I was dead. I don’t quite remember how it happened but it did. I find myself laying down in my room. I blink once or twice trying to see things around me. Hold up, is it really my room? A buzzing sound caught my attention. What is it? A phone. An alarm. What time is it? Seven in the morning. I hear footsteps.
Who could it be? My head hurts, it’s traversing from both sides of my temples. I need medication for this. Did I just have a nightmare? No, it cannot be. It felt so real just to be a dream and wake up. Someone knocks and opens the door. It’s a man. He is calling out. “Kenzie.”
What? Was that me? Is he referring to me or someone is here next to me? Still confused about the situation, I let everything sink in for a moment when the man at the doorway lightens and darkens in my sight. My head is still spinning.
“Kenzie, you are late for school. Hurry up, I am preparing breakfast.” The man at the entryway says and grins back at me. He is bulky and has facial hair that goes around his chin. His sleeves are rolled up to his elbows and had suspenders connected to his lousy khaki pants. He is coming closer. My vision is still adjusting and blurry. He is well built up. “You okay, son?” He says with a sullen expression.
Wait, what! Son??? What? I don’t understand this. I might still be in a dream. My voice is screaming out but there is nothing coming out of my throat. He grabs me and wraps his right arm around my back to my shoulder and helps me sit up. I could feel his calluses against my skin. “Son, you good? Another nightmare?” He asks with bitterness. His round glasses suit him well. I attempt to speak but my throat is too dry and it stings. “Here. Drink slowly.” The water fills down my throat and refreshes me. I look up to him and attempt to reply once more to his questions. My vision is getting better but I feel woozy.
“I am okay, Dad. Just another nightmare I had.” Wait… that’s not what I wanted to say. “It was like the other day.” What? No! I wanted to ask him where I am. “I keep dreaming about that same place again. I don’t know why. That place keeps appearing and I am always trapped in that same place.” What? What place? This bedroom with a man I don’t know of??? This is ridiculous.
His hand pets and rubs my hair while talking. “Don’t worry, son. I called your Aunt Miyuka to look into it again. I am sure she is searching for clues about why you are having these strange dreams.” Strange dreams?? You are the one who is strange around here, stranger dad.
He gets up and strolls towards the door only to look back. “For now, come down and have breakfast after you finish showering, you look like a wet duckling.” Then, his footsteps grows faintly from the door. My head is still fuzzy and I feel frail.
I glance at every corner of the room. It’s spacious enough for one person. This is like the layout of our bathroom. The bed is not the most extravagant to sleep on but was comfortable enough. Dullness defines the entire space. No light was turned on except of the slight sunlight that pierces through the curtain covering the window. One study table and a typical one for a student. Books are piled up on top. This must be just like the common people I barely see.
My body gets up and sluggishly saunters away. It abruptly knows where it ought to be. Bathroom. Great, I wanted to do number one. Faucet flips and a gush of water runs down towards my palms. The water is cold and eventually becomes lukewarm. The weather could be in the mid of summer. I cup both of my hands to catch some water and bring them up close to my face. I rinse my face and in a brief moment, I froze.
Is that me I see? I feel the sudden surge of adrenaline and heat coming out of me. The feelings I don’t understand and will never comprehend. Is this a hallucination? Is it finally catching up to me again after all these years? My head is a mess but with collective thoughts. He stares back at me. His own reflection. Both of our eyes are locked on to each other. He must be aware I am here as well and confused about how come there is another person he is looking at in the mirror. If this person standing right now, there shouldn’t be any reason that I am not able to control any of his movements or speak the words I intend to. To make matters worse and more bizarre, his eyes shrink like he has seen something peculiar. There’s an awkward silence. There is nothing to hear but the gushing water from the faucet. After the longest ten seconds of this moment, he shook it off. He shut his eyes in an instant and stayed silent.
A few moments later, I stare back to my arms, legs, thighs, clothes, and did the unimaginable. Removing my shorts.
Going down the staircase, I can’t believe what I’ve just been through. I have seen such a thing yet, looks kind of intriguing and new to me. The steps stop and curious as I am, I check it out. A brown with wavelength patterns stares back at me. The wall so concrete that, it leaves your mind to go blank.
This boy, seriously, dozing off in front of a wall. Have you remembered anything? Staring at a wall for quite some time, videos start to play in a loop inside my head. The scenes are blurry and distorted that I cannot make out of anything. A hazy memory. It’s all static with lots of white and black.
I see it.
We can never be together.
My nose sniffs and I smell bacon. I snap from focusing on my thoughts and see that Kenzie is walking down towards the fragrance. Having panic and paranoia, no, I can’t eat that. I don’t like bacon. It’s too salty and oily. Too hard to chew on so please, no. I have my reasons to not like bacon.
“Kenzie, your friend Jiro came by to wait for you. He’s there in the living room.” My body stops and turns its head towards the said living room. It’s too small and too close to the kitchen. A fellow with blond hair stands up and plasters the biggest smile I have never seen in my life. “Hey, yo!” He waves and tosses a salute. Yeah, boys…
“Jiro, why are you here? You could have gone on without me. You’ll be late too.” I say but not my choice of words. I could’ve cared less.
“No worries. It’s Monday anyway, most of the teachers will be late because of the late party they went to last night.” He walks around the small couch and gets close to us. “Yo, Mister Bruce.” He addresses the guy whom I called dad and called me son. “Can I eat with you? I suddenly feel hungry just from the smell of the bacon.” There’s no reaction yet, he is sitting himself down to the chair next to me. What a guy.
He releases a chuckle. “Haha! Sure. Almost ready.” This old man is truly something. Letting a stranger eat from the breakfast he is cooking, likely from his own pocket as well. I snatch a chair and sit next to Jiro. For no reason, my eyes are glued to him. His entire face. Considering it, he looks familiar but I cannot remember well. I feel bleary-eyed and my head starts to hurt once more. I wince and he has taken notice.
“Are you still having those strange dreams?” He asks assuring.
“Yeah… I feel weird.” I say but not my choice of words. Again. Bruce puts down a plate with scrambled eggs and two portions of bacon before me. The bread is set on the table. It’s still in its bundling. What kind of breakfast is this? I, at slightest have a housekeeper who plans the nourishment and has everything open and prepared on the table. I just have to grab my fork and knife to eat anything I feel like. This is silly. This amusing set-up.
“I cannot blame you. For four weeks you’ve been in a coma in the hospital and another two weeks of resting at home. You’ve been through a lot.” He explains and lets out a heavy sigh. Somehow, getting information, it jumbles in my head and throws me in deep confusion. Shaking his head, he picks his bacon with his fingers and eats them. Nauseating. Dirty. No manners.
I, on the other hand, grab my fork and knife and cut out my bacon into small pieces. Wow, this bacon looks diverse. It is tender and, not so oily. I stab it with my fork and have a taste of it. This is different from what the lady housekeeper cooks for me. This is incredible. I think I fell in love with bacon once more.
I just ate a piece of bacon without thinking about it! I cannot stop. Starving, I reach out to the bread and spread some mayonnaise with my knife and slice it enough to let some scrambled eggs sit on it. Delicious! This is what I call breakfast!
Allured from the food, my sixth sense picked up and I look at the two individuals around me. Their faces were perplexed – Jiro’s mouth has gaped. Bruce’s eyes focus on me nearly popping out of its sockets. I stare back at them. My mouthful lips open. “What?” Well, close enough to what I wanted to say.
“Hey… Kenz…” Jiro stutters. “You…”
“What?” I say to him back and grab the glass of water to drink.
“You eat like a girl.” He blurts out and I almost spit out my water. Who are you calling a girl?! This is called manners, you dumb idiot!
“What are you talking about?!” I could feel the embarrassment and flustered feeling of Kenzie.
Jiro lifts his two hands and starts to re-enact what he is about to say. “You slices your bread and places scrambled egg and eats it with a fork. You slice your bacon into tiny pieces and eats them slowly. These two portions of bacon can be eaten in a second, but for you, it will take an hour!!” He elaborates while stammering on his words. Then, he grabs his glass and explains more. “Then, your water.” Suddenly flicks off his pinky. “What in the world Kenz???? Women only drink this way when they are having their morning or afternoon teas!! Wait! In England!” I see that you got some knowledge there. Well, close enough.
Bruce on the other side of the table is staring at me without saying anything. Maybe he gets it. Maybe he knows something is up. That is wonderful, you can now understand the situation I am in. I am your son but not actually. How can I even think differently from him?
“Mister Bruce, say something! I am right, right?! Say something!” He begs and persuades. This idiot sure is annoying. He is too loud. The first time I saw him, I already dislike him.
“Yeah?” He quickly replies.
His face transitions from perplexed to a smiling old man. “I am so glad you are finally back and eating! Let me give you a father’s love.” He stands and hugs me, attempting to kiss me. Oh my god! No! Disgusting! Unacceptable! Harassment!!! Stop it!
“Dad, please. I am already late. You can do that later when I am back.” Wait, you are okay with this? No! I cannot allow this. Change your fricking mind and tell him off!! I never want anybody to touch me! Nobody! Why can’t I control him and do what I want him to do? What is happening? Is this some kind of dream? Revelation?
The bewildering situation has just started and I am almost at my limits. Trying to struggle and control this body, I can only hope for Kenzie to not let any unnecessary things to happen as long as I am aware of it. To summarize it, I was dead but reincarnated or was pulled to Kenzie’s body. One thing is, his soul seems to be intact and here with him. How come, two souls, resides within Kenzie and what does that make him? I start to wonder if this is just a dream or am I experiencing things before actually going to hell and undergo my own judgment.
Ideas start to run wild in my head but I can’t hear any of his thoughts. If I am in his body, doesn’t that mean we share the same too? Emotions, thoughts, and senses would be as one. I could either hear his thoughts or feel his emotions. I don’t seem to stumble upon any of these from him. Though, I am not sure if this is the same with him otherwise. What I am sure of are his five senses; I can smell, taste, hear, feel, and see things he does. I can’t seem to control his body since his soul is still attached, yet I am here and residing earnestly. This much I can explain from the situation at hand. Reading novels and researches sure do make you perceptive.
A moment of silence follows within me, I suddenly have this one question. What happened beforehand? I try as much to reminisce about the past and could only arrange pieces of the puzzle that being dead is factual. Sure enough, it won’t come in just a day. My brain is still in shock or rather, my soul. I can’t even find the right words because I am just a piece of soul right now, borrowing Kenzie’s body to linger around.
A sudden surge of anxiety runs up my spine and send chills up to my nape. The thought frightens me. If I am borrowing his body, what would make it if I am to forcefully exorcise from him? Would I disappear? Would I be transferred into Limbo? What would be the result of my soul, then?
An unsettling cold hand runs up my forehead and it startles me. Bruce’s face is too close and it’s becoming unbearable.
His eyes show uneasiness. “Are you sure about this? You can still stay and rest for another week.”
I would gladly accept that until I could finally wrap my head around this. It’s too sudden and confusing to be roaming around without being prepared for the worse.
Kenzie nevertheless might be a stubborn son, he brushes off Bruce’s hand away and continues to eat.
“I am okay, Dad. We already talked about it. I rested and now, it’s the start of that week which I return to school.”
I don’t think it’s a good idea to roam around and force himself to be okay when he clearly isn’t. I don’t also refuse the idea of going out and collecting more data on our current situation. It is a win-win situation. My mind is clouded with thoughts and I could feel the ringing in my ears. It sends throbbing pain into my head and I could only keep still. Let Kenzie do everything as I share it with him.
Bruce releases a sigh. “Alright, just make sure you call me when anything comes up.”
“Well, don’t you worry Mister Bruce! I am here to protect Kenz!” He clenches his fist and throws them upward, posing like he has won something. His lips are glistening from the bacon’ oil. It is smeared like a lip tint on him. He looks my way and grins widely from ear to ear.
His uniform is tidy but a little crumpled. His hair is disheveled but with a clean-cut hairstyle. Looking at his blond hair, he looks foreign and must have been from another land. As he continues to eat, I stare at him unknowingly and once again, it’s like he has a third eye that can see everything. He turns to my direction. “Something wrong?” His smile becomes playful. “Don’t tell me, you’ve missed me all this time?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Come on! Don’t be shy, you are never shy. Hahaha!”
“Just eat your food, Jiro.”
“Hey, after school, do you want to walk around the district?” He slides his eyes towards Bruce. “Is it alright, Mister Bruce?” He claps his hands together and bows. “I promise to take care of him and not lose sight of him.”
Bruce seems to be in deep thought and doubt. His posture says it all with a solemn uneasy expression. There is silence in the room but Jiro’s unmoving hands can be heard with his grunts and moans of silent prayers. Bruce seems to have given in and sighs heavily.
“Okay, but you boys have to be careful and make sure to always turn your cells on.”
Jiro’s face springs up and opens his mouth wide open in excitement. “I promise. I am the one that protects Kenz, after all.”
This guy sure is creepy and too attached to Kenzie, what are you, his lover? Furthermore, there must be something I haven’t known which this plays out in my advantage of discovering all about him. I have to be familiar with every corner of this place and know the people that surround him. Another is, I have to find why Jiro seems to be familiar. I have my doubts and must be because I am inside Kenzie’s body that somehow, what he is familiar with, I am adapting to it and making as if my own. I cannot take any risk, it’s better to be sure to plan out what’s the next step.
“Son, how is the food today?” Bruce asks out of nowhere.
“It’s okay.” What a blunt reply Kenzie.
“What are you talking about? Mister Bruce cooks the most delicious and five-star cuisine around here! Do not be ridiculous. I had Mister Bruce taught me some of his skills. Next time, I will let me gobble up the dish I will be cooking for you Kenz!”
“I tasted the food you cooked me before, I wouldn’t want to have them ever again.”
“What?! Don’t be ridiculous.” He nudges Kenzie pushing us a little.
Kenzie grunts and just groans from annoyance. I am with you Kenzie, this guy sure is unbearable. He talks a lot and says a lot of stuff. To top it all off, he is too attached to you.
“I am your best friend after all. Right?” Jiro stares and waits for Kenzie’s answer. Like it is important to get the answer right away. He doesn’t budge and just waits for Kenzie’s confirmation. What answer are you waiting for other than the grunt and rolling eyes of Kenzie? Is this what they call best friends? Those that annoys you but still stays with you? Kenzie and Jiro might have a lot of things in common which I will know.
Kenzie picks up the mood and looks at Jiro. He sighs and nods in agreement. Way to go. Jiro seems to be pleased and he hastily smiles and grabs his bacon and shoves them into his mouth.
With things right now, I am sure, this is going to be one hell of an overwhelming situation.