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    Aceinthehole
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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 18. Just Ryder

---Ryder---

As I laid in Teddy’s bed I couldn’t help but be swarmed by a million and one thoughts. I’ve gotten my second chance at life, no, more like my third or fourth, all given to me by the same man. I know Oliver doesn’t see it. I know he’s yet to understand why. But as he grows I pray he sees what an amazing man his older brother is. So forgiving. So loving. So hopeful.

Suddenly I heard the loud slam of a bedroom door followed by muffled arguing downstairs. Was that Oli’s door? Is he home from school already? There’s no way. He must’ve skipped or something. Did I sleep that long? I quickly looked down at the monitor on my wrist ’11:45 AM’ it read confusing me even more. I must be losing my damn mind. I must be hearing things.

A few more minutes passed until finally the muffled arguing downstairs stopped and a soft knock began on my door. “Yeah.” I forced out, slowly sitting up.

“Hey Ryder,” Mrs. Haner exhaled as she stepped in. “Can we talk for a minute or two?”

“Yeah.” I gulped with a quick nod. Did I do something wrong? Did I start an argument? Did Oli misunderstand something I said and do something?

“It’s nothing you did.” She shook her head, seeing the worry on my face. “Oliver, he, he shattered a kid’s nose today.”

I felt surprise enter my face as I heard those words. “Your Oliver?” I couldn’t help but ask.

“Yeah.” She sighed. “As scrawny as he looks, well he packs something fierce. They were originally going to suspend him three days, but now the kids concussed and needs a procedure done so it’s moved up to five.”

“Why’d he do it?” I asked looking into her exhausted eyes.

“Kid called him and Teddy slurs.” She sighed. “And something about them getting fucked in the ass.” She shook her head. “And I get it. I get that he stood up for himself, but he takes things way too far. He just can’t control himself. And I-I know you got bullied but was it ever like that with you growing up?”

I let out a deep sigh and thought it all over. “I got called a lot of names, but I always ignored them. I would throw on headphones and just keep walking.” I shrugged. “But at the same time that’s what made it okay for them to get physical with me. They took my silence as the go ahead to start hitting me, and once it started there was nothing that could stop it.” I explained in a reflective tone. “Thinking back on it, I should’ve fought back more than I did. I should’ve given it right back to them. It would’ve made things a lot easier on me.”

“That’s what I thought.” She nodded her head. “But when Harrison heard Oliver broke the kid’s nose. He wants to sign him up for military school.” She exhaled in a heavy breath. “But I’m not doing that to Oli. He-he’ll be miserable there. I know you just moved in, and you’re just getting to know him.” She shook her head. “And, and you have your own problems,” She began to ramble.

“I’ll talk to him.” I nodded my head.

“Thank you.” She softly exhaled, grateful I had spared her the words. “We, we’re going to get him a therapist for his anger but he needs someone here he can feel safe talking to.”

“Give him some time. He’ll see that he can trust you and Mr. Haner.” I nodded, slowly getting to my feet.

“That’s going to take some time.” She shook her head. “We, we haven’t always been honest with him about things, and it, it’s made a tough situation even more difficult.”

“For what it’s worth I’ve seen a lot worse off kids get better.” I tried to comfort, leading her towards the door. “Oliver will be fine, you’ll see.”

“I hope so.” She shook her head. As she turned to walk down the hallway I saw the weight of the house on her shoulders. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Harry, but he needs to step up. You can’t just ship off your kid like he’s someone else’s problem. Especially not an emotional kid like Oliver.

“Go away!” A young voice shouted as I started to lightly knock on the door.

“Even if it’s me?” I asked, hoping he trusted me as much as his mother thinks he does.

“Even if it’s you!” He repeated in a loud voice but as the seconds began to pass I could feel his resolve fading. “Fine.” He let out.

I slowly opened the door to find Oliver wrapped up in a small ball on his bed. He tries his hardest to act tough, but it’s wearing on him. I know it is. “Thank you for standing up for my boyfriend.” I began, taking a seat next to him.

“It wasn’t about Teddy.” He lied, refusing to look over to me. “I just hate that kid.”

“I’ve been there.” I slowly nodded. “I get it.”

A few minutes of silence passed before Oliver finally looked over to me. “I didn’t mean to make my mom and dad fight.” He let out. As I saw his eyes I realized he’d been crying this whole time. “I just, I just want someone to listen to me.”

I let out a deep breath as I heard those words. I’ve been there before. I’ve been here before. Locking yourself away, crying to yourself because you feel like no one cares. It-It’s one of the worst layers of hell. “Hold on.” I instructed jumping to my feet and darting to my suitcase in the other room. I quickly rummaged through it, desperately looking for my old worn black book, until finally I found it.

“Here.” I exhaled, throwing it next to him. “I’ve been where you are. I-I know what it feels like, and you have every right to be upset.”

“What is this?” He asked slowly reaching for the small rectangle with scraps and scarps of extra paper stuffed into it.

“It’s my song book.” I nodded my head. “I’ve had it, well, forever. My grandma gave it to me when I told her I wanted to be heard, and you know what she told me?” Oli stayed quiet but looked back over to me. “Write songs that will make them listen.”

“But I-I’m not you.” He stuttered, finally removing the rubber band and starting to flip through it. “I can’t write the way you do.”

“No, you’re not me, and you can’t write like I can.” I shook my head. “But that will be your strength. Don’t be me, be Oliver.”

“That’s not good enough.” He muttered, turning back towards the wall.

I let out a deep sigh as I heard those words. My eyes began to scan his room looking for anything I could use as motivation until finally I saw all the different me’s on the wall. “What do you think of me?” I asked looking back to him. “Like as a musician.”

He didn’t answer at first but as silence filled the air I saw him uncomfortably fidget. “I think you’re the best ever.” He embarrassedly responded. “I don’t think anyone will ever be able to top you.”

“So you’re saying I know music?” I asked as he nodded his head. “Well I’m telling you right now I believe in you.” I began, trying my hardest to connect with him. “I believe you can be something special but it all starts here and now.”

“You’re just wasting your time.” He let out, refusing to look at me.

“Come on.” I let out a deep sigh and grabbed him. “Let’s go.”

“Stop!” He shouted trying to fend me off. “Let me go!”

“Nope.” I shook my head trying my hardest to push him off the bed. “You’ve got drums to play.”

“You mean you’ll play a few songs with me?” He quickly popped up as I let him go.

“I never said that.” I rejected. “But I’ll watch you practice.”

He thought it over for a few seconds before letting out a sigh. “Okay.” He finally submitted getting to his feet.

I nodded my head but as we entered the hallway I couldn’t help but give him a friendly shove. He’s just like his brother. Sure, Teddy’s ten times more reserved, but that fire inside, it’s exactly the same. As we passed by the living room I felt Mr. Haner’s eyes fall on us.

“Where do you think you’re going?” He let out, beginning to stare down Oliver.

“Practice drumming.” Oli shrugged. “Ryder said he’ll watch me.”

“After what you pulled?” He asked, trying his hardest to ignore me.

“Mom said I wasn’t in trouble.” He exhaled, but as he went to stop I kept pushing him forward.

“Whatever.” He rolled his eyes. When I was sure Oli was halfway down the stairs I yelled for him to set up and shut the door.

“Hey.” I forced out, looking over at Mr. Haner. “I-I really don’t mean to be overstepping here, but your wife asked me to talk to him. Playing drums, it’s the best thing for him right now.”

“No by all means go ahead. You know my child so well.” He sarcastically bit, looking back over at the T.V.

“I know him well enough to not leave him alone crying in his room.” I let out without even thinking. “I’m sorry.” I quickly apologized. “I didn’t mean that.”

“It’s fine.” Mr. Haner muttered. “Now I know what you think.”

I went to apologize but as I thought back on the scrawny kid crying in his bed I couldn’t bring myself to do it. “Actually, you’re right.” I doubled down. “That is what I think. You let Oliver down today.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” He shook his head. “Oliver let himself down.”

“He’s just a kid, are you going to sit there and tell me you didn’t do stupid shit at thirteen?” I asked but got no reply. “And for the record I’m not calling you a bad father, because you’re not. I saw what you were like with Teddy, and what you were like with me.” Once more he stayed quiet as my words soaked the air. “You gave us both unconditional love, but you’re not doing that with Oli. And I don’t know what the fuck’s happened between then and now but something needs to change.”

Mr. Haner rolled his eyes and stood up. “You’re what happened.” He exhaled, heading towards the stairs. “Those drugs you were on really must’ve messed up your brain if you think I’d be stupid enough to let Oliver grow to be as Naïve as Teddy is.”

“Teddy’s not Naïve, he’s kind.” I shook my head. “He saves people.”

“Yeah well look where that’s gotten him.” Mr. Haner rolled his eyes. “Repeating the same old mistakes from when he was a kid.” As he reached the midway point of the stairs he looked back at me. “If you want to fuck up both my sons go ahead and be my guest.

“At thirty-one Teddy’s already the head of his department at the hospital. He’s destined for great things. Regardless of what you think, you did a great job with him.” I forced out heading back towards the basement door. “And for what it’s worth, I never once blamed you for how I wound up. I never thought you should’ve done more.”

“Like I care what happened.” He exhaled, but this time I could tell he was lying. I could tell it bothered him that I became an addict. That I self-destructed.

I took a deep breath and regained my composure before pulling open the basement door and climbing down the stairs. “You don’t have to fight with him for me.” Oli shook his head, not even bothering to look over to me.

“We weren’t fighting.” I sighed. “We were just having a conversation.”

“Yeah? Well it didn’t sound too friendly from down here.” He muttered, beginning to lightly tap away at his kick drums.

“Play something.” I ordered noticing he was starting to fall into his own head. “Come on. Show me more of what you’ve got.”

He nodded his head and slowly began to warm up. When he was finally loose and calm he began to play away the way I’ve been telling him too. Say what you want about the kid, but he’s a quick learner. He’s already looking so much better behind that kit of his. It’s like he’s finally beginning to draw from his own emotions. That may not sound like much, but imagine feeling like no one’s listening. Imagine feeling like you’re all alone. Now imagine finding some kind of outlet for that feeling. That’s exactly what music was to me, and what it’s becoming for Oliver. I don’t want to count chickens before they hatch but if he keeps going like this, well, I’ll have a drummer to recommend to a few people.

As I noticed his normal style dripping into something more aggressive I couldn’t help but start to worry. The anger slowly started to rise in him as he got more and more excited until finally that wild side of his started to take control.

“Okay! Okay!” I yelped, waving for him to stop. “Why don’t you take a break?”

“But I was just getting somewhere.” He groaned throwing his head back.

“I know.” I slowly nodded my head. “But I don’t want you to burn yourself out yet.”

He let out a sigh but quickly locked eyes with me. “I’ll take a break if you play something for me on guitar.”

“You know I can’t do that.” I shook my head.

“You can.” He encouraged with hope in his eyes. “Acoustic guitar, and just light singing. If anything it’ll help calm you down.”

I swayed my head and I thought it over. He has a point. As long as I pick the right song I should be fine. Before I knew it he was forcing an acoustic guitar on my lap. “If I play you a song then no more fights.” I negotiated as he took a seat right across from me.

“I can’t promise that.” He confessed. “But I can try.”

I couldn’t help but smile at those words. It would’ve been so easy for him to just say yes. To just agree and feed me bullshit, but that’s not Oliver’s way, and I pray it never will be. “Alright, this one’s from one of my favorite bands growing up, maybe you’ll know it.”

As I slowly began to strum away I couldn’t help but look into his eyes and connect with his pain. Once more I found myself falling into the same place as when we played limelight. The same place of having fun while playing again. It was like my soul was finally reconnecting with my body.

As I wrapped it up I could see the awe in his face as he looked at me. Is he always going to stare at me like that when I play? Does he really think I’m that great? Does he really see that much good in me?

“Th-that was amazing!” He nervously stuttered. “I can’t believe you just played for me! I can’t believe Ryder Sullivan just played for me!”

“Alright, alright.” I sheepishly laughed. “It’s not that big a deal, and you don’t have to keep using my full name. You know me now. I’m just Ryder to you.”

“Just Ryder.” He let out as his smile grew wider. “Well just Ryder, can you play me another?”

“No.” I shook my head, knowing I better stop while I’m ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I can feel my heart starting to race but it’s ten times better than when I was jumping around with an electric guitar. “But you can play for me.”

“I-I can’t.” He exhaled. “I don’t know how to play guitar.”

“Alright.” I nodded my head. “I’ll play one more song if you sing it, but nothing Messiah.”

“I can’t sing Messiah anyway.” He grumbled, thinking it over. “I only sing for my band, and we play punk music.” He explained. “So do you know any Next to None or Scandals.”

“Both those bands are way too new for me.” I confessed in a laugh. “You’re going to have to go back to my time if you want a song I know how to play.”

Rise Against?” He quickly asked as I nodded my head once more. “Okay play People Live Here, I think I know it.” He confidently suggested looking up the lyrics on his phone anyway.

I tried my hardest to hide my gulp as he began to sign. Oliver seems to be great at a lot of things in music, but singing, well, that’s really not one of them. His voice is just too flat and stiff. I could try and give him vocal lessons, but even then, sometimes it’s just better if drummers stick to drums. Yet still as he got to the breakdown of the song he nailed the emotions.

I couldn’t help but smile at his ambition. He may not have vocal talent, but he’s got the confidence to commit to it, and sometimes that’s all you need.

“So,” I began, trying my best to carefully word my question. “You’re the singer for your band?”

“Yeah.” He nodded his head. “I-I know I’m not very good at it, but I’m the only one who’s okay with singing in front of a crowd.”

“And why’s that?” I asked as our eyes met.

“Because people already make fun of me anyway.” He shrugged. “So what’s one more thing?”

“You’re a brave kid, you know that?” I asked with a smile.

“That’s not the way they see it.” He muttered more to himself than me.

“Well it’s the way I see it.” I encouraged. “Just because they pick on you, well it doesn’t mean anything. I used to get picked on all the time.”

“Did it ever stop?” He asked, starting to finally let me in.

“Not until I got famous.” I began, trying my hardest to be honest with him. “But things did get better when I found some friends. All you need is two or three good ones and you’re set.”

He nodded his head but grew quiet for a little bit. “Do you think I’m an animal?” He finally let out.

“Not at all.” I quickly answered. “I think that you need to work on your anger and self-control, but we all need to work on things.”

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better.” He grumbled, slowly beginning to beat himself up.

“No, I’m not.” I reached over and gently forced his head back up. “Look at me, I’m here because I need to work on stuff. Me and Teddy wound up dating because he wanted to work on things.”

“What kind of things?” Oliver quickly asked.

“He didn’t want to care about popularity anymore. He wanted to learn to be his own person.” I shrugged. “And when he got there, that’s when I wanted to marry him.”

“So he wasn’t lying.” Oli exhaled as surprise entered his face.

“No.” I laughed. “You can trust Teddy, he won’t lie to you.”

“That’s what you think.” Oliver mumbled, but as if on cue the garage door swung open and Teddy stepped inside.

“You better not have been playing that.” He warned pointing at the guitar in my hands. “Because I’ll cut the strings right now.”

“It’s good to see you too.” I smiled as our eyes met. “Why are you home so early?”

“It’s already three.” He shrugged. “I was in surgery all afternoon so they let me off a couple hours early. How was school Oli?”

Oliver gently nudged me with his foot to explain what had happened but I stayed quiet, knowing he should be the one to tell the story. “I got in a fight.” He finally let out as Teddy walked over and sat next to me.

“Oh.” Teddy exhaled. “Tommy Anderson again?”

“Yeah.” Oliver slowly nodded. “He called me names so I just, I lost my temper.”

“He didn’t just call you names.” I corrected drawing a light kick from him.

“Ryder!” He quietly forced out.

“Was he making fun of Mark too?” Teddy asked, not quite understanding what I meant.

“No.” Oli sighed as his face began to turn red. “You.”

“Oh.” Teddy let out not quite sure what to say. “Well, um, thank you Oli. You don’t look marked up at all, so it couldn’t’ve been that bad.”

“I broke his nose and gave him a concussion.” Oli forced out once more.

“Jesus Christ!” Teddy exclaimed before settling back down. “Sorry, sorry, just, how long are you suspended?”

“For the rest of the week.” He confessed. “But Tommy got three days too.”

“Well he’ll be out for much longer.” Teddy shook his head. “What’d mom say?”

“She wasn’t mad.” He began. “She’s worried but glad I stood up for myself, especially because my teacher wasn’t doing his job. Dad wants to send me to military school.”

“Our dad?” Teddy repeated in shock as Oliver nodded his head. “Well he’s going to have to come up with something else because that’s not happening.”

“You don’t have to lie.” Oliver forced out. “I know you probably want me to go too.”

“Where the hell did you get that?” He asked but got no response. “You’re one of the few reasons I still live here. You drive me crazy and don’t give me privacy but I want you around. After all wh-who was the only one who tried to stop me from leaving a few weeks ago?”

Silence filled the air as Oliver refused to speak. “Me.” He finally let out after a minute.

“That’s right.” Teddy nodded. “So for as much as we fight, well I still love you kid. I need you to know that.”

“That’s disgusting.” Oliver blushed, but it was obvious he felt the same way.

“Just do me a favor and stop fighting.” He request lightly grabbing his brother’s arm. “I don’t want you getting into trouble anymore.”

“I’ll try.” He nodded once more. “I, mom wants to get me a therapist.” He suddenly let out.

“Oh.” Teddy exhaled trying to adjust to the sudden change in conversation. “And what do you think of that?”

“I want you to pick the therapist out.” He forced out. “If you think I need one.”

Teddy fought off a smile as he heard those words. “I’ll fine you a good one, and I think we could all use a therapist.”

A calming silence filled the air as Oliver finally began to find peace in the moment. As a few minutes passed I leaned forward into Oliver’s ear. “Get your brother to try your drums.” I whispered, realizing what a great chance it would be to build their relationship.

“No!” Oliver yelped in a giggle. “He’d never try it!”

“I bet he would.” I let out with raised eyebrows.

“Try what?” Teddy cautiously exhaled.

“My drums.” Oliver replied getting up and grabbing drum sticks.

“Oliver’s right, I’ll never try that.” Teddy laughed but took the drum sticks anyway.

“You know you want to try.” I tempted.

“Yeah.” Oliver piped in. “Aren’t you supposed to try new things?”

“I, uh, yeah.” He surrendered realizing he had to set an example for his brother. He reluctantly stood up and took a seat behind the drums. “Okay, how do I do this?” He asked looking at the two of us.

Oliver waited for me to answer but I shrugged and grew silent wanting this to be a moment between them. “Start with the snare,” Oliver began, walking around him and starting to show him the way.

It took a couple minutes but the two finally got used to their roles as teacher and student. Oliver wasn’t exactly the best at explaining and Teddy wasn’t all that great at listening, but still, I could tell it meant a lot to the both of them. I could tell it was a moment they needed.

When Teddy had finally had enough and rejoined me on the couch I motioned for Oliver to keep practicing. Step one of helping him is going to be burning up all that energy he has. If we can all get him to use it productively, well I guarantee those fights will calm down.

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

“Uh, Teddy and Ryder.” Mrs. Haner called out as she walked down the stairs. “I think you’re needed upstairs.”

I shot Teddy a cautious look as we both stood up and made our ways upstairs. “Keep practicing.” I shouted to Oliver as I noticed him starting to slow down. “You need to learn Panic Attack remember?”

“Yeah, yeah,” He mumbled, going right back to work.

As I walked up the rest of the stairs I could hear Teddy at the front door. “No, yeah, um, I just need you to leave the beer in your car.”

“Um, okay.” Another male voice guardedly replied but as I turned the corner the figure was already heading back to their car.

“Friend from work?” I curiously asked as Teddy walked over to the couch and motioned for me to join him.

“Something like that.” He forced out as the figure reappeared in the doorway. I couldn’t believe my eyes as the man took a step in and froze. His once long blonde hair was now clean cut and styled. Out of everyone I’ve seen from the past he has changed the most. It looked as though that punk kid I knew had been traded in for a business man.

“Teddy,” Blake sighed in a gulp. “Uh, um, uh.”

“Hi Blake.” I forced out standing up as he slowly walked towards us.

“Hey Ryder.” He replied gently shaking my hand. “So this is why I needed to ditch the beer?”

“No.” I shook my head. “You can go get it. It’s fine.”

“No he can’t.” Teddy strictly let out. “You can’t be around it, don’t be stupid.” I let out a groan but didn’t say anything, knowing he was right.

“So,” Blake forced out looking at the two of us. “How long have you guys been hanging out again?”

“We’re actually dating.” Teddy explained in a nod. “And he lives here.”

Shock doesn’t even begin to describe the look on Blake’s face. “Like in this house?”

“Yeah.” Teddy nodded. “He needed a place to stay

“Oh.” Blake exhaled trying his hardest to make sense of it. “When I said I’d support you no matter what you chose, I-I didn’t expect this.”

I discreetly moved closer to Teddy as I saw him starting to grow anxious. “Do you still support it?” He forced out.

“Of course.” Blake quickly nodded. “It’s not my life to live.”

The looks may have changed but the man inside hasn’t. “Oh.” I let out breaking up the awkward silence that had started to fill the room. “Teddy told me Liz is pregnant, so, congratulations.”

“Thank you.” He nodded again. “So how’s life on your end?” The second the words left his tongue I could tell he regretted asking it.

“Could be better.” I shrugged. “But it’s getting there.” Silence filled the air once more as I thought it all over. “I-I’m sorry about everything that happened.”

“It’s okay.” Blake accepted, unsure what else to say.

“Blake.” Teddy forced a laugh, trying to break up the tension. “Relax, it’s just Ryder.”

“I know.” Blake defended looking back at Teddy.

“Do you? Because it looks like you saw a ghost.” Teddy teased. “And I can’t tell if it’s because you’re surprised to see him or because he’s famous.”

“I-I don’t get star struck.” He let out but I could tell he was lying.

“It’s cool man.” I began, trying my hardest to help. “You’ve known me since we were in high school, just relax.”

“I am relaxed.” He insisted finally taking a seat.

“He doesn’t seem relaxed.” Teddy instigated look back to me.

“Don’t even start with this!” Blake yelped, knowing what was coming.

“Oh, he’s totally not relaxed.” I continued feeling Teddy playfully elbow me.

“Just take a deep breath and relax.” Teddy teased as we pushed Blake’s buttons.

“Yeah, I mean we’re in our thirties now.” I shrugged. “There’s no reason to be worried when we hang out. Just sit back, put your feet up and relax.”

“You guys seriously still do this?” Blake frustratedly sighed. “No one finds it funny.”

“Do what?” Teddy asked trying his hardest to play stupid.

“Literally nothing has changed.” He exhaled with a roll of his eyes. “You’re both just bigger and stupider.”

“Blake!” Oliver shouted as the basement door flew open.

“Oliver!” Blake repeated matching his volume. “Jokes on you two, now I have back up.”

“The kid who exclusively dresses in Messiah shirts is going to side against Ryder?” Teddy asked staring Blake down.

“Yes, because I’ve been giving him cool metal gear since he was born.” Blake reminded Oli. “So if he doesn’t side with me he’s dead.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Oli let out looking from Ryder to Blake. “Wait, do you guys know each other well?”

“Oliver.” Teddy laughed in disbelief. “How many times do I have to tell you I dated Ryder in High School? All my friends from then know him.”

“Well Blake never really spoke about him.” Oli muttered to himself.

“Wait a minute.” Blake sat up. “You’re making it sound like I just knew him! I was the one to bring him into our friend group! I set him and your brother up!”

“I don’t know, back then you were reluctant to call him your friend.” Teddy shrugged, pushing his buttons more.

“Was not!” Blake defended in a loud voice.

“You probably were.” I teased, noticing it was all helping Blake to ease up. “Probably didn’t know how to relax back then either.”

“I hate these two so much.” Blake shook his head as he looked over to Oliver. “Back when me and Liz were in High School we would make sure to plan it so they weren’t together with us for too long.”

“Why?” Oliver asked tilting his head slightly.

“Because once one of them gets going the other joins in.” He sighed. “And then they’re both pushing as many buttons as possible. Just, good luck living with them.”

Oli nodded his head then carefully observed us both. “Don’t turn him against us.” I laughed. “Oliver’s like my favorite Haner.”

“Are you trying to sleep on the couch tonight?” Teddy warned as the bolt of energy Blake had warned Oliver about started to grow stronger.

“You’re scared to leave me alone for five minutes when you’re home.” I couldn’t help but tease. “There’s no way you make me sleep on the couch.”

“You just wait and see.” He shrugged, but I knew he was bluffing.

Blake let out a deep sigh and stood up. “Alright, I need to go wrap my head around this. We can hang out again later this week.”

“Maybe when we grab pizza with Mike?” Teddy asked, confusing Blake even more.

“Mike? Mike Shaw?” He asked slowly backing up towards the door.

“Yup.” Teddy nodded. “He was Ryder’s guard in the hospital.”

“Alright but if I come everyone is explaining everything.” Blake warned relieved to be on his way out.

“Deal.” Teddy smiled as Blake pushed open the front door.

“It was good seeing you again Ryder.” Blake forced a smile.

“Good seeing you too.” I repeated as he shut the door behind him.

“I don’t even get a goodbye?” Oli asked throwing his hands up. “He was being so weird.”

I hate to admit it, but Blake was acting weird. Then again I bet I wasn’t acting all that normal either. Its weird seeing pieces of your past like this. But maybe with time things will get back to normal again. Maybe we can get back to where we were.

As night finally rolled around Teddy’s threat fell through and I found myself right back in bed with him. I couldn’t help but groan as he laid into me. The second we started to get ready for bed my mind just seemed to collapse on itself. Maybe it was all the energy I used today, but I can feel myself losing the plot again. I was so close to feeling good too, so close to being back to something that resembles normal.

As the waves of anxiety started to batter my mind I felt tremors begin to take over from the alcohol withdrawal. All my drug withdrawals have run their course but alcohol isn’t like pills or other substances. Alcohol can take weeks to run its course.

“It’s okay.” Teddy quietly whispered. “I’m with you.”

“Can, can I, do you mind,” I bashfully stuttered, trying my hardest to swallow my pride.

“I’ll hold you.” He nodded his head and rolled onto his back, not even needing to hear the statement. The second I could I placed my head on his chest and let him hold me. “I love you so much.” He comforted seeing the pain my mind was starting to jump into. “Therapy tomorrow will help.”

“Yeah.” I groaned, burying my head into him as far as I could. “I love you too.”

He laid a kiss on the top of my head before letting his head fall back onto the pillow. Just like the night before I couldn’t fall asleep. My mind entered vicious cycles of self-doubt and hatred. I mean, what the fuck am I doing here? The Haners don’t need this. They don’t need me moving in and weighing them down. Teddy doesn’t need this. I’ve fucked him up enough for one lifetime. Am I really going to waltz right back in and do it again?

 

1. Sick of Me- Beartooth (Aggressive, 2016)

2. People Live Here- Rise Against (The Black Market, 2014)

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments



Ryder didn’t force his way into the Haner home! Teddy invited him in. He’s part of the family even if Harry, Oli, and he don’t realize it yet.  ;-)

 

Ryder, Oli, and Teddy all need each other. They each have something the others need. They each bring something unique to the mix.  ;-)

 

I’m wondering how Ryder, Teddy, Blake, and Mike will interact together. The very tense scene with Oli, but missing Mike doesn’t bode well for the high school friends. Liz is another piece of the puzzle, albeit currently in the background and angry for now.  ;-)

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“The Haners don’t need this. They don’t need me moving in and weighing them down. Teddy doesn’t need this. I’ve fucked him up enough for one lifetime. Am I really going to waltz right back in and do it again?”

 

Oh oh! Here it comes again.

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A great story and I am enjoying it.

 

I'm just wondering why in the dialog there is no he said, she said. Everything is, he let out, she forced out. 

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Noooo...leave poor Harry alone. Yes he is a grown ass adult but maturity does not depend on a person's age. You learn that the older you get. I know he should know better because he is married with children, has lived long enough to know life isn't always fair, etc. But I don't care. All he needs is a big hug and slap upside his head, then another big hug plus a good cry.

I know this is not a new thread, but it is sad poor Oli does not feel listened to or understood. I know Harry has a lot to do with that, but Harry is not the only Family member in that household. I am glad he has Ryder to be there for him...I know the others are too, but...

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26 minutes ago, badbart said:

I'm just wondering why in the dialog there is no he said, she said. Everything is, he let out, she forced out. 

 

I had an old bad habit of only using said when I was first learning to write and now I guess I've swung the complete other way! I'll be more conscious about it when writing as I'm sure it'll help all of us. 

 

Thank you for pointing it out, I'm always looking for feedback like this. 

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That was a great bonding moment between the Haner boys.  I do wonder why Oli always seems surprised when people mention Ryder and Teddy’s relationship.  By now you would think he would believe it but every time it is brought up he still acts surprised. Are Oli and Teddy co-dependent or something?  Teddy seems to ignore Oli and Oli is mad at Teddy all the time but when moving is mentioned they both balk at it and fight it.  I agree that the whole Haner family should probably go to some kind of counseling.  Anyway. Great chapter thanks. 

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17 minutes ago, glennish said:

That was a great bonding moment between the Haner boys.  I do wonder why Oli always seems surprised when people mention Ryder and Teddy’s relationship.  By now you would think he would believe it but every time it is brought up he still acts surprised. Are Oli and Teddy co-dependent or something?  Teddy seems to ignore Oli and Oli is mad at Teddy all the time but when moving is mentioned they both balk at it and fight it.  I agree that the whole Haner family should probably go to some kind of counseling.  Anyway. Great chapter thanks. 

 

I think for Oliver it's just a very surreal thing. Add on that they've lied to him about it for most of his life. I think he just doesn't know what to believe, especially that the two were talking about marriage at the ages of 18 and 17. 

 

The latter part of your comment will be answered with time ;)

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A great revealing chapter. Oli is Oli. He puts on a loud brave front at times but underneath he hurts just as easily as everyone else and just wants acceptance, love and friendship instead of being picked on by loudmouthed bullies and people who don't seem to understand him and what he needs. I actually like Olie. I think he adds a nice counterpoint or foil to the story. He comes across as very real and very human warts and all but badly wants unconditional love and acceptance which we have seen him not get much of. Maybe Ryder will show the way.to Olie and his family I think that there has been a tentative brake through between Olie and his brother Teddy in this chapter and just maybe in his mum as well.

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18 hours ago, Aceinthehole said:

Also that being said I'm not trying to defend him. He's acting like a complete asshat.

 

that's just the point, there are times when we all act like asshat's. Teddy's father is worried about?? oh yeah Oli, Teddy, Ryder, his parenting ability - so why would he ever dare to have a suck attack.

 

One of the great things about this story is that the characters are complicated and multi-dimensional and not just cardboard cut-outs that are simple and predictable

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2 hours ago, Rndmrunner said:

 

that's just the point, there are times when we all act like asshat's. Teddy's father is worried about?? oh year Oli, Teddy, Ryder, his parenting ability - so why would he ever dare to have a suck attack.

 

One of the great things about this story is that the characters are complicated and multi-dimensional and not just cardboard cut-outs that are simple and predictable

 

Love this analysis. Multi-dimensional characters are something I really hope to keep developing and carrying into other stories. 

 

To quote my personal favorite  writer George R.R. Martin: "No one is a villain in their own story. We're all the heroes of our own stories." 

 

 

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