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    Aceinthehole
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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 10. One Like Ryder

---Teddy---

I wish I could say the next couple of days were overly loving or sweet, but honestly they just felt, normal. Oliver went back to being a little thorn in my side, and by time I get to him Ryder is too exhausted to talk. But now I understand where both of them are coming from. I understand who they are, and who they want to become.

“Look what your boy did,” Cait let out, slamming a clipboard in front of me. “This is the standard you hold your nurses to? Boy maybe I should transfer to trauma.”

“I’d be happy to let you.” I sarcastically smiled looking down at Nate’s handiwork. Sloppy, and irresponsible as usual. No matter how long I’ve been putting it off, something needs to break here. “I’ll talk to him.”

“Just like when you told Pierre you’d talk to him about the rumor he started?” Cait asked, beginning to stare me down. “I don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s not a good look for you.”

“And that means?” I asked, slowly starting to back to a room.

“It means you look weak Dr. Haner.” She warned with a serious face. “Handle Nate because you didn’t get where you are as quickly and impressively as you did to let a little snake like him ruin it.”

“I’ve got it.” I replied but could tell she wasn’t buying it. I know she was kidding, but I really wish she would transfer over to the E.R. I could really use a responsible and personable nurse like her around here. She just brings a certain life with her, a fighting spirit. Then again that’s probably why they placed her in the psych ward, and probably why she’s been so good there.

As I backed into the room I threw on a serious face, knowing how dark this patient’s situation was. “How are we feeling today? Ready to be discharged?” I asked, but as I saw the despair on the woman’s face I had to fight to keep it off of mine. She’s been here four days now, and performing surgery on her is something I’ll never forget. And the way Cait pulled me from Oli and Ryder’s side; well it was a sacrifice worth making.

“Yup.” She forced out, trying her hardest to be strong. “What time do we have to be gone?”

“You have a while, I still want to observe you for a few hours before you leave.” I explained, looking over to a small boy at her side. He couldn’t be older than eight or nine, but god did his world just change forever. Thank god he wasn’t in the car. Thank god he wasn’t there to witness his father dying and his mother nearly bleeding out. If he was, he might not be here today.

“I understand.” She let out in a nod. She’s trying her hardest to be strong for her son, but her will is still as broken as it was a few days ago.

“Hey buddy, my name is Teddy.” I let out, extending my hand.

“Go on.” His mother let out, forcing him to acknowledge me. “This is Benji.”

The small boy finally turned to me but didn’t say anything. “It’s nice to meet you Benji.” I nodded, letting my hand return to my side. Yet as I took another look at him I recognized a familiar logo on his black shirt. I couldn’t help but take a second look and instantly recognized the word Messiah in dark red letters.

“Messiah fan?” I asked, but still got no response.

“He loves them, isn’t that right?” She asked, but once more he stayed quiet. I can’t help but wonder the damage that’s been done to him. The trauma he’s gone through that I can’t even imagine.

“Can I take him somewhere?” I asked, drawing a quick nod from her. “It won’t be long just right upstairs.” I smiled to him. He stood still at first but eventually she pushed him towards me.

“I’ve got a brother who loves Messiah.” I began, leading him to the elevator. Come to think of it this kid kind of looks like Oli when he was little. He has the whole ‘long hair trying to hide delicate features’ look Oli had. But no matter how hard they try, their soft features will always shine through. Even now as dark as Oli tries to make himself look, well as my mom puts it ‘He’s still a little cutie pie.’.

“So what grade are you in?” I asked, realizing I had been staring off. Just like before I got nothing but air. “Fair enough.” I nodded as the doors dinged open. “But I promise you’re going to love this surprise.” He silently followed me as we finally reached the protected door. I took a breath and slowly opened the it, praying that my gamble would pay off.

Thankfully it was that sweet part of the day where Ryder is still waiting for therapy without actually being worn out by anything yet. “Benji,” I began as the small boy hesitantly followed me into the room. “This is my friend Ryder Sullivan.”

“Oh, hello.” Ryder let out, looking away from the T.V. and at the small boy.

“It’s okay.” I quickly nudged the boy, seeing him standing there frozen. “He’s not anyone too special. After all he’s sitting here watching The Price is Right like a ninety year old woman.”

“It’s entertaining!” Ryder defended shifting his attention to me. “Do you know how much a brand new microwave is?”

“Why does anyone need to know that Ryder?” I asked in a sigh.

“Sorry I don’t have money to waste.” He pouted, trying his hardest to high road me.

“Sure thing Ry.” I rolled my eyes, having already seen the true balance of his bank account. Let’s just say there’s a lot of zeroes and commas in it.

Suddenly the small figure next to me let out a broken breath. “Come on,” Ryder welcomed, waiving him to his side. “I don’t bite, I promise.” Unlike before the boy quickly rushed to Ryder’s side, eager to get an up close and personal view at the rock star. “I like your shirt.” Ryder teased with a forced smile.

“Yo-you’re, you sing for Messiah.” The boy finally spoke observing him closely.

“Mhm.” Ryder hummed with a nod. “Well I used to anyway.” I saw Ryder look from Benji to me, trying to see if we shared any traits.

“He’s a patient’s son.” I quickly explained answering the unasked question.

“My mom’s downstairs.” He sighed in a fragile breath.

“Sorry to hear that, but I’m sure she’s strong.” Ryder tried to comfort.

“She is.” He let out, but the pain in his voice showed he was thinking about someone else. “But I, I lost my dad this week.” The second Ryder heard his words I saw the look in his eyes change. Ryder instantly pulled him in close and slowly began to rub his back.

“That’s a really hard break.” He finally spoke. “But I know how it feels. I-I’m going to be honest with you, going through life without a dad, it sucks. Like a lot.” Ryder began, causing me to gulp. Is this going to backfire one me? Is he too depressed to deal with this? “But at the same time we both have something other people don’t.” The boy slightly tilted his head. “Our dads are always with us, so we have to make sure we make them proud, got it?” The boy quickly nodded to his words. “There will be hard days where you don’t feel him but I promise you he’s there, and when you need him the most, well I guarantee you’ll know he’s with you.”

“I miss him so much.” The young boy admitted as tears began to flow from his eyes.

“I know.” Ryder nodded, pulling him in close again.

“Why is it like this? Why is life so mean?” Benji asked, freezing me in place. Yet for some reason Ryder’s will never wavered.

“It can be dark sometimes can’t it?” Ryder asked drawing another nod from the boy. “But for as dark as it gets, well it gets ten times lighter, I promise it does. Death, it’s a scary thing, but it makes life precious. You might not see that now,” Ryder began. “but if we lived forever life wouldn’t be as meaningful. You have a challenge in front of you. Use every day to live to the absolute fullest. Now you see how valuable every second is, and how fast it can be taken from you, so don’t waste any of it, got that?”

“Yes.” He quickly answered. “But what, what if I forget him?”

“I promise you you won’t.” Ryder quickly replied, holding out his arm. “I lost my dad when I was a few years younger than you, but his face is forever in my head. So much so that when I was eighteen I got these bands added to my wrist. This one is for my mom,” Ryder began showing him the dark tattooed circled Blake had designed all those years ago. “And this one is for my dad. To remind me they’re always there. Besides, no matter what, you’ll always be his son. Nothing can change that.”

“I want something like that one day.” The boy suddenly decided.

Ryder nodded his head and forced a smile. “I think that’s a good idea, but maybe not a tattoo for a while.” The boy mimicked the nod and went back in for another hug.

“Well how about that.” A voice let out in my ear. “Guess there’s a reason he’s so popular.”

“Yeah.” I quickly nodded, wondering how much Dr. Pierre had seen. “He’s always been good with fans from what I remember, but still,” I began, trying to put my thoughts into words. “How can he be so positive when he’s so low?”

“Human’s are extraordinary creatures. We always find ways to rise to the occasion.” He exhaled, trying to keep our words quiet. “And from what I overheard Ryder’s been in the exact same position as that boy. He knows the exact pain the boy is feeling, and is doing everything he can to stop the child from following down the path he chose.”

“So losing his parents is why he’s this sick?” I couldn’t help but ask, knowing the question has been bouncing around in my head for years.

“Yes and no.” Barry answered. “It set the path but it doesn’t mean he had to take it. Do you know who his support system was back then?

“His grandma.” I let out, looking over to the other doctor.

I watched as he worked it out in his head before letting out a sigh. “Just her?” He asked, slightly shocked there wasn’t more.

“Just her.” I repeated in confidence.

“Then there you have it.” He exhaled. “I’m not saying she did a bad job, but that’s a giant role for one person to fill.” He began to explain. “And losing both his parent so young probably resulted in him losing trust in the world. Let me take a guess and say he only trusted her.”

“Yeah.” I confirmed in shock as I looked back over to him.

“He probably had an unhealthy dependency on her which is why when he lost her it all fell apart.” He began, slowly putting the pieces from what he had heard in therapy together with what I was telling him. “And why he formed one with drugs. If I can be so bold,” He let out in a brave breath. “It’s also why he has an unhealthy dependency on you.”

“He, I, there’s no dependency.” I stammered, caught off-guard by the analysis.

“Yes there is.” He confidently decided. “And you have one for him as well, but from what I can tell you had a secure upbringing. You’re autonomous, and were the top of your class. Then again you still live with your parents.”

So this is what all the other doctors mean when they say Barry isn’t afraid to over analyze people. “Sorry!” He quickly apologized. “I didn’t mean to offend you!”

“It’s okay.” I let out; trying to hide the weight he had accidently threw on me. “So, how do we help Ryder?” I asked, looking over at the man still trying his hardest to comfort a boy he had never met.

“The cognitive behavioral therapy I was telling you about should go a long way.” He explained, thinking it over himself. “But we have to show him that the world is safe place he can trust. And that he has a stable support system he can rely on. He does have that right?”

“He has me.” I gloomily sighed. “And I guess my younger brother.”

“But no one else?” Barry once again asked in surprise.

“I guess his old band mates, but I don’t think they left on good terms.” I shrugged, genuinely not knowing what the guys thought of Ryder. “Besides, they let him get to this point. I wouldn’t trust them.”

“Well we need to find him some friends for when he’s released next week.” Barry decided once more. “Do you have any plans with him?”

“Me?” I asked as he shocked me once more.

“Well yes” Barry nodded. “You said it yourself, you’re the only one he has.”

“I barely have a place I can stay!” I gulped, realizing the hole I had dug myself.

“Well he can’t stay alone.” The doctor shrugged. “Maybe he should stay around here a little longer, then move onto an assisted living home.”

“No.” I quickly blurted, accidently grabbing Ryder and Benji’s attention. “I’ll figure something out.” I whispered to him.

“What are you two whispering about?” Ryder asked, shooting us a cautious look. “Doctors are weirdoes, right Benji?”

“Don’t teach him that!” Dr. Pierre quickly let out. “Doctors are a great resource you should trust and call when you,”

The chaos of the moment turned to static in my ears as I thought. It’s funny, I usually love fun reckless moments like this, but Barry’s words are really starting to bounce around in my head. I could move out, but then I’d have to hire a nurse to stay with Ryder while I’m at work. I could put him in an assisted living place, but I barely spent time at home as it is!

I, the only option I can think of is letting Ryder move in. Oliver would spend all day with him when he’s not in school, and dad doesn’t have a job anyway. It, it’d be the perfect situation. That is, if dad would allow it. He’s always been a reasonable person. He’ll come around when I need him to, won’t he?

I let Ryder and Benji hang out a little bit more before I had to play the bad guy and pull Benji from him. Ryder really did rise to the occasion today. He was exactly who I needed him to be, and exactly the man I used to fantasize him turning into.

*************************************************************************************

“Look at that smile.” His mother let out as I led him back into the room. “Did Dr. Haner let you play doctor?”

“No.” The boy quickly shook his head. “He took me to meet Ryder Sullivan!”

The mom quickly looked from the boy to me in confusion. “The singer?”

“Yup.” I replied. “He’s here, for, just to help him recalibrate and focus on new music.” I lied, knowing an eight year wouldn’t take the concept of suicide or drug addiction well.

“Oh Ben,” His mother began, looking back at him. “We shouldn’t disturb the whole hospital like this. It’s,”

“It’s fine.” I let out, finishing the sentence for her. “This place is meant for healing. Besides, Ryder’s an old friend of mine, and he could use a visitor.”

“But the doctors up there must think that,”

“The head doctor was there with us.” I interrupted, trying my hardest to calm her concerns. “He thought it was great, until Ryder called doctors weird.” I teased, causing Benji to giggle. “I, thank you Dr. Haner. You, you’re an angel.”

“Any other doctor here would have done it.” I shrugged, starting to walk back to the door.

“I don’t think so.” Benji suddenly let out. “Thank you Doctor.”

I nodded my head and couldn’t help but smile at the wise words of a nine year old. This is it, this is the moment that makes every second of hard work worth it. Those two will be okay. They have each other now, and even though Dr. Pierre said that’s a hard job for one person, well I have a feeling she can do it.

*************************************************************************************

I was able to carry that good mood into the rest of the day, well, until I ran into Nate that is. He’s been trying his hardest to avoid me all week but I’ve finally found him when I have time to speak, and Cait was right, he has been making me look weak.

“Nathan.” I let out, leaning against the empty reception desk.

“Theodore.” He replied, trying his hardest to be clever.

“Dr. Haner.” I corrected in a strict voice.

“No that’s you silly.” He teased, but the smile fell from his face as our eyes locked. “Long day?”

“No, it’s actually been a good one,” I began, trying my hardest to intimidate him. “but you’ve had a string of rocky days.”

He shot me a cautious look, trying his hardest to play dumb. “I don’t know, this week hasn’t been that bad.”

“Not from where I’m sitting.” I let out, standing up straight. “What the hell were you thinking telling Barry Pierre I’m dating a patient?” The second he heard that question I saw the look in his eyes change. “And what kind of piss poor excuse for work is this?” I asked slamming a clipboard down in front of him, nearly snapping it in two.

“I, um, well you know Dr. Pierre is foreign, maybe he misunderstood me.” Nate stammered, trying his hardest to find an excuse. “There is that language barrier and all.”

“He’s from Canada not France!” I shouted, getting sick of his games. “His English is fine, it’s better than mine!”

“I’m sorry, maybe I misunderstood your relationship with the patient or misspoke.” He gulped, changing up his strategy. “You’re always visiting him, or doing your paperwork in his room instead of at your desk.”

“Because that’s how I treat my patients.” I warned, knowing for a fact he knew better. “What you did was childish, and inexcusable.”

“And I said I’m sorry.” He shrugged, beginning to walk away from me.

“Do not walk away while we’re talking.” I let out freezing him in his tracks. “Because you haven’t even begun to explain how you could be so sloppy.” I reprimanded pushing the clipboard closer to him. “I can’t even make out these medications, how the hell is the pharmacist supposed to? What if we give someone the wrong medicine? That’s your ass and mine.”

“I’m overworked and tired.” He groaned. “No offense, but you really crack the whip around here.”

“If that’s how you feel then maybe you should find a new profession. There are over a hundred nurses and doctors who work here and none of their work looks like this.” I barked, finally losing my temper.

“It’s no biggie, I just need to get more sleep.” He let out, once more feeding me another excuse.

“Then go home and get some Nathan.” I nodded my head. “You’re suspended without pay for the next two days.”

“I, you can’t do that!” He shouted raising his voice back at me, but the second our eyes connected again he froze.

“I’m not going to get into a screaming match with you.” I warned through clenched teeth. “I suggest you leave now while you still have a job. You’re on extremely thin ice.”

He went to say something else but quickly walked away before he did. A few other nurses looked to me then scurried away, quickly going to do what they needed to. It’s rare that I’m this hard on any of them, but god damn it he pushed me to the edge. What else am I supposed to do? Let mediocrity pass around here? He started a stupid rumor and now he’s paying the price for it. And don’t even get me started on the forms he wrote. Maybe I was mean but the E.R. is not place for slip ups.

“Take a break.” One of the head nurses finally intervened. “You need it.”

“I’m fine.” I grumbled, beginning to walk away.

“You’re not.” She sighed following me. “Right now you look strong and fair. Go cool off before you do something that ruins that.”

“Okay.” I nodded, quickly realizing her point. “I, thank you.”

“No thank you Dr. Haner.” She comforted, leading me to the elevator. “It’s about time we had a strong leader in charge around here.”

I nodded once more as the elevator doors shut behind me. So that’s what they think of me? Strong and fair? I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I though it over. I’ll gladly take that.

*************************************************************************************

“You did a good job.” I greeted, once more finding myself back in Ryder’s room. This time he was lying back trying his hardest to regain the energy he had lost from therapy. “I’m really proud of the way you spoke to that kid.”

“I was just doing what you told me.” He shrugged, looking over to me. I couldn’t help but shoot him a curious look as I wheeled a chair over. “Back at one of your lacrosse games when you chewed me out for ignoring that kid.”

“That was so long ago.” I rolled my eyes and sat next to him. “Forget the past, this, this was all you.”

He nodded his head and thought it over. “I forgot what it was like, talking to fans, it’s, I love it.” A soft but genuine smile began on his face as relief filled my heart. “I, maybe I should start writing music again.”

“Yeah?” I asked, not wanting to pressure him one way or another.

“Yeah.” He confirmed. “I, all this time I’ve been writing about me, to help me. But what if I help them? What if I give a voice to them?”

“You have been helping them.” I corrected. “By giving a voice to your own problems you’ve been voicing theirs’.”

“I guess.” He shrugged. “But what if I actually try to voice their problems? Maybe, maybe I can help.”

“You should try it,” I nodded in support. “I know Oliver would love it.”

He let out a short laugh, and for some reason I couldn’t’ help but lean forward. For whatever reason that small smile was pulling me in close. I hesitated for a second but before I could move one way or the other he picked himself up off the mattress and met his lips with mine. Like a damn in flood waters I felt an ocean of emotions flood out of me. It’s been years since I felt a spark like that. But with him it’s there instantly, then again I guess it never really gone.

“Sorry.” He let out, pulling away from me. “I just, I,”

“It’s okay.” I interrupted in a nod. “I, I started it.” The smile on his face grew a little more as he heard those words. “Don’t get ahead of yourself Romeo.” I teased, lightly hitting him with my clipboard. “That kiss could’ve been better.”

“That’s true, you were slacking, but I wasn’t going to say anything.” He teased in a laugh.

I swatted at him again but felt a smile overtake my face. I forgot what it’s like with him. I forgot how easy it all is. Like his grandma always said, he’s my missing piece and I’m his. As I looked into his eyes I felt my smile grow even more. It didn’t take long for me to get all crazy for him again did it? I have to slow myself down, but still, this isn’t a bad thing. Is it?

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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I think having Ryder talking to his young fans is probably almost as important as his scheduled therapy sessions. It forces him to think outside himself, yet also relate his past to their current lives! It takes so much out of him, yet he seems to gain even more than the kids do!  ;-)

 

Clearly Ryder needs to work on his Cognitive Dissonance since his perception of a ‘curse’ is not what the rest of us see. I definitely understand how difficult it is to change how you view those specific things. I also have been diagnosed with Cognitive Dissonance (but I don’t believe I’m cursed).  ;-)

 

Maybe Oli and Benji can start a Messiah Youth fan club!  ;-)

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They do have a place , the house in the cemetery and although it has almost tragic connotations at the moment , it also has good memories , Ollie could hang there after school and they could hire someone for the rest of the time ( money doesn’t seem to be an object) . I don’t believe I would trust a fragile Ryder to the weirdness that has become Teddy’s parents. Building the relationship without recrimination is essential . 

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11 minutes ago, deville said:

They do have a place , the house in the cemetery and although it has almost tragic connotations at the moment , it also has good memories , Ollie could hang there after school and they could hire someone for the rest of the time ( money doesn’t seem to be an object) . I don’t believe I would trust a fragile Ryder to the weirdness that has become Teddy’s parents. Building the relationship without recrimination is essential . 

 

I think Teddy’s hesitant in Hiring a nurse because he doesn’t want to leave Ryder alone with someone he’s not comfortable with. 

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13 minutes ago, deville said:

They do have a place , the house in the cemetery and although it has almost tragic connotations at the moment , it also has good memories , Ollie could hang there after school and they could hire someone for the rest of the time ( money doesn’t seem to be an object) . I don’t believe I would trust a fragile Ryder to the weirdness that has become Teddy’s parents. Building the relationship without recrimination is essential . 

I agree with that too. It was the last place the two had a moment that wasn't entirely horrible before reconnecting. Maybe Blake and (can't remember if this is her name) Liz could keep him company. 

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3 minutes ago, Aceinthehole said:

 

I think Teddy’s hesitant in Hiring a nurse because he doesn’t want to leave Ryder alone with someone he’s not comfortable with. 

See above comment

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13 minutes ago, Aceinthehole said:

 

I think Teddy’s hesitant in Hiring a nurse because he doesn’t want to leave Ryder alone with someone he’s not comfortable with. 

His hesitance is valid , but leaving Ryder with his parents , who he’s just found out have lied to Ollie for years , and his father who apparently actively dislikes Ryder could be infinitely worse . Or the parents may see Ryder , have a revelation and realize what idiots they have been ? Likely? Maybe not! 

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I get a feeling that Nate and Teddy may have dated for a while.  How else would Nate have "known" that Teddy was taking anti-anxiety medication.  Moving in with Teddy's family would just be wrong on so many levels, especially with the way his parents would react.  Ryder and Benji had such a great bonding moment.  Thanks for a great chapter!!

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6 hours ago, Sweetlion said:

No Teddy, it is not a bad thing as long as you keep your eyes wide open. The problems didn't magically heal themselves.

As I expected Ryder will need to be with people. I am dying to know how the talk with the parents go. I don't see Harry agreeing very easily, almost expect Teddy and Ryder to move in with Blake and Liz.

I would not be surprised if we get hit with a curve ball and Ryder and Teddy end up at Mikes 

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4 hours ago, deville said:

His hesitance is valid , but leaving Ryder with his parents , who he’s just found out have lied to Ollie for years , and his father who apparently actively dislikes Ryder could be infinitely worse . Or the parents may see Ryder , have a revelation and realize what idiots they have been ? Likely? Maybe not! 

 

I may be wrong, but to say that Teddy's dad dislikes him might not be quite right, sure he feels guilty about alot of things including their whole relationship, but I can't really see that really either parent dislikes him.....maybe that's just me.

Until their point of view changes though I wouldn't feel comfortable with Ryder being alone with them.

Edited by 1brokNangel
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1 hour ago, mrbossmant said:

I would not be surprised if we get hit with a curve ball and Ryder and Teddy end up at Mikes 

I'm thinking the same thing. 

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I’m enjoying this second half (?) much more than the first, which surprises me even as I write this, but seeing how Teddy and Ryder are starting to make actual ‘grown-up’ decisions and come to terms with big feelings is very gratifying.

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3 hours ago, mrbossmant said:

I would not be surprised if we get hit with a curve ball and Ryder and Teddy end up at Mikes 

:yes: that is a great hypothesis.

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Finally Teddy did something with Nate... About damn time! That kid needed a good chewing...

 

Now that I think of it, Ryder does have a dependency on people. Probably from when he was younger, and lost his parents. And then his grandmother. I totally got it back then why he did what he did to Teddy. But it makes much better sense now. Thank you Dr. Pierre. Ahem anyway, Ryder is amazing still. 

 

That kiss at the end. I'm glad that you can put into words what that feeling is. Not alot of people can.

 

Hugs ❤

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Teddy needs to be careful, emotions are running high and his dad still has no clue what is happening and when he does then sparks might fly.

The way the characters are developing makes for a great read.

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I had a thought that Teddy and Ryder could move into the cemetery house and have Mike for the "sitter." Mike seems to have changed. Teddy's family and friends have issues with Ryder that could complicate if not impede recovery. I was pleasantly surprised when I got to mrbossmant's comment about ending up with Mike! Can't wait to see what's next. 

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17 hours ago, Sam Wyer said:

I’m enjoying this second half (?) much more than the first, which surprises me even as I write this, but seeing how Teddy and Ryder are starting to make actual ‘grown-up’ decisions and come to terms with big feelings is very gratifying.

 

Really glad to hear it! Hopefully everyone else feels that way as well. It's a cool look to see them with "real" problems other than just talking about homecoming, and lacrosse games.

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On 2/8/2018 at 12:41 AM, Aceinthehole said:

 

Really glad to hear it! Hopefully everyone else feels that way as well. It's a cool look to see them with "real" problems other than just talking about homecoming, and lacrosse games.

Now I have to provoke you... Weren't that real problems, for their age and emotional development? The meaning that at the time they gave to going to one of Teddy's games, or to one of Ryder's concert (even before Messiah) was real, it affected them, so the problems around that were also really important for them, at the time. ;)

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