And the worst part about all of it? Ryan wasn’t even the least bit sorry.
This is a just a dream.
Ryan knew that much. Only in a dream would he be watching the sunset on the roof of his house with his head on Brendon’s shoulder and his mother sitting beside him. First of all, his house was just a mountain of rubble now. The image of the pile of splintered wood and shattered glass that he had once called home was brutally vivid in his mind.
Secondly, Brendon was never going to think of him the way Ryan was thinking of him. Ever. Besides, those feelings just weren’t okay in their little town.
And lastly, his mom was gone. He missed her and desperately wanted her to come back, but then again, he didn’t really have much of a choice. It’s hard to come back from the dead.
Ryan closed his eyes and tried to forget the truth at that moment. He just wanted to live in that dream forever and never wake up.
“Ryan, look!” Brendon’s velvety voice filled Ryan’s ears urgently as he pointed out to something in the distance. Ryan mistook the urgency for excitement and opened his eyes with a smile.
That smile didn’t last long.
The sunset he had been watching before was hidden behind sickly, dark green clouds. The wind was starting to pick up as well and Ryan knew exactly what was coming.
“No,” he whispered and shut his eyes tight, willing time to stop and rewind a few minutes.
He hated the next part of the story.
“Ryan, it’s going to be okay,” his mother hugged him close and kissed his forehead, “Good luck, baby.”
Then the warm embrace was gone and Ryan shivered in the increasing wind. He opened his eyes once more to find Brendon gazing out at the gathering funnel clouds with teary eyes.
“No, don’t-” Ryan started.
“See you later, Ry,” Brendon whispered, not meeting his eyes.
“No,” Ryan repeated, louder than before , “NO!”
And then Brendon disappeared with a small “poof”, leaving Ryan to face the now-fully formed tornado alone. The howling winds were ripping at his clothes, whipping his hair every direction. Debris flew past him, nearly striking him more than once. He heard a small voice in the back of his mind telling him to look down. He didn’t want to though, because he knew what he’d see. Despite his efforts not to, Ryan looked down. His vision went straight through the roof and he saw them. He saw the two monsters. One was lying on the couch. Not dead, but almost there. Beer bottles littered the floor around the barely breathing figure. Ryan could almost smell the awful stench of alcohol.
Then there was the other monster. The monster that stood in the doorway; the monster that didn’t bother helping it’s father; the monster that looked at it’s father loathsomely; the monster that would let it’s father die in the approaching storm; the monster that was Ryan himself.
Ryan watched himself turn away from his unconscious father and run to the shelter without a single word.
And the worst part about all of it?
Ryan wasn’t even the least bit sorry.
A scream off in the distance brought Ryan’s attention sharply back to the twister that was mere miles away from his house. The screaming continued as the twister came closer and closer and closer and Ryan realized that the screams were coming from his mouth. He knew that the nightmare would be coming to a close so he closed his eyes and allowed himself to be yanked out of his subconscious.
“Ryan! Is everything okay?” Brendon’s comforting voice held the same urgency that it did in his nightmare.
“Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?” Ryan asked calmly while his eyes remained shut.
“It’s just that... you were, uh, screaming and... yeah...”
“Do you know why I was screaming, Brendon?”
There was silence. Brendon didn’t know at all, so he waited for Ryan to explain himself.
“I’m not who you think, Brendon.”
“W-what do you mean?” Brendon stuttered nervously. He didn’t know what to expect from Ryan anymore. For all he knew, the poor guy could pull a weapon out of his back pocket.
“A monster.” Ryan’s voice was hollow and devoid of emotion.
“Yes, Brendon, I’m a monster. And I’m not the least bit sorry.”