papa kogane used to tell keith that his mom had to go home. he’d point to the stars and say “she’s waiting for you, son”
every night keith would sit under the stars or at an open window and talk to his mom. he’d think to himself “she can’t hear me”. “but maybe. just, maybe she can” he would reason.
he starts small. just telling her what happened that day. “the ear on my hippo ripped while i was chasing a lizard, but dad fixed it. she looks kinda funny now but i still love her.” or “my teacher gave me a sticker for my homework! it had a dragon on it!!! i’m gonna put in on the window, maybe then you’ll see it.”
“she left for a good reason” he would tell himself late at night when he couldn’t sleep. “she’s gonna come back for me”
then his dad dies and his conversations with his mom fill with questions. “where are you? what are you doing? why didn’t you say goodbye? dad is dead AND YOU NEVER SAID GOODBYE.”
he grows resentful of her. his sadness shows in the form of anger. but then he meets shiro. he finds a brother in a time he thought there was no one left to love him. and so he forgets his mom for a while. his anger drifts away as he sits with his brother.
but when shiro disappears from kerberos all the dark thoughts come flooding back. his first night in the shack is too much. he stands at the window, knife in hand “did you ever love me. when i was a baby, did you ever look down and think ‘this is enough. keith, you are enough.’” he would pause, because maybe this time she’d respond, maybe this time was different. but there would be no reply “no, you didn’t. of course you didn’t. because why would someone love THEIR OWN SON”
he turns away from the window to face the stuffed hippo on the couch. she’s beaten and torn. two mismatched button eyes and a mangled ear. his dad’s words echo in his mind “your mom gave you this the day you were born. never forget that she loved you.”
keith sends his knife flying, burying in the chest of the animal. he falls to the floor of the dark and empty shack. he’s shaking as tears stream down his face and a broken voice chokes out between sobs, “liars. they’re all liars.”