Why Did I Disappear?

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Chapter 2: A Reminder

After we talked over the details Ross and Aaron got on a plane and flew down to Bristol to interview my parents, brother and old friends. Basically, the people I no longer knew and had no clue what actually happened to me.

My brother, Luke Campbell, was three years younger than me which probably meant he was just getting out of college and working full time. I remember worrying, the night I left, about how he’d deal with all this. But it had been a decade and I hadn’t heard about him dying so I was glad his life didn’t spiral out of control after I left.

“What’s up?” Trev asked once we were a good distance away from everyone, who were studying a map of the area I disappeared from, a portrait of me and the details my friends, family and old teachers had probably given to the police over the last ten years.

“Nothing,” I reply staring into my black coffee.

“Come on, Dean. Your head wasn’t in the game this morning and Patrick read you and said you were lying,” he continued.

“Patrick plays games, this is just another one of them, you know that, Trev. Everybody does,” I reply.

“Patrick also knows what he’s talking about when he reads a person. What is it? You know I’m not going to judge you cause I’m the last person who should be judging anyone,” he replied.

“I told you, I’m tired. That’s all,” I whisper in a high pitched voice annoyed.

“Well, if you ever want to talk, my door’s always open, okay?” he inquires.

“Yeah, yeah, I know, man,” I reply padding his shoulder.

Trev would understand my situation to a degree.

Having to come out, be judged and have others either accept or hate you for what you are and who you are. But he didn’t lose his family over his sexual orientation, they accepted him, loved him for who and what he was.

I was that orphaned kid who nobody wanted, I knew. I’d heard my parents talk about gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and many other queers and how they were disgusting and going to go to hell. There was no point in even telling them, cause I’d just get kicked out of the house.

This way they could have hope that I’d come back and that I was out there. There wouldn’t be any hate or disappointment just this longing to find me. I wasn’t truly gone just not in their lives, it would have been the same if I’d told them. Only they would have hated me.

I watch people buzz around my case details in the office, like bees trying to sting a human underwater, knowing eventually he’d need air. I just had to hope they’d lose interest before they connected my appearance with the old me’s disappearance.

I contemplated what would happen if they found out.

They’d interrogate me and ask questions. There was no crime so it wasn’t like they could demand anything out of me but the truth about why I left and became who I was. I was concerned about what they’d tell my parents if they did find out though. They were the FBI so I highly doubt they’d lie for me and they probably believed my parents deserved the truth but I don’t know.

I wanted to ask somebody what I should do but I was concerned about how they’d feel about what I’d done and what they’d do afterward once I told them.

Trev was right, my head was definitely elsewhere but it was hard to focus without worrying about my impending doom of somebody finding out.

I guess it wasn’t the most obvious answer, they probably thought I had run away and got killed in some ditch, yet, they hadn’t found my body so they expected I was alive or rather hoped I was alive. I should have just faked my death.

I wouldn’t have this issue now if I had but I’d still be this lonely and worried about somebody finding out. It was nice to forget you used to be somebody else every once in a while now it was all I’d be thinking about.

“Dean, do you know something about Haley?” Patrick asked quietly.

I jumped, I’d been lost in my own head again, I’d been doing that a lot since I changed my name mainly because I had no one to confide in.

“No, why?” I inquired trying to stay calm.

“See you’re nervous about something but I don’t know what, ” he continued.

I sighed.

Patrick had lost his son and brother-in-law to a serial killer and his wife had divorced him five years ago, he’d always been good at reading people. I could sympathize with him but at times he could be annoying.

“Really, I’m fine,” I reply. “It’s nothing I can’t handle on my own.”

“You’re unsure about that,” he comments.

Patrick wasn’t concerned for me or the girl he just like the thrill of showing off what he could do, he’d be one of worse people to confide in and there was no guarantee he’d keep my secret if I told him.

Patrick got fed up and went back to bothering the other team members.

“Excuse me,” a voice called, I turned shocked. “I’m looking for Agent Rider. Can you tell me where he is? He supposed to ask me some questions about my sister’s disappearance.”

It was Luke. He must be going to school nearby and instead of going back to Bristol he came to our American offices.

I just stared at him, he was shorter than me by an inch or two and had straight blond hair and mom’s brown eyes.

“I’m Agent Rider,” Trev indicated when he saw that the conversation wasn’t going anywhere. “This way, we just have some questions about Haley and what happened that night.”

Trev leads him to a conference room and I followed to watch through the one-way window.

It was hard to believe this was the seventeen-year-old kid I left behind with mom and dad. He had grown so much since then.

I knew nothing about him, it saddened me. I didn’t know my own brother.

“So did you notice anything off about Haley’s behavior the night she disappeared?” Trev asked.

“No, she was quiet and mainly kept to herself unless her friends were around,” Luke answered.

“Had she mentioned anything, enemies, problems?” Trev inquired.

“No, we all loved Haley for the most part,” Luke replied.

Luke knew my views on queer people, he also knew our parents’ response to them. Luke didn’t like their opinion on people like me either but he didn’t know that that information could expose me if they knew who I used to be.

The only people who knew had been paid off so they keep silent about who I was. The people who changed my name and did my surgery were the only people who knew and I hadn’t seen them in years.

Trev continued to ask questions and Luke would quietly answer with simple answers. Luke had never been a big sharer of life details. I was pretty sure when I met his first girlfriend that he hadn’t said a word about me to her cause when she came over the first time she asked who I was like I wasn’t supposed to be in the same house as Luke, maybe she was just overprotective.

Luke was a smart kid, I was glad he’d made it somewhere with his life. Well, I was stuck in this worrying bubble.

I watched his entire interview with Trev. It was nice to see him, too bad this was as close to talking to him I would ever get.

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