Ryan lay crumpled on the bed, listening to the door slam behind Spencer. He hurt. It hurt so much more than when his dad hit him; the agony reached all the way to his broken, bleeding heart. How could someone he loved hurt him so much? Dirty. Tainted. A million showers could never make him feel clean again. Sobs shook Ryan's shoulders as he realized what Spencer, his boyfriend, his Spence had done to him. He hated him. He hated himself. He hated his whole, fucking life.
Was the abuse not enough? Would the rape not be enough? When would it end?
Fingernails scratched his face as he tried to soothe himself, long red marks blending with his swollen eyes. Slowly, painfully, he heaved himself up from the bed, pain splintering his insides. His mind was a vast space, hardly enough in there at the moment to tell him what to do. Fortunately, his body was on autopilot, working itself out of the room and outside, desperately yearning for the cool air that stood outside the blazing hell.
His body wobbled and shook, goose bumps threaded in his skin, as the he staggered out into the parking lot. The moon was a subtle yellow, greatly overpowered by the fluorescent asylum parking lot lamp that glared into Ryan’s hazel-green hued orbs. As if being pain-stricken to the point of fainting wasn’t enough. A glint of something caught his eyes after he heaved anything that was once inside him out onto the gravel. It looked metal, smooth, cool. Ryan stumbled over towards it. Gently, he placed his pounding head into it. He was grateful for its calming essence, no matter how insignificant. How could he something that felt so clueless and empty ache so much?
Moments passed that seemed like ages, the teen was finally starting to recover his conscious self.
Curiously, he glanced up on the object that held him up. A Pay phone. Convenient? He reached into a pocket of his unbounded jeans, pulling out two flattened spheres of silver. Oh yes, convenient.
Now all that was left was the decision.
Who to call?
Teacher? Worthless. Daddy? Hell, no. Spencer? Fucking hell, no.
Ryan's mind raced. Who could he call? Wasn't there anyone who fucking cared??
"Ah, no, it’s okay, I guess. Well, if you ever need a friend, you know where to find me."
Deft fingers dialed, a familiar voice greeted him. "Hello?" Brendon sounded like he had just woken up.
"Bren-" Ryan choked on a sob, suddenly unable to speak.
"Ryan? This isn't your number! Where the hell are you? It's almost one!"
Ryan stumbled to answer, "I- I'm at the motel, on Freedmont Street."
"Fuck, what are you doing there? Are you alright?"
"No, I mean-...Don’t worry about it. Can...can you pick me up?"
“Sorry, sorry! I tripped! Don’t worry, I’ll be right over! DON’T MOVE.”
Click. The line went dead.
Brendon's heart raced with fear for his friend. "Hang on Ry, I'll be right there." Brendon grabbed his keys and raced out the door.
Ryan kept still, head throbbing between his knees; he’d heard it helped things. He began to rock back and forth, shaking, sobbing, muttering, surprised no one had kidnapped him to a mental institution yet.
Where was Brendon right now? Where was Spencer? Where was his dad?
He jerked his head up, the sudden movement sending a bullet through his head.
"Ryan!” Ryan heard a voice cry out as he suddenly found himself in arms. So warm and soft, the brunette mused as he snuggled closer in, not caring who it was, just craving the touch. His head found a perfect spot on the shoulder arch as he inhaled the scent of the figure. The purple color made him expect lilac. It stunk like gym socks.
"Ryan?!" the voice grew.
"Oh god, Ryan. Are you okay?" questioned the other as he pulled away, Ryan’s nose following after like a dog after his bone. Are you Okay? And that’s when it hit him. Reality. And, oh, did it sting.
"...I...I...don’t know where to start.", he replied, barely containing his cracking voice.
"Come. Let’s...Let’s talk about this in the car?" Brendon suggested.
Ryan liked the way his face looked, it was sympathetic. He liked the way his eyebrows hunched together, the little wrinkle they formed in between. He liked the quivering lip. He liked the way Brendon's eyes stared into his own, like they would never look at anyone else; those eyes that were all for him.
Brendon grabbed Ryan’s hand and led him towards his battered old car. Ryan loved the warm firmness of Brendon’s hand in his own. It felt safe, so unlike the hell that was tearing him apart inside. Settled into the squishy leather seat, Ryan picked at a loose string in his pants. He couldn’t face Brendon, not when he was looking at him with such compassion; Ryan knew he would start sobbing if he did. “Ryan, please tell me what happened.” Brendon’s voice was gentle and undemanding.
“I- can’t, Bren.” Ryan blinked away the tears clouding his vision.
“I- I’m scared.” Ryan looked down, ashamed, afraid, and alone.
The next thing Ryan knew he was being pulled into yet another hug. Brendon’s strong arms wrapped tightly around his small frame, as Ryan buried his face in Brendon’s shoulder, body shaking with sobs. The two stayed like this for a minute before Ryan began to speak, “He took me out; he said it was a surprise. I never expected… never wanted.. everything just got out of control… I tried to stop him.. he wouldn’t. I wasn’t ready.. not like this.” Ryan let out a fresh sob and buried his face again into Brendon’s neck.
It took Brendon a moment to realize what his friend had just revealed. “What.. fuck Ryan!! Spencer.. I’ll fucking kill him!” Brendon was shaking with fury. He had seen the hurt in Ryan’s eyes, wounds that ran deeper than skin, wounds that might never heal. How the hell could Spencer do this to Ryan, innocent, beautiful, perfect Ryan? “Ryan,” Brendon began, lifting Ryan’s chin to stare into those troubled windows to his soul, “I will make him pay for this. I promise.” Ryan was frightened by the rage that showed in Brendon’s eyes, but comforted at the same time. Brendon would keep him safe. Brendon would never hurt him, not like his dad, not like Spencer, not like everyone else in this fucked up thing he called a life. Brendon was different.
Swiftly, the keys turned inside the car, rearing up the engine.
"Here," Brendon spoke gently while taking off his jacket and laying it on his companion. Ryan nodded in gratitude, throat too raw to speak. Lights whirled around them, swirling, dazzling.
Fourth Street? Spencer’s street?! Ryan felt queasy again, the demon returning to his stomach. Nails found their way back to his creamy-toned skin, gnawing at the softness. It felt like he was leaving marks, like he was about to draw blood, when a hand came upon his own. It enveloped his hand, perfectly rough, perfectly smooth, a rose petal shawl, thorns and all. His eyes darted over to the owner, the possessor’s own staring intently on the road ahead. The hand gave a comforting clench as Ryan sniffled some.
"You’ll get through this." was the last thing he heard before he was left inside the worn out car, staring as his friend walked towards a door.
Brendon strode up to the red door.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
His foot tapped impatiently on the steps.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
He was impatient, but he was waiting, waiting for his prey to come. All he could do was that at the moment was concentrate his hatred into one hell of a furious glare at the door numbers. He needed the practice.
Finally the door creaked open, and with one swing of his arm, Spencer was sent staggering backwards into the door frame.
"What the fucking hell, Brendon???!!!!” swore Spencer, clutching his nose in a vain attempt to stop the flowing blood.
Brendon immediately grabbed Spencer's shoulders and slammed him against the wall, screaming into his face. "YOU FUCKING RAPED HIM SPENCER! HOW THE FUCK COULD YOU DO THAT??!!"
Spencer, holding his gushing nose, looked incredulous, "Brendon, are you off your meds, dude?! What are you talking about?"
Another hit. This time leaving a fleshy, red imprint, clean of blood.
"DON’T FUCKING SCREW AROUND WITH ME SPENCER! You know damn well what I’m talking about!" His eyes softened and his voice hushed as he lowered his gaze from Spencer’s lying ones, "Do you have any idea how much you hurt Ryan?"
"Ryan? What? Is that what he fucking told you? Don’t listen to him, man! He’s fucking lying! Sure, we did it, but c’mon Bren, we’ve been pals since we were five! Who are you going to believe, your bestest friend since the diaper age or some fucking slut that just wants to get in your pants for a day?" Spencer added smiling, cocky and self-assured.
"Fuck you, Spencer! I can tell when you’re lying! Like you’ve said, we’ve been best friends since we five, you’d think I’d know all your sleazy tricks by now!"
Spencer’s face sank.
"Look..." Spencer got quiet, making an unnoticeable glance towards the beat up car as he leaned closer towards Brendon, "I didn’t want to tell anyone, but,..Well, Ryan’s been having a hard time. Today, wasn’t so different from the rest..." He paused for effect as he watched Brendon’s face halt at an expression of realization. "This was just our last. Enough was enough, y’know? I mean, everyday, he would come over to my house, stand by my window and practically beg me to fuck him right there and now. It got old after a while, but I guess it didn’t for him. Jeez, anyone yells ‘rape’ for anything nowadays, eh? You always did look gullible, Bren. ‘Guess you were just another piece in his game to get me back," He added with a shrug.
Brendon’s hand loosened its grip and started to slip as his body stung like acid. Meanwhile, Spencer stood in front of him, eyes gleaming, acknowledging his work. Slyly, after making sure Brendon was stunned enough by his realization and safely inside the foyer, Spencer walked off, edging closer towards the browned car parked ever so nonchalantly in his driveway, a cowering figure hidden within. Spencer calmly stalked over to the passenger’s side of the old car and flung the door open. He pulled Ryan out by his hair, shaking him as he yelled “YOU THINK YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH THAT YOU LITTLE WHORE?” Tears streamed down Ryan’s face as he trembled in Spencer’s grasp. Spencer threw the smaller boy onto the hard pavement. “You think you can just run off and tell BrennyBear anything you want you little bastard?” Spencer kicked Ryan hard in the side. “Fuck you! Nobody will believe you now, slut!” Spencer’s laugh was maniacal as he continued abusing Ryan’s ribs with his shoe. “Hee—eeelllpppp!” Ryan cried, desperate and rewarded with a kick in the face. “Shut up!!” Spencer was unrelenting in his assault.
Inside the house, Brendon, barely recovered from his shock, faintly heard a yell. ‘What the hell?’ He thought, dashing out the door.
Ryan lay curled up in a ball in a vain attempt to protect himself. The numbness, all too familiar from nights with his dad, was beginning to set in. All of a sudden there was a roar and Spencer was on the ground, a furious Brendon on top of him. Brendon was intent on causing as much pain to his long time friend as was physically possibly, but paused when he heard a whimper behind him. With a final punch, Brendon pulled himself up off of Spencer, rushing over to Ryan. Ryan lay motionless sobbing and coughing. “Oh fuck,” Brendon swore, “Ryan I am so sorry, I- I should never have put you in this situation, this is all my fault!” Ryan was trembling too much to answer him. “It’s okay Ry, I’ll get you out of here, you’re gonna be fine.” Cautiously, Brendon placed one arm under Ryan’s knees and the other below his neck and lifted the skinny boy. Throwing a murderous look at Spencer Brendon vowed, “This isn’t over.”
"Hang in there," he spoke gently as he placed the dangling boy in his arms into the car’s seat. He reached over to the other side, wanting to get out of the residence as soon as possible. Quickly, right after buckling Ryan’s seat belt for him (safety first, kiddos. ;D), he started the engine, it’s roaring fumes hardly affecting the already fucked up world.
Ryan stirred from within his wet clothes. Eyelids peacefully opening to the world, he turned his head slightly to the left, glimpsing at Brendon.
"...Are you crying?"
"Wha-Ryan? Ryan?! You’re awake?!"
Ryan stared up from limp position in the seat, Brendon’s face was tear-streaked, illuminating rivers of salty water flowing from his lucid liquid cocoa eyes underneath his glistening dark hair.
"Are you feeling oka—Uhhh, I mean, better? Are you feeling better?" Brendon swiveled over to Ryan, crouching at his side.
"I-Urgh!" Ryan cried out as he tried to swivel as well. His back was practically blooming in pain.
"Ryan....Hold on. Here, I went inside and got some bandages earlier to wrap you up when you woke up, I didn’t think you’d be able to come inside. Sorry. You don’t mind if I,.. If I bandage you up, do you?"
Ryan shook his head in a pathetic no.
Brendon gently pulled Ryan upright, careful not to cause him any more pain than he was already enduring. Pulling Ryan’s shirt over his head, Brendon revealed the many bruises that colored Ryan’s body. Some looked fresh but some were far too old to have been caused by Spencer’s rampage. Suddenly Brendon gasped, his eyes fixed on several large welts crisscrossing Ryan’s back. “Ry..” he whispered, “Oh god Ryan..” Brendon’s fingers traced the cuts inducing a groan of pain from Ryan. “Shit, I’m sorry Ry, what happened?” Ryan turned away, “My dad,” he explained, “he drinks.” The fury was seeping back into Brendon’s veins. Fuck, nobody deserved this! Seeing his friend’s enraged expression, Ryan quickly turned, wincing from the pain in his bruised ribs, to hide the wounds, “It’s no big deal Bren, I’m fine.” Brendon looked up sharply, the intensity of his gaze startling Ryan, “It is a fucking big deal!!” Tears were pouring from Brendon’s eyes, “You’re too good for them to treat you like shit Ry!” “Uh Bren?” “Yeah?” “Could you..?” Ryan gestured to the bandages weakly. “Oh shit, yeah, I’m sorry Ryan.” Brendon tenderly wrapped the bandages around Ryan’s cut and bruised torso, his heart breaking with every gasp of pain that escaped Ryan’s lips.
Finally, the mummification process was done. Closing his eyes, Brendon ran his fingers through his sweat laced hair. Thoughts ran wild through his mind. What should he do? Call the police? Would Ryan be okay with that? It was all too much for one night. His head dropped to the steering wheel, careful to avoid the horn. How could he bare to live through this?
Gentle and soft hair tickled the side of his face as a weight was placed upon his shoulder. The touch was so delicate and faint that he could have mistaken it for that of a child.
“What do you want me to do now?”
Ryan made a slight grunt at this. It sounded like the type of question a toddler would say after being forced to clean his room.
“I don’t know.”
“I mean, well, we can’t just stay in the car all night.”
“For one it’s not in the most sanitary conditions.” He motioned to the 1 foot radius about him.
“It doesn’t matter.” Ryan snuggled farther into his shoulder, memorizing the shape of his protector, the touch, the smell. He never wanted this to go away.
Brendon sighed; Ryan could be so difficult, even after a night like this. He carefully readjusted himself so that Ryan was leaning against his chest, fair hair right under Brendon’s nose. Brendon wrapped his arms around Ryan as his mind raced ‘What the hell am I supposed to do? Ryan can’t go home, not to a father who beats him. He’s hurting and scared; he needs protection, not exactly something his home offers. He’ll have to stay with me’ Brendon decided feeling himself doze off.