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    Aceinthehole
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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 4. Three Months in the Summer

---Teddy—

Blake’s words bounced around in my head for a little while as I quietly sat on the couch and tried to reflect on it all. I did ask all those questions back in high school, but we’re not those same kids anymore. Ryder’s not that innocent shy kid he once was, and I’m no longer naïve enough to think I can save someone. We’re talking like the universe is pushing us together, but maybe it pulled us apart for a reason. Maybe things are just too broken and painful to fall back into place.

“Hey.” Oli forced out as I heard light footsteps begin down the stairs. “Blake said you needed to talk to me.”

“Blake needs to mind his own business.” I exhaled, as my younger brother took his place across from me. Oli shrugged his shoulders but didn’t say anything. I could see caution in his eyes as though he was expecting bad news. “He tell you anything else?”

“No.” He quickly shook his head. “Just bands I should listen to.”

I nodded my head and leaned back in my seat, trying my hardest to stall for as long as I could. “Sorry we couldn’t let you downstairs, we just figured you didn’t want to hear about pregnancy and,”

“Teddy.” He interrupted, seeing right through me.

“You see anything on the news about Messiah?” I forced out, trying to keep eye contact.

“No, I’ve been at school all day.” He answered in a sigh. “And stupid mom and dad took away my phone.”

“You’re thirteen. You don’t even need a phone.” I answered as he began to lie back in his seat. “So you haven’t heard anything?” I asked, realizing I was starting to lose his attention.

“No,” He groaned, at the repeated question. “Is this some type of test or something?”

“I wish it was.” I exhaled, sitting forward in hopes it would grab his attention back. “So, you know how a few days ago you were talking about accidental overdosing?” I asked, finally growing serious with him.

“Yeah.” He cautiously responded, now looking directly into my eyes.

“That’s not what happened with Ryder,” I began, bracing for what his reaction might be. “You can’t go around telling people but, but that night he was trying to kill himself.” The life in his eyes seemed to dim and I could tell what I was saying wasn’t adding up. “You don’t understand, do you?”

“I do.” He finally let out, beginning to stare off. “But, you’re wrong. You guys are wrong.” He shook his head, starting to enter denial. “You don’t know Ryder, and you-you guys guessed! He wouldn’t do that, just listen to his music! He would never kill himself!”

“Oliver,” I bit my lip, unsure where to even begin. “It-it’s not a guess. I’ve seen it before, and this case, it matched up perfectly. You don’t mix the things he did when you’re just messing with drugs.”

“That’s why it was an accident!” He yelped, too excited for his own good. “He was trying to get sober and maybe he forgot how much to take, he,”

I reluctantly stood up and crouched down in front of him. “I spoke to him,” I began to explain, trying my hardest to get through to him. “Trust me, he was trying to kill himself.”

“Maybe he just told you,”

“Oliver.” I interrupted, grabbing onto his hand. “I know that you’re old enough to understand this, and I get it’s hard to hear but he tried to kill himself.”

I could see a combination of anger and disappointment brewing in his eyes as he thought it all over. “You’re so cold hearted! You must love sharing this news!” He suddenly began to shout as it clicked in his head. “You did it! Everyone is finally more miserable than you! Good job Teddy!”

“That’s not what I’m,”

“You always hated that I liked him,” He pouted, letting his anger get the better of him. “You couldn’t wait for him to mess up before you threw it in my face!”

“Oliver!” I reprimanded, accidently squeezing his hand a little too tight.

“You’re such a dick!” He cried, ripping his hand away and attempting to push me to the ground.

“Stop it Oli!” I exhaled, grabbing onto both his arms and holding them back against him. “I really need you to relax.”

“And I really need a better brother!” He spit, trying his hardest to squirm free of my grip.

“Well you’re stuck with me.” I groaned, letting him go and giving him another push down onto the couch. “Now are you going to let me talk?”

“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say!” He pouted but didn’t stand up. “You just want to tear everything down! This is probably the best time in your life! You’re probably barely even trying to help him, you,”

“Oliver!” I shouted, walking over to him and shooting him a stern look. “What the hell is your problem? You’re such a brat! Remember what we spoke about yesterday? Remember when I told you about me and Ryder?”

“Yeah, and that he hurt you! So just fuck him right?” Oli shook his head, trying to kick me away from him. “He can go burn in hell! After all, isn’t that what you want?”

“I can’t do this.” I shook my head, falling back into the chair across from him. “I-I just can’t with you. You think you know it all? Fine! Then go back upstairs.”

“I will!” He pouted, standing up and walking towards the stairs. Yet as he reached the halfway I heard him stop. I felt his stare on me from above as I still struggled to put all the pieces together myself. “I’m not going to feel bad just because you’re trying to look all sad.”

“You’re so stupid.” I shook my head, still not looking up. “You talk like you know everything, but you’re just a clueless little kid.” I spit as the words flowed out. “You think that I want to believe Ryder tried to kill himself? You think I want to see him in pain every day?” I asked, but got silence in return. “I used to fall asleep holding him. I-I used to talk to him every single day. We were supposed to get married, we had a plan and all.”

“Stop lying, you try,”

“Ask mom or dad. I’m not lying.” I interrupted, staring off into my own world. “He was going to propose at the end of the school year. His grandma suggested it, and it just felt right. He was my fucking world Oliver. Then it all fell apart.”

“You’re just telling me this so that,”

“Fine!” I finally let out, jumping to my feet. “You want proof! Let’s give you fucking proof!” I shouted, finally losing the last of my patience. I rushed up the stairs and pushed past him, trying my hardest to make a point. I heard his light footsteps behind me as he desperately tried to keep up. As we entered my room I opened a draw and pulled out the old white C.D. case. “He gave me this before he left for Messiah’s first real tour.” I let out, opening it and forcing the C.D. right into my laptop.

As he saw my attention redirect towards the computer he quickly took the case out of my hands and looked it over. “It-it’s fake.” He let out in disbelief.

Before he could say anymore I quickly scrubbed through the C.D. making sure to stop every now and then so he could hear Ryder’s voice. Until finally I reached the end of the last song.

Hey Teddy,” Ryder giggled as the music stopped. “If you’re listening to this it means you’re at the end of the C.D., and maybe you actually miss me!” He laughed. “But probably not because you have your parents, and Blake, and Liz, and my Grandma, and even in a few months Oliver! Or Olivia! But I think my grandma’s right about it being a boy.” Oli’s face began to change as he heard his own name. I couldn’t fully read the expression; it was some type of mix between shock and sadness. “Anyway, what I’m saying is if you do miss me, well, don’t you stupid ass! You have so much going on right now! So many amazing friends to hang out with! But if that doesn’t help, if you’re having a bad day, well we’re in this together.” Oli quickly looked up to me as he heard those words. “You’re the greatest thing to ever happen to me, you-you’re the reason I get up in the morning. I wouldn’t be here without you! Messiah wouldn’t exist without you! I love you so fucking much Teddy Haner. Never ever forget that. I’ll talk to you later, I love you.”

I turned my chair towards the laptop, pretending to be busy as Oli stood there, letting it all hit him. Every now and then I would glance over at him but I could tell the small speech didn’t add up. That it wasn’t consistent with his version of what had happened.

“How’d he know?” Oli finally let out, beginning to stare at me.

“How’d he know what?” I sighed, wishing that he would just go to his room already.

“My name.” Oli forced out, still not grasping what he had heard. “Was this a prank? Are you trying to,”

“We were dating when mom was pregnant with you.” I interrupted, not wanting him to fantasize more than he already was. “He’s the one that suggested the name Oliver.” Oli slowly walked over to my bed and sat down, trying his hardest to get a grip on anything that was happening. “What?” I asked, leaning back and looking at him. “What part of this don’t you understand?”

“You two weren’t that close.” He shook his head, looking at the C.D. case in his hands. “Mom and dad always said it was just a summer thing. They-they said it wasn’t like life or death. I-I thought the video of you and Ryder on stage in Atlanta was him being dramatic. I thought it was a gay rights thing.”

I let out a sigh, realizing that yesterday’s conversation had never fully registered in his head. “It wasn’t.” I let out, trying my hardest to not let my emotions show. “We were it, he was my soul mate. We only dated for three months, but everything we did, we did together.” I shook my head. “I was there when Broken Home was being recorded, hell, that signed copy you have in your room was the first ever made. Same with the red E.P.”

Oli grew quiet as the pieces finally started to connect. “Why’d he do it?” He finally exhaled, looking down at the floor. “Why’d he try to kill himself?”

As I heard his question I quickly stood up and sat next to him on the bed. “He’s really sick.” I exhaled, cautiously putting my arm around him. “His drug problem, that’s barely even the beginning.” I exhaled, as he moved closer to me. “He has major depressive disorder, and extremely bad anxiety. Back when we were kids he convinced himself he was a curse, he told himself that anyone that got close would only get hurt.” I tried my hardest to stay strong for the two of us, but could feel my own resolve starting to fade. “And his life only confirmed it. His parents died before he was five, and when he finally found happiness his grandma passed.” I shook my head as flashes of the police officer at our door ran through my head. “It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t like she was sick and we knew it. One day she just had a spell of dementia and got hit by a car. She was just gone. No one got to say goodbye. No one got to see her again. It was just, the end.”

I could feel his eyes observing me as he heard my words. I know he’s heard these stories before from being a fan, but I think seeing the emotions on my face, seeing the sadness engulf me, well it finally made it all real to him. “I don’t get it.” He shook his head. “Then why’d he cheat on you? Dad said you weren’t that serious and you learned that after,”

“Stop thinking about what mom and dad said, I-I have no idea what they were thinking or why I let them tell you that bullshit.” I shook my head, knowing my next bone to pick was with them. “He-he cheated on me because he thought he could protect me. He thought that if I hated him it would be easier to move on. He was scared if I stayed with him his curse would catch up with me.”

“But there is no curse!” Oli yelped, getting too excited for his own good. “You have to tell him that!”

“It’s not that simple.” I exhaled, trying my hardest to hide the tear or two that had escaped my eyes. “I told him that over and over and over again. But it-it’s something that he has to realize on his own.”

Once more I could see Oli get trapped inside his own mind. “Wh-what if I ever get like that?” He asked, starting to think about himself. “Ryder always looked so strong. I-if he couldn’t handle it, then what about me? He’s so successful and smart and I’m not even half,”

“Oliver, stop,” I exhaled, through a broken breath. I felt my hands go up and rest on his shoulder. “You won’t get like that. Yo-you have a family who loves you, and friends to talk to. He never had any of that. We love you so much, we, I-I’d never let it get like that.”

He uncomfortably shifted as he heard my words. I could see relief in his eyes but suddenly it was tackled by something else. “I don’t have friends.” He finally let out, as his eyes drifted.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, trying my hardest to reconnect our eyes. “That kid Mark always comes over, and then you have your band. You have plenty of friends!”

“Mark only wants to hang out with his girlfriend now.” Oli mumbled, still not looking up. “And my band is stupid. They have no idea what’s going on most of the time.”

“You’re thirteen. Mark and his girlfriend won’t last and before you know it he’ll be hanging out with you again.” I let out, trying my hardest to comfort him. “And don’t call your band stupid, give them an honest try, maybe you’ll have more in common than you think! Besides, if you don’t want to do any of that maybe you can get a girlfriend.” I let out as he finally looked back at me. “Or boyfriend!”

“Girlfriend.” He replied, but I could see some uncertainty in his eyes. A few seconds of silence passed before I saw words forcing their way to the surface. “I, when did you know you liked boys and not girls?”

“My whole life.” I shrugged, trying my hardest to think back. “I was lucky like that, but some guys don’t know until they grow up.”

He shrugged his shoulders, but once more I could tell there was an insecurity growing. “But isn’t it like automatically set to liking girls?”

“No,” I couldn’t help but smile as the hostility between us left. “There’s no default to sexuality. And sometimes it’s not set to one or the other, sometimes people like both.”

“Oh,” he let out, thinking it over.” Can I, can I tell you something?”

“Of course,” I nodded, reaching out my pinkie but he swatted it away, too old for something that ‘silly’.

“I, the last time I hung out with Mark, I, we kissed.” He confessed as a blush began to engulf his face. “I don’t know why, I just leaned in then he did too. But he has a girlfriend, and I like girls, I think.”

“It’s okay,” I shrugged; relieved it was something so small. “You’re young, and that, it’s completely normal. You know Blake kissed me when we were kids?”

“No he didn’t.” Oli shook his head, slightly looking to my eyes.

“I swear. It was a bet at a party, so we kissed.” I laughed, recalling the old memory. “He hated it so much, made everyone there swear to never tell anyone.”

“Did they keep their promise?” He asked, finally putting faith in my words.

“No,” I shook my head. “Sure, some kids laughed for a few days but no one actually cared.”

“Oh,” He exhaled, and just like that I watched him begin to retreat again.

“Oliver, I’ve been out my whole life.” I began, not sure what was going on with him. “I’ve been bullied, teased, taunted and all that comes with it. But then before it could keep happening I stepped up and owned it. They couldn’t call me gay because I just was. If they asked me to look at their bodies I called them hot and it made them too uncomfortable to keep teasing me.” I explained, gently squeezing his shoulders. “Always be proud of yourself no matter what you are, okay?”

“Do you think mom and dad would get it if I did date a guy for a little while then just dated girls?” He asked, trying to form his own opinion on sexuality.

“Mom and dad won’t care who you bring home as long as they treat you right.” I nodded with a smile. “Don’t worry about their gender. Just focus on how you feel about them.” He softly nodded his head and let my words sink in. I know there’s a large chance that he’s just exploring his own sexuality, and isn’t actually gay, but it’s kind of exciting that he might bring a boy home. He’s just thirteen but maybe having to take care of someone else will help him mature. And maybe if it’s a guy we’ll finally have something in common.

“Please don’t tell anyone.” He let out after a few seconds of silence. “I just, I-“

“It’s cool, your secret is safe.” I comforted, letting go of him with a quick pat on the back. “If you ever want to talk about it more I’m around.”

“When you’re not being such a butt maybe.” He teased, getting up and walking away, yet as he turned the corner I saw him linger a bit. “I’m sorry about what happened when you were younger.” He finally forced out, not sure if the apology was okay or not. “And I’m sorry about what’s happening now.”

I forced a smile and nodded to him, showing that it was okay. He’s such a hard headed kid. The second he gets something in his head there’s just no budging him. It’s like world war three just to get him to admit he’s wrong sometimes, and yet when he calms down and we have moments like this, it’s just nice to have someone to talk to.

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

As I waked out of my room and down the stairs I couldn’t help but let the lingering sadness turn to a little bit of anger. I know it’s partially my fault for letting my parents lie to him, but what the hell were they thinking? I didn’t know they would let it get to this point.

“Hey, dinner should be done soon.” My dad let out, as he and my mom set up the table and food.

“We need to talk.” I let out, before they could say anything else.

They quickly glanced to one another before he turned back towards me. “What’s up?” He asked, bracing for what it would be about.

“Why’d you water down me and Ryder’s relationship to Oli?” I shrugged, confronting them about the relationship for the first time in thirteen years.

Dad quickly looked back towards mom, unsure what exactly to say. “We just, we didn’t want him bothering you about it, or thinking that you were taken advantage of.” Mom spoke as dad tried to come up with something better.

I shot her a confused look but saw dad step up. “We didn’t want him to think his older brother was weak and in pain.” He exhaled, looking directly into my eyes. “Seven years had passed before he even started to ask about it, and we, what were we supposed to tell him? That you were still upset about something that happened years and years ago? We didn’t want him to see you like that.”

“But it was the truth.” I let out, slowly clenching my fist.

“We know,” Mom spoke back up. “but that doesn’t mean he had to know it. We wanted him to know how strong you are, that when you got cheated on you weren’t afraid to kick him to the curb. We wanted him to have a good role model growing up.”

“Except it was all bullshit.” I finally bit back. “You know I didn’t throw Ryder to the curb. You know I tried to get him to come back home.” My mom looked to my dad out of concern but didn’t say anything. “Besides, you guys didn’t make me look strong; you made me look like a dick.”

“Teddy!” My mom let out, trying her hardest to stall the moment.

“I’m thirty-one mom, I’ll curse if the situation deserves it, and right now it does.” I could feel my frustrations beginning to grow as I looked at them both. “Especially since he just yelled at me for leaving Ryder when he needed me the most, he thinks I’m cold hearted because of it all.” I shook my head, as they finally gave me their full attention. “He goes back and he sees the videos of eighteen year old Ryder crying on camera because of the cheating and being sorry, then he comes to you two and you’re talking about how strong I am for tossing Ryder away!” I yelped, but didn’t get a response. “He sees a young drug addict that needs help, and thinks I did that to him!”

“We never meant for him to take it like that. If we knew we would’ve,”

“Well he does.” I interrupted, not wanting to hear about the could’ve beens. A few minutes of silence passed before they finally looked back at me. “Why the hell did you make it sound like a summer stint?”

“That’s what it was.” Dad shook his head, refusing to think about it. “It was three months in the summer a few years ago.”

“Except it wasn’t just three months, and you know that.” I shook my head, frustration turning to anger. “What about that night I came home and told you about marrying him? Does that sound like a summer stint? Or that time I fell asleep in his arms because I was having a bad day. Because when mom got home you said we reminded you of the two of you.”

“That’s enough Teddy.” He shook his head, not wanting to be reminded of the past.

“Why?” I shook my head, forcing eye contact. “I don’t get why this house is so fucking weird about Ryder Sullivan! Oliver’s obsessed with him, and you two treat him like the ghost of Christmas past! I was head over heels for him at some point, so stop fucking lying to yourselves and making me look like an asshole!”

“Theodore!” My dad shouted, finally having had it. “I said that’s enough!”

“That is enough.” I nodded my head, standing up and heading towards the living room. “I don’t know why I fucking live here anymore. I’ll just bite the debt for a while and rent an apartment.”

I saw my mother go to speak but my dad stopped her before she could. My dad hasn’t become a cruel man by any means, he’s still amazing and helpful whenever I need him, well, except when it comes to Ryder. He just doesn’t see it the way I see it. He takes responsibility for us dating, and eventually breaking up. He takes responsibility for my pain. He claims he pressured me to date him, and set me up for a broken heart. He thinks he hurt his son, and that, it must be a guilt like no other.

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

The second I hit the top of the stairs I saw Oli sitting on them, no doubt listening in on our conversation. “What are you doing?” He let out, as I pushed past him and made a b-line towards my room.

“Packing.” I grunted, without hesitating.

“But why?” He asked, quickly following behind me.

“Because mom and dad still treat me like a kid and you listen in on everything I say to them.” I muttered, grabbing a suitcase from under my bed and pulling it open.

“Oh,” He exhaled, walking over and taking a seat at my desk. It was weird, as I slowly began to pack he didn’t say anything, but as the suitcase reached its halfway mark he sat up. “What are you doing?” He repeated, trying to force eye contact.

“Oliver,” I let out shaking my head. “Packing!” I repeated. “So if you could leave me alone,”

“But you’re not actually right?” He asked, starting to grow worried. “Like this is just to make a point right?”

“No.” I quickly shook my head. “I’m going to go sleep and Blake and Liz’s then go find my own apartment.” I forced out, too angry to think of an actual plan.

“That’s stupid. Liz is pregnant, you don’t want to be around that.” He explain, trying to come up with something to stop me.

“I’m a doctor; I see a lot worse than pregnant women.” I shook my head, not even wanting to know what a teenager thinks pregnancy is like. As I opened another draw I noticed Oli trying to shut my suitcase. “Oli!”

“You’re not leaving.” He decided with a shake of his head. “I’m not letting you!” he insisted, taking a seat down on the suitcase, but the second he did the top folded in sending him falling head first right into the zipper. “Teddy!” he screamed as he fell.

I went to grab him, but by time I got over he was already laying down in the suitcase. “You’re alright.” I sighed, reaching down for his hand and pulling him up. “This is why you don’t sit on suitcases.”

As I got a good look at his face I saw fear begin to form in his eyes as blood flowed from his cheek. He quickly put his finger up to his face, but I grabbed his hand before he could see it. “You’re okay.” I lied noticing the short deep cut on his face. “Let’s just go get you cleaned up.”

He nodded his head but knew something wasn’t quite right. The second we walked into the bathroom and he saw the cut on his cheek he began to freak out. “Teddy! Teddy!” He yelped, as his fear of blood got the better of him. “I, Teddy! My cheek!”

“Alright, alright,” I waived off, trying my hardest to calm him down. “It’s not bad at all. I’ve seen so much worse.” I let out, taking a wet rag and wiping the blood away.

“What’s going on?” Mom shouted, rushing over to the small bathroom. “What happened?!”

“He tried to sit on my suitcase and fell through it.” I sighed with a shake of my head. “His cheek must’ve caught the zipper on his way down.”

“That can happen?” She asked, nervously looking at the blood consistently flowing from his face.

“You’d be amazing at what can happen.” I mumbled, taking a long look at his cut. “He’ll be okay though. Why don’t you keep the rag up against it, and go eat dinner with dad?” I asked as he gently nodded his head.

“No more packing though.” He forced out, staring at me as he walked out the room. “I need you around later if it doesn’t stop bleeding.”

I nodded my head but the second he went down the hall walked back over to my room. “What do we do if it doesn’t stop?” She asked as I rummaged through my closet for my emergency first aid kit.

“It’s not going to.” I shook my head, finally finding the large red box. “He needs stitches, I just didn’t want him to freak out.”

“Well where do we take him?” She quickly shook her head. “Can you come with us to the E.R. so he can get a good doctor?”

I rolled my eyes, and walked past her into the hallway. “Or you can just get your son that’s a surgeon to do it.”

“Oh, yeah,” She let out, quickly following behind me. “I’m sorry, I’m just, worried.”

“Don’t be.” I exhaled shaking my head. “If he sees you’re worried he’s going to be worried.” I saw her nod her head but could tell it was going to be a long night.

“What’s that?” Oli quickly gulped as he saw the box in my hand. “Dad! Tell Teddy to stay away!” He shouted, realizing what the emergency kit meant. “You can leave if you want! You can keep packing! I’ll stay in my room!”

“Oliver, I’m sure he just wants to clean it out.” My dad exhaled, trying his hardest to calm down his son.

“Yeah.” I nodded, dropping the box on the table and taking a seat across from him. “I just want to clean it out.”

“You did that in the bathroom!” He yelped, trying to find a way around it.

“I didn’t have cleaners and all that.” I explained, throwing on a pair of gloves. “It’ll only sting a bit, I promise.” He tried to pull away from me but our dad held him up straight so I could lightly go over the cut with a wipe. “Oliver,” I began, ready for a battle. “I know this might scare you, but you need some stitches.”

“No I don’t!” He quickly let out. “I’ve had worse cuts! I don’t need,”

“Do you want to go to the E.R. for them, or do you want me to give them to you?” I asked, but got no response. “Alright, E.R. it is.” I groaned, standing up, but the second I got to my feet I felt a hand try and pull me back down.

“You do it.” He finally spoke, hand slightly shaking. “Just, don’t make it hurt.”

“I won’t.” I nodded, but the second I sat back down and handed my dad the needle I saw him tense up. “Go run that over the stove to sterilize it.” I instructed as I began to take out some stitching thread. I watched as Oli tensed up more in his seat, worriedly watching our dad heat up the needle. “You’re worse than Ryder.” I exhaled, knowing the magic words to distract him.

“What do you mean?” He asked, shifting his eyes towards me.

“He’s terrified of needles.” I explained, as my dad handed me a warm small needle. “Whenever I have to give him an I.V. he freaks out.”

“Really?” Oli asked as I began to thread it up.

“Mhm.” I nodded, taking out a small flashlight and handing it to my dad. “Other than that he’s a pretty good patient though.” I continued, noticing how much he had relaxed. “Sit still this won’t hurt a bit.” I promised, pulling him closer and taking a good look at the small cut. It’ll only take like six stitches but boy is this cut deep. “He fights me at first, but if I go get a nurse he stops me and wants me to do it.” I nodded, starting to finally weave the needle into his face. “He said I’m gentle and it doesn’t hurt much, so trust me when I start you’ll have nothing to worry about.” I lied, already halfway through the stitching. “It might be a little pinch, but you won’t feel much.”

“What are you doing now?” He forced out through a near clenched jaw.

“I’m still cleaning it.” I lied, just about finished. “Just being extra careful.”

“Oh.” He let out, but after a few more seconds I pulled the rest of the threat through and cut it. He took the rest of the thread from my hand as I slowly tied the end up and let him go. “Teddy! You lied! You already started it!”

“Of course I lied.” I smirked, sitting back and looking at it. “You’d freak out if I didn’t. You’re a much better patient than your favorite singer though.” He fought off a large smile and finally relaxed into his seat. “Don’t get it wet in the shower, no contact sports or anything like that. I’ll take it out in like three or four days, okay?”

“I want to go see it!” He yelped, rushing up and running back to the bathroom.

“You’re a good doctor Teddy.” My dad let out, as I packed the box back up. I shrugged my shoulders but refused to speak. “I’m sorry for what I said before, and about what I’ve been telling Oliver. I-I should’ve realized it would all catch back up to us.” He forced out, trying his hardest to look me in the eyes. “I’ll be honest with him from now on.” I nodded, but I could tell my silence made both him and my mom uneasy.

“Don’t leave.” My mom finally exhaled as I stood up. “If not for us, then at least for Oliver. You don’t have to stay forever just another year or two. Until he’s old enough to take care of himself.” Once more I fell quiet as I headed towards the stairs. “He was so upset over you leaving he needed stitches!”

“I’m not leaving.” I forced out, looking back at them. “But not for you two, for him.”

She gratefully nodded her head and let it go. I hope they’re serious about being honest with Oli. I really don’t get what the big deal is. Are they embarrassed about how hung up on Ryder I was? Are they embarrassed I got cheated on? Are they embarrassed of all the attention it got? Are they embarrassed of me?

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

Excitement peaked in Oliver’s eyes as he saw me unpacking the suitcase. We fight a lot but I know that if I ever tried to leave he would do anything he could to stop me. Even when he’s mad at me, even before he told me about kissing his friend, he just wants his world to stay the same, and I think I do too.

The next morning was rough. The only time I spoke was to Oliver. I need my parents to know I’m pissed. I need them to know I’m not a little kid anymore. I’m ready to take steps forward in my life, and I’m not going to let them hold me back.

The hospital was a sight for sore eyes, hell even going to Ryder’s room and starting to sign him out was easy compared to being home.

“You’re quiet today.” Ryder let out as I filled out the various paperwork. “Are you still mad at,”

“No.” I quickly interrupted with a shake of my head. “Just a long night last night.”

“Were you here?” He asked, trying his hardest to start a conversation.

“Home.” I replied, trying to get through the forms as quickly as possible “Oli needed stitches.”

“Why?” He let out, trying to sit up but falling back down.

“He cut himself on my suitcase.” I shook my head, thinking about what a stupid moment it was.

Ryder grew quiet and looked away but after a few seconds looked back at me. “Going anywhere?”

“I was going to move out.” I shrugged, but as he heard my words he shot me a confused look.

“You still live with your parents?” He smirked, but quickly fought it off as he saw the look on my face. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

“Medical school costs a lot.” I shook my head. “Not like I could just move out while I was deep in the hole.”

“Okay, but haven’t you been here for a few years?” He asked, trying to force eye contact. “Your debt can’t be that bad anymore, I mean being a doctor must,”

“What is this twenty questions?” I interrupted, standing up and waiving for him to join me. “Let’s get you to the psych ward.”

He fidgeted in the bed but didn’t stand. “You’ll still visit?” I nodded to yet another question, but this time I saw him growing serious. “If you don’t I’ll leave.”

“I will.” I nodded, reaching out for him. Once more as our hands connected I felt my heart skip a beat. It’s still there. There’s no denying it. “I don’t know when, or how long I’ll be able to stay, but everyday I’m on schedule I’ll come visit, okay?”

“Okay.” He nodded, but as our eyes connected once more I realized that it wasn’t because he was trying to win me over. It’s because he’s scared. The severity of the moment began to hit me but I quickly forced it out of my head and kept him moving. “You know you’ll be okay right? You’re in a safe place.”

“I know.” He nodded, having enough strength to follow me.

“I promise I wouldn’t send you anywhere that would hurt you.” As the words escaped my lips I couldn’t believe what I was saying. This is Ryder! I shouldn’t be able to let him off this easy! He-he’s the asshole that almost ruined my life! And yet when I look into his eyes, I just can’t stay angry. Once more he nodded his head but this time didn’t say anything.

“Do you need help upstairs?” Mike quickly asked as he saw us walk through the door.

“No.” Ryder shook his head, seeing the officer outside his door for the first time. “Ryder Sullivan.” He forced out, extending his hand. As their eyes connected and Mike shook back he realized that there was no need for introductions.

“It’s been a long time.” Mike let out as we walked to the elevator.

“Yeah.” Ryder muttered, looking over at the rest of the room.

“You know that I was,”

“Maybe we should catch up later.” I interrupted, noticing Ryder’s inner strength just wasn’t there yet. Mike nodded as he saw the same thing as me but Ryder stayed quiet.

“Dr. Haner!” The nurse from yesterday called out, rushing into our elevator. “You don’t need to personally transfer your patient! You know we can do that for you!”

“This one’s a different case Nate.” I forced out, as he observed the three of us.

“But still, you’re just so busy.” He exhaled, side eyeing Ryder. “Then again I guess you are talented enough to handle it all.”

“That’s what I get paid for.” I shrugged as the doors dinged open and we headed towards the desk.

“You’re so funny Dr. Haner.” Nate complimented trying his hardest to stay relevant to the moment.

Dr. Haner to Surgery. Dr. Haner to surgery.” The intercom announced freezing me in my tracks.

“Shit.” I sighed, looking down at my watch.

“I can handle this.” Nate let out in a nod. “You go.”

“Alright.” I nodded, knowing I had no other choice. “I’ll come visit when I get done, okay?” I asked, but got no response from Ryder.

“Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of him.” Nate replied as I stepped back into the elevator.

I’m sorry Ryder, but my world doesn’t revolve around you. It can’t. I have a job to do and people to help. Nate’s a good nurse; he’ll help you get situated. Besides if all goes wrong you have Mike there with you. I can trust him to make sure it all gets done right, can’t I?

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Why do I feel worried about Mike escorting Ryder? Teddy’s last lines sound very ominous to me! What has Mike done to prove he’s grown past his hatred of Ryder? Has he recruited Nate too?

 

I hate needles too. When I get an injection or have blood pulled, I always look the other way. One jokester nurse told me the vaccine wouldn’t work if I didn’t look! A year or two later when I reminded him of what he said, he told me he tells that to kids who are afraid of getting shots!  ;-)

 

It’s about time for the entire Haner family to face the truth about Ryder. His life has left a tremendous mark on them. They’ve all reacted the way people do to catastrophic events with the older three in denial to some degree as a form of PTSD. It wouldn’t have been surprising if the parents had gotten a divorce, Ryder’s betrayal being so disastrous.

 

But it was long past time for Oli to understand the truth about what happened. It will go a long way to explain to him why his family has been the way it was. It’s painful now, but Oli will be better off in the long run.  ;-)

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42 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

 

 

I hate needles too. When I get an injection or have blood pulled, I always look the other way. One jokester nurse told me the vaccine wouldn’t work if I didn’t look! A year or two later when I reminded him of what he said, he told me he tells that to kids who are afraid of getting shots!  ;-)

 

 

When they were giving me a steroids shot the other day at the hospital I saw the needle and my pulse shot up to 115. I'm still scared of them

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3 minutes ago, Wesley8890 said:

When they were giving me a steroids shot the other day at the hospital I saw the needle and my pulse shot up to 115. I'm still scared of them

I’m terrified of needles and I can’t even see the darn things.

If Nate tries anything, he will be swimming with the fishes.

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What happened to the parents ? Didn’t want Teddy to seem weak ? ... seven years later ? Seems they have serious issues they need to deal with. Don’t know if I trust Nate, or Mike and now Ryder is alone with them and heading for psych ward. 

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Glad that Oli and Teddy are talking, :great:maybe Mike stopped being a douche :great:and this is just me but my trust senses are telling me that Nate is shady.:no:

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Some conversations that were long overdue.  Teddy is finally having his teenage rebellious period at age 31.  Are Teddy's and Oliver's parents that unobservant that they didn't see the animosity between their children and know the cause.  The parents whole argument seemed really weak to begin with.  Teddy and Oli's talk really seemed emotionally cleansing for Teddy though, and it is probably the first time he listened to that CD since the breakup.  And such horrible timing that he is needed in surgery just as they were taking Ryder to the psych ward.

 

Eagerly awaiting next chapter.  Thanks Ace!!

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Ok let's start with the end. I know Mike could be gay and in love with Teddy, some hints were there, but I hope not. I am with moggy, more afraid of nurse Nate, he seems very interested in the amazing Dr. Haner, lol.

Now the parents...WTF? I know they also felt Ryder betrayal, but they can't blame all on him, what happened to them, they are so backwards now. And "a good doctor"? Really? Theodore is an amazing surgeon for God's sake! I feel that Teddy should have told them that he feels sorry for Oliver for not having the same parents he had, they are definitely changed (yeah, I know I am not that good in that forgiveness think, lol). 

The good thing is that after the fight and talk Teddy and Oli are closer. Hope that while Oliver gets closer to Teddy and away from Ryder adoration, he finds his own person, no Teddy, but no Ryder either.

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This Nate guy sounds like he has an interest in "Dr. Haner".... don't like him already lolz. progress...Oli sure is a tough nut to crack. Very adamant once he believes he knows the whole truth. Not a very good quality in most cases so hopefully that changes a bit. Cheers 😁

Can't wait to read more on Teddy and Ryder

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8 hours ago, glennish said:

Some conversations that were long overdue.  Teddy is finally having his teenage rebellious period at age 31.  Are Teddy's and Oliver's parents that unobservant that they didn't see the animosity between their children and know the cause.  The parents whole argument seemed really weak to begin with.  Teddy and Oli's talk really seemed emotionally cleansing for Teddy though, and it is probably the first time he listened to that CD since the breakup.  And such horrible timing that he is needed in surgery just as they were taking Ryder to the psych ward.

 

Eagerly awaiting next chapter.  Thanks Ace!!

I don’t get the parents. They were intelligent in the last book. I understand everyone would have gone through pain. These parents are just clueless and stupid.

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Great chapter!  Teddy's parents have been treating him more like the child than Oli!  Whatever the reason, I think they feel they failed Teddy.  Can't wait to see where this goes and what part Mike may have played in all of this...Nate..don't trust him either. LOL!  Thanks!

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20 hours ago, sugarsmacks said:

Ryder didnt just leave Teddy he left Teddys family too. They loved him and had to be hurting after believing in him so much and just to be completely let down. Maybe they didnt want to face the truth.

To believe in someone so much and accept that they've become a part of the family/will most likely marry your son then watch them destroy your son and walk away like it's nothing, that's a pain I don't want to know. Like you said, they probably don't want to face that truth. A lot easier to water it down and not pay attention to it.

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I think the parents were lying to Oliver because they are hurting as well. To believe that Teddy dumped him and it was a summer fling is much easier to believe than him being cheated on and his heart broken. 

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I was unhappy with the ending of the last part of this story and with the beginning of this part. This chapter helped me turn a corner. I have been attached to Teddy and Ryder almost from the beginning, and I'm back to that feeling. Thanks for this interesting, complex story.

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25 minutes ago, JeffreyL said:

I was unhappy with the ending of the last part of this story and with the beginning of this part. This chapter helped me turn a corner. I have been attached to Teddy and Ryder almost from the beginning, and I'm back to that feeling. Thanks for this interesting, complex story.

 

I'm glad you're starting to get attached again. In my experiences with tv, stories or movies the first five chapters are so important in restoring or creating a bond. Without it stories seem to drone on.

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We gone down the rabbit hole. In book 1 Ryder was the dysfunctional one. Now Teddy takes the Kardashian prize for dysfunctional families. Does anyone say wha they really mean: therapist lie to Oli, Teddy is still part adolescent living at  home and can't even professionally stitch up Oli without lying to him. And Ryder, he is accepting treatment only to please Teddy not for his own reasons.  Things will get very messy.

 

Finally what decade is this story set in with the sterilizing of the needles (single use packages anyone :)  )

Edited by Rndmrunner
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On 1/27/2018 at 5:28 PM, Wesley8890 said:

Thank god oli knows the truth now. And teddy you go stand up for yourself. I'm still totally unsure about mike. Why is he so hung up on helping now? 

Wesley, you probably missed the comment in the story.  Mike needs to apologize to Ryder for some things he said and did during their time in high school.  Mike has just been waiting for the right time.  I think that could help Ryder in his therapy.

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