A Dash Of Him

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KIERAN Chapter 34

Dash and I decided to wait to tell Duke. Everything is so fresh and I needed to clear my thoughts. But so far my thoughts have been trying to kill me. The weekend has passed and all I've managed to do is lose myself in a black hole of misery. Malicious words kept whispering in my head. The images of Vlad's lifeless eyes haunt me and the blood of Emilio is tainted on my skin. I couldn't sleep because all I had was nightmares. I barely ate or even got out of my room. The walls haunted me, it reminded me so much of my mom that I couldn't handle the sadness that dug deep into my heart.

It was early Monday morning and those hell-bound voices were whispering in my ear. "It's your fault Emilio's dead, your guilt will eat you up. Just kill yourself already."

"Shut up! Leave me alone," I turned around and lay on my side. I put a pillow over my head and squeezed down.

"It's your fault Vlad is dead. If he never met you, he would still be alive. You're a disgrace to the world. Just get it done already. Die," the voice laughed and that's when I sat up. I've had enough. I opened the door and went downstairs. The whiff of sweetness and coffee invaded my nostrils as I walked down the hallway. My eyes filled with tears as I heard my mom's sweet voice. It's like it was yesterday she was fixing me my favorite peanut butter pancakes. I was going to start kindergarten.

******

*5-YEAR-OLD KIERAN*

I had my new Spider-Man shoes on. My favorite Spider-Man shirt and blue new jeans. I was starting kindergarten and Dash was starting 1st grade. I love my brother. I admire and look up to him. I know he'll do great when he grows up. He always talks about being a famous hockey player and I hope he does.

I ran through the hallway and sweetness filled my tiny nose. Mom was making peanut butter pancakes. Yes. Dash likes chocolate chip pancakes so I know my mommy makes two kinds. I noticed Dash sitting on the table and I ran to hug my brother. "I love you, Dash."

"Kai! I love you, too. You start kindergarten. I hope you like it. My class will be next to yours so we could hang out at lunch, ok," Dash pat my head but I hugged him.

"Where are my boys?" Dad came in as we both ran towards him. Dad got a new job with numbers. Dash and I are happy for him.

"You two are growing so fast. Stop growing," he started to tickle us and we laughed a lot.

"Ok, Henry. Let the boys eat. Kieran is excited about kindergarten. Show your dad your drawing, Kieran," I drew a racing car. I love cars and I want to build them when I grow up. I also like motorcycles.

I ran to my backpack and took out my drawing. "There you go daddy," my dad grabbed the piece of paper as Dash had his arms around his neck.

"You drew this, buddy?" Daddy asked. I nodded. "It's for you, dad." I noticed his eyes got watery but he quickly wiped them. Why was he sad?

"Why are you sad, daddy?"

"It's happy tears. I love you, Kai and you as well," he kissed Dash and then me. "I will keep this and put it in my new office," he stood up and messed with my hair. "I love you, honey," he kissed my mommy.

"Love you, sweetie," my mom waved and my dad walked away. Dash and I went back to eating our breakfast. Mommy kneeled next to me as I took a big piece of peanut butter pancake and put it in my mouth.

"Hey, Kai. What do you want to be when you grow up?" She moved my hair away from my face.

"I want to own a shop where all the racing cars and motorcycles come to get fixed," I grabbed a piece of bacon and shoved it into my mouth. My mom just smiled with her blue-gray eyes. It's like she had a galaxy inside her eyes. "I love you, kiddo. You're going to be a great mechanic," she stood up and kiss me on top of my head. A mechanic, huh? I like the sound of that.

******

*PRESENT DAY*

My dad said he "loved me". I forgot about that moment. He did love us. He just lose his way path just like I did. I walked into the kitchen and saw the backside of my dad. He was cooking but didn't notice I walked in. I glanced at the dining table and it was empty. No Dash. I glanced outside the tiny window on top of the sink and the gray clouds filled the sky. There was one thing missing and that was my mother. I couldn't hold my tears anymore and I dropped to my knees. I placed my hands over my face and cried loudly. "Kieran, what's wrong, kiddo," he ran towards me and kneeled.

"Dad, I miss mom. Everything is my fault. Emilio's death. Vlad's death. I just want to die. Please, I don't want to live anymore," my dad pulled me towards him.

"Don't you ever say that to me. I love you, Kieran. Please stop blaming yourself. Yes, you accidentally killed someone but you can't blame yourself all the time. And the guy you knew in prison probably deserved it. I know you told me he was a good friend but he was there way before you. Don't blame yourself," he kissed the top of my head as he used to when I was younger.

"Dad, I loved Vlad. I got to know him and he...," I cried loudly into his shirt. I heard him take a deep breath.

"I'm sorry, son. I didn't know. I'm sorry. But you can't drown yourself with all this guilt. Your mother wouldn't want to see you like that. She would want you to be happy and open a shop like you love," I finally stopped crying and pulled away. "Come. I want to show you something," he turned off the stove as I followed him to the garage.

"We'll eat in a bit. I made your favorite pancakes," finally my heart relieved some pain. He opened the door to the garage and turned on the lights. I wiped my tears and my mouth dropped. It was a black 1968 Mustang, it had some rusty spots on the exterior. My hands tingled. I took some mechanic classes in a community college but learned through some acquaintances. "It's yours. I bought you an engine which should arrive in a couple of days but everything else is up to you. This should keep you busy for the next few months," it definitely will. The court said if I behave that they'll drop the house arrest.

I walked towards my dad and hugged the crap out of him. "Thanks, dad."

"Of course. I love you, son. I should've told you that more when you were younger. I know I failed as a father but I want to redeem myself now. For you and Dash," I could hear his voice choked.

"So how about those pancakes?" The voices in my head slowly disappeared and my heart did ache as much.

My dad chucked. "I was about to finish them when you showed up. Check out the car and I'll call you once they are finished," he walked back inside the house and a nickname came to mind. I'm going to call her Midnight Lily. The nickname Vlad gave me and my mother's name. I can't wait to start fixing this baby. Suddenly those voices left. Guilt was still seeded inside me but now it was subtle. I turned off the lights and closed the door. Maybe house arrest isn't so bad.

******

My dad left for his job for a couple of hours. He talked to his boss and told him about my situation. He'll work some hours here and some in his office. I told him I didn't mind staying home alone while he worked but he insisted. I noticed the fridge was running low on groceries so I told my dad that I'll go to the market. He left me his credit card. I just need to call my probation officer and tell them I'll be out for an hour. They disarm my ankle bracelet so I could do errands but then it activates after the hour is done so I had to go home fast. Luckily the market wasn't far and my dad left the keys to the minivan.

I showered quickly. I needed it. I noticed my scruff was longer and my hair was shaggy. I need a damn haircut as well. I hid my ankle monitor inside my sweatpants and wore a matching gray hoodie. The ankle monitor turned off and I stepped outside on the porch. The gray clouds still covered the sky but fresh air filled my lungs. My thoughts cleared, this is what I needed. A fresh start.

I parked outside the grocery store. I grabbed a cart and quickly filled it with necessities. I grabbed some shaving cream, shampoo, and toothpaste. I even grabbed a cheap clipper set to cut my hair. I was about to turn to another aisle when someone slammed into me. "Shit, sorry man. I...," my eyes wandered to his gray eyes but then he clenched his jaw. I know I'm not his biggest fan.

"Donovan," is all I said. He studied my face and then what I was wearing. I went up and down his body. He had long hair but it looked damn good on him. His skin was tanned and those biceps bulged out his polo shirt.

"I guess they let anyone out of jail these days," his words pierced my skin. I lowered my head and that guilt started to show its ugly head.

"Listen. I know I fucked up and I'm planning to tell Duke after Dash's championship game. I can't do it right now," I gazed into his dark gray eyes. They softened but he still clenched his jaw.

"Good. Duke doesn't deserve what you're about to tell him but he needs to know. Emilio was my best friend. Duke's husband, someone you took life away because of your reckless behavior," I closed my eyes. He doesn't know what I was going through.

"I lost my mom and I was a complete mess!" My eyes filled with water but I refused to let him see my tears. "You know what. I'm out of here. I need to be home in like 30 minutes or else cops will be looking for me, excuse me," I pushed him out of the way with my cart. I paid with the credit card my dad left me. I rushed out of the market and threw everything inside the minivan. I clenched the steering wheel and turned on the ignition. It wasn't starting. Fuck!

"Please, no! Fuck!" I slammed my hand on the steering wheel and got out of the car. And that's when I saw his handsome face.

"You need a ride," his gray eyes swirled like tiny galaxies just like my mother's. I lifted my wrist and looked at my watch. Fuck, 25 minutes. I'll be cutting it close.

"Yeah, please, thank you," he ran to his Bentley. He parked as he helped me with my groceries bags. I locked the minivan. I'll tell my dad that the van is done with. It's so old and he shouldn't waste his money to fix it.

Donovan pushed on the gas and I think he even ran two red lights. I held on and strapped myself. I heard him chuckle. "I don't want to go to jail anymore." I joked but was serious at the same time.

"Relax, we are almost there," he punched my address on his phone. He parked in our driveway as I started to hear my ankle bracelet beep. It was 5 minutes to get into my house. I jumped out of the car and ran into my house.

"I'll get your bags," he yelled. I took a deep breath as sweat came down my forehead. I called my probation officer to check-in. I heard footsteps and bags get dropped on the floor. "You should play football. I have never seen someone run that fast, except me," he had a fucken dimple and a dashing smile.

"Yeah. I like fast cars, not fast people," I countered. He scratched the back of his neck. "Listen, I know what I did was wrong and I don't intend on people forgiving me. I was a mess after my mom died that I drowned my sorrows with any liquor I found. I made a mistake in getting into a car and driving off drunk. I killed Emilio. I'm sorry," I sat on the couch.

He leaned by the entrance of the lounge room and crossed his arms. "Duke is a great guy. Emilio was his everything. He'll forgive you. He will just need time to process it and I'm sorry about your mom. I didn't know," he stood quiet for a couple of minutes. Then the door opened.

"Kieran look who stopped by. Oh, oh my god. Donovan Graystone is standing in my living room," my dad walked in with Dash. Dash narrowed his eyes on him. I know Dash and this has a story to it. "I'm a big fan," my dad shook his hand. Donovan gave him a nice firm shake and revealed his white teeth.

"Wait a minute, how do you know Donovan?" My dad looked back and forth between us.

"It's a long story, dad," I said as I stood up.

"Before we all get into details. Have any of you heard from Duke? He hasn't come home. He said he was off like an hour ago and it's almost going to be 6 pm," we all shook our heads. "Fuck, let me call him again."

"I'll call him, too," Donovan took out his phone and dialed. He waited for a bit and hung up. "No, it went directly to voicemail."

"Yeah, same here," Dash shoved his phone in his pocket as he gave me a faint smirk.

******

It was getting close to 9 pm and Dash was getting anxious. He kept walking back and forth throughout the lounge room. Donovan stayed for dinner as he and my dad talked about football. His eyes would align with mine and my stomach would twist. My hands would get sweaty. I knew he was out but why was he showing interest in me?

Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door. "I'll get it," I got up and headed to the front door. Now they were slamming on the door. "Hold up, I'm coming," I opened the door and it was Duke. His eyes were red and puffy. Then his demeanor changed. His eyes glared at me as I saw him fisting a piece of newspaper.

"Babe, there you are," Dash came from behind me but Duke stepped back. "Babe, why are you crying?"

"Did you know your brother killed Emilio?" Fuck! Dash stayed quiet. "Did you!" He yelled this time.

"I told him not to tell you," and that's when he punched me in the face.
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