The artist

Kailani and Kaikane sit together huddling by the fire for a long time. They watch the light orange glow lick at the wood which Kaikane had gathered until there is no wood left, just the remaining hot coals. Kaikane slowly unfurls himself from around Kailani, and puts another log on the fire. He takes his place next to Kailani again and she rests her head on his shoulder. Kaikane has come to a deep realization, and is unsure if Kailani has done the same. He holds her closer, and returns his gaze to the fire, in deep thought.

It's not until Kailani's eyes flutter closed that Kaikane gets up again, removes a tattered letter from his watertight pack, holds it close to the fire for light, and rereads it. 

Dear Kai, 

How is your wilderness adventure going? It has been some time since I have seen you, but I recieved your last letter, and it made me very happy. Today I write to you with a purpose. I should have said something sooner, maybe when you had turned nineteen, but my love, do not forget that you mean everything to me. 

Although we are blood related, I am not your real mother. I am your aunt. I used to visit you and your family every christmas, but you were so young, you wouldn't remember. Your eyes shone everytime I walked into the room, and when I came to visit, nobody else held your favour. Nobody else could hold you for that matter, you were a little monkey, and you hung off my arms and legs and wouldn't let go. We used to plan sleepovers, you and I, and everytime I left you cried and cried and begged to come with me. So it was only natural that your parents placed me in their will as your gaurdian.

When they passed away you didn't really understand what had happened. You missed them, but being as young as you were you quickly came to forget about them. Do not be ashamed, you loved them very, very much.

Your older sister on the other hand was older, and knew them much better than you did. As hard as I tried she would not accept me as her new mother, she would not forget. She had night terrors in the middle of the night, I can only imagine what she saw, and how terrible it was. I took her to a counseller, and then madness insued. The conseller thought it would be better if someone else took up caring for your sister, and that meant your other aunt.

I tried as hard as I could to protect her, but my own sister took me to court over the case, and without my own expencive lawyer, I lost the case. My sister is a ghastly woman, with no love in her heart, especially for her nephews. She never sent you or your sister birthday cards, never visited on holidays. She was a bitter widow. Bitten hard by fate, and never forgave the world for letting her down. My sister has raised your sibling, and has not told her about what really happend when you were little. I don't know how much she remembers, and I can only hope she has repressed it. To grow up with my sister would be a horrifying ordeal, and she doesn't need to deal with more than one sorrow.

I once asked your mother why she named her son Kaikane, which was so similiar to her daughters' name; Kailani. She told me about a beautiful place just off the north end of Hawaii, an island at which you could see the most beautiful sunrises. The islands' name was Kailani island, Kailani meaning sea and sky. She named you after the ocean, the strong, powerful ocean which surrounded the island, protecting it. She named you as the protector of your sister, and I think it is time for you to take your place as such. Find this island where your parents met and fell in love, Kaikane, and explore it. Then set out into the world and find your sister. Your other aunt's name is Suzanne Mardrina, and that is all I can tell you, for that is all I know.

I tell you this so that you might find your sister, and rescue her from whatever hardships she has endured, for I have tried and failed.

Don't forget that I miss you terribly, and although I understand your desire to be free and one with the earth, I am your adopted mother and I always want to be sure of your safety. I love you Kaikane, and I hope one day you can come to terms with my betrayal of your trust. 

Love you always, 

mom

Kaikane refolds the letter, and places it carefully back in his waterproof backpack. He takes his sleeping bag and lays next to Kailani, and holds her in his arms. He tries to think of how to tell her what happend, and that he knew this whole time. 

Kailani is deep asleep, dreaming the same dream she's had for months; the last day she spent with her adopted aunt. 

It had been mid-afternoon, and Kailani had been pestering her aunt about information about her parents. Her aunt -who had grown weary of the conversation before it even began- threw her in the shoe closet, and locked the door. In the stuffy room with the door closed, and the lights out, Kailani continued to scream out questions that she knew her aunt could still hear. The closet door opened for a moment and Kalani could see her aunt's terrible eyes glaring at her, the whiskey on her breath far from descreet;

"Your parents were nothing but pathetic love birds. True love doesn't exist, but they believed it did, oh boy did they ever. All they could ever talk about was that damned island with that damned point and how they connected on a etheral level. Your mother was fat, and your father had a cowlip, and they had dirty nasty sex at Painters Point, where they concieved you, so that they had to get married and raise you even though they didn't love you. Thats why you are really here. Because they didn't love you."

In the dream Kailani is relocked in the closet, and waits patiently until her aunt leaves for work in the morning. Then she slyly unlocks the door and dashes to her bedroom, where she packs what little she has and leaves forever...

The End

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