Control is key.
but if you're cool, then hey! that's fine with me. I hope you enjoy it.
The thing about Ryan’s family; was that it wasn’t really a family. Sure, they ate dinner together, they slept in the same house, they talked about inconsequential things. But they weren’t really there. They were there because they had to be there, and that was it.
Ryan had learnt this the hard way, when he had a guitar recital aged twelve, and both parents had decided that their jobs (or in Ryan’s father’s case a lack of a job) were more important than Ryan’s happiness. Once Ryan had realised this he had completely shut inside himself, to the point where Ryan hadn't had a single fulfilling conversation with his parents for the past eighteen months or so. In fact, Ryan couldn’t remember the last time he had said anything to his father other than “hey.” Or, “goodnight dad.” It was all kind of depressing, really.
But anyway, the thing was, Ryan’s parents wouldn’t be home for a long while; and Ryan was still sprawled out of the floor, knees pulled into his chest from where he had collapsed after Spencer’s departure. He didn’t want to deal with his fucked up life right now. He just wanted to sleep forever; there was nothing for him here. Sure, Spencer was back, but then again; if Ryan thought about it really closely, Spencer had never been there in the first place. Spencer had just been an apparition who just happened to have been a person in real life. But Ryan’s edges between reality and fantasy had always been blurred anyway.
Ryan just wanted to forget. He wanted to take control of his situation, and hold down the roiling emotions that he had kept down inside of him for years. Ryan hated to feel out of control, and right now he was so desperately lost he needed to get himself back together the only way he knew how.
Ryan was no stranger to pain; he had felt it all his life.
Ryan felt pain when he was alone at school, trying to be invisible and failing when a tough guy slammed him against a locker. He felt pain when his father came home drunk again and collapsed on the sofa, leaving his wife to fret over him even though he didn’t deserve it. Ryan was caught up in the never ending torture that people usually referred to as ‘living.’
He picked himself up from his fetus-like position on the floor, and made his way to the bathroom, controlling every little movement and step he made. Ryan needed control, since his life was suddenly so lacking in it, and he was going to find that control again.
Ryan opened the door, and stepped inside.
He was in the bathroom, the small one with the tiny toilet and adjourning sink. The one which held another of Ryan’s little secrets.
Ryan knew that cutting himself wasn’t good. But he had started after a particularly harsh argument with his parents four years ago, and hadn't stopped since. He knew that making lines in your skin didn’t solve anything really, but for a while it helped. The thing was the literal pain numbed the agony of living every single day, without being able to do a thing about it.
Ryan sat on the bathtub, reaching into the little compartment he had made behind the cupboards next to the bath, and taking out the little piece of bloodstained tissue.
He did it slowly, one line at a time. Each new cut opened up to reveal a new thin, straight line of bright scarlet, that drew him in like nothing else could. It was completely and utterly mesmerising, and Ryan relished in the feeling of control he had once again. One line, then another. The tops of his legs and his wrists were covered in similar incisions. Ryan hated himself for doing it. But he carried on doing it anyway because the mind-numbing euphoria was so much better than having to live with the psychological pain day in, day out.
Ryan regretted a lot of things in his life. This was one of them.
He carried on anyway.
Ten minutes later, it was done, and the bathtub was bright red, blood coiling in the plughole. He quickly stripped of his clothes and turned on the shower, stepping in and letting the harsh feeling of water beating against the new slim cuts take him over. He was addicted to it. He was addicted to the feel of the razor blade against his skin, the place his mind drifted off to when he was cutting, the harshness of the scars.
He was nothing but a worthless addict. And that made the pain so much more bittersweet.
After the last of the pink had swept down the plug hole Ryan stepped out, grabbing his towel and patting himself dry. He had learned pretty quickly that drying himself normally just opened up the cuts again so that the towels stained, so he dried his legs meticulously, making sure that every section was completely dry before trying the towel around his waist and tugged his t-shirt back on.
He quickly stepped into his room across the hall and dressed in his baggiest pair of sweatpants before finding the book he was currently reading and flipping it to the correct page.
Ryan loved books. He loved the way they could make you forget about the world you really lived in, and you became someone else. He loved how the author had the control to make you who you really wanted to be, and you could lose yourself in another world. Ryan, understandably, had read more books in his life than the rest of his school combined. He was about ninety percent sure of it, anyway. Ryan didn’t care. For all he knew, everyone in his school only read the books they were assigned in English class, even then only barely. It didn’t affect Ryan, because Ryan didn’t care. No-one cared about him, and he didn’t give much of a shit either.
At the moment he was reading an old historical romance novel that belonged to his mother. He wasn’t entirely sure why he was reading it, but he found that the archaic language made him leave the common day better than any novel set in the modern day could. Ryan settled himself stomach side down on his bed covers, feet tucked under his pillow. The feel of his jogging bottoms was slightly harsh on his newly healed cuts, but Ryan welcomed the brief pain.
Ryan was still sprawled out on his bed when he heard the front door open again. He ignored the sound and turned the page, only stopping when he heard Spencer’s voice again. What the fuck was he doing here again?
“Ryan?” Spencer’s voice said. Ryan didn’t reply, he only shifted so he was standing outside his bedroom, and could hear the young man’s voice more clearly. Spencer was pottering about in his living room, cursing quietly and wondering out loud why he was inside Ryan’s house for the second time that day.
Curiosity overtook him, and Ryan cautiously opened his bedroom door, walking quietly until he was standing in the hallway that connected the living room to where the front door was. Spencer was standing in the middle of the room, looking jittery and unsure of what to do with himself.
“Spencer?” Ryan asked softly, and Spencer’s head whipped round at the sound of his voice, the finger he was gnawing the end of flying to his side.
“Ryan. Ryan, shit I’m sorry for just barging into your house like this but I just saw someone and I had to tell you. I just saw him, working in the Starbucks near our house. I don’t even know if it was definitely him but shit I saw him when I was in there and he looked up and his eyes widened when he saw me and I just ran out of the shop and I don’t think normal people would do that, and not I probably look like ad idiot but shit. Jon. Fucking Jon.” Spencer obviously wasn’t completely thinking about what he was saying, his words were all jumbled up and rushed and it was confusing.
Ryan had really had enough of this mind fuck. “What?” he choked out. This was too much for him. Maybe earlier hadn't been the best idea he had ever had, because Ryan suddenly felt extremely dizzy. It wasn’t a very nice feeling.
“I know! Jon, I saw Jon! You know, I dreamt about him too, do you remember him? You do right? Because you remember me…” Spencer looked at Ryan for a second, assessing Ryan’s features before looking concerned. “Ryan, is everything okay? You look kinda pale…”
Ryan didn’t hear anything Spencer said after that, because Ryan suddenly felt very dizzy. So Ryan passed out.
He woke up with a pounding headache and no idea what was going on or any sense of time. Slowly, he forced his eyelids open and realised he was slumped on the floor, back resting against the old shitty sofa. He groaned and flexed his fingers, bringing them to his head where it was particularly sore. He must have landed on that spot because it was pretty painful. It was only then that everything came back to Ryan, and he suddenly really hoped that the whole fiasco about Spencer coming back into his life was just a dream or something.
“Oh good. You're awake!” Came Spencer’s voice next to him.
So much for that train of thought, then.
Spencer popped into Ryan’s view and sat down next to him, holding a glass of water. Ryan took it gratefully and sipped at it, shifting his position until he was facing Spencer more readily.
“Sorry about that.” He muttered, bringing his lips to the glass again.
“It’s alright. I don’t think you can really plan when to faint.” Spencer snorted faintly before looking at Ryan again, “You okay?” He asked.
Ryan nodded, setting the glass on the floor next to him. “Yeah, it happens fairly often. Don’t worry about it, it’s cool.”
“Oh.” Spencer sounded slightly surprised, but didn’t say anything else. Ryan couldn’t think of what else he could say. So they just sat there in silence for several long moments. Slowly the pounding in Ryan’s head went down and he finally felt able enough to move like a normal human being.
“So…” Ryan said uneasily, trying to break the quiet. “Jon, huh?”
Spencer looked up. “Yeah, Jon. He looks so weird all grown up. Well, so do you, but you're still the skinny fucker you were eight years ago, so it’s kinda easier to put you two together. Jon looks all grown up and shit. It’s weird.”
Ryan snorted slightly. “Yeah, because our entire situation is so fucking normal.”
Spencer looked like he was going to say something else, but he was interrupted by the sound of the front door opening again. Ryan’s eyes widened and he scrambled up from the floor, pulling Spencer with him. His dad was home, and most probably drunk, and he didn’t want Spencer to see that. Also, his dad might get angry about the fact that there was a strange boy in his house. Ryan pulled Spencer through the door to his kitchen, hushing anything Spencer was about to say. He quickly unlocked the back door and opened it, as quietly as he could, motioning for Spencer to go through it. For a moment, Spencer didn't budge.
“Fucking move, Spence.” He hissed, shoving Spencer through the door. “I can't let him see you. There’s a path down the side of the house, you can get home that w-” Ryan cut off sharply at the sound of something smashing and his father swearing loudly. Spencer’s eyes grew wide and he slipped through the door, Ryan shutting it and locking it before Spencer could do anything else.
“GO!” He mouthed to Spencer through the window, making flapping motions with his hands. Spencer nodded once and stumbled off, looking over his shoulder worriedly at Ryan.
Ryan only moved when the door to the kitchen opened again, showing his father. He stared at Ryan blearily before snapping “What the fuck are you doing in here? Get out before I make you.”
He stood there dumbly for a moment, taking in his father’s appearance. Ryan hadn't really looked at his father properly in months, and he was shocked at how old he looked.
And currently, how angry he looked too. “Ryan…” His father started threateningly, raising a fist and stepping towards his son drunkenly. “Get the fuck out of my sight right now, I can't stand to see your face.”
Ryan was all too quick to comply.
R&R, my lovely ficwad family?