What happens when Ryan can no longer live with himself?
Ryan Ross stood in his bathroom, looking around it. This would be the last time he would ever be here, or anywhere else, for that matter. The thought saddened him, but it was overpowered by another emotion. Hatred. Hatred for himself. You see, he blamed himself for anything that went wrong, even if it weren't his fault. In his mind, everything was always his fault.
He took a deep breath, setting his head against the wall and closing his eyes. In his mind, he thought over who would come to his funeral. He knew that his family's religion did not approve of suicides, often going so far as to refuse to hold a funeral service for them. He also knew that they had a vendetta against gays. So needless to say, there was a good chance that the priest himself wouldn't even be attending the funeral.
If the priest did show up, however, then there would be the priest. Maybe his mother would show up. His father surely wouldn't, considering how much he hated Ryan. Spencer and Jon would most likely show up. But there was the final person in this equation, who he hoped would show up. Brendon. They'd been together for 2 years now.
This latest thought made him feel guilty. Brendon had always been there for him. Of course, Brendon had been pissed when he found out about Ryan's bad habits, which included cutting and anorexia. But who wouldn't be pissed off when they found out the one they loved the most was slowly destroying themselves, one tiny piece at a time in front of them? Especially when they tried to protect their lover from everything out there, only to find that the one thing that hurt them the most is the one thing they can't protect them from.
The rational part of Ryan's mind screamed, Don't do this! Stop! If not for yourself, then for Brendon. But the irrational part of his mind overpowered it, with You've only ever been a waste of space, a useless little shit. Just die. Since it was so much louder, this irrational part of his mind was what Ryan chose to listen to, especially since his self esteem was at rock bottom and digging.
I have to end this now. All I've ever been was a mess. A waste of space. Something like me doesn't deserve to live. Brendon deserves better. I'm sick of messing up other people's lives.
With this thought echoing around his head, he took the envelope out of his pocket, and opened it. A single piece of notebook paper lay inside. Ryan took it out, reading over it once more to make sure that the last thing he left made sense.
Brendon, please forgive me. I never wanted it to turn out this way. Tell everyone that I loved them, and I didn't want it to end this way. You deserve someone better than me. All I’ve ever been is a waste, a mess. It has to end now.
I'm so sorry.
It looked like it would do. Ryan folded the note once again, putting it into the envelope again, and sealing the envelope. He put it on the counter, where it would be free of blood, and exited the bathroom.
He went to the nightstand on his side of the bed, and knelt in front of it. He knew that he was running out of time. He yanked out the lower drawer. The dark space left behind gaped at him like an open mouth. He stuck his hand inside, and felt around. After a moment, he came up with a tiny box. It fit into the palm of his hand, and was barely 2 inches tall.
The heart shaped box had a dark cherry finish, glossy and catching the light. Oriental looking designs were carved into it, and then painted over in an ebony black, accented with shining gold paint. The lock and hinges were a dulled silver color.
It was a beautiful box, yes, but it hid a deadly secret. Ryan replaced the drawer in it's proper place. There was no need for Brendon to find out what was in there. Or rather, what had been in there. He didn't want anyone to save him. He didn't deserve to be saved.
He fished out the key from where it hung on his neck on a dark green silk ribbon. The color of the key matched the lock and hinges exactly. He opened it, to show off the dark black velvet inside the box. There, in the center of it, was a razor blade. It was shining evilly in the light streaming through the window behind the bed. The steel was unmarked by any blemish. That would soon change.
Ryan took it out, and lifted the velvet out of the box. It was a false front. Below it, were many razors, each wrapped in tissue paper. That way, there would be no noise to give it away. He smiled a twisted smile. Replacing the velvet and locking the box, he took the key out, slipping the blade into his pocket.
Then, still carrying the key and box, he took them to the closet. On his side, on the floor, there was a shoe-box. It was something that Brendon would never dare to go into. This was where he left the box. He didn't want to take any chances, should he manage to survive. The key went into one of the inner pockets of his coat.
He knew that he was running out of time. Brendon would be home soon. He scuttled off to the bathroom. He didn't care that he had left the bathroom door open. All of that would cease to matter in a few minutes. He put the blade to his left wrist, and started the first letter. He dug the blade in sharply, and harshly. The less of a chance that Brendon would be able to save him, the better.
Several minutes later, Ryan was on the last letter when he heard the front door slam. Brendon was home. Dammit, he needed to die already, so that Brendon wouldn't find him in this condition. He could hear Brendon coming up the stairs. He was done with the final letter. He could go now. There was nothing left for him to finish.
Just then, Brendon entered the room, just to see Ryan laying there in a pool of his own blood, blade still clutched in his hand. Ryan's vision blurred, but yet he managed to look up to see Brendon above him. Every breath was a task, but he managed to choke out, “Brenny. I'm sorry.”
His eyes fluttered close, and he saw no more. Brendon leaped into action. He tied a towel above Ryan's elbow to prevent him from bleeding to death, and placed him on top of the counter. The room looked like it had been bathed in blood. Brendon felt queasy.
Ignoring the need to vomit, Brendon grabbed a washrag, peroxide, and the medical kit. He looked at Ryan, who didn't give any response. “Don't want to have to do this, but don't want you to die.” Brendon muttered, as if in apology, before he soaked the rag with peroxide, wiping it across Ryan's arm to remove the blood. He had to wring it out and put more peroxide on it, wiping again before most of the blood was gone, and he could see what he was up against.
He sucked in air through his teeth, wincing at the sight. The skin was ripped apart across the letters carved into the skin. Through this, pure white flesh could be seen. Blood continued to bubble up. He opened the medical kit. This was going to be unpleasant, but it was unavoidable.
15 minutes later, Brendon carried Ryan to the guest bedroom. The cuts on his arm were stitched up and bandaged, but they would take time to heal. There was no telling when he would wake up. Then, Brendon returned to the bathroom. It was a mess.
There was blood everywhere. Some of it had splattered up onto the walls. There was a body shape in blood against the closet where Ryan had leaned up against. Brendon shivered at the sight. On top of the counter, there was a white envelope. The pristine white had been flecked with blood. It made a shocking contrast.
Brendon took a step forward, trying to ignore the way that his feet stuck to the blood on the floor. It made wet sucking noises at every step. It was as though Ryan's blood refused to let him move. He reached the counter, and picked up the envelope, opening it.
He was confronted with the single piece of notebook paper that Ryan had placed in there earlier. It had almost no blood on it, save for a lone drop. His hands shaking, he unfolded it, and read it. In his mind, he could hear Ryan's voice reading it to him. A single tear escaped his eye.
He didn't want Ryan to die. He meant to much to Brendon. If he died, Brendon may as well die alongside him. Carefully folding the paper back up, he placed it back in the envelope, and left the bathroom. He left the envelope on the nightstand by his side of the bed.
He knew that if Ryan woke up and saw the wreck that was the bathroom, he may throw himself into a worse state than he already was in. So that left Brendon with cleaning it. Knowing what he had to do, he left the room, going downstairs to the laundry room.
Once there, he grabbed up a mop,bucket, sponge, and a bottle of bleach. Juggling these things, he quickly went back upstairs, wincing at the bloody footprints he left everywhere. Once in there, he retrieved pine-sol from under the sink.
Brendon took down the shower curtain, and plucked up the bathmats. They were all bloody. He winced at seeing what Ryan could do to himself when he was ready to. It was too much blood. He wondered just how Ryan could have managed to survive that long.
He trailed downstairs with them, dripping blood with every step. The house was looking like a murder scene. He dropped them into the washing machine with detergent, letting it soak there for a while. Anything to remove all reminders of this from the house.
Then realizing that Ryan did have many reminders of this still on him, Brendon crept up the stairs and into the guest room. Ryan's clothes were clotted with blood. It was nearly dried now, sticking to Ryan. Taking a deep breath, Brendon set about his task.
5 minutes later, he was walking down the stairs again, this time with Ryan's bloody clothes. He tossed them into the washer alongside the shower curtains and mats. Then, he moved back up the stairs. There was still so much blood everywhere, even with the mats gone.
Filling the bucket with bleach, pine-sol and hot water, Brendon began to mop up the mess. It was horrific. Shortly after, the water had turned bright red. It was disgusting to think that the same substances that kept a person alive was currently splattered across a room carelessly.
2 back-breaking hours and 5 buckets of water and cleaning supplies later, the bathroom was finally clean. Now it was time to get rid of all of those footprints all over the house. The mop and sponge looked like they would never get rid of their red color.
Lugging the bucket of water with him, Brendon felt like he was going to be too tired to do anything else. But he knew that he had to. For Ryan. To make sure that he was safe. So that nothing else happened to him.
Slowly, slowly, the footprints were disappearing. Considering they were nearly all over the house, it would be time-consuming, yes, but it was worth it in the end. After all, they couldn't go on living in a house with blood all over the floors, now could they?
By the time he had gotten downstairs, Brendon was sick of having to do work. It was too much for him. Yet he kept going. He'd had to dump out the water again, but he didn't care. Because he knew that he was almost done with this.
Finally, he had reached the laundry room, and the last of the footprints. He put the things away, before tossing out the mop and the sponge. No use for them there. He tossed his own blood-stained clothing into the washer, and started it going.
Now it was time to lock everything away. Brendon groaned inwardly, tired muscles protesting. He went through every bathroom in the house, then through the kitchen, getting all the things that could be dangerous and placing them into the laundry room.
Then, he put all shaving razors into the drawers and locked them. Same thing with the kitchen. Then, he changed the locks to the laundry room, the attic, and the basement. He refused to let Ryan finish what he had started.
Grabbing a box and a lock, Brendon went to the drawer where they kept the medication. Dumping them all into the box, he locked the box, leaving it in the drawer, then locked the drawer too. “Won't take any chances.” he muttered.
The keys went onto a string around his neck, while the copies went into a box, which was locked with a combination lock. Knowing he needed a safe place to hide the box, Brendon walked to the living room. There was a fake potted plant in the corner. Perfect. Standing on the edge of the couch to reach it, he pulled it free of the pot, and dropped the box into the space left behind.
Then, he replaced the plant. It was nearly over now. He walked back upstairs, feeling like he was forgetting something. There, in the corner of the bathroom, it was. The silver of the blade. It's shining finish was marred by the rusty color of the dried blood, which made a stunning comparison at the same time. Brendon picked it up, flakes of dried blood coming off it, and sticking to his palm, melting at the sweat. It weighed nearly nothing, yet weighed too much.
He carried it out into the bedroom, before opening the window. Looking at it, he lifted it, before throwing it as hard as he could. He saw it fly through the air, spinning silvery arcs in the air. It fell somewhere in the tall grass, hopefully to never be discovered again.
Walking to the guest bedroom where he had let Ryan, he was happy to see that Ryan's breathing had evened off and he no longer looked deathly. He took the unconscious boy back to his room, putting him in the bed before joining him.
Brendon felt his eyelids drooping. He didn't want to sleep, yet knew he had to. He gently wrapped his arm around Ryan, before snuggling closer and drifting off into a light sleep.
Sometime later, Brendon woke up, refreshed and rested, with a dry mouth and gritty eyes. He crept out of bed, and down to the kitchen, getting a drink of water. He stood there, looking out the window. It was the afternoon of August 3rd, nearly 7 PM. The setting sun cast it's dying orange rays over everything. It made for a beautiful scene. Soon, it would be fall, with the leaves falling, and the beautiful lighting and the crisp air.
With a smile, Brendon closed his eyes, basking in the fading warmth. After a moment, he opened his eyes again, and rinsed the glass he had used. Right then, a sudden horrifying thought occurred to him. What if Ryan broke a plate or glass and used the pieces to cut himself? Brendon quickly took inventory of how many of everything they had in there, writing it down and sticking the small slip of paper below the stack of plates.
It did little to set his mind at ease. He still felt like something was wrong. Like he had missed something. Another thought that hit him made his knees go weak, leaving him to grab onto the counter for support. Ryan worked at the library, where letter openers abounded. What if he used one of them to hurt himself? They weren't all that sharp, but if they were wielded with enough strength and determination, they could be lethal. And Ryan was going to graduate a year ahead of Brendon. Which meant that he was going to be a year at work, where Brendon couldn't keep an eye on him.
Brendon dashed up the stairs silently, taking them two or three at a time. When he got back to their room, Ryan was just where he had left him. He didn't look like he had stirred. Brendon went back to laying by his side. Hopefully, Ryan wouldn't panic when he woke up, because there was someone there with him. “Come on Ryan, wake up. You're safe now.” Brendon whispered into Ryan's ear.
Ryan twitched. Thinking he was imagining things, Brendon poked him with the tip of his nose. Ryan squirmed a bit more in his sleep. He was getting back to normal. At least in sleep. There was no telling what he would act like once he woke up.
Ryan didn't move anymore, besides his slow, even breathing. Brendon lay back down, thinking that it was just a momentary occurrence. Just then, his eyelid twitched. Brendon sat back up again, staring at him. It twitched again. Then, slowly, so slowly, he opened his eyes. Brendon let out a sigh of relief, pulling him into a hug. Ryan whimpered.
“What's wrong?” Brendon asked, brushing the hair out of Ryan's eyes lightly with his hand. Ryan opened his mouth, making a bizarre choking noise. He took in a deep breath, and said, voice barely above a whisper, “My arm hurts.”
“Left one?” Brendon asked gently. Ryan nodded. It was predictable, yet sad at the same time. At least Brendon knew it was something that he couldn't control. “I know it hurts. But there's nothing I can do.” Brendon said sadly. Ryan nodded his understanding.
They were both quiet again, with Ryan resting his head against Brendon's chest. “Why?” Ryan finally asked. Brendon looked down at him. Tears seeped out of his eyes. “I didn't want you to finish what you started.” Ryan looked at him, the hurt building in his eyes. “I failed. I'm sorry Brenny.”
Brendon held onto him, rubbing his back gently, and said, “There's nothing to be sorry about. Just never do that again. You're not a failure. You're perfectly imperfect, and I love you for it. I don't want to lose you. I'd be lost without you here in my life.”
“So you saved me because you love me?” Ryan asked softly. Brendon nodded, before saying, “Yep, not because I want you to suffer. I never want anything bad to happen to you.” Ryan hugged Brendon as tightly as he could with only one arm, before saying, “Thank you.”
The next morning, after a slightly fitful sleep, Brendon woke up, only to find Ryan curled up next to him, watching him intently. “Morning Ryro. Sleep okay?” Brendon asked. Ryan nodded, before giving a hug to Brendon.
Brendon laughed slightly, before asking, “Feel like getting something to eat this morning?” Ryan nodded before asking, “Pancakes?” Brendon smiled, before saying, “Sure! Did you do anything this morning?”
Ryan looked confused. “What do you mean?” Brendon shook his head, taking Ryan's wrists and flipping them so he could see them. There was nothing new on the one, while the bandages were undisturbed on the other. Ryan let out a slight whimper. Brendon promptly let go. “Come on, go take a shower, and I'll make the pancakes. If you aren't out in 15 minutes, I'm coming in to get you. Don't lock the door. Everything you need is outside anyways.” Brendon said, climbing out of bed. Ryan followed suit.
First, he's stopped me from ending everything, which would hurt a lot less people in the long run, now he's spazzed and refused to let me out of his sight, then he locked everything away that could possibly be a danger to me, and to top it all off, he's insisting that I eat. I would like to know just what in the hell triggered this! I know that he usually made me eat at least once every day, but I hope that this isn't going to become a serious habit of his.
“And in case you're wondering, you will be eating three meals a day, whether you like it or not.” Brendon said cheerfully, as he made his way to the door. “And if I don't want to eat three meals a day? But would rather smaller stuff?” Ryan asked, quickly adding the second part as he saw his partners shoulders tense as he stopped mid-step. Brendon sighed and said, “That's fine by me, once I see that you actually eat something. And you'd better not go shoving your hand down you throat afterwards!”
How nice. Besides stopping my stress reliever, and forcing me to eat, when I'm already the fattest person in this town, he's going to insist that I don't stick my hands down my throat after I eat. Is he insane or something that I missed out on? Without doing these things, the very fabric of who I am is disrupted. If that isn't hell, then tell me what is.
Brendon left the bedroom, and Ryan walked into the bathroom. He saw that it was cleaned. There was no indication of what had happened just the afternoon before. The razor wasn't on the floor anywhere. He got a towel out of the closet, cursing softly under his breath. There were locks on all the cabinets. Something was seriously going on here. The only things that were outside were the things that weren't so harmful, yet were necessary for everyday life, like mouthwash and toothpaste.
Upstairs, Ryan had gotten into the shower. Brendon was downstairs, scrambling eggs. He heard the shower turn on, and he smiled. His cling-on was doing as he was supposed to. But then again, that made him wonder. Just what was going through Ryan's mind when that had happened?
10 minutes later, Brendon was halfway through making the pancakes. Upstairs, Ryan had gotten out of the shower, and was heading into the closet. He grabbed the key out of the pocket of his coat, taking out the razor, and dragged it over the side of his right leg a few times. He was amazed that Brendon hadn't bothered going into the closet for anything. He put the blade back into the box, locking it and leaving everything just as he had found it.
Putting his dirty clothes into the hamper, Ryan grabbed a set of pajamas, putting them on and wincing as they drew over his fresh cuts. Just then, Brendon came up the stairs. “Everything's downstairs, go on, don't do anything stupid, I'll be with you in 10 minutes.
Ryan walked out of the room, trying not to look guilty. Once he got there, he just sat down on the couch, not eating. 12 minutes later, when Brendon came downstairs, Ryan still had not eaten anything. “Well why didn't you eat anything?” Brendon asked. Ryan nearly fell off his seat from the shock of being snuck up on.
“Didn't want to start without you. Besides, there wasn't any forks, and the food was too hot.” Ryan said, as if trying to explain everything away. Brendon ruffled his hair gently, before grabbing knives, forks, plates, and mugs for the both of them. “Coffee?” he asked Ryan. Ryan nodded, before adding, “Please?”
Ryan started to pick at his food, cutting the pancake into bite-sized pieces. Several minutes later, Brendon came over with the coffee, setting the mugs down in front of their respective future drinkers. Looking down at Ryan's plate, he chuckled, and said, “Ryan, you're supposed to be eating it, not torturing the poor thing.”
Ryan blushed dark red. The meal continued in companionable silence for the next 20 minutes. Ryan picked up his plate with some difficulty, almost dropping it. Must be his arm. Brendon thought. “No, leave them, I've got it.” he voiced his thoughts. Ryan looked at him, confused. Brendon gave him a reassuring smile.
Ryan left, heading back upstairs. About 15 minutes later, everything was cleaned and put away. Brendon decided to venture upstairs to see how Ryan was doing. He was asleep on the middle of the bed. Grinning slightly, Brendon tossed a blanket over him and picked up a book, sitting in the chair by the bed and reading.
He would be there for Ryan if he needed anything.