Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
A year after his death and two months after his 18th birthday, Khajeel Mais' bedroom remains untouched.
Clothes, memorabilia, bedlinen and photographs remain in place while his mother, Allana Mais, continues to mourn the death of the Kingston College student, who was allegedly killed by a man driving a BMW X6 sport utility vehicle.
"I just can't bring myself to dismantle his things," said Mrs Mais, fighting back the tears as she spoke with The Gleaner.
"I can't touch the things in his room. I can't touch anything," the mother of three admitted, adding that on her son's birthday, May 26, she had planned on cleaning out the room, but her daughter Kimberly would not have it.
Khajeel's death seemed to have had the greatest impact on his 21-year-old sister, causing his mother serious concerns.
"I am not a psychologist, but I know what I am going through, and as a younger person, I would want her (Kimberly) to let go," said Mrs Mais.
She said though a day does not go by when she is not mourning her son's death, she finds comfort in the Supreme Being.
"But I am unable to decipher what type of medium my daughter uses to mend her pain," she lamented.
Kimberly cries regularly and wants no one to even enter her brother's room. If the bed is dishevelled, she takes care in ensuring it is neat.
STILL IN DENIAL
"She wants to uphold all his rules and regulations, even though he is gone. She seems like she is still in denial, which is not healthy," her mother asserted.
For Noel Mais, Khajeel's father, his period of grief has been long and agonising. He has been internalising it and hardly ever speaks about his hurt, his wife said.
"His is a different matter. He is very silent. He doesn't go out anymore. His friends don't see him unless they come to the house," said Mrs Mais.
On many occasions, she said, she wakes up late at night to see her husband weeping after listening to the songs that were created by Khajeel's friends for his funeral.
Noel Mais has not missed a day at court and having to spend his first birthday in Jamaica without his son last August was devastating, said his wife.
Still in disbelief, still grappling to understand why her son has been taken away, Mrs Mais said she does not know how she got through the year.
"It must be someone greater than me getting me through."
Khajeel's friends are also not about to erase his memory and at midnight last Saturday, June 30, they lit several candles, dedicated a wall to his photographs and celebrated his life.
Mrs Mais found it extremely difficult to join in the celebration, and told The Gleaner that even though her neighbours urged her to do a memorial, she did not have the strength.
The man accused of killing Khajeel, Patrick Powell, is out on bail. The trial is set for September 17.
For more on Khajeel Mais and the X6 Case visit our special report page: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/pages/x6/