Rydon, cutting, angst, suicide attempt. Lets leave it at that shall we?
He knows bits and pieces, but it seems too much right now.
Ryan sits on the bathroom floor, staring at Masterpiece.
There is so much wrong with this.
Well knowing its wrong is a step in the right direction, isn’t it?
She’s not bleeding out on the ballroom floor just for the attention.
Ryan isn’t on his bathroom floor either.
He just kind of is.
But he try’s to remember how he got there.
Way To Long Ago:
“So you’re giving up a scholarship to go fuck around with guitars all day?”
“Well when you put it like that, yep.”
Funny Ryan thinks, how his dad sees that side of it. Why can’t he love him? His only son. He should know that he doesn’t though. But its his fault. If he didn’t fuck it all up, his dad could be around him without alcohol and wouldn’t have to beat him.
He deserves it.
“Well when you’re homeless and screwed don’t come back here.”
And deal with you again? No, its time to face the music. And Brendon. Who might just love you.
He doesn’t want to remember that, it’s not fair.
Nine Months Ago:
He’s doing what he’s always wanted.
He has music all the time, social functions with people he’s seen on magazines, artists he knows, people he looks up to.
But Ryan is so numb he can’t feel much of anything.
That’s what the razors for. The razor fixs everything. And if that doesn’t work, he doesn’t eat and it will be ok.
Brendon could do much better.
While everyone’s getting high on weed, Ryan was working on the Masterpiece.
No ones notices, no one cares, why would they?
Everyone creates a Masterpiece at least once in their life. Some guys around his age named their album “Masterpiece Theater” for fucks sake.
The only thing is Ryan’s is a bit different.
Six Months Before:
“Do you ever eat?”
“Of course I do, I just have an insane metabolism.”
Everyone just laughs it off.
Spencer looks at him a bit too long.
He’s getting better at this.
“Ryan, get you’re skinny ass out of there! Brendon’s screwed something up.”
He looks at his fat, ugly body, and then sees his beautiful, unfinished Masterpiece.
I’m a little bit smaller today.
His smile lasts until he sees the mess of cords Brendon’s made.
Five Months Before:
The headaches are getting worse.
He’s dizzy and weak and tired and can’t fucking sleep no matter what.
He’s been crawling in with Brendon, not that the younger boy cares, but even he knows Ryan isn’t huggable anymore.
But no one says anything.
Brendon says he’ll be there forever.
“There’s something wrong with Ryan.” He can hear the worry in Spencer’s voice.
It’s not like he’s eavesdropping, they’re just having a conversation late at night, and almost an hour after they thought he was asleep.
“Do you think he’s on drugs?” Jon asks.
“I doubt it,” Brendon sighs.
“Maybe he’s sick,” Jon says.
“Maybe.” But no one sounds convinced.
How could they? I’m not on drugs! Masterpiece is just important.
Ryan decides to ignore it.
He’s walking home.
It feels like the set up for some bad horror movie, the silence, the abandoned looking bungalow Ryan calls home.
He’s pretty sure its an ex-grope house, ex because his dad isn’t sober long enough to be growing drugs. But the place smells like weed and puke and alcohol.
And if you get close enough, blood.
Which is what Ryan’s doing.
His dad is waiting on the porch.
He knows what his dad is going to say.
“Why is Ryan a fuck up?”
“Why would he go for music?”
“Why would he do anything.”
“Why isn’t he dead?”
Ryan isn’t sure why people tell others to pinch them to see if they’re dreaming because Ryan can feel pain in his dreams.
He wakes up in cold sweat, about to scream but stops himself just in time.
He’s not going to sleep tonight, so he might as well go work on Masterpiece.
Someone’s hugging Ryan.
“Ry-ro, wake up,” Brendon whispers in his ear.
He obeys, and can’t remember why he’d fall asleep in the studio, less than a foot from his guitar.
“We couldn’t find you last night,” Brendon seems on the edge of tears.
“Sorry,” he whispers.
Brendon just hugs him again.
The bus is pretty big as far as busses go.
It smells better than Ryan’s dad’s house (he refuses to think of it as home).
Well at least his dad told him the truth and didn’t lie.
People shouldn’t lie to him.
He’s throwing up again.
He’s pretty sure it’s a cinnamon bun Spencer all but forced him to eat.
People shouldn’t care about a fuck up like you.
Three Months Earlier:
“Ryan when was the last time you ate?” Spencer isn’t beating around the bush today.
“I don’t know, lunch”
“Liar, you said you had a big breakfast and would get something later.”
“Fine, breakfast then.”
“No, because Brendon was cranky all morning because he couldn’t wake you up this morning.”
The problem was Brendon just made an awesome teddy bear and blanket. He’s cold all the time now.
He doesn’t deserve Brendon, but it doesn’t matter. He needs Brendon.
The farther he goes, the more Masterpiece comes along, the easier it becomes, but its harder to hid.
“I’m fine, I’ll eat when we get back on the bus.”
Spencer looks at him like You better.
He doesn’t eat though; he gets a phone call from his aunt saying his dads in the hospital.
They don’t think he’s going to make it.
The next few days he stays in bed, or the bathroom.
Masterpiece gets an unexpected change.
Its not his thighs and stomach, its his arms too.
It reads FAILURE in big, red, still slightly bleeding letters.
Shows have been cancelled, press figured it out quick, and all four are just cuddling in Ryan’s bed, telling him it’s going to be ok.
Jon and Spencer need to check something or other, and Ryan is getting tired.
“Will you be here when I wake up?” he asks the younger boy.
“I will for as long as you want me.”
The stupid, fucking, asshole interviewer who took his phone off him.
He needs that to make sure his dad is still alive.
Jon gives the interviewer the finger and Brendon holds his boney, pale purple hand.
It’s a small comfort.
But the blades are more, so much more.
Six Weeks Before:
His dad is gone.
He keeps having nightmare over how it happened.
His liver gave out, and he died talking about how he’d get sober.
Alcohol is a bitch.
No one can afford a funeral, so no ones having one.
His dad doesn’t really deserve it anyways.
He’s not sure when he’s going to finish Masterpiece.
He doesn’t want it to end.
But he’s running out of places to cut.
This time he’s eavesdropping, but only because no one will tell him what’s going on.
“We should go home,” Spencer says.
“I’m really worried about Ryan.” Spencer continues.
“We are too,” Brendon says.
He can’t take this.
“No,” he says flatly while opening the door.
“I want to stay. I don’t want to dwell on it, no ones having a funeral anyways.”
“Are you sure?” Jon asks.
They stare at him for a good minute.
“Well if you’re sure…”
Four Weeks Ago:
He has a routine.
Get up, drink some caffeine, work out, avoid the guys, walk around where ever they are, show up at the venue for sound check, play, sign autograph, cut, throw up, go cuddle with someone, sleep.
He thinks they might be catching on.
But he’s not stopping.
Two Weeks Ago:
Everyone can see it.
There’s something wrong with him.
Rumors fly like wildfire; they say he’s on drugs.
But he is Ryan Ross and he doesn’t do drugs.
Why would he need to?
He has Masterpiece.
It’s the last show.
All three traitors don’t want him going on.
They don’t believe him.
He plays fine.
He looks like a skeleton under the lights. Dead, and they really don’t need that. There’s another band with the label who are the real emo ones.
But he passes out the second they get on the bus.
A Week Before:
His house in L.A., moat and all.
It seems really lonely, but they agreed to stay out of each other’s hair for a bit.
Ryan knows it because failure is probably contagious.
Two Days Before:
He slept for fifty-seven hours.
They only reason is because he’s trained himself to throw up at certain times.
All that comes up is stomach acid.
But Masterpiece is so beautiful.
Five Hours Before:
He hates himself.
Well it makes sense because everyone else does too.
Spencer doesn’t. Brendon doesn’t. Jon doesn’t. He doesn’t think Pete does.
They should. They should hate him because its just a miracle he’s made it this far. He should be dead.
Ten Minutes Before:
He texted Spencer that it wasn’t their fault, downed at least two bottles of painkillers, and decides to finish Masterpiece.
Ryan looks so small on the hospital bed.
“An eating disorder.” Spencer breaks the silence.
“Cutting.” Jon adds sadly.
“Severe depression.” Brendon wants to mimic the doctor, but it sounds pathetic to his ears.
“87 pounds.” Spencer wishes he was talking about a dog or something, not his best friend.
“Fuck” Jon replies.
“That’s how much my sister weighed when she was nine.” Brendon than realizes that was a stupid thing to say.
“He needs help,” Jon breaks the silence.
“We can’t help him.” Brendon wishes that wasn’t true, but he knows Spencer is right.
“People here can.” Jon says
“Ryan’s going to love that.” Brendon wonders what Ryan will do.
“Its not his decision anymore.” Spencer sounds angry, but sad, disappointed. They way Ryan does sometimes.
It seems like a good place to stop talking.
“So you’re going to leave me here.” It wasn’t a question, Ryan knew they were.
“You need to get better.” Brendon says.
“I’m fine.” He wishes he could believe that.
“You tried to kill yourself.” A statement, those were harder to hear.
“I finished the Masterpiece.” Ryan sounds full of pride.
“You need this Ryan.” Spencer sounds final.
“I hate you.” He meant it too.
They make him eat.
He can’t throw up.
Every day he gets up at 7:30, goes and gets his shampoo and makeup from the locked nurses station (he’s curious who killed themselves with eyeliner), eats breakfast, then they have chores, then a community meeting which means having the little kindergarten talking stick, positive affirmations, saying something nice about themselves and about the person on their left. Then the have gym, then therapy for two hours, the teenagers have school, then a snack, quiet time, lunch, theres some outdoor time (but the entire thing is surrounded by a chain link fence three stories high). He probably could jump off it. Then more therapy, group, dinner, some movie, but one night they watch Aladdin, so maybe the place wasn’t total shit.
But it sucked.
Ryan doesn’t want to eat.
They make him eat.
They force it down his throat.
They don’t let him throw it up.
He can’t have anything he could hurt himself with.
Apparently he could kill himself with shoelaces or scarves.
And the therapy is shit.
Theres worksheets and people that are so fun to fuck around with.
But it doesn’t matter; he hates them all.
A month in, Spencer drops of his acoustic guitar. He plays some people music, favorite songs. One night they do a little karaoke night.
But he isn’t making much progress.
“Ok, Ryan, here’s what I want you to do: I want you to draw me a circle on this piece of paper that represent how much Masterpiece means to you. The bigger the circle, the more important it is. Ok, now I want you to draw some that represent everything important to you.”
“Now what?” he asks.
“What’s the biggest circle?”
“Panic!, but Masterpiece is second.”
“And how is Panic doing because of Masterpiece?”
“So what are you going to do?”
It takes exactly thirty-seven days for Ryan to be able to eat normally and not hate himself after.
It takes fifty-three to not want to work on Masterpiece.
At sixty they release him, with a relapse plan and numbers to call and meds.
Lots of medication.
But he knows this is how its going to be.
He shows up on Spencer’s front door.
“Please tell me you didn’t run away.”
“Are you kidding, did you see the security in that place?” he smiles.
Spencer pulls him close.
“Ryan?” he hears Jon and Brendon behind Spencer.
Him anf Brendon look at each other.
Then Brendon hugs him.
“You’re huggable again.” He whispers in Ryan’s hear.
“In rehab, I figured something out.” He whispers back.
“What?” Brendon isn’t really whispering anymore.
“I don’t hate you. In fact, I think I love you.”
“I think I love you too.”
He doesn’t mean to, its just the razor was there and one thing lead to another and yeah.
Now there is seven bleeding lines on his wrist.
He wonders briefly how he managed to become this pain tolerant.
And he runs right into the first person he sees, who happens to be Brendon.
Ryan breaks down in his arms.
“I’m sorry, don’t hate me.”
“I could never hate you.”
The eating rule is simple: He stays with them until he’s eaten enough.
And he’s trying.
They keep regular eating schedules, so he can’t avoid it.
He’s getting there.
Somehow it’s gotten to be a year since he finished Masterpiece.
They spend the entire day hanging out, watching movies, playing video games; they finish a song ad write a new one. Its everything and nothing.
Its not like they know what they’re doing, they just want to be able to breathe tomorrow.
It takes Ryan and Brendon twenty-eight days after the year anniversary of Ryan getting out of rehab, but no ones counting, to get together.
It’s a kiss, short, but full of love.
People who say fireworks are full of crap.
It was more like the only thing in the world was Brendon, because Brendon is going to be there, and he fucking love Brendon and why did this take so long to figure out.
“I really don’t hate you.”
“I really don’t hate you either.”
“Good, because you’re stuck with me now.”