There's a lot to be explored in Kairi's missing year. Sora and Riku vanishing would mean search and rescue parties, candlelight vigils, hopes and prayers and a rumor mill churning. Hard to believe nobody would question her or believe she doesn't know anything, being their best friend. Knowing those search parties would turn up empty, eventually becoming a funeral service, watching parents mourn lost children you know are alive. There's a TON of meaty, emotional material to cover with this.
Like, I doubt Kairi would just let their parents think they were dead – that seems needlessly cruel – but then it becomes a question of who do you tell, and what do you tell them? And what do you do when they don’t believe you?
It’s like Winona Ryder’s character in Stranger Things.
Everyone around you is going through this beautiful, terrible, natural process of grief, and you just…can’t. Because you know there’s more happening here.
You know something they don’t. But you can’t express it. And when you try, it just makes people think you’re losing your grip on reality, making things up because your brain can’t cope with the terrible truth. But you know.
And that’s on top of all the stuff Kairi’s already having to cope with, like the fact that she is stuck, locked, trapped away from the people she loves most in the world, the only people who understand what she’s been through, the only people who’ve seen what she’s seen.
She’s stuck here on these islands.
And she was always the one who was kindest to the islands.
When they were building the raft, she was the only one who said she wanted to come back someday. She said the fact that she could come back, the fact that she would always have a home here, was what gave her the courage to venture out in the first place. The islands were precious to her.
And now they’re…something else.
Whatever they are now, they’re painful. And they’re sad.
And they’re full of people who just make her sadder.
But there’s always the secret place. Because when she’s alone in the quiet of the secret place, she can almost hear Sora’s voice again.
One day, it starts to get to hard to remember what he sounded like.
The next day, it gets hard to remember what he looked like.
Or what his name was.
And then, one day, she forgets he was ever there at all.
She forgets at least of what she’s seen. She loses at least most of the context for where Riku is now. She becomes just another clueless bystander.
But there’s a hole in her heart she can’t explain. Something tugging at her, even when she doesn’t consciously realize it.
And then, sometimes, on particularly quiet days, she catches herself just…staring. At nothing in particular.
Eyes watering for reasons she doesn’t understand.
Anyway, all this to say, I think I agree with you.
- Mod A.