Jon & Spencer ask Brendon questions, in order to help Ryan.
Downstairs, the door-bell rang, interrupting Brendon from his reading. Shaking his head, he sought to break the fuzziness that you get when you've been reading for quite a while, and aren't completely back in reality as yet. He padded down the stairs, keeping quiet, as Ryan was still asleep. When he got there he peeped through the eye hole. Outside, he saw Jon and Spencer, leaning against opposing sides of the porch and waiting for him to open it.
Quickly undoing both locks and the chain on the door, Brendon opened it just as Jon was about to ring the bell a second time. He stood aside, letting the two outside file in. “So, what brings you guys here?” Brendon asked, trying to keep it casual.
“We need answers, Brendon.” Spencer said. He sounded dead serious. Jon didn't look any different from the other. “About what?” Brendon asked, shutting the door. He didn't bother doing up the locks. “Ryan.” Jon replied, walking to the living room. Once there, he made himself comfortable on the couch. Spencer followed, taking up the loveseat. That left the armchair for Brendon.
He sat in it hesitantly, feeling as though the chair was crushing in on him. Is this how people feel when they're having a panic attack? Like everything is crushing them? “Why the sudden interest in Ry?” Brendon asked, trying to keep the nervousness out of his voice.
“No reason. We just want to know how you guys got to where you are now.” Spencer said with an offhanded shrug. To Brendon, he seemed to know a lot more than he was letting on. “Where do I start?” Brendon asked, scratching the back of his neck. Anything to keep them thinking that nothing was wrong.
“The very beginning.” Jon said. “Kay then, I hope you guys are comfortable, cause this is one long story.” Brendon said, as if trying to dissuade them from wanting to know the whole thing. It didn't work. “We've got time.” Spencer said. The two visitors were speaking in tandem it seemed. “Well it starts 3 years ago...”
Brendon was walking down the sidewalk, not paying attention to where he was going. He had his head down, thinking about the upcoming test he had. Driver's Ed. Just then, he stumbled into a young man, resulting in both of them falling. Realizing this, he quickly jumped up, helping the other to his feet. “I'm so sorry about that, I wasn't watching where I was going.” Brendon said, a reddish blush tinging his cheeks.
The other young man had a worn, tired look to him. He didn't look all that much older than Brendon, however. “'S okay. Not your fault.” he muttered. Brendon kept in step next to the man he had bumped over, as they walked down the street together. After a moment, Brendon dared to break the silence, saying, “I'm Brendon. Who're you?”
“Ryan.” the other replied, keeping his head down. Even though it was the on-set of autumn, and pretty chilly out, he didn't have a coat. Instead, he had a rather long scarf that he kept tripping over. “Are you new here?” Brendon persisted.
Ryan nodded, before saying, “Yeah, I'm starting school on Monday. Just moved here from Chicago.” That explained why he wasn't cold even with the freezing breeze. “10th?” Brendon continued. Ryan only nodded. He seemed to be one of few words. “Sweet. You're in the same grade as me! Maybe I could introduce you to Jon and Spencer.”
“Maybe.” Ryan said. He seemed to want to keep to himself. Brendon however, wanted to break him out of his shell. “Do you know any places that have a cheap rent?” Ryan suddenly asked. “Not really, why?” Brendon replied. “Just wanted to move out of my parents house...” Ryan said, drifting off. It seemed like he wanted the conversation to end. “You can move in with me.” Brendon said cheerfully. “No, that's alright. I'll be too much of a burden anyways.”
To Brendon, Ryan had seemed painfully shy and extremely polite.
“So when did you think that something was wrong with Ryan?” Spencer asked. They were uncovering more and more about Ryan with every passing moment it seemed.
Ryan was always wearing long sleeves, regardless of the temperature. As soon as it had dropped below freezing, he had started to wear sweaters. However, when the spring came with its warm temperatures, Ryan still wore the sweaters. Under those, were long sleeves. Brendon had tried to talk to him about it before, but there was no definite reply. Ryan had always shrugged it off, refusing to reply with a straight answer.
Even in the middle of summer, he wore heavy sweaters, and long sleeves, even when the temperatures topped 100 degrees. Brendon was getting sick of Ryan's refusal to give a straight answer.
Then one day, Ryan looked like he was about to pass out from heat stroke. Even when Brendon had suggested that he remove his sweater, Ryan had always declined.
“Then what else did you notice?” Spencer asked softly.
Ryan hadn't eaten anything for breakfast. He said he wasn't much of a person who eats in the morning, preferring instead his coffee. Brendon didn't argue with him, considering that he was mostly the same. They went out for lunch. Ryan had said he wasn't hungry.
“But you didn't eat breakfast.” Brendon protested. He was worried about Ryan. There was no doubt In that. “But I'm not hungry.” Ryan said quietly. “I don't care. We'll split something, how about that?” Brendon said. Reluctantly, Ryan agreed.
Shortly after the meal was done, Ryan politely excused himself to the bathroom. Brendon thought nothing of it, till 10 minutes later, and Ryan still hadn't returned. He was about to go into the bathroom himself to look for his missing friend, when Ryan came out, looking weak and sickly.
“What happened?” Brendon asked, worried. “N-nothing, just got trapped in the stall.” Ryan had said. Brendon nodded, giving Ryan a long, hard look. “Alright.” he had said. On the inside, he didn't believe a word of it.
Spencer and Jon sat there, looking shocked. They didn't realize how little they actually knew of their friend, until now. Spencer finally recovered enough to ask, “Why did you do nothing when you knew about this?” Brendon gave him a sad look before replying, “Because he always got defensive and shrugged it off, or changed the topic whenever I had tried to confront him about it.”
“Speaking of that, where is Ryan?” Jon asked, looking around. Just then, they heard footfalls on the stairs. All three turned, to see Ryan stepping down the stairs.