“You’re turning in to your dad Ry.”
“You smell like alcohol.” Jon calmly pointed out.
Brendon cut across his statement. “Who was the girl you were holding hands with?” His eyes narrowed as he glared at me. “You didn’t bring one of them here, did you?”
“One of them? They aren’t aliens.” I commented, as I rolled my eyes in response. I ignored Jon’s statement. I smelled like alcohol because I’d had alcohol during the flight. It was obvious. I didn’t need to point it out, though he evidently felt the need.
“You act different around them. You’re a fake.” Brendon responded, sounding disappointed. It sucked when Brendon was disappointed. It was like disappointing a puppy.
That’s why I would never get a dog. I already had a Brendon.
“She was just some girl I met on the flight, and now she’s gone anyway.” I gazed around for a few seconds. Yep, she was gone.
Jon sighed heavily. “You just can’t help yourself, can you?”
“Obviously not.” I muttered, annoyed with how annoyed my friends had become of me.
I really saw no problem with myself.
Whatever they saw… I just didn’t see it.
Glancing around I realized I was the only person sitting alone in the ice cream shop. It used to be a favorite. I’d come with my dad. He would get chocolate chip mint, and I would get cotton candy. I’d decided to mix the flavors this time around. It was the only tradition we had really had together. The only one that stuck.
The flavors tasted awful together and I hadn’t done much more than lick at it tentatively. The ice cream had started to melt and drip down on to my fingers.
He was a good dad.
Yet I still couldn’t let go of the past, and all that he’d let happen.
Father’s were supposed to protect their daughters.
He was a good dad though. I couldn’t deal with thinking any other way. The bell above the door rang and I looked just in time to see my step mother come through the door in all of her glory. She liked to dress like she was in her teens, and I wasn’t the only one that cringed when in her presence.
“Ice cream?” Her distaste was evident. We’d never gotten along though, so that wasn’t a surprise to me.
“Dad and I used to come here.” I commented. I didn’t want to fight. I never wanted to fight. One thing I’d never quite learned to do was stand up for myself. It was a pity too, because she’d be the first in line.
“Yeah, I know. He always gained weight whenever you were around.” There really was nothing pleasant about her, and yet I still somehow smiled.
“How are you holding up?”
She stared at me for several seconds as if contemplating saying something somewhat decent. Evidently her moral compass hadn’t been fixed since the last time I’d talked to her though, and instead she stayed true to character. “Alex is taking it badly. He loved your dad so. I mean after you left someone had to pick up the pieces…”
I gritted my teeth but said nothing.
It was her fault after all that my father and I lost our connection. She had ruined everything.
“It’s not until next week!” I groaned, already regretting my decision to take part in the ‘rehab’ Jon had set up for me. I didn’t need rehab. They needed rehab for thinking I needed rehab. Idiots.
“So? That doesn’t mean you have a free pass until then!” Jon responded.
Brendon sighed and fell down on to the motel room bed in between Jon and I as we argued it out. He hated arguments. It was another puppy dog quality he had.
“It actually does! I might as well get it out of my system, right?” I couldn’t go without alcohol for seven fucking weeks, especially if I was spending those weeks with Jon and Brendon as chaperones.
“No, no, no.” Jon rolled his eyes. “Ryan, your drinking is becoming a problem. It’s becoming a problem for you, and for us, and for the band.” That kind of stung.
“For the band? It doesn’t affect my job.” I blurted out.
Brendon averted his gaze, as he stared with an odd amount of interest at the floor. The carpet was awful, not interesting at all- but suddenly all of my interest was aimed at it as well as Jon’s follow up words hit home hard.
“You’re turning in to your dad Ry.”
“Is that true Brendon?” I turned the pressure on Brendon, even knowing he was sensitive and prone to cracking. I couldn’t help it. I needed an out. Brendon couldn’t agree. He just couldn’t. I was not my dad. I never would be.
“I’m sorry.” Brendon’s voice cracked as his mood soared downward quickly. It wasn’t the happy little puppy I was used to. This was sad Brendon- and he was sad because of me.
Why the fuck did friends have to be stupid, and care so damn much? I didn’t need this. It wasn’t a problem until they made it in to one.
They were wrong, not me.
“I’m going out.” These were my friends, but I didn’t care. No one was going to make me cry. I was a man for gods sake. I didn’t cry. I didn’t care. They were full of shit, making shit up. They were the problem, not me.
I let those words carry me out of the uncomfortably silent room, the sound of the door closing saying goodbye for me to my friends who only meant well.
I needed a drink.