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    Aceinthehole
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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 26. The First Step

---Ryder---

Watching Mark and Oliver interact with one another I couldn’t help but think back to me and Teddy’s first real date. I remember all the nerves, and who I used to be. I was so different, I thought I was so miserable, but I had no idea just how miserable the world could get. I had everything I ever wanted music, a boyfriend and my grandma. I could live in that summer forever.

As I looked over to Teddy’s proud look I couldn’t help but wonder why I was restricting that old self to one summer. I promised him I wouldn’t be the same as all the other rock stars. I promised him I wouldn’t fall down the path of drugs and alcohol. I promised him I’d be different. But I wasn’t. I was the same as every other god damn musician on this earth. I didn’t just let myself down, I let him down too.

Yet he doesn’t care. He doesn’t hold it against me at all. He’s never once said anything about my addictions, only about my cheating. If I fell into drugs when we dated he would’ve been by my side. No matter what he would be here for me. No matter what he is here for me. Even through it all he’s barely changed, so why have I? Why should I? I-I have this time to recover and become who I want to be. Well maybe I want to be the old Ryder Sullivan. The one that somehow beat the odds and became the rock star he always dreamed of. More importantly the one who finally had the family he had always been praying for. Maybe being Ryder Sullivan isn’t that bad afterall.

“Stop staring you freak.” Oliver taunted, ripping me out of my own head. “Why do you always do that?”

“He’s thinking.” Teddy defended, lightly laying his hand on mine. “You know all those songs you love so much? This is how he came up with them.”

“So you’re writing music?” Mark asked, finally building enough confidence to ask me something.

“I, not right now.” I nervously laughed. “I’m just thinking about a bunch of different stuff. But usually I wind up writing about that stuff later on.”

“So what are you going to write about?” Oli pried with curious eyes.

“Nothing.” I shrugged my shoulders. “We’ve gone through this, I haven’t written in months. You have to help carry me.”

“I never said I was a good lyrical writer.” Oli shrugged. “I’m only thirteen, I only know so many words.”

“You barely know any.” Mark teased, giving him a friendly bump.

“I know more than you.” Oliver smiled, turning back to him.

“No you don’t.” Mark giggled.

“No I don’t.” Oliver instantly caved as Mark’s smile spread between their faces.

Teddy tried his hardest to hide his proud giggle but both boys blushed as soon as they heard it. “I’m sorry.” Teddy quickly apologized. “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I just forgot what it was like to be young.”

“We’re not that old.” I tried to comfort but who am I kidding? Thirty-one and my hearts already giving me issues!

“No, but we’re not all that young either.” Teddy exhaled. “By time my parents were thirty-one I was Oliver’s age.”

“Do you really want a child like Oliver?” I asked in laughter.

Mark stared at Teddy and quickly shook his head no. “No.” Teddy laughed in agreement. “I just feel like there’s so much I want to do.”

“Then let’s do it.” I shrugged, realizing we were losing the interest of the younger boys. As they both stood up I motioned for Oliver to come over to me. “Here.” I whispered sneaking him forty bucks. “Pay for all his games, and make sure you’re having fun.” I instructed, noticing them both eyeing up the arcade machines.

“Thank you.” He grinned, taking the cash and booking it to get back to Mark’s side.

“Don’t give him money.” Teddy protested. “How much did you just give him?”

“None of your business.” I said with a big smile.

He rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I’m going to find out anyway.”

“Sure you will.” I shrugged and watched as Oliver and Mark quickly put on virtual reality headsets.

“Ryder,” He groaned.

“Teddy.” I interrupted. “I appreciate you not wanting me to go broke, but I think I can afford to give the kid some pocket change.”

“You’re going to spoil him.” Teddy warned, trying his hardest to put on a serious look.

“I missed that boat.” I teased. “You already worked some number on him.”

“No, my parents,”

“Don’t lie.” I interrupted with a raised eyebrow. “Are you telling me you didn’t buy him albums, and clothes and posters and.”

“For his birthdays and the holidays sure.” Teddy shrugged.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the guilty look on his face. “For you every sale is a holiday.”

“What’s that mean?” He asked, trying his hardest to stay serious.

“You like shopping.” I answered. “What else does it mean?”

“Jerk.” He shook his head. “Speaking of shopping I think Liz and I are going shopping for her baby tomorrow.”

“That’s cute.” I remarked, not putting too much thought into it.

“She’ll forgive you.” He tried to comfort. “Just give it time.”

“She won’t.” I corrected. “And that’s fine. She has every right to be upset. I just hope you’re not getting baby fever.”

“I’m not getting baby fever.” He lied. “I just like helping them prepare for theirs’.”

“Good, because it’ll be another week or two before I can put a baby in you.” I teased. “And even then I don’t think we’ll be ready for one for a while.”

“Will you ever be ready?” Teddy suddenly asked, as the conversation took a serious turn.

I let out a deep breath but nodded my head. “I have no idea how to be a father, but I want to be.” I nodded my head. “I want three kids. Two boys and a girl.”

“I can work with that.” Teddy smiled. “And you totally know how to be a father, you’re better with Oliver than I am.”

“Yeah but Oliver’s not,”

“Like I said I was thirteen when my parents were our age.” Teddy interrupted. “Oliver’s good practice.”

“I just hope we don’t fuck him up.” I exhaled, looking over at the energetic child with a helmet on.

“We can’t fuck him up worse than my parents have.” Teddy laughed. “Seriously though, he’ll be fine.” He smiled. “We just need to get him out of that school, and to somewhere he can actually succeed.”

“He’d be great at an applied music school.” I shrugged. “And I’m sure I can get him in anywhere he wants.”

“Yeah.” Teddy nodded. “But he’s so happy right now, maybe we should all just leave him be for a while.”

“Yeah.” I nodded my head. “We’re both headed to the top soon though.”

Teddy looked to me then rolled his eyes. “I forgot about your little band.”

“It’s for real.” I insisted. “His creativity and ingenuity on the drums are something I wish I had in Messiah. And his willingness to write all these different styles is going to be other worldly. We’re going to set the indie scene on fire.”

“I know he has the talent, but he’s thirteen.” Teddy shook his head. “Be realistic Ryder.”

“So? I was eighteen when I broke into the scene. Thirteen is totally possible.” I proudly smiled.

“Yeah.” Teddy nodded as he grew quiet.

“I won’t let him make the same mistakes I made.” I quickly comforted.

“How do I know that?” Teddy asked, quickly turning towards me. “You told me that about yourself.”

“I know.” I slowly nodded my head. “But it’s time I go back to who I was. It’s time I take back my name and be the musician I want to be.”

“And my thirteen year old brother is the start to do that?” He skeptically asked.

“No.” I shot down. “He comes later.”

“So then what comes first?” He asked, shooting me a cautious look.

“Isn’t that what everyone wants to know.” I teased, as the waiter began to bring the pies of pizza to our table.

This is going to sound absolutely insane, but Messiah is coming back. Even if it’s just for one album, even if I have to beg and plead the guys. I, I don’t know where to begin but I know once I make the changes I want the music will follow. I know I’ll have something to say. A real goodbye to the fans, and not the childish one I gave them. There won’t be a tour, or even a show after it, just twelve songs. An album like I’ve never put out before. A contagiously optimistic one. One that brings back the old rock sound and sets the stage for me and Oliver.

As the two boys hurriedly made their way back to the table I couldn’t help but laugh. Their conversations are so simple, and their problems are so small, yet they’re so connected. They have the type of bond only years of friendship can build. One that can result in them growing old together. Becoming the people they want to become together.

Then again would Olive like that? Is he like that? Is he like his older brother at all? I know I tell him they’re alike, but other than looks I’m not so certain they are. Sure, they have the same drive. But Oliver is very, eccentric. When he wants something he wants it now, and when he’s done with it, well its old news. It’ll make great qualities for a musician, but maybe not for a rock star. I just hope they can both mature before someone gets hurt!

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

When the date finally wound down and we dropped Mark off at home Oliver’s mood was noticeably, well, teenager like.

“Come on Oli.” Teddy poked, seeing the mood his younger brother was in. “You had to have had fun.”

“I already said I had fun!” He yelped, trying to keep his voice lower. “I just don’t want to go into detail.”

“I just want to know if you kissed him goodnight or not!” Teddy insisted. “It’s totally cool if you didn’t, I just want to know how serious you guys are.”

“Well that’s none of your business.” He smirked, noticing my smile in the mirror. “I’m not telling you either chucklehead.”

“You’ll tell me.” I shrugged. “You love me.”

“I used to love you, than you moved in.” Oliver rolled his eyes. “Now you’re just as annoying as Teddy.”

I rolled my eyes and turned back to him. “If I started singing you’d lose your damn mind.”

“No I wouldn’t.” He lied with a blush. “You’re not even that good.”

“Oh yeah?” I giggled, as he tried his hardest to seem serious.

“Yeah, Greta Van Fleet made rock cooler than metal anyway.” He muttered, but I could tell he didn’t even believe the words himself.

“Ouch.” Teddy laughed, looking over to me.

“I love them too, but at least Messiah didn’t just copy and paste Led Zepplin.” I provoked.

“Whatever, you both copied stuff.” Oli rolled his eyes. “You’re both just having a pissing contest to see who can sound like the older bands better. I’m never going to do that. I’m going to sound unique.”

“Uniquely annoying.” I instigated, causing him to throw headphones in.

I don’t know if I’m ready for teenage Oliver yet! I’ve barely gotten enough fun loving Oli! I don’t need to deal with mood swings and temper tantrums! Especially not one that’s started because of boys! I guess that’s why it’s a good thing we’re not the parents. We can enjoy all the good moods, but when he gets like this I’m definitely handing him back over to Harry! If Harry can even handle him that is!

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

That night Oliver stayed quiet and moody, but I could tell he really enjoyed his first date. I can tell it had left him drained. I mean this was a big deal for him! He went on his first date and it was with a guy! That’s not exactly easy to swallow! I just hope that this new modern world is a lot more accepting to him than it was to Teddy and I. Especially media wise!

The next day rolled around slowly and despite it being his off day I woke up to an empty bed. I really need him to accept that vacation! Especially since my heart and mood is getting better! As I slowly walked downstairs I was frozen by the sight of Liz sitting on our couch.

“It’s noon and you’re just getting up?” She exhaled. “Nice Ryder, real nice.”

“Can I help you?” I asked, reaching up and scratching my head.

“Can you?” She asked. “Teddy told me we were going shopping then he got called into work. I have to wait for another forty minutes until he’s off.”

“Yeah, he sucks.” I shrugged as I heard light footsteps descending the stairs.

“And you let him sleep in too.” She groaned seeing a half awake Oli. “Oliver hun, do you want something to eat?”

“Don’t talk to me like that.” He muttered, rubbing one of his eyes.

“Don’t talk to her like that.” I reprimanded, giving him a light kick to the butt.

“Did you just kick me?” He asked, turning back towards me.

“It was the wind.” I teased. He faked a sneer before heading right back to the kitchen.

“What’s the matter with him?” She asked. “He’s usually so sweet.”

“Sure he is.” I rolled my eyes.

“I’m being serious. What did you do?” She demanded.

“What did I do?” I repeated. “Nothing. He’s going through puberty, he’s moody. I don’t know what to tell you.”

“I can hear you!” He shouted back from the kitchen.

“Well Liz wants to know what’s wrong with you!” I yelped.

“I live with assholes.” He responded without thinking twice.

“Are you really going to be moody today too?” I teased.

“It’s like children are being raised by children around here.” She shook her head. “Harry isn’t even home.”

“He goes to the gym during Sunday afternoons.” I answered. “I guess it’s just me and Oli, well, and you.”

“It doesn’t show.” Oli mocked, clutching a box of cereal and walking right into me.

“That’s disgusting.” I mocked, wrapping my arm around him. “We all use that box.”

“Well now it’s mine.” He teased, continuing to walk into my side.

“Psychopath.” I rolled my eyes, now trying to push him off of me.

Our friendly war continued until finally I heard Liz let out a worried sigh. “He’s fine he’s just being,” I groaned, but as I turned towards her I noticed a pool of water on the couch.

“Ew!” Oliver screeched before I could get my hand over his mouth.

“Liz, um, I,” I gulped, starting to pray to myself.

“I need to go.” She nodded as she tried to stand up. “I’ll see you both later this week.”

“Woh, woh,” I quickly let out. “Oliver go grab towels and water! Where do you think you’re going?”

Oli gulped and quickly ran off to get the resources. “I’m totally fine.” She lied. “This just happens from time to time. Now I really should go take a drive or,”

“I don’t think you’re in any condition for that.” I gulped. “I think we need to get you to a hospital.”

“No I, I’m,” Suddenly she grew quiet as her body froze her in pain. “Okay, okay,” She let out in a deep breath. “Maybe I should go, but I, I can drive myself!” She sped up her words as she tried to cope with the pain.

“You can’t.” I quickly shook my head. “I-I’ll drive you.”

“Do you even know how to drive?!” She yelped as she tried to catch her breath.

“I’ve driven you before.” I shrugged, trying my hardest to stay calm.

“That was thirteen years ago!” She exhaled. “I don’t want you to be the one to drive me to the hospital, and I don’t want moody Oliver to see this.”

“I have ears!” Oli shouted as he quickly made his way back into the room.

“Good, then you heard everything we were saying.” I shrugged, quickly throwing on one of Teddy’s coats and tossing Oliver his. “Now let’s go.”

“I-I think I’ll stay home for this one.” Oliver gulped as he caught the jacket.

“Not a choice.” I shrugged. “I need someone in the back seat with her.” I instructed as I pulled the door open.

“Ryder this isn’t happening, let’s just call an ambulance,”

“There’s no time!” I emphasized. I took a deep breath and pulled all the power to my throat. “Let’s go!” I barked in the most powerful voice I could find.

“Okay, okay,” Liz quickly shook her head. “You don’t need to yell!”

“That was so cool!” Oli yelped as he quickly followed behind her. “Can you teach me how to do that?”

“Maybe one day.” I shrugged and as I took a step out of the house I was greeted by four large boxes. “Hey my guitars came today!”

“Can I have one?” Oli quickly asked. “I promise I’ll take care of it and,”

“Boys!” Liz shouted. “Can we please, just,” She froze as another contraction hit. “Let’s just go!”

“Okay, okay.” I nodded as Oliver handed me the stuff and began to push the boxes inside. I passed Liz the towel and water bottle and helped her into the back seat as Oli quickly ran into the back with her.

It took a second or two for me to get my bearings but the second I did I peeled out as fast as the car would let me. I have no idea whose care it is, or how fast it will go but we have to get to the hospital now!

“Oli call Blake.” I quickly instructed. “Then call your brother and tell him we’re coming to the hospital.”

“No!” Liz shouted. “Blake, Blake’s got this really big work presentation right now, he won’t pick up and even if he does he can’t leave. It’ll just worry him!”

“Are you positive?” I asked, looking through the rear view mirror.

“Yes.” She quickly nodded her head. “And you can try calling Teddy but I just tried ten minutes ago and the line was busy.”

“I, can’t you tell when you’re about to have a baby?” Oliver asked in a panicked voice. “Isn’t there a better way?”

“No.” She shook her head. “Sometimes you know, but sometimes your water breaks and it’s go time.”

“This is disgusting.” He shook his head.

“It’s the miracle of life.” I shook my head and ripped off my watch. “There, he should be calling one of us any minute now.”

“Oh my god, are you high?” Liz groaned. “How the hell does taking off your watch help?”

“It’s connected to my heart.” I tried to quickly explain. “He’ll know.”

“Oh my god! You are high!” She cried out. “Watches can’t be connected to your heart!”

“He means his pulse.” Oliver tried to clarify as his phone started to buzz. “Hey Teddy, we-we,” He stuttered as the information was too much for him. “we-we’re coming to the hospital. Liz, your friend is having her baby.” He nodded his head desperately trying to get a grip over his emotions. “It’s coming right now! Like right now! Ryder is totally fine, he took off his watch to get your attention.” Once more Oliver took a deep breath and nodded his head. “Why are you asking me that? That’s disgusting!” He cried out. “I don’t care if it’s natural! Talk to her!”

He quickly forced Liz his phone as he thought the situation over. “I feel okay.” She answered as another one sided conversation took place. “I-I’m just stressed.” She confessed. “I think the contractions are like two or three minutes apart.” She explained, trying her hardest to fight off another one. “No I can’t put Ryder on the phone! He’s driving!” She let out a long groan before trying to force the phone to the front of the car.

“Hello?” I asked as Oliver grabbed the phone and held it for me.

“Ryder, how are you doing?” He asked, concern soaking his voice. “Is driving going okay?”

“I’m good, everything is totally cool man. We’ll be there in five.” I shrugged, trying my hardest to be calm for everyone in the car.

“And you’re certain?” He asked.

“hundred percent.” I nodded.

“How’s my brother? Does he understand what’s happening?”

“I would hope so.” I cackled, feeling Oli leaning as close as possible to me. “He’s more mature than you give him credit.”

“Stop talking about me!” He yelped in my ear.

“You sure about that?” Teddy laughed and took a deep breath.

“Maybe not.” I swayed my head.

“Look just do your best to calm down the car okay?” Teddy asked as anxiety rang through his voice. “Just like take it slow and sing or something.”

“I can do that.” I happily nodded.

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I’ll see you soon. I love you.” I dismissed before quickly hanging up the phone. “How you doing Liz?” I asked as Oli gave me some space.

“Fine.” She gulped. “But I’m pretty sure I’m going to murder Blake when I see him.”

“Don’t do that, that’s the father of your child.” I softly laughed. “Just take a few deep breaths.” I lightly began to tap against the steering wheel and thought over all the songs I knew, until finally I decided on Golden Slumber by The Beatles.

She was hesitant to hear me sing at first, but a combination of pain and discomfort silenced her as she tried her hardest to just relax. I let you down hard Liz, and I know you won’t forgive me. But I won’t disappoint you again. For once in my life I have everything under control, and it’s all going to be alright.

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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Yet he doesn’t care. He doesn’t hold it against me at all. He’s never once said anything about my addictions, only about my cheating. If I fell into drugs when we dated he would’ve been by my side. No matter what he would be here for me. No matter what he is here for me.

I wouldn’t say that! Teddy does care about the drugs and alcohol. It’s just that there are more important things to worry about! He just doesn’t obsess about them.  ;-)

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Well, that’s an interesting way to get Liz and Ryder to bond!  ;-)

 

And if this doesn’t turn Oli off girls, nothing will! If they want to traumatize kids into not having sex, maybe they should force them all to watch babies being born! Show them everything including the afterbirth! They do it with all those bloody car accident movies!  ;-)

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And for the first time, I actually know the lyrics to one of the songs you mentioned! There have been one or two that I’d heard of, but none that I knew well enough to sing along with! There’s finally an intersection between Ryder's music and mine!  ;-)

 

🎶 Once there was a way
To get back homeward
Once there was a way
To get back home
Sleep, pretty darling
Do not cry!
And I will sing a lullaby

 

Golden slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep, pretty darling
Do not cry!
And I will sing a lullaby

 

Once there was a way
To get back homeward
Once there was a way
To get back home
Sleep, pretty darling
Do not cry!
And I will sing a lullaby… 🎶

 

A new earworm for one of my favorite people!  ;-)

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Ryder. That was a neat trick to use the heart monitor to get Teddy to call.   Liz, what is up that you don’t want Blake to know about his kids birth.  He should at least be called and left a message so that he knows.  I am glad that Ryder has his own plans for healing and redemption.  One last messiah album to thank all the fans and break up the band the right way.  Also to build for the future.  Thanks ace and looking forward to next chapter. 

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Hurry, Ryder, if you don't drive fast enough, you'll not only be a rock star but also an obstetrician--and Oli can be your nurse! (At least, Liz would have to forgive you then, but Oli would be scarred for life!)

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There needs to be a "Yay" option, 😄.

As I age, I believe less and less in random happenings.  There was a reason Liz went into labor with Ryder as the only person she can depend on; (besides the author's discretion, of course) Even if it doesn't bring them to their former glory as friends, it has to make their future interactions better than Liz intended them to be.

I'm proud of Ryder.

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17 hours ago, glennish said:

Ryder. That was a neat trick to use the heart monitor to get Teddy to call.   

 

13 hours ago, Sweetlion said:

And Ryder was very levelheaded, it show a again that he his is best when he is not closed in himself and his dealing with other people's problems.

Ryder is actually smart--very smart.  He has great insight into others, and not just in the way he can see inside Teddy and Oli:  He has connected presumably with millions of people based on his lyrics and his view of the human condition.  He is actually humble--he feels that his music is generic--but he is hailed as the greatest musician of his age.  (At the age of 17, he literally took over the band that was interviewing him and made it into his own.)  Virtually all the stupid decisions that Ryder has ever made were mediated by his major recurrent depression:  He is a brilliant man with an incapacitating disease. If the Haner family made any mistake with the teenaged Ryder it was in not insisting that he get the help he needed (through behaviorists and meds) at that time, as it would have saved him (and his loved ones) needless years of grief.  Now that Ryder is on the mend, his intelligence is once again manifest.

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Hmmm , someone should slap Liz for ruining the couch! Oliver is getting one growing up experience after another , hard and fast . The trust being placed in him , can only build his confidence. 

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