"Trust the process."
Kenneth looked up from his breakfast plate; eyebrow cocked upwards. "The process? Process of what? I JUST sat down." The morning had been relatively quiet. Usually, Michael was not up by himself, but since he had an important project due that morning, he was the first one up. Kenneth had been surprised that Michael had even brushed his hair at all. Either way, he was glad he did not wake Michael up alone.
Michael grinned, "The process of my project. Don't worry; You'll see what it's like once you get the school." Ken gave a soft smile, "Oh really? Why can't you tell me now, and I wouldn't have to go to the school?" Michael crossed his arms, the oversized sweater he was wearing barely even holding up around his neck, "It's a special one! It's all based on forensics; it's exciting. You have to see it." Ken blinked a bit. He put his fork down and looked at Michael. "Is that why you were searching the house for fingerprints? To do one of your weird school projects?" Michael pulled his glasses up just to the ridge of his nose. He hummed, "I don't know! You'll have to come to the school after work, won't you?" He said, a stupid grin on his face. Ken groaned a bit, "Fine, fine...I trust you won't do anything stupid while I'm gone, right?" Michael raised his hand and smiled, "No promises! See you after work, Ken." Ken glared at him before getting up. "You're lucky I'm soft on you!" He walked to the door, put his shoes on, grabbed his suitcase, and looked back at the apartment. He smiled to himself. He began walking out of the door.
As Ken walked through the streets, he found himself thinking of all the variables that played into the fact that he was now taking care of his brother. His parents died in an unfortunate accident. Michael was way too young to be separated from their parents at the time how. Ken struggled with school, a part-time job, and taking care of Michael simultaneously. Ken sighed softly before noticing something in the corner of his eye...
It was a quick movement. Something white, almost entirely, going in the opposite direction. Ken turned his head back to see the moving figure, but of course, as with all things that the mind and eyes choose to trick him with, the figure had disappeared entirely. Ken's eyes lingered there for a while before he finally decided to move on. It was nothing.
The workday went on as usual. Calls to make and files to organize, but Ken happened to look at the time more often than usual. He was excited about what Michael had to offer, so when it was time to clock out and leave, Ken practically speed-walked back home. The plan was simple, meet Michael at home, help him move his project to the school, and stay there for when Michael inevitably wins first prize. Then, it was off to a little diner for a celebratory dinner.
When Ken had entered the home, putting his suitcase down and walking in, he called for Michael. "Michael! I'm home; you ready for me to grab your shit for you?" He walked into the kitchen and raised a brow. Huh. Michael wasn't in the kitchen for once. Usually, when Ken got home, Michael ate his before-dinner snack. He had looked around the downstairs a bit more before he started to head upstairs. He checked in Michael's room. Nothing! If there was one thing that Ken knew, Michael's favorite places in the house were the kitchen and his room. Though, as he inspected the room further..he realized that Michael's project was still there. Unfinished.
That got Ken worried. He hated to say it about his brother, but Michael had no friends in the city. If he had friends, they were online and unreachable. Ken pulled his phone out and quickly dialed Michael's number.
I'm sorry, but the person you're trying to reach is-
Oh, Christ. Ken hoped in his heart that the reason for Michael not answering or being here was because he had a girlfriend he didn't tell Ken about. Ken quickly grabbed his house keys and began walking out of the house toward Michael's school. He pulled his phone out once more and started calling the school. Ken asked if Michael had been to school that day, and after a couple of minutes, had responded with a no. Ken's heart dropped. According to the teacher, Michael hadn't even made it to his homeroom class that day.
Ken had gotten even more worried when the clock struck nine in the evening. That was when he called the police. At this point, Ken had retraced Michael's steps from home to school to any detours he thought Michael would make. The police told him they would send people out to search for him and that he should go home just in case Michael decided to come back while Ken wasn't there.
It wasn't until Ken made his way home that he saw it. It was near one of the alleyways, seemingly invisible until you saw it shine in the light in the corner of your eye. The lamppost was shining the light as bright as day. It was Michaels's round sunglasses. With the golden frames. He suddenly went cold. There had been some places he had not checked simply because he couldn't find a reason to fit in. The alleyways. He had not studied the alleyways.
Ken slowly began to step toward the dark alleyway. It looked disgusting, and there was garbage everywhere. But he pushed through. If Michael was in there, he had to be thorough. He turned on the flashlight on his phone and began making his way through the heaps of garbage. Halfway through, the sight hit Ken like a truck.
Fluffy brown hair in a sweater too oversized for the skinny body, a face so lifeless, you would have thought it was paralyzed its entire life. Eyes wide open, mouth partly open, the right arm stretched far above the head onto the floor. Though the face was bloody and bruised, Kenneth knew better than to think it was anyone else but Michael. His little brother Michael. Someone who he had taken care of since he was just a baby. Oh god...What a horrifying and unjust existence.
His little brother was gone.
Kenneth let out a horrified, anguished scream.
He called the police as soon as he could.
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