I don't know if I'll still continue this. Sidenote-I have Isolophobia.
I didn't expect to fall so thoroughly in love with this idea... I'll be turning it into a proper story. Weary Traveler, I think I'll call it. Isolophobia is fear of being alone.
"Kyle Broflovkey to the counselor's office, Kyle Broflovkey to the Counselor's office." Kyle sighed, slumping a little. Bro-flov-ski. You people are making it much harder than it is.
The redhead leisurely stood, not looking to the teacher for permission, and kicked Stan awake on the way out. "I shall return." he announced as he passed the threshold of the doorway, leaving behind, in his mind, a handful of students in awe of how amazing he is. In reality, all he got were those amused looks people give little kids who try to explain that the clouds ran away from the ocean and got homesick so they rained back home. You know. A mixture of WTF and Awh, Cute.
When Kyle entered the counselor's office, the first thing he noticed was a still, silent bundle of bright orange. He glanced at Mr. Fisher, who gave him a somber look and gestured at the bundle. As Kyle wandered closer, it slowly unfolded into a somewhat familiar human form-a tall, lanky form with a hidden face. It's long legs hit the floor with a thump and it lowered it's head farther. Kyle stepped a little closer, somewhat afraid.
Almost too quick to see, a long-fingered, scarred tan hand shot out to grip the redhead's wrist, tugging him forward until their legs touched.
"Kyle?" The voice was quiet but very, very familiar. Who..?
"Oh, god, Kyle..."
Said teen was tugged forward forcibly, falling into the stranger's lap precariously. Both arms slipping under his, one curling around his waist to pull him closer, the other tangling in his hair to press his face into the soft orange material covering it's shoulder. Kyle froze, trapped and off-balance, feeling the figure below him start to shake. He breathed in deeply, catching a familiar scent. Who the fuck is this person?
Unless...Kyle's eyes widened in realization.
When I was very, very small, my father molested me. Oh, wipe that expression off your face, I don't even remember it. Apparently, he took pictures too, but I've never seen them. My mom has, though. She found them one day, when I was ten.
That very night, she poisoned my father. We-Kevin and I-would find him slumped over with a stricken expression, staring with wide, blank eyes across the room. That night, near midnight, mama came into my room and tucked a letter into my little hands, kissed me on the cheek, and told me to sleep. I remember I smiled sleepily and murmured, "Love you mama."
A heartbroken expression marred her pretty face as she returned the sentiment.
The letter said that I was beautiful and special and that happiness would fine me if I looked for it. It said that she loved me and she would always be thinking of me, and that she would be back someday. That no matter what, she loved me and she's proud of me. Good luck. Take care of your sister.
Karen and Kevin didn't get a note. I always knew I was her favorite, her blond haired, blue eyed angel. Kevin mentioned once that I wasn't Dad's. I'm not sure if that's true, but it makes me happy to think that maybe Mama loved my real father. Not that she didn't love dad, in a twisted sort of way. I like to think mom mightn't seen a bit of her lover in me.
Don't question me.
That note-Kyle has it. I closed it into his children's Torah. I know he won't get rid of it; it's three generations old. He'll pass it on to his firstborn son.
Nobody bothered to kick us kids out. Nobody cared about the house. The phone bill, the water electricity bill, the heating bill all went unpaid and shut off, but I worked hard to keep the water bill. If nothing else, Karen should be allowed to be clean. I'm actually really proud. Between me and Kevin and the donations left in the mailbox-left by Kyle, no doubt, for the most part-there was always enough food for Karen to be fed properly and enough for Kevin and I to survive off of with the help of pity meals.
It was easier when school rolled around. Thank god for free education and free school meals. Karen would get at least ten out of twenty-one meals every week, no matter what. Me and Kevin didn't eat much else, but luckily, it was genuine food.
I was twelve when Kevin left. He left a note-it's in the Torah, too-explaining that he thought he could make a living interning for some hot-shot business CEO, at a company called Perfect10 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He also mentioned that there was a publishing company interested in his book, Sanctus Pravus. It's about an angel, I think. I know it's selling well now.
So I was left to take care of Karen on my own. I got a proper job at a hobby shop and got a steady, if small, income. Even with the monthly checks from Kevin that were slowly getting larger in sum, I often went without.
Karen was tall and strong and healthy and more or less happy by the time Kevin came back to take her away. I was fourteen.
I remember he looked successful, powerful. He had a high position, but I don't remember what it was. He was dressed sharply and the glasses he'd desperately needed all throughout childhood sat on his nose, clean, new, and straight. Just before he left with Karen in tow, back to the city, he grabbed my shoulders, scanning my eyes for something. "You'll be alright." he promised me, but I think it was more for himself.
That was the last I saw of my family.
The house was really quiet that night.
Three months later, I left. I took all my savings, stole from several people I don't like and knew didn't need it (Cartman), and accepted a small joint donation from Kyle and Stan. Craig heard about it and shoved a twenty in my hand a couple days before I left. All together, I had a little more than three thousand.
Kyle drove me up to Denver, with Stan in the back seat. I'd find out later than Stan slid several things into my backpack-another thousand bucks, a thick leather-bound journal, and Kyle's MP3. It may not seem like a lot, but just the music alone kept me from going insane.
I hugged them both, whispered, "I'm going to New York." and melted away into the crowd.
And I made it. I went through Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, DC, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, but I made it to New York, New York.
I whispered, "We're not in Kansas anymore, ToTo." to myself as I walked over the border, I made cash singing in an Oklahoma City night club, got beat up for being a Bears fan in Dallas, swam in the ocean for the first time in Galveston, witnessed voodoo in New Orleans, searched for the White River Monster in Arkansas, fell in love with rock and discarded rap and techno in Memphis, bowed my head in prayer outside the 16th street Baptist Church, strolled through the Atlanta Botanical Garden, found out I was bi after meeting a guy named Skylar after wandering into Baxter's (a Tampa gay bar, who knew?), got my scuba license in Miami, spent an afternoon in Disney World being tugged around by a little girl I almost stepped on named Marie and her older brother, got stung by a jellyfish off Myrtle Beach, cried openly in the middle of the United States National Holocaust Museum, visited Stephanie Plum's hometown, got the theme-song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-aire stuck in my head in Philadelphia, and realized I was out of money in New York.
I promptly decided I wanted to be on the other side of the country, in Seattle, and got a job as a stripper.
Hey, if the shoe fits.
From Lake Erie to Tacoma to Hollywood to Las Vegas. From cities with populations of over five million to a town of two thousand people that will stay in my heart forever. From Colorado to New York to Cali.
And a little girl in a park sends me running for home.
My first instinct when I made it back to South Park was to go home. As I walked through town, I was... I guess you could say relieved that not much had changed. It looked like home. Familiarity is something that has been lost to me for the last two and a half years.
A small spark of satisfaction welled in my chest alongside sorrow as I stared at the scorched earth and the burnt remains of what was once my home.
I spared no tears for the loss as I pondered what to do. Part if me desperately wanted to see Kyle, to hold him and kiss him senseless, and a slightly more irrational part of me figured Kyle wasn't the same person any more and wouldn't want to be my friend.
"Sounds to me, Mister, that you're in love. Like... Like... Kovu and Kiara."floated through my mind and I shook my head. I'm here for Kyle.
I started to head for his house before I realized in was eleven-thirty on a Friday and redirected my feet towards the highschool, realizing with a jolt that I had completely abandoned my education. Hm.
Waking into the school was eerie. Phantoms of memories swirled in my head, especially when I caught sight of Tweek, pinned against the wall by none other than Craig Tucker. I mentally cheered for them both as a flipped my hood-an orange dyed gift from a woman I'd stayed with somewhere in Florida, near Daytona Beach, I think-up to avoid being seen. I wanted Kyle to be the first person to know I'm back.
I was halfway through addressing the secretary when it hit me. I'm about to see Kyle.
I halted mid-word, palm slamming against the table as I bowed my head, eyes blurring. Kyle. Kyle. Kyle. Pretty Kyle, kind Kyle, amazing Kyle. Kyle."Kyle Broflovski." I stammered through my tears, getting a worried expression.
"Go sit in the counselor's office, honey." she urged. "He'll be there in a minute."
Mr. Fisher. There's someone I haven't thought about it a while. I stared down at him, vaguely acknowledging that I used to be shorter than him. I smiled weakly as recognition sparked in his eyes. "Kenny."
My name. My honest to god name. Nobody has said it since I left-I've been going by Kay since then.
That was the last straw. Tears trickled down my cheeks and I sobbed a little, letting the elderly man lead me to a seat, where I curled up into a tight ball to wait for him.
It seemed like hours before the door clicked open. I froze, listening to the footsteps approaching carefully, like I was a skittish animal. Hell, maybe I was. Bright orange converse entered my line of vision and I smiled as I remembered his promise. "I'll wear orange every day in your honor."
I shot my hand out to grab his wrist, to assure myself that he was real. He felt real. He felt warm and soft and safe. He felt like heaven. "Kyle?" I whispered, sounding a little pathetic, even to my own ears.
He confusion was apparent in his voice. His voice. Kyle's. "Yeah?"
"Oh god, Kyle..." I almost whimpered, pulling him onto my lap forcefully. I held him close, cradling him to me. His knees slid to either side of my hips and his hands found unstable purchase on my shoulders as I started to shake, tears streaking down my face.
It was a moment or two before he made the connection. "Kenny?" he almost pleaded, tone hopeful. I melted, pulling back to look him in the eye and grin shakily. His face split into a huge smile and he threw his arms around my neck with a wordless shriek of joy.
For a long while, we clung to each other, content to let the moment linger.
"Where have you been?" he asked desperately, tears threatening him as well. "Everywhere." I replied, trying to resist the urge to kiss him. Way too soon.
"Why'd you come back?"
"The same reason I left." I answered vaguely, holding him just a little tighter as I finished silently, I didn't want to be alone anymore.
Kenny installed himself into my life flawlessly. It's been three and a half weeks since he came back, and it's absolutely amazing to me how well he's glued himself to me.
He's in all my classes. Apparently, he picked up enough knowledge while he was gone to pass tests into his Sophomore year. He mentioned he had the nuns of St. Ann's in Morganfield and his Erie family to thank for that.
He's my roommate. Just a quick sob-story in mom's earshot got him into the house permanently, thank Moses. He sleeps on an extra bed we sat up for him in my bed, but I'll often wake up in the middle of the night to see him sat up, scribbling in that journal I got for him so long ago or watching me with an unreadable expression. It's not uncommon for me to wake up in his arms, either, pulled tight against him, and I'll wait for him to wake up before leaving because it's becoming more and more obvious that he has separation issues.
This became blindingly obvious last week, when I stepped out of the bathroom, hair still dripping wet, and almost tripped over him. His excuse was that he had something important to tell me, but when I asked him what it was, he didn't have an answer.
Having him around has been really weird. He doesn't seem terribly interested with talking to many other people, and butts heads with Stan a lot. On the other hand, I can't go anywhere without him. If we're standing around, he'll hook his finger into my belt loop, and if we're walking, he'll want to hold my hand.
Another thing is that he has no idea how to go about telling us about his travels, but he's unwilling to just tell a story, so he bursts out with random tidbits of information at weird times. It's basically that we'll be talking about something or somewhere and he'll pipe in with, "I've been there." or "I've done that." or "I've seen that."
For example, we were in cultures the other day and they mentioned that this place in Mexico that was famous for it's dive spots and Kenny got out his wallet and pushed a scuba license from Miami into my hand.
I was shocked when I got my first good look at him. He was tall-at least six inches taller than me-and strong, lithe with powerful, sinewy muscles. His hair was halfway down his back and his skin was covered in little interesting scars. One on his arm is apparently from a goose attack. There was a tattoo of what he called a pentagram on his left shoulder, from his visit to New Orleans (he doesn't remember getting it, but he likes it). His clothes looked beaten-down and weatherworn and were too small on him. A three-day beard shadowed his jaw and his smile was quirkier than ever. He seemed wise, and... Well, wild.
But he was still Kenny. Still a bit of perv, still a little clumsy, still didn't understand personal space.
It amazes me how easy he was to get used to. His outbursts of knowledge already seem commonplace, even when he comes out with things like, "I worked in a strip club," or, "I'm bi," or, "I joined a cult." It doesn't bother me when he practically molests me in public; I just let him be, even when he does weird shit like picking me up and tossing me over his shoulder. It's driving Stan insane, though, I can tell. Somehow, it doesn't bother me that I never have a moment of alone time. I've practically adopted a shadow.
Teen in question is currently fast asleep with his head in my lap, curled up into a ball by my side. I sighed contently, leaning back against the couch and resting my head on Stan's knee. "I can't believe he's really here." I whispered, stroking an overly-long lock of hair.
"I can't believe he went all the way across the country twice and came back." Stan responded monotonously, ruffling my messy curls. I smiled contentedly. "Did you know he's a scuba diver?"
"Yup. Took a course in Miami."
Silence reigned for several moments. Stan broke it with a hesitant, "Kyle?"
"There's something wrong with him." You think?
"I know. You think I don't? I can't leave him alone long enough to take a shower without finding him sitting in the hallway when I get out. He has some serious separation anxiety." Stan huffed a little in irritation and I continued in a reprimanding tone, "He hasn't had any constants in his life for the past two and a half years and his mother, brother, and sister abandoned him. He has a right to separation anxiety."
"I guess..." he sighed. "He still looks kind of feral."
"He liked to camp in National Parks." I murmured, wondering how many nights he'd spent without shelter. Stan wasn't done, though. "Look at all those scars. What could they possibly be from?"
"There's a stab wound. And a wolf bite. And a goose bite. And wasp stings. One on his leg is from where he slipped and cut himself on a rock while crossing a stream." I listed off mindlessly. "He got hit by a car."
Stan's leg tensed under my temple. "Who the fuck stabbed him?"
"A homeless lady with a coconut." and we lapsed into silence once more.
Stan took a deep breath. Here it is. What he's been wanting to say for the last month. "He's dangerous." He let it hang in the air as I considered his words. I knew Kenny had studied several fighting styles under several masters while he was gone, I knew that he can handle a katana, throwing knives, survival knives, shotguns, revolvers, and pistols. I knew he was a formidable fighter and had a temper to match mine. He was unpredictable and didn't understand 'no' very well and he was liable to do all sorts of damage to anybody.
I looked down at him. There was a scar that went right through his left eyebrow. It looked like a cut. He was beautiful in his own right, in a wild way that made me think of the Indian tribes we learn about in school. He curled up tighter, his forehead pressed against my abdomen. His hands, which I knew could pack a painful punch, were lax and looked almost inviting in a way. There was a really deep cut, healed over with angry pink scar tissue, across his right life line.
"Yeah." I conceded. "Dangerous. But he needs me. Desperately."
Stan stayed silent this time, knowing nothing he said would deter me.
So, there you have it, the newest installment of Phobophobia. This will be turned into a full-length book, of course. I adored this. Really.
So, up-and-coming! Next is Dentaphobia (fear of dentists, K2), Nosocomephobia (sequel to Nosophobia), and Nyctophobia (fear of the dark Creek). Dishabiliophobia has been narrowed down! Either Style with Stan-phobe or Kyman with either one.
Give me suggestions and
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, CONCERNS? REVIEW!