Postmarked from New Orleans, Earth
19th February. 2015
To my little brother,
Hey, Cogs. It's been a while since we sat down and talked, and if I'm honest, I don't think I can talk about this face to face. I might not ever be able to. But you deserve to know what's been going on, just how bad things got, and how everything is turning for the better now.
We haven't seen each other since you came to see me in the hospital, when I got back. I know I disappeared again, but I didn't go far. I was always in the city, and if you'd really needed me, Miranda or Rufus would have told you where to find me. Truth is, Correy, I was broken. I was really broken, and I didn't think I would ever be fixed again.
That seven months when no one heard from me ... that's a nightmare. A real, living nightmare. I was being held in a dark place. There was no light, hardly any food, and there were six other people with me, at the beginning. And then people started to die. I could hear them, in the darkness, all the time. There were these voices that wanted us to embrace the darkness, and if we didn't, they hurt us. I know you saw the bandages, but baby boy, I'm covered in scars. Claw marks, all over my back and my hips, my stomach. They marked me, and I'm never getting from it.
After those six died, I was taken someplace else. I was healed, and I was fed, and then I was put back, with another six people. And again, and again. They made me go through it seven times. They made me listen to the people I was with dying, and they died horribly. They died in pain, and in fear, and I was carrying that fear with me when they let me go. I know now that they did let me go. I didn't escape, they were finished with me.
But the thing that was controlling them? That wasn't finished with me. It was in my head, keeping the fear alive and the pain. It made it so I couldn't sleep without nightmares, so that I was afraid of every shadow, even during the day. But I wasn't alone.
Rufus has a nephew, Taylor. You might have seen him at the hospital, he's an EMT. And he went through exactly the same thing I did, seven years ago. You see that pattern? Seven years, seven months, seven people in the house at any one time, and only one gets out.
He took me in, Cogs. He looked after me, he tried to help me with the nightmares. He just wanted to be my friend, but he became a lot more than that. I fell in love with him - even while I was completely broken and frightened, I fell in love. Properly in love, like I've never been before. I can't imagine a day without him; I need him like I need air. And amazingly, he feels the same way about me. We're fixing each other, slowly. He holds me together, and although I might never be the Kaylee you remember, I'm more me now than I ever thought I would be again.
Anyway, back to the dark stuff. Rufus and his Slayer, they trained me a bit, they talked me into finding my way back to that house. And when we got there, we found out what had really been happening. It was a portal, like a gateway, to a prison where some demon or whatever was being kept. Something that fed on fear, and was still in our heads, keeping us afraid. Lei and Rufus, they helped us to close that portal permanently, and Taylor got really hurt. I thought I was gonna lose him, and I swear, my heart stopped. But they got us back to Rhy'Din in time, and he was healed, and ... I don't know how to say it so it makes sense.
The nightmares, they're almost completely gone. I'm not jumping at shadows anymore. I started singing again. That voice in my head that's made me wanna run away and hide for months, it's gone. I'm still a little broken, and I think I always will be. But I have a lot to be thankful for.
I have you, and I'm never gonna be able to thank Kenny enough for making you so happy. I know you're in a good place. That's why I didn't contact you - I didn't want to worry you, or make you unhappy with knowing that I wasn't good. And I have Taylor, who makes me very happy.
Cogs, I wish I had the words to tell you just how much sunshine is in my life since he picked me up and put me back together again. I know my track record isn't good, but this is different. This is real. And I know I should have told you before, but I wanted to keep it for me, you know? I'm not a Granger anymore, baby boy. I'm a Bennett. I got married, and it feels right. I feel like I'm right where I need to be, with the person I'm meant to be with.
We eloped to New Orleans, and we got married on Mardi Gras. I missed you, but I think this what I needed to do.
I love you, Cogs.