with Rosanna. She was my only real friend left after Sabrina and Melanie died. Their friends didn’t like me because they blamed me for their deaths but Rosanna was very understanding and supportive. By the end of the school year we were best buds. She had just moved to the community during spring break, during the same time as the accident, and I was the only person who had really welcomed her.

I ended up spending my summer with Kevin and Rosanna at her grandparents’ farm in upstate Wisconsin. My mother thought it was a good idea and she was right. It gave me a new perspective on both my life and the tragedy as well as giving me a good opportunity to get my emotions in check. Rosanna’s grandparents had a beautiful antique-style home and warmly opened its doors to me. Rosanna and I had to share a room and each night after she fell asleep I had my nightly conversations with Kevin. He was always faithfully by my side with his head resting on the pillows and his sandy- colored all over my face. I had been the happiest since the accident.

“Who is that Kevin guy you talk to at night?” Rosanna asked me one evening before we went to bed.

I was taken aback that she knew about Kevin but I also realized that it was my own fault that I hadn’t been more discrete about it. Not wanting her to think that I was crazy, I decided to tell her the truth about Kevin.

“He’s my keeper,” I told her.

“Do you really believe in all that keeper stuff?” she asked me, seemingly confused. “He’s real real Rosanna, he’s been with me ever since the accident.”

“Good for you, I’m really happy for you.”

She didn’t seem to believe me at first but she was fine with it. She embraced Kevin even though she couldn’t see him, touch him or interact with him. At night she even gave me an extra pillow and an extra blanket for him even though he didn’t need it. For a while I acted as some sort of mediator between Kevin and Rosanna so they could communicate with each other. After some time Rosanna came to believe that Kevin was indeed real and that the legend was true. I told her about agape and all the valuable lessons about life and love that Kevin taught me. She was just as amazed when she heard my stories as I was when Kevin shared them with me.

At the end of the summer we both returned home to our normal lives and returned to school in September. During that whole time Kevin never left my side. During one hot afternoon we got a spare in our last class so Rosanna and I decided to hang out outside in a nearby park and that’s where she saw Kevin for the first time. For the first time she could see him like I did, complete with flesh and blood and everything. The three of us were equally mystified and overjoyed at the same time.

“I’m so happy to finally meet you!” Rosanna exclaimed once he appeared to her. “Me too!” Kevin exclaimed too as he wrapped his arms around her.

I could tell by the sparkle in Rosanna’s eyes that the transfer of energy because Kevin and her was amazing. I smiled as I watcher her grab a strand of his hair and stroke his cheek. The three of us reveled at being able to finally all be together in a way that we could equally enjoy ourselves. Rosanna didn’t seem to be in touch with her own keeper though, but Kevin was always with us when we were together. Kevin and Rosanna loved each other as much as I loved them, it was nothing short of wonderful to be always surrounded by such love.

All that wonderful love was dampened when my mother got a call from Rosanna’s parents saying that Rosanna and I had some weird obsession over this imaginary boyfriend we both had and that they didn’t want me to hang out with her anymore. I felt so betrayed that she would do something like that to me after having believed to the point that Kevin actually revealed himself to her. And not to mention the months we spent together making memories of the three of us! I was so hurt by what she did that it felt like that car crash all over again. Maybe she hadn’t died, but she certainly felt dead to me. Even Kevin seemed to be heartbroken over the situation.

“This Kevin person, was he the one you’ve been talking to when you said you had been talking to yourself these past few month?” my mother asked me.

“Mom, Kevin is real,” I insisted, “Rosanna sees him too!”

“No she doesn’t honey, she only went along with it because she’s concerned about you and your wellbeing.”

“What are you talking about mom? The three of us spent so much time together!” “After the accident happened you were grieving and you made up Kevin to help you cope with your loss.”

“No I did not!”

“It’s good to turn to spirituality to help you cope with your loss and to hold on to a future hope but sweetie, Kevin isn’t real.”

“Yes he is mom! He’s real, he’s right here!”

Kevin was faithfully by my side during the whole ordeal but he told me not to defend our relationship. I didn’t listen to his advice and my mother ended up telling me that I was delusional and that I needed therapy. The next morning at school Rosanna approached me just like nothing had happened, like she had never betrayed Kevin and I.

“How dare you!” I shouted at her in front of everyone as she approached me in the hallway.

“Arlene, listen,” she pleaded, “let me explain, this is just a big misunderstanding!”

“No Rosanna, there’s nothing to explain.”

“Arlene please, I had to make up a lie so my parents don’t lock me up in the psych ward! I believe Kevin is real, I know he is!”

“Well I’m the one who is going to be locked up in the psych ward now!”

“I’m sorry Arlene, please forgive me, I was just trying to protect myself. And where’s Kevin? I want to apologize to him too.”

Kevin had been right there the entire time but Rosanna seemed to be oblivious to his presence. He was invisible to her again.

“You can’t see him because he hates you!” I snapped back before I turned around and walked out of the building and broke down crying on the sidewalk.

“I don’t hate her sweetie,” Kevin whispered to me as he took me in his hold, “and you shouldn’t either.”

“I guess it’s just you a me now,” I whispered to him as I buried my face in his chest.

He held me tightly as he always did and I ended up ditching my first class that morning so I could spent time alone outside with him. He advised against it but I wanted to be with him in the cool morning air to collect my thoughts. My mother was called since I had skipped class and I got in trouble again because of it. In defiance to my mother asking why I skipped class, I told her that I wanted to spend time alone with Kevin. I knew it wasn’t going to help anything but I wasn’t going to give up on Kevin over some hypocrites and unbelievers.

Rosanna still wanted to be my friend after the whole thing but I no longer wanted anything to do with her. Kevin encouraged me time and time again to forgive her and take her back but I was too hurt to do so after the betrayal. Rosanna didn’t really have any friends other than me but I had Kevin and he was all that mattered. I loved him so much and I wasn’t about to give up after all that he had done for me. My parents sent me to therapy and I told my therapist all about how wonderful Kevin was because I did not want to forsake him over a lie any longer. He told me on numerous occasions to deny him but I loved him too much for that and I made sure to show him that his endless love for me was reciprocated.

I spent long nights in my room by myself with Kevin since I had no more friends and things between my mother and I were hostile. She had convinced herself that I had some mental illness that made me crazy because I was seeing people who weren’t there and that I needed therapy. It hurt me deeply but it was comforting to know that Kevin was there. I could clearly see in his eyes that he was hurting too since he could feel everything I felt but a keeper’s love was infinite and he wasn’t about to give up on me. I wasn’t about to give up on him either over some notion that I was completely crazy.

“You should forgive Rosanna,” Kevin whispered to me one night while he was holding me tight.

“I know I should,” I replied tiredly, “but I’m still so hurt Kevin.”

“I know you are, but remember that I’m here for you and I’ll help you heal. That’s why I’m here in the first place! And make peace with your mother, dear.”

“She’s the one who’s going to have to make peace with me!”

I cried thinking about all the hurtful things she had said to me. Not only had I just lost two friends in a freak drunk driving accident, but I had lost Rosanna and ultimately her as well. Kevin was all I had left and people treated him with such hostility and accused me of being completely insane. Sometimes I came to believe them even if Kevin was nothing short of very real to me. The news of my “imaginary boyfriend” somehow spread to school and people began making fun of me too, and Rosanna was one of them. I couldn’t understand why she would do those things to me. Not only did we spent countless nights together in the company of Kevin but she even had the audacity to ridicule me in front of everyone.

After one particularly horrible day at school, I came home and locked myself up in my room and took out that same razor blade that I had cut myself with the first time. I had left it in my night table and I proceeded to create twelve bloody lines on my arm. My soul shattered under the fire of pain and the absence of momentary hope. In the middle of that crisis I called to Kevin in agape and he was there in a heartbeat. He took me into his gentle hold and was about to press his lips to my bleeding scars before I stopped him.

“Don’t,” I whispered to him, “let me show my mother first.”

“Why would you want to do that?” he asked me, seemingly puzzled.

“Let me show her my scars, and then kiss them away and I’ll show her my arm again.” “And what exactly are you trying to prove by doing this?”

“I’m going to prove to her that you’re real.”

“Do you think that’s a good idea?”

“Do you?”

“No, because I’m afraid she’s going to do something drastic because you cut yourself.” “She can’t do much worst than shun me like she already is.”

Kevin advised me to just cover up my arm and not show her since I wouldn’t let him erase them but I went right ahead and made my arm visible during breakfast the following morning.

“You’re not going to school like that!” she sternly told me after my siblings had left the table.

“Kevin is real mom, “I told her, “I’ll prove it to you.”

“And how do you think you’re going to do that?”

“He’s going to kiss my scars and all of them will fade away like they never were on my arm.”

She looked at me defiantly, not believing a single word I said. I gave her a defiant stare in return before I went up to my room and handed my arm over to Kevin. He tenderly kissed every scare and one by one they vanished and my skin returned to it’s soft pink state. I went back down and showed my mother. She didn’t know what she was seeing, and she even touched my arm to make sure they were really gone, but she still didn’t believe that I had a keeper named Kevin. To her the scars were just another crazy stunt for attention.

“She thinks I only want attention,” I whispered to Kevin in a sad voice. “Do you?” he asked me.

I grimaced at him, hurt at the fact that he thought that I was just doing that for attention too.

“The night I came to you I know the hurt was real,” he went on, “but now you’re angry. It’s not about grief or confusion anymore.”

“Go away Kevin,” I dismissed him before laying down on my and wishing that the sheets would suffocate me in my wake again.

Dead silence filled the entire house up until I heard my mother dial a number on the phone. I didn’t pay too much attention until she told the person on the other end that she was calling about me because she was afraid for my safety. I grunted loudly and slapped my head on the pillow next to me. I started to cry again and called on to Kevin to comfort me. He was there in the blink of an eye to make everything okay again just like he had the first time we met.

“Are you aware of what goes on in my life when you’re in the other dimension?” I ask him as I put my head on his chest.

“Yes,” he replied in a soft whisper, “but I can’t see or hear, I can only feel.”

“I’m so sorry I treated you so badly earlier. Please forgive me.”

“Already forgiven.”

He kissed my forehead and I traced his soft lips with my index finger afterwards. He kissed my finger and smiled at me like he always did. I caressed his soft cheeks with my hand and traced the beautiful features of his face. His face was only inches from mine and I could feel the tingle of his warm breath on my skin as I looked deeply into the sea of his eyes.

“Why did you commit suicide?” I whispered to him.

“I just couldn’t live with myself,” he replied as he closed his eyes, seemingly hurting.

I kissed his left eye as I put my fingers in his sandy hair and stroked it gently. I loved him so much, it was impossible for me to picture him hating himself so much that he thought suicide was the only way out. I kissed him and reveled at the amazing love he gave me any time I asked for it. I began to imagine that we had been sent to each other so we could help one another and fix each other. My fingers ran all over his scalp as my lips gently pressed against the skin of his face.

“Ain’t I the one who is supposed to kiss you?” he whispered to me grinning.

I grinned back at him and he took a hold of me and shifted our body positions so he was the one who could kiss me and stroke my face just like I did to him. I put my hand on the back of his neck and pulled him down towards me and we both kissed each other passionately. The feel of his hands on my neck and collar bone was enough to really make me crazy. Mine breathing rapidly accelerated but his slowed down since he didn’t need to actually breathe. Our perfect moment was disrupted when I heard my mother’s footsteps coming up the stairs. She then barged into my room without knocking and began to talk apprehensively about this apparent mental illness that I didn’t really have.

“I know you’ve been hurting a lot Arlene,” she told me, “but you need some help and I’ve arranged for you to live with your aunt and uncle in Portage. They have some good facilities to help you there too, so pack your bags.”
“You can just send me away!” I angrily shouted back, “I am not your property! I have a say in this!”

Kevin put his warm hands on my shoulders and softly whispered to me to comply with my mother for my own sake but I pushed him aside and had a screaming match with my mother. Kevin begged me to hear him out about the whole thing but I didn’t want to.

“No Kevin!” I shouted at him, “I’m not going!”

“Yes you are!” my mother shouted back at me, “And you’re going to get rid of Kevin!”

“I’m gonna get rid of you!” I defiantly shouted back at her, “I’m gonna pack my bags and go on vacation far away from you with aunt Marie and uncle Bill!”

She didn’t know what to reply to that. I looked over at Kevin who was still standing by my closet and grinned at him, knowing that we’d spend all our days together at aunt Marie’s and uncle Bill’s. My mother’s plan didn’t sound so bad after all and I more than willingly packed my bags with Kevin’s help. We smiled at each other the whole time and I marveled at how he could turn an awful situation into a pleasant one. Spending some time alone with him at my aunt’s and uncle’s house, I couldn’t have asked for better! And the timing was perfect too. I climbed over the bed and smooched him to say thank you and I grinned to myself in delight.

That same afternoon my mother decided to make the eight-hour trip to Portage with me to get me out of the house as soon as possible. I was riding shotgun while Kevin was faithfully behind me in the backseat with my luggage. He reached out his hand and began to play with my hair during the long and boring ride. The skies were overcast for a while before it began to rain heavily. The big raindrops were more than the windshield wipers could handle and it became very hard to see the road ahead. The streetlights were nothing but a distant blur until we hit the highway. Everything was black in the late evening and neither my mother or I could see anything. I turned around to ask Kevin if he could see anything more than we could but he was just as human as the rest of us and he was no help.

“When are you going to leave Kevin alone?” my mother was nearly shouting at me, “He isn’t real! Get over him!”

“Mom! Watch where you’re going!” I yelled back as she was swerving on the slippery wet highway.

Another fight broke out between us again and my mother ended up slapping me in the left temple area when the back of her hand. I quickly glanced over at Kevin in the backseat but noticed that he wasn’t there so I didn’t hesitate to slap my mother back twice as hard on the side of the face too. It caused her to swerve violently again on the wet road but she had time regaining control of the van as we kept on going from side to side in the rain. Ahead I saw a white dot in the distance as it quickly got closer I realized that it was a set of headlights headed straight in our direction. The vehicle ahead was serving too and I quickly called on to Kevin in agape for him to comfort me but nothing happened. I screamed his name much to the frustration of my mother but nothing happened, he wasn’t there.

I could clearly see the truck headed exactly for us in a head-on collision despite all the rain. I braced myself for whatever was to come and silently pleaded for Kevin to come rescue me in my time of need. As the truck was about to hit us, I saw Kevin standing in front of it with his arms stretched out on the front of it, seemingly trying to push it in the opposite direction. And then everything went black. All I remembered was something cold surrounding me completely. I didn’t feel anything else other than cold. It was almost like a dream-like state.

* * *

Bright lights were all around me and I could hear faint voices in the background, possibly coming from another room. I focused more on what was surrounding me and I could hear a constant, steady beeping sound. The beeping sound like on those hospital machines. The thought didn’t sink in immediately, but then I realized that I was in the hospital and I was hooked up to those machines! The beeping then increased as I was hyperventilating. Doctors quickly rushed to me and gave me some sort of sedative. I woke up a short time later and I could feel something on my head, like a hand. I opened my eyes to the bright lights again but my eyes slowly adjusted and the hospital room became clear around me.

On my left Kevin was sitting on my bed and had his gentle hand over my head, calming me and keeping my blood pressure down. I examined him from head to toe to make sure he was okay after the accident but he didn’t have a scratch. Only his hair was messier than usual, but apart from that there was nothing different about him. He still had on the same dark clothes and the same look on his face. He was just like he had always been.

“Everything is fine darling,” he whispered to me, “you’re going to make a full recovery and so will your mom. The other driver is going to be fine too.”

I smiled softly at him and he gave me a tender reassuring kiss. He stayed on my bed until I fully aware of my surroundings and my condition. I didn’t have any serious injuries, but I was pretty banged up. Kevin then walked around my room talking to me and eventually turned on the TV. The six o’clock news had just come on and I tuned in since Kevin seemed to want me to watch them. The first thing they showed on the large TV screen was a picture of an awful car wreck with a white silhouette in the form of a man standing next to it. There were no details or features on the silhouette, but it was obviously the one of a young man. The wreckage was something to see. Both the vehicles had been completely destroyed, there was nothing left.

Here’s an update on yesterday’s devastating car accident near Portage. A small family van collided head on with a freight truck heading in the opposite direction. First responders on the scene said the crash was due to poor visibility during yesterday’s storm. In this photo you can clearly see what’s left of the wreckage in the middle of the highway along with a mysterious white silhouette seemingly looking over the crash site. Everyone survived.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! How was it possible that I survived that crash? Both vehicles were totaled! I looked over at Kevin who had returned at my side. I looked deep into his diamond eyes with such admiration and gratitude. He kissed my forehead as tears escaped from my eyes as the full scope of the situation sank in. Kevin had saved my life. He seemed to be overwhelmed with emotion too as he took me into a tight hug and took a series of heavy breaths even though he technically didn’t need to breathe. His touch calmed me down and relaxed my stiff, aching muscles.

“You saved my life,” I whispered to him through my tears.

He didn’t say anything. Instead, he leaned over and kissed me again.

“Can you die?” I asked him.

“I’m already dead,” he replied chuckling, “I don’t think I can die again.”

“Are you hurt though?”

“No sweetheart, I didn’t feel a thing. Don’t worry about me, it’s my job to worry about you.”

A sweet gentle smile appeared on his lips as he said those words. It was another perfect moments until a doctor and some nurses walked in to check up on me. They all smiled broadly when they saw I was awake. They told me I had only been out less than twenty-four hours, which was quite something considering the severity of my injuries.

I had broken nearly every bone in my body and had a severe concussion as a result of a skull fracture on impact. As horrible as my injuries were, I was grateful of just being alive after such a horrific crash. I also knew that no matter what happened, Kevin would always be there by my side to help me get through it all. And he was. It took over a year for me to walk again, but eventually I did. My mother had only crushed one leg in the crash but it took her multiple months to walk again too. I never got any updates on the other driver, but I knew he was alive.

My mother had never seen the photo of the crash site they had shown on TV until over a year later, when I showed her on the internet. She was in awe as she looked at Kevin’s silhouette and the pieces of the wreckage scattered all over the highway. She still couldn’t believe that we had both survived the crash, it was nothing short of a miracle.

“Kevin is real mom,” I whispered to her as we both looked at the picture.

She didn’t speak. She didn’t seem to know what to believe. She could no longer deny that Kevin was real since she had experienced his presence and seen his aura. However, she still didn’t seem to believe that he was my keeper. On the good side though, she left Kevin and I alone. She no longer made a big deal about my friendship with him. I didn’t need to go to therapy and I wasn’t sent away after all. The whole ordeal just made me love Kevin even more. I owed him my life! We only grew closer and closer. At school I eventually made more friends, with Rosanna not in the picture. I wondered if she had gotten in touch with her own keeper if she had one, but since Kevin had no interactions with other keepers the only way to know would have been to ask her.

Eventually my mother met another man through a mutual coworker in whom she was interested. I encouraged her to pursue it and she did. I was happy for her that she had found someone after my dad and she seemed to be happier than she had ever been in a long time. Kevin and I were both elated that she had found someone and could finally be happy. I had Kevin so I didn’t anybody else, but my mother had never been able to get in touch with a keeper. In the summertime when I finished my school year my mother wanted to travel to Ohio from Wisconsin where Jeffrey, her boyfriend, had been transferred after getting a promotion. She wanted to bring my siblings and I but I didn’t want to go and decided to stay home instead. I was going to spend some time with Kevin and some friends I had made in school instead. I helped my mother pack up her bags to go spend two weeks with Jeffrey out of state with a smile on my face as big as hers but at the last minute Kevin told me to stop her from leaving.

“Why don’t you want her to go?” I asked Kevin, confused because he had been so happy that my mother had found someone.

“I have this awful eerie feeling about it Arlene,” Kevin had a sharp edge in his voice, “just don’t let her go.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I can’t tell for sure, but I just know it’s not good.”

I didn’t want to damped my mother’s happiness but Kevin had never been wrong before and I decided to put my trust in him again. I trusted him that he truly knew what was best for my family and I so I listened to what he had to say and did what he told me.

“Don’t go mom,” as she was finishing getting ready.

“Well come with me!” she told me with a warm smile.

“No mom, please don’t go.”

“Why not? What’s wrong?”

“Kevin told me something bad was going to happen.”

She let out a loud sigh and gave me the not-this-again look. I begged her to listen to me and to not blow me off after the horrific car accident Kevin had saved us from. All she did was get angry though, and give me that lecture about how Kevin wasn’t real. I looked over at him and he kept telling me to not let her go. I lost the argument though and she ended up leaving and slamming the door in my face but not before giving me some harsh words about my relationship with Kevin. I dismissed the whole thing but Kevin was obviously distraught and kept on begging me to call my mother and convince her to turn back.

“I can’t Kevin,” I tried to calm him down, “her mind is made up.”

“There’s gotta be something you can do!” he pleaded with his spiritual body shaking like a lead in the wind.

“What’s wrong anyway?”

“I don’t really know, I just have this deep feeling from deep inside of me that’s telling me that something’s not right.”

“Is there a way that you can go watch over her even when she doesn’t see you? I’ll give you all the energy I have.”

“I don’t know, but we can try.”

Kevin disappeared from my presence but I kept on giving him all the energy I could manage. I prayed that wherever he was, he could somehow help my mother or help me help her that something bad was going to happen. After a few minutes I was no longer able to sustain the agape and the energy field crashed. I was afraid that because I couldn’t sustain the energy that I wasn’t going to be able to help Kevin. I was anxious for him to come back and give me some news on what went on. Time seemed to tick forever before he appeared next to me at the kitchen table. I was so relieved to see him but he still seemed so tense.

“Call your mom, right now!” he commanded in a tired voice.

I immediately grabbed the phone on the kitchen table and dialed my mom’s cellphone. I was barely able to breathe as I waited for her to answer. I heard a few too many rings before I heard her voice. I looked over at Kevin, not really knowing what to say after she answered.

“Tell her to pull over,” he told me.

“Mom,” I began, “please pull over.”

“Why sweetheart?” she asked me in a confused voice.

“Tell her there’s a tanker up a head on the other side of the hill and that it will hit her if she doesn’t pull over.”

“Mom, there’s a tanker coming your way and…”

I could no longer speak.

“Tell her Arlene!” Kevin almost shouted at me.

“What’s with the tanker? And how do you know that anyway?”

“Do you see it mom?”

“Yes I do, it’s right here. How did you know there was a tanker coming my way?”

“Kevin told me mom, now pull over right now!”

For a few moments I heard nothing but dead silence. I shouted my mom’s name over the phone until her blank voice told me that she had just seen the tanker explode right in front of her.

“Are you okay?!”

“Yes honey, I pulled over.”

I collapsed to the floor in relief that she had listened to me. Kevin was still with me but I could no longer touch him. Every time I reached for him my hand would go right through him.

“I’m running out of energy,” he told me, “don’t worry. You rest for now and I’ll come back later.”

I nodded my head as he disappeared from my sight. I stayed on the line with my mother until the first responders arrived on the scene. Somebody had called 911 and the police officers on site were rerouting all the traffic. She told me she was returning home before she hung up and I patiently waiting for her until I heard her insert her keys into the lock of the front door. I quickly rushed over to her and hugged her tightly. Both us let out a massive sigh of relief as we held each other. My rigid muscles finally relaxed as she held me in her arms and thanked me endlessly for having convinced her to pull over on the side of the road. When she let go of me she looked at me with such a horrified look on her face.

“What is it?” I asked her.

“Kevin,” she whispered.

“What about him? Do you see him?”

“No I don’t, but he was with me on that highway wasn’t he?”

“Yes he was, he’s the one who told me about the tanker truck.” Chills ran down her spine as she thought about it.

“Only a keeper would know something like that,” she whispered, “only a keeper could predict that the truck would explode right next to me.”

We looked at each other for a few moments before she threw her arms around me again. We were both overwhelmed with emotion and began to sob in each other’s arms. Kevin showed up a few moments later and put his loving arms around us too. I grabbed a strand of his hair before I stroked his face. After a few moments our tears dried up and the three of us sat on the couch and talked for a while. My mother was mystified that she had just been saved from another accident. She seemed to finally understand that Kevin was indeed real and that he was looking out for us.

“He’s real,” she whispered to herself in a barely audible voice.

“Yes I am,” Kevin whispered in her ear as he put his arm around her but she didn’t seem to notice.

“Is he here?” she asked, still seemingly oblivious to his presence.

“He’s right beside you mom,” I whispered to her.

She looked over at her side but she still didn’t seem to see Kevin. However, she lifted up her hand and reached out where Kevin was sitting and although she couldn’t see him, I could perfectly see that her hand was caressing his face. He smiled softly at her and then looked at me with that same smile. He put his hand over hers and she seemed to be overwhelmed with the same feeling of inner serenity that I felt from being in Kevin’s presence. My mother then looked at me with a blank, mystified expression on her face. I hugged her again and we both wept some more. Kevin put his arms around the both of us and we both felt his amazing presence.

“Who is Kevin?” my mother asked me.

“I’m just a kid who screwed up,” he replied to himself. “He’s a teenager who committed suicide,” I whisper to her.

Tears escaped from her eyes as she listened to me telling her how Kevin took his own life before I was born and how he came to me the night I contemplated taking my own life as well.

“What’s his last name?” she asked me.

“I don’t know mom,” I replied, “he never told me. It doesn’t really matter anyway.”

“No it doesn’t, but you say he was human before?”

“Yeah he was, it’s cool isn’t it?”

“It’s nothing short of amazing. I love the young man although I’ve never met him.” “Maybe one day you will, Rosanna saw him.”

My mother was taken aback. We had completely put the Rosanna story behind us a long time ago and both forgotten about her completely.

“I remember you saying that,” my mother whispered, “gosh I hate myself for what I’ve put you through.”

“But Kevin was there to get me through it all,” I reassured her.

“I should’ve been there for you after the drunk driving accident but I wasn’t! And on top of that I’ve put you through so much with Kevin.”

“That’s fine mom, we’re all still alive aren’t we?” We hugged each other again.

“Do you want to come out to dinner Arlene? Just you and me?” “Sure, of course!”

“And Kevin, does he eat?”

“He doesn’t really, but he’s coming regardless.”

We both laughed at once and went on our way to the restaurant. My mother and I enjoyed a good meal and Kevin sat next to me across from my mother. Once again I was the mediator for the two of them to talk and my mother was in complete awe as she got to hear his thoughts and opinions. After our meal was over, just as we were heading out the door we came face to face with the driver of the freight truck that totaled our van. It took all of us by surprise to see each other, but at the same time everything was relieved. He broke down in tears and hugged us all, so thankful that we had made all out alive and in one piece. For a moment he looked in Kevin’s direction but he ended up looking past him.

“Are you the one who called 911?” my mother asked the freight truck driver.

“No,” he replied, “they told me a boy named Kevin did.”

My mother and I looked at each other with tearful faces. I then looked at Kevin and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. I hadn’t previously known that he’s the one who had called for help, I had never really thought about asking because it’s not what concerned me.

“Kevin?” my mother chocked out, wanting not to cry.

“Yeah, nobody knows where he called from,” the driver replied, “or how he knew about the crash in the first place. His voice isn’t even on the audio recording but the operator was speaking to him!”

My mother and I knew. We grinned at each other before saying goodbye to the freight truck driver and going back home.

“He never told me he’s the one who called,” I told her. “How in the world did he do that?” she asked me.

“I don’t know, I don’t think he even knows himself how it all works, but we’re never alone as long as he’s around.”

“And he knew about the tanker going to explode in the ditch too.”

“Yeah he somehow did.”

Kevin and I were always together and our love for each other only grew deeper with each and every day that went by. He was still evasive about my questions regarding his past and his human life. He was obviously ashamed of it and confessed to me that he had remorse, but he still refused to tell me. I eventually just let it go since it really wasn’t important. His old life was gone, he had a new one with me and that’s all we both really cared about. My mother was never able to see him but despite that she always made sure to somehow include him in the household. He even had his own room in the house! It was also obvious to me that he loved her just as much in return. He helped all of us heal, and there came a time that the pain had completely vanished like it never came.

One night I was watching the news by myself with my mother and my siblings out in town and Kevin resting from energy in another dimension when Kevin’s picture suddenly appeared on the TV screen. I immediately turned up the volume and tuned in to the newscast to see what they were going to say about him, especially since he had died before I was born and apparently nobody except me could still see him! The photo soon switched to the mugshot of another young man named Nate following by Nate in an orange jumpsuit being led out of a courtroom.

Nate Anderson, 18, and Kevin Hegarty, 17, were responsible for three murders in Nashville in 1993. Amelia Sinai, 13, and her sister Natalie Sinai, 18, along with her boyfriend Gregory Sims, also 18, were savagely shot to death right in their own home one morning while they were getting ready for school later that day. The murders were apparently a result of Nate’s jealousy towards Natalie after she left him for George. Kevin Hegarty committed suicide after the murderous rampage, his body was found next to Amelia’s in the living. He died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Today Nate Anderson had yet another life sentence added to his already lengthy prison term after stabbing a correctional officer who later died in hospital.

I didn’t know how to react to what I saw. My breath left me completely as I listened in horror to what Kevin had done with his friend Nate. I threw the TV remote across the room and broke down crying. I screamed and hit the end table with my fists as it sank in that Kevin was nothing but a murderer! My whole world seemed like it was coming down, crashing hard as it hit the ground. My body shook uncontrollably to the point that I eventually had to lie down because I was so upset. I had never felt to betrayed. I had shared everything with a murderer, a teenage killer. I had let him into the most private and sensitive areas of my life, told him all my secrets and let him sleep in my bed at night. He had saved my life and healed all my pain, but he had committed murder and that was unforgivable.

I was so hurt and angry at myself for having loved a murderer the way I did. I truly hated myself for having let him into my life the way I did. I hated the entire realm of keepers for having sent me a murderer as a keeper. I went up to my room and cut myself again. It wasn’t for attention or to prove to anyone that Kevin could heal my scars, but to try to lessen the immeasurable pain of betrayal and loss that I was feeling. Conflicting feelings went round and round inside my head. I still loved Kevin, but I couldn’t accept loving a murderer. I yelled out to the sky that Kevin and the entire realm of keepers better not ever come into my life again. At the same time I was so angry at Kevin for leading me on the way he did and not being forthcoming on the multiple occasions he had the chance to tell me the truth.

I felt lightheaded from being in shock and cutting myself so I let myself drift into a dreamless sleep. I woke up again a few hours later to a still empty house. My cuts burned as I passed them under hot water. Kevin was no longer around to kiss them away. I broke down crying again as I thought of all the memories shared with Kevin and all the time I spent with him. I owed him my life! I owed him a lot more than just my life. Deep inside me I felt sympathy for him and eventually compassion too. His bad choices obviously haunted him profoundly and it saddened me deeply. I was even angrier at myself for having disowned him the way I did instead of trying to understand first like he had begged me to do with Rosanna. I had lost her and I ended up losing him too. As angry as I was with him, I still wanted to talk to him and try to understand the full scope of the situation before passing any more judgments.

I tightly closed my eyes and left myself be overcome with agape but I just couldn’t do it. I was too angry at Kevin and hurt by his actions to immerse myself in pure love for him. I put my hand over my bloody arm and begged for him to come back and erase my scars but nothing happened. I had never felt so alone. After two years of always having him by my side, I ended up alone. In between my hatred and my tears, I tried to sustain the agape to talk to Kevin one last time before I decided whether he was worthy of being forgiven for his crimes or not. I took a deep breath and let my mind drift off back to that first night I met Kevin. I remembered how his gentle touch comforted me and how serene it felt when he held me in his arms. The agape came flowing over me again just like it did on that night. I turned over onto my back and saw that Kevin was there. I was overjoyed and went over to him.

He looked at me with a blank stare and I saw the gaping head wound in his left temple area. Some of his hair was soaked in blood and his left ear was soaked in it. I gasped in shock and reached out to touch him but my hand went right through him. I looked at him in pure horror, that’s what he looked like after he shot himself! My heart broke for him and I reached out to hold him again, focusing especially on sustaining the energy. His body was cold in my arms and although I could interact with him, he wasn’t breathing. The features on his once-beautiful face looked tired and worn out. His blue eyes weren’t as bright anymore, and his overwhelming peaceful aura had faded away. I held him tightly against me and poured my love over him just like he had done to me in the past in hopes that it would heal him the same way it worked on me.

“I’ve failed my mission,” Kevin whispered in a bleak, tired voice.

“I’m so sorry Kevin,” I muttered through my tears, “please forgive me. I never meant to hurt you.”

“Of course I forgive you Arlene, I love you, and I always will long after I’m gone here.”

“What do you mean gone? Where are you going?”

“I’ve failed Arlene.”

His voice was just a soft whisper filled with angst as he told me to stop giving him agape since it no longer did anything for him. As much as I begged him to stay, he didn’t have a choice but to say goodbye. He expressed regret and sorrow before he slipped out of my hold and disappeared from me. He hadn’t been able to heal my scars no matter how much he tried and was no longer able to sustain his own energy. There was no way I could reach him, he was gone. I buried my face in my pillows and pleaded to higher powers to send Kevin back to me so I could properly make amends. Nothing happened. I thought back to what I had seen on TV, that Kevin had shot himself next to Amelia’s body seemingly regretting what he and Nate had done.

I called on to Amelia in agape just like I used to call on Kevin in hopes that she could give me answers to the missing pieces of the puzzle since Kevin was no longer around and I never got the chance to ask him why. When I reopened my eyes, I saw this teenage girl standing at the edge of my bed. It was Amelia! She came over to me and sat next to me on my bed. She was a beautiful young girl with long shiny brown hair down passed her shoulders and deep green eyes that complimented her small round race and a few freckles. Her little pinks lips were out of the way to reveal a perfect set of white teeth and a welcoming smile.

“You came!” I exclaimed.

“The keepers heard your prayer,” she told me in a gentle voice, “whatever you request of me, I’ll do my best.”

“It’s about Kevin Hegarty.”

“What about him?”

“Why did he shoot you like that?”

“He’s not the one who shot me, he didn’t even know I was in the house. Nate wanted to kill my sister for leaving him but the three of us ended up being in the house.”

“So Nate’s the one who shot you?”

“Yes, he’s the one who shot everyone. Kevin didn’t even fire his gun before he shot himself.”

“I presume you were already dead when he committed suicide?”

“Yeah, Nate had already shot me point-blank in the face but I do know that Kevin didn’t know I was even in the house. When he stumbled across my body on his way out he just couldn’t live with himself so he decided to put an end to it right there.”

Amelia spoke in a very sympathetic tone of voice towards Kevin and Nate. The glimmer in her eyes showed that she understood their actions and she didn’t show any kind of anger or resentment towards either of them.

“Do you forgive them?”

“Yes I do, it’s a part of me having peace of mind, even here.”

“I just don’t understand why it all ended the way it did. I mean, we loved each other so much and then he was just gone! Do you think it’s someone not forgiving him?”

“I wouldn’t know, but it’s definitely something plausible.”

I sincerely thanked Amelia for her insights and her time away from eternal bliss and proceeded to speak with Natalie and George. Natalie had come to forgive Kevin, but not Nate and George hadn’t forgiven any of them. That’s where they problem was, Kevin had not been able to get the proper closure and forgiveness he needed and ended up wrecking his relationship with me. I understood why he wasn’t able to forgive him, what Kevin had done was unforgivable but I loved Kevin enough to try to reach out to George and help him move on from the tragedy.

“You’re not able to move on aren’t you?” I made conversation with George who had appeared in front of me.

“No,” he muttered back, “I can’t.”

“You can’t forgive Kevin.”

“What he did was unforgivable!”

I felt his pain. I had felt so betrayed when I learned that Kevin had helped his friend murder three innocent people and never though I was going to be able to look at him again but as I looked deep inside of myself I realized that nothing changed my love for Kevin, and I wanted to forgive him and fix our bond. It also saddened me deeply to see even the departed stuck in limbo because they weren’t able to let go. I realized at that point that I needed forgiveness too. I had never truly forgiven myself for the drunk driving accident. I shared my feelings with George and he listened attentively just like Kevin had done.

“It wasn’t your fault,” he told me in a gentle whisper, “they aren’t dead because of you. It wasn’t anything you did.”

“And it wasn’t anything you did that made Kevin and Nate kill you!” I replied doing my best to hold back tears.

George sighed deeply and looked up at the ceiling, deep in thought. It was true, what happened wasn’t George’s fault and he shouldn’t have to be the one who constantly suffers for it. I knew from the look on his face that he understood that. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath myself, letting my mind drift away into limbo. Somewhere along the way I decided to let go of my guilt regarding the tragic deaths of Sabrina and Melanie. What happened wasn’t my fault, it was an accident. For the first time I felt like I was actually able to take a breath, a real breath of air. A feeling of calmness swept over me and consumed me for the short moment it lasted. I had lived with guilt for some two and a half years, but I was finally free.

“Feels good doesn’t it?” George commented.

I let out a sigh of relief and as I opened my eyes I saw Kevin standing at the edge of my bed. His face was very pale and his eyes were dark and lifeless. The gaping head wound was no longer visible but Kevin was no longer vibrant and full of life like he had once been. He was formally dressed with his hair neatly combed back, he looked like a person who was about to attend a funeral. I sent him agape but nothing seemed to happen. He still stood there like a walking corpse. George left my side and walked over to Kevin’s side of the room where the two of them looked at each other, each seemingly waiting for the other to begin.

“Forgive yourself,” George commanded Kevin with a somewhat sharp edge in his voice. “I can’t do that,” Kevin replied in a soft whisper as he bowed his head.

“I’m done with this. I’m not going to let this dictate the rest of my eternal existence!” George went on. “I’m letting go today!”

In that very moment when George forgave Kevin, a show of lights sparkled around both of their auras. George’s aura stayed bright but Kevin’s faded away. He was still dark and lifeless while George was radiant and lighting up the whole room. George commanded Kevin to forgive himself again but there was no visible reaction in Kevin. I soon saw Amelia and Natalie join in with both of their auras shining bright too. I crawled over to the edge of my bed and joined them too. The five of us were standing in a circle in the middle of the room with each person’s aura helping to illuminate the rest. I looked up at Kevin with compassion and sympathy in my eyes and threw my arms around him. His chin was pressed down against my shoulder when he let out a deep sigh too and I felt a surge of energy all around me.

His aura engulfed me and the biggest sense of pure bliss came sweeping over me like a hurricane. Kevin’s aura had always been very comforting but it had never been quite like that. I got out of his hold and looked up at him again and saw that his eyes had become shiny and radiant again. His heart was beating again and he had regained all of his color. His golden locks of messy hair were softer than they ever were and a gentle serene smile appeared across his lips. It was finished. Kevin had forgiven himself and had received the forgiveness of the people he had hurt along with Nate. The five of us looked at each other with smiles on everyone’s lips. I had never felt so much love in my entire love, I was completely surrounded by it. In a flash of white light the Lord joined us and I got to stand right there in the midst of his amazing glory.

I watched in complete awe as one by one George, Amelia and Natalie were taken up to heaven. Only Kevin and I were left in the awesome presence of the Lord. We looked at each other for the fraction of a second and hugged each other one last time. We said our last goodbyes and Kevin gave me one last kiss on the forehead before the Lord took him up to heaven. As he ascended he waved down at me with a big smile on his face. He was so happy, he had finally gotten his wish after almost twenty years. He was forgiven, he was free. After they had all ascended into heaven all signs of their auras and their overwhelming presences dissipated like they never existed in the first place. I sat on my bed and let my mind go blank. I had just witnessed the most amazing thing in the world but I already missed Kevin terribly.

Reality came back crashing in when my mother knocked on my bedroom door. I was startled after still reeling from my recent experiences but managed to compose myself as she walked in and sat next to me. She asked me what I had been doing up in my room all alone on such a nice day but I dismissed her and told her that I was tired and that I simply needed a little rest from time to time. I didn’t tell her anything about the Lord making things right between Kevin and the people he had wronged in his human life but I did slip up and mention that Kevin was gone. My mother was taken aback at my comment and asked me what was going on.

“Kevin was taken up to heaven,” I whispered to her holding back tears.

She wrapped her arms around me and held me into a tight hug as we both cried. I eventually confessed to her the whole ordeal with Kevin in the last moments of our relationship and how the Lord had redeemed him. I was comforted that he was finally in his happy place where there was no more pain but I still missed him terribly and grieved for him because I had loved him so much for the two short years that we had spent together. I felt like I was the luckiest person in the world to have gotten the chance to know him like I did even though he was gone.

“I hope he knew that I loved him before he left,” my mother whispered to me as she grieved for Kevin too.

“I know he did mom,” I reassured her, “he’s with dad now and we’ll see both of them again one day.”

The mood was sober in the following few days but I reminded myself of how much Kevin and I really loved each other when the thought of being without him was unbearable. His voice always remained in the back of my mind to somehow comfort me and give me advice when I felt alone and didn’t know where to turn. I eventually rekindled my friendship with Rosanna and the two of us were able to reminisce and comfort each other with the good times we both spent with Kevin. With his help and his love I became a new person and I always wanted to honor his memory by being the change I wanted to see in the world and by giving others what he gave me, hope. It delighted me to share his wisdom with others who were willing to listen.

As summer came to an end I was getting ready to move away for college in the next few weeks and was aimlessly wandering around the basement while my mother was doing the laundry. I watched her take my clothes out of the washing machine and shove them in the dryer. She then looked down to see if there were any clothes left in the washing machine and bent down over it to pick up something. In her hand was this small stainless steel link bracelet that I had never seen before. We were both puzzled since it didn’t belong to either one of us and it didn’t belong to any of my siblings. She gave it to me and I decided that I might as well wear it since I had it!

The morning before I left for college I decided to pull up some pictures of Kevin, Amelia, Natalie and George to carry around with me in my wallet so I would never forget the convictions and values all of them had taught me since I knew that it would be too easy to get caught up in my new life and lost in the great big world out there. For some reason I wasn’t able to connect to the internet to get some so I texted Rosanna and told her to send me some when I got to college. She agreed to print some and send them to me once I got settled. A few days after I arrived there I got an envelope addressed to my name with four pictures in it. As I looked at them I couldn’t help but notice the bracelet on Kevin’s arm. As I looked more closely it became clear to me that it was the bracelet my mom found in the washing machine!

“How can this be?” I exclaimed to myself alone in my dorm.

I opened the window of my room and looked up at the cloudless blue sky in awe. I smiled to myself as I traced each link with my finger. I knew that Kevin hadn’t left me and that he was always going to hold a very special place in my heart. I closed the window and immediately called my mother to tell her what had just happened. She just as flabbergasted as I was when I found out but we both rejoiced at the thought that Kevin was still very much in our lives. The bracelet became my little memento commemorating our time together and with it came all the sweet memories of him being there when I had no one else and him saving my life twice.

I proudly wore the bracelet wherever I went and never took it off. I only seemed to have to poke it around with my finger and Kevin’s overwhelming presence was still with me. I couldn’t see him or talk to him but his aura still lingered around my dorm and the classroom. My mother commented that she sometimes indirectly sensed someone there in the house with her when she was alone, and I simply smiled to myself as the thought that even though Kevin’s work might have been done with my life, it would never really be over. I stayed in touch with Rosanna but she never mentioned Kevin’s presence still lingering around her like my mother did. I didn’t tell anyone else other than my mother about the bracelet or my experiences with Kevin but the things he taught me were my motivation for everything I did.

I ended up putting his picture along with the other three on my night table so they were the last thing I saw when I went to bed at night and the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning. Seeing them made always me smile. It might have been better for the world if Kevin had never existed, but it would not have been better for me.

Author:

Liberal Muslim, social justice and human rights activist, cat lover, author and fellow human.

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