After they had gone, she found herself at an odd place between misery and confusion.
Although, it was moreso a defined loneliness that kept her up at night, a sinking feeling that reminded her she was completely by herself. She could never tell anyone, nor could she ever put off the façade what had happened. Somehow everyone had forgotten—no, perhaps everyone had chosen to look the other way. It was too horrible to think of right? It was too ridiculous? It didn't happen right?
His parents, they knew. She could see it on their faces, what they knew she couldn't be certain. They were shells, empty sentinels who seemed to guard and observe him—after all that must've been their true purpose, to observe him and make sure he fulfilled his destiny. For all she knew, they weren't human; or solid forms for that matter. Upon his disappearance they acted normal; she would see them around town, tending to miscellaneous activities. Didn't they wonder about that empty room up there? Didn't they wonder at all? This only confirmed her belief that they must have been fake- ghosts, facades. After everything that happened, she didn't trust reality at all.
When he had disappeared into the tesseract, the folded space between her and Kingdom Hearts, it seemed almost that his form, his memory, had been sucked away from the world. None of her friends seemed to have any idea it had happened. They simply went along their lives as if they were left undisrupted. That frightened her, she was the only one that knew the world had fallen apart it seemed. How could they miss something like that? How could they have missed the darkness swallowing everything up? It all wasn't real, it was all a dream—that's what she began to conclude, it was all a dream.
She began to hollow out.
As time passed, she began to become more and more detached from everything and everyone. Her mother was quick to pick up on it; on more than one occasion she would ask what was wrong? Kairi could only reply with a simple, "Nothing," and a smile that was as fake as the mindless elements being streamed through their television screen. She felt bad for lying to her mother, her family, yet they wouldn't—or perhaps couldn't understand something so bizarre, so unreal. Her best friends no longer existed and no one seemed to notice, not even their parents. It seemed as if the very universe itself no longer cared and in fact was mocking her, coming down on her with vicious condescension that mirrored the very evil she fought so hard against to survive.
How does one continue with the guilt of existence? How was she supposed to keep going?
She knew of only one method, and it tore her apart; to shut it away.
It was simple, forget about them and just try to sink into this fantasy or reality—whatever it was. It wasn't so much that she wanted to forget about them, but moreso that she wanted to try and move on. Deep down, she truly believed they would come back, she knew they would. She loved them, and she knew that in the end, somehow they'd return from the parallel universe.
She was a beautiful girl, absolutely flawless really. Guys at her school would trip over themselves for her before her and Sora got close—and even after. Yet now that he had been spirited away, they were back at it even more. She forgot about that attention, she forgot about that chemical activity. They may have had the wrong idea though, and even if they didn't, she wasn't going to settle for any of them. What her and Sora had was love in its purest form; there was no lust, no sexual craving that most of the other adolescents around her so contorted for. Not that she had never had those feelings, but between her and Sora she only felt the deepest caring and emotion. What they had was just the best friendship she could ever want. She cherished that, her relationship with Riku was almost just as potent. In the end, with them gone, all she wanted was them back, all she wanted was them to rejoin her so they could be together once more, so they could make each other smile again. Everything felt so incomplete without them; as the days passed and she began to become more and more hollowed, more and more detached, she began to push small fragments of their memory away.
It was incredibly painful a process, it was incredibly damaging a process. Almost every night she would gently cry herself to sleep. Yet eventually, as their memories slipped away, she began to gradually have easy sleep more and more. This easy sleep was very disconcerting; she knew it was built on sand after all. Luckily as more memories began to fade she began to lose that feeling and soon began sleeping again, just as she did before. Reality seemed to settle back down and the world seemed to stand on its correct end once more.
She would have odd dreams of a meteor, some sort of sky harbinger falling from the sky down to her island. She'd always wake up in a cold sweat after these dreams—or were they nightmares? Deep down, the meteor looked like someone, it looked like him. Was he coming back? Was he finally coming back? Were they finally coming back? Upon that thought she began sobbing uncontrollably, months of mental work to forget and move away from their memories had almost been completely undone in that moment. She sat up the rest of the night, a strange anxiety had taken over.
As the days, then weeks passed, she began to feel more and more anxious regularly. Something was going to happen, she could sense it. Between her school work and her friends she felt something lingering out there on the horizon, across the ocean, in the tesseract.
It was him.
She would whisper that to herself as she walked home from school. So certain that he would return she began to go to the island much more regularly, waiting for her best friends to show their faces once more. Deep down she knew they would. She would smile and stare off into the horizon, into the ocean, waiting patiently for her world to come back to life once more.
She didn't have to wait long.