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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Paper Walls - 17. Chapter 17

“So how are you and Callen progressing?” Dr. Decker asks.

I fiddle around with some of the trinkets on her windowsill. “We’re ok.”

“But?”

“It’s stupid.” I I tell her as I plop myself on the little couch facing her

“Well, it’s obviously not stupid if it has you so worked up about everything,” she says, leaning back in her chair.

“We both just have so much on our plate that when we are together, it’s just awkward at times.”

“Okay, and what has your anxiety on the fritz?” she asks.

“How do you know my anxiety is high?”

“You haven’t stopped fidgeting since you got here,” She tells me nodding to my hands which are messing with my shoe laces, I stop as soon as she points it out.

“I don’t know how to talk to him about stuff I am going through, like if I have a nightmare, what do I tell him?” I say to her. “He’s my ‘boyfriend.’ But he’s still kind of a stranger.”

“Well, when was the last time you had a nightmare? Maybe, do you feel like you rushed the relationship?” she counters.

“I haven’t had one in, like, five weeks. Sometimes, because, I don’t know, I feel like I am stupid,” I say, looking at her.

“Well, think of it as progress. You’ve only been seeing me for three weeks and you haven’t had many nightmares. Do you think you are putting pressure on yourself?” Her pen is poised to write down notes.

“No, I haven’t. In fact, I don’t feel so much pressure when I go to do something or… I don’t know how to explain it. I am just scared that I am going to freak him out if he knows a lot about the issues I have.”

“Do you think he wouldn’t understand?”

“No, I think he would, just, I shouldn’t have these issues.”

“So you think you shouldn’t have these issues? Everyone has them. From what you told me, he has his own as well,” she tells me.

I hang my head. “Yeah… but what if he eventually wants to have sex and I am not ready? What if he doesn’t understand?”

“Ryder, it is your body, and if he can’t respect you enough to understand that, then that is his problem. Try talking to him about it, sit him down, explain the problem. Maybe you need to not think so far ahead, and deal with the fact you and he are still strangers to each other,” she says.

“Yeah, but what if it doesn’t work?”

“It will. I can’t give you an estimate, but it will. I think you still have a lot of work to do. You have some things to think over. This was a good session. Again, if you keep having problems falling asleep, you have a prescription to help you. I will be out of town next week, so our next appointment will be in two weeks if that’s good for you, but if you are interested, I do hold a group meeting at one of the high schools. It’s sometimes good to meet others who have been in similar situations. The age range is from 15 to 19. I think it might be good for you to get you out of the football environment and into something different.”

“Two weeks. Ok. I don’t know if that will be a good thing. I don’t want to hear people cry about things.”

“It’s actually not like that at all. If you are interested, we meet on Sunday. In fact, there will be one tomorrow,” she says, handing me a flyer.

“I’ll think about it. Don’t be surprised if I don’t show up,” I tell her.

“Actually, I don’t think you will show up, but maybe you’ll think about it. I will be there at 5:30 tomorrow. It starts at 6,” she says.

I exit her office, and Jeremy is sitting in one of the waiting chairs, with a leg slung over the armrest, on his phone. “Sup bud?”

“Nothing, tired,” I say.

He gets up and puts his phone in his pocket. “You are always tired after these sessions,” he says.

“Yeah, just takes a lot out of me.”

“Or is it your boyfriend taking a lot out of you?” he teases.

“Dude, you’re so gross!” I say, shoving him.

“Don’t act like you haven’t had sex yet!” he says, shoving me back.

I get quiet until we reach the car and I get in. I buckle up and wait for Jeremy to get into the car and do the same. “Wait, you’re telling me you haven’t had sex yet?”

“No, we haven’t!” I say a little too loud.

“Dude, whoa man, calm down. I was just assuming. I mean, it’s been a bit since you two have gotten together.”

“Well, we have done a few things, but we haven’t gone all the way,” I say.

“I figured y’all would have by now.”

“Well, we haven’t.”

“Dude, what the fuck, man, why are you so hostile about it?”

“Just, it’s a sensitive subject right now!” I snap at him.

“What happened?”

“Callen is pissed with me,” I say.

“Why?”

“It’s kind of embarrassing…,.”

He pulls the car over and puts it in park. “Let it out, man.”

“Well, we were at his grandpa’s cabin, and like, we have done stuff, and we were just making out, and he started to play with my butt, and I was okay with it. Then he slid a finger in, and I was kind of ok with it, and he wanted to slide another into me, and he was sweet about it. He said he wanted to go all the way, and I told him no. So he asked why, and I told him I just don’t want to have sex with him. He thinks I am just teasing him. “

She leans forward and asks, “Did he say you were teasing him?”

“No, he didn’t have to. I saw it in his eyes.”

“Ryder, you are making shit up then. If he didn’t say it, he might not even be thinking it!” Jeremy tells me.

“Well, he hasn’t talked to me in a few days,” I tell him.

“Fine, we will go see him.”

“No!”

“Yeah, we are going to go right now, see what’s going on!”

I am fuming, but I don’t say anything. We pull up to the house, and I get out of the car. I walk up to the door and ring the doorbell, and Garret answers the door.

“What’s up, superstar!” he says, shaking my hand.

“I was wondering if Callen was here.”

“Yeah, lover boy is here. He’s in his room. You can go see him. Just a warning - he is in a foul mood lately. I am going to go talk to Jeremy.”

I walk down to Callen’s room and knock on the door.

“Leave me alone!”

I knock again, and I can hear shuffling, and he yanks the door open. I can see the shock register on his face as he opens the door. He is shirtless, and he looks like he hasn’t slept much. “Ryder… what are you doing here?”

“I wanted to talk to you.”

“Come in,” he says, moving out of the way.

I look around the room. Dirty clothes are everywhere and his bed isn’t made. “Have a party in here?”

He blushes a little bit. “Sorry….”

“I thought we could talk,” I say, facing him.

“I am so sorry! I didn’t mean to pressure you into anything the other day, and I have felt like a terrible fucking human being. I am so ashamed of myself. Please forgive me!” he says.

“You don’t think I was teasing you?”

He looks at me confused. “No. Look, I know you aren’t ready, and I respect that. I just got lost in lust and I messed up. I am so sorry.”

“It’s okay. I thought you were mad at me.”

He shakes his head. “No! I thought I pushed too far,” he says.

He moves in, and wraps me in his arms. “I think we do really need to talk, though.”

He releases me from the hug, and we sit on his bed, and he takes my hand. “You know I really like you, right?”

“Yeah, I know that.”

“I’ve been really thinking. I don’t think you or I need to be dating,” he says.

“What do you mean?” I ask, not understanding.

He grabs my other hand. “Just listen first, please? I think I was so excited at the prospect of being able to date you, because you are so hot and adorable, that we never got to know each other at all. I am going through a lot of stuff with my mom, and you are dealing with a ton of things. Maybe forcing us to try and work is only going to make our lives that much harder. I think because we are the only gay kids that we know, we just jumped into a relationship without getting to know each other very well. I want us to be friends. I mean, don’t get me wrong - the blow jobs and jerking off together are fun, but I think we need something else that matters more.”

I look at him, and I see there isn’t any anger or anything. I see the exact opposite. I see compassion and love. “I think you are right. I have been so stressed out that I may freak out and upset you, that I have been so stressed out,” I tell him.

“So you’re okay with this?”

I nod my head. “Yeah, I am.”

“Cool. You know if you still wanna do the blow jobs, I am so down,” he says, waggling his eyebrows at me.

I punch him in the arm. “You are such a horndog. “

“A dude can try, right?” he says, laughing.

“Yeah, you’re right. Maybe when I get tired of jacking myself off, I’ll use your mouth!” I say, giggling.

“Now who’s the horndog?”

“In all seriousness, though, how is everything going with you?” I ask.

He shrugs his shoulders. “My mom is still acting like a fool. Nothing has changed in that respect. What about you?”

“Therapy is going good. I haven’t had much anxiety, except for stuff this week, and the football team is pretty cool with me taking over the quarterback position, so that’s a positive thing.”

“Hey, that’s cool, dude. You know you can talk to me as well, right?”

“Thanks, man. So my therapist invited me to go to this group thing. She said it may help me out. I guess it’s just a bunch of people that have gone through similar things as me.”

“It might. You think you’re gonna go?”

I laugh. “Probably not. I mean, why would I want to be around a bunch of teenagers I don’t know?”

“Maybe it would be a good thing for you. I mean, they don’t know you, but they could be going through the same issues that you’re dealing with. You never know, man. If they had a club for kids with the worst mothers ever I would totally be there,” he says.

“Maybe.”

“Just go once, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to go again.”

“Maybe I will.”

“Hey dude, I don’t mean to be rude, but I am about to go out with some friends. You wanna come?”

“Oh no, it’s okay. I am kind of tired. It’s been a long Saturday, actually.”

I find Jeremy and Garret playing basketball in the driveway. “You know Coach would shake his head at the two of you.”

Garret makes the next shot. “Hey, gotta keep my cardio up.”

               -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday afternoon comes around, and I have been thinking a lot about this group thing Dr. Decker told me about. I mean, could it really be as bad as I was thinking? What if it is? What if I make some friends that aren’t so into football? I make my way into the living room and sit on the couch next to my mom.

She puts her book down. “Yes?”

I look at her shocked. “Can’t I sit next to my mom?”

She squints her eyes. “I am no fool, Ryder. What do you want?”

“Just for you to love me!” I sigh out.

She reaches over and starts to tickle me. “No, stop!” I yell out, and start to squirm.

“Oh, no sir, this is me conveying my love to you,” she says laughing.

“Okay! Okay! Too much love!” I tell her, and she finally stops tickling me.

“Now, care to tell me what you want?” she says, smiling.

“Fine, jeez. So there is this… um group meeting that Dr. Decker told me about, and they meet today,” I tell her, and hand her the flyer.

I watch as she looks it over. “Is this something you want to look into?”

“I kind of want to go. I mean, I get it if you don’t want me to, but I could meet other kids who may have gone through something different, and maybe make some friends that aren’t, like, football people, and I don’t know, maybe just find out who I am,” I say.

She smiles. “Honey, if you want to go, I am ok with it. You don’t have to defend your reasons for wanting to go.”

“So you’d be okay if I went?” I ask.

“I would be ok with it. Besides, it would be fantastic for you to meet new people. Is Callen going to go with you?”

“We kind of broke up,” I tell her.

She looks at me, concerned. “Are you okay? What happened?”

“Yeah, Mom, I am fine. It’s just, we rushed this whole relationship thing. He’s going through a lot, and I am too. We have different situations going, and I think because he was the only gay kid I knew, that I just jumped into the relationship. Honestly, I just see him as a friend.”

“You thought a lot about it, huh?”

“Yeah, and so did he. I just think we would be better off as friends,” I tell her.

“I am glad we raised such a smart kid,” she says and hugs me. “Now, go get dressed.”

“I’m already dressed.”

“You are wearing gym shorts and a Nike shirt?”

“Uhh… Yeah. I mean, I’m comfortable,” I tell her.

“Okay, let me go get my keys.”

We get into her SUV and start to drive. I start getting nervous and I pop my knuckles. “Ryder, stop!”

“What! I am not doing anything,” I tell her.

“You’re fidgeting with your hands, and moving so much in the seat.”

“I can’t help it. I am a little nervous, ok?”

“Then let’s talk about it.”

“Nope,” I say, and smile.

She shakes her head, “You are such a teenager.”

We pull into the front of the school, and I see quite a few guys playing with a Frisbee, and some girls too. I let out a breath of air. “Want me to go up with you?” my mom asks.

“HELL NO!” I tell her, looking at her, horrified.

She puts her hands up. “Okay, okay. Call me when you are ready to be picked up.”

“Will do,” I tell her, and reach for the door.

“Love you!”

“Love you, too.”

I shut the car door, and start walking over to where the others were. I don’t want to get too close because I don’t want to be awkward. “Hey, watch out for the Frisbee!” I hear someone yell at me.

I see the Frisbee coming right at me, reach up, and catch it like it was nothing. The guy who yelled at me is jogging over to me. “Go ahead and toss it back to them,” he says as he reaches me.

I take a step back as he moves closer. He is taller than me, I would say about six foot. He is skinny, and has brown hair that is short on the sides and longer on top. I can tell he was wearing a baseball cap, but don’t know how long ago. He also wears black rimmed glasses. I can see he has hazel eyes, and a nice white smile. “Hey, bud, I’m Tyler,” he says, sticking out his hand.

I grab his hand and shake it, and feel his hand grip mine tightly. “I’m Ryder.”

“Nice to meet you, man. So you here for group?” he asks.

“Yeah, it’s my first time, and I didn’t know if I was going to get lost trying to find it, so I got here early.” I put my hands in my pockets so he doesn’t see me fidget with them. I don’t know if it is because he is super cute or that he smells good, but he makes me nervous.

“It’s all good. Bud. We normally get here an hour early, throw the Frisbee around, and just hang out and talk,” he says, smiling.

“Oh, cool.”

“Yeah, man, come meet some of the others.”

He leads me over to where about six other people our age were at. “Okay, so from left to right. That’s Caleb, Jason, Rex, Brooke, Danielle (Dani for short, he whispers to me), and that handsome guy right there is Jaxson. He is Dr. Decker’s son,” he says and laughs.

“In your dreams, pretty boy!” Jaxson says, rolling his eyes.

“Everyone, this is Ryder!” Tyler says, and points to me.

I get a bunch of hellos and stuff, but I mainly don’t talk too much. I watch them as they start to throw the Frisbee around again. They all seem like they are a huge family. “They are all very close,” someone says behind me, and I jump a little.

I turn to find Dr. Decker behind me. “So you came.”

“Yeah, I decided to see what the big deal was all about.” I say and grin.

“Well, I am glad you did. This is a good group of teens. They have all had their own problems and issues, but they made progress, and they are here every time we meet up,” she says.

“What do y’all talk about?”

“Everything from relationship drama to what is bothering them. It’s a nice thing to have people who aren’t going to judge you.”

“Do I have to tell them everything?” I ask.

“No, you can tell them everything, or nothing at all. It’s up to you. Just know the more open you are about yourself, the more help and healing you can get. Plus, some of them can help, or just be there for you.”

“Callen and I broke up yesterday,” I blurt out.

“I’m sorry. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, it was mutual,” I say, and let the topic die. “Why is your son here?” I ask.

“So you met Jaxson?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I adopted Jaxson when I found out I couldn’t have kids, “ she says.

“One more question. Are him and Tyler….”

She laughs, “No, Tyler is like a big brother to Jaxson. Jaxson has a boyfriend, or is it a girlfriend now…? Tyler is single. His last boyfriend did a number on him.”

“Wait, they are gay?” I ask in disbelief.

“You really didn’t pay attention to the flyer, huh? It said it was a group for LGBT kids to meet up and be among peers, to discuss their own problems they are having, so they can be with people who will relate to them.”

“Oh…,” I say, feeling stupid.

“It’s okay, don’t feel stupid.”

“How’d you know that’s what I was feeling?”

“Because I know you by now,” she says. “Come on, time to get it all started.”

Jaxson runs over to his mom and gives her a hug. “Time already?” he says.

“Yup, kiddo, let’s go.”

I wait ‘til some of the other kids go into the building, and I try and be the last one, in case I feel like bolting out of there. Tyler walks up beside me. “Thinking of backing out?”

“How’d you figure?”

“I had the same thoughts the first time I came here,” he says, holding the door open for me.

“Thanks,” I say, walking into the building with him.

“You must have a lot going on in your life,” he comments.

“How do you figure?” I ask, getting defensive.

“Well, for one, you seem like you are about to take off running the opposite way. Two, you haven’t stopped moving your hands, from your pockets, to clutching them and releasing them. That and you keep looking around like someone is going to jump you. I am going to take a guess, and say you are way out of your element here?”

“Aren’t you the perceptive one?” I say, sarcastically.

He puts his hands up. I like how long his fingers are. I have no idea why I like them - it’s a weird thought. I look at his watch with a huge band on it, which I have never seen. “Hey, I didn’t mean to offend you, bud, I just watch people and notice them.”

“What are your problems, then?” I shoot back at him.

“If I give everything away within our first few minutes of meeting, then how will I be of any interest to you?” he says, giving me a smile.

I roll my eyes and shake my head. I can’t help but smile. “Sorry, just, you’re right. I’m way out of my element here.”

“Let me guess. Dr. Decker kinda challenged you.”

“Yeah! I told her don’t be surprised if I never showed up to this thing, and she said, ‘Oh, don’t worry, I’m not counting on it.’”

He lets out a laugh, and I look at him weirdly, because that laugh is different, but it’s adorable coming from him. I can’t help but laugh along with him. “I like your laugh,” I tell him.

“I hate it! It just cements the fact that I am such a dork!” he says.

“I doubt that,” I tell him.

We finally reach the classroom, and everyone is sitting on chairs in a circle. “Come on, man.”

I follow Tyler as he sits next to Jaxson, who whispers something to Tyler. Tyler just shakes his head.

“So how was everyone’s week?” Dr. Decker asks.

“Good, actually. My girlfriend and I had dinner with my parents, and it actually went really well!” Brooke says, smiling.

“That’s great to hear. I told you - have patience with your parents they will come around. Some parents take longer to understand coming out, and to accept it. Jaxson was lucky. When my husband and I adopted him, we knew that we would love him, no matter what, so when he came out as bisexual, we were okay with it. Not every parent will be like that.”

“Mine weren’t,” Tyler says.

“It took mine some time, but they are cool with it now,” Rex says, holding Jason’s hand.

“I mean, I was lucky that my parents are hippy–like,” Jason says.

“I mean, my parents were okay that I am a lesbian. I mean, they are still getting used to it. My mom wishes that I wasn’t. Only because it’s hard enough being a black woman and lesbian at that. I just chalk it up to her old ways,” Dani says.

“Yeah, I can’t come out to my parents. They would probably die,” Caleb says.

“What about you, new boy?” Jaxson says, looking at me.

“My parents are cool with it,” I say.

“So, why are you coming here now?” he asks.

“Jaxson! You know the rules. We let everyone come forward with their story when they are ready,” Dr. Decker says.

I feel everyone’s eyes on me, and I feel my anxiety spike. I look at Dr. Decker and I shake my head. I am thankful I am close to the door, because I bolt out of the room quickly. I feel myself start to panic the sweat beading on my forehead. I see the bathroom, and I take off towards it, and slam the door open. I grip the sink and try to catch my breath. I feel a chill rack my body, and I can’t seem to catch my breath. I feel scared, I see images flash before me.

I hear the door open. “Hey, are you okay?”

 

I don’t answer. I am trying to catch my breath, and I don’t like the feeling that I am trapped. I don’t know who is behind me. All I know is that they are blocking my only escape route. “Don’t touch me!” I gasp out.

“Ryder!”

“Please, just, please don’t touch me. I’m sorry, just don’t hurt me!” I yell out, and back up against the wall.

I feel someone grab my hands, and I hear them calling my name. I finally open my eyes, and I see Tyler kneeling in front of me. “Hey, breathe, bud. It’s just me,” he says.

I try to breathe, but it’s hard. “I can’t,” I gasp out.

“Yes, you can. Just focus on breathing, nothing else.”

I shake my head. I can’t focus on my breathing, as another chill shoots through me.

“Okay, well, focus on me, then!” he says.

I open my eyes back up and look at him. He doesn’t look freaked out; he’s calm.

“My name is Tyler Ezra Vanderbook. I’m 17 years old, I love movies, and music. I hope to attend the University of Texas. I am terrible at sports, but I really like baseball. I have this weird obsession with fun socks, and shoes. I like bright colors, and I like Forrest Gump. It’s my favorite movie. I love sour patch kids, and Swedish fish! Plus, you have really pretty eyes, and are adorable when you grin.”

As he is rattling on, I finally feel myself start to catch my breath. “Swedish fish are gross!” I tell him.

He laughs that adorable laugh, and sits down right beside me. “So, you okay, bud?”

“I’m sorry,” I tell him.

He pats my shoulder. “It’s all good, bud. Are you okay, though?”

“Yeah, sorry I am such a mess - not the first impression I wanted to give,” I tell him.

He shrugs his shoulders. “Could have been worse.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Thank you, and I am so sorry.”

“No need to apologize, man. It sucks. I get it,” he says.

“How so?” I ask.

“Because Jaxson has extreme panic attacks, especially at night,” he says.

“How do you know?”

“I’m a foster kid, and Dr. Decker and Mr. Decker are my foster parents,” he says.

“I had no idea.”

“It’s all good, man. They are life savers, trust me.”

“So, Dr. Decker isn’t your therapist anymore?” I ask.

He shakes his head. No, she hasn’t been since I got out of the… maybe we can talk about this another time. I don’t want to really get into it,” he says.

“Yeah, I understand. So you still want to talk to me after this?”

“Duh! So what, man, we all have our issues. Also, I’m sorry that Jaxson put you on the spot.He gets a little overprotective of me.

“How so?”

“He just doesn’t want me to get hurt again.”

“But I just met you,” I tell him.

“Yeah, I know. He’s a weird dude, though,” Tyler says and laughs.

When I wrote this chapter it felt like an ending, but as I kept writing it felt like I was opening a whole new door for Ryder. Thank you to Rusty as always! Of course I love to hear what everyone thinks!

Copyright © 2017 KD_stories; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

Woohoo! Two more chapters! Don't worry, that's all I'm going to say, I don't want to give anything away. To quote Dr. River Song, "Spoilers."

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It’s way too soon for Ryder to be falling for another guy. But it is good for him to be meeting other LGBTQ kids. And since it’s a group for LGBTQ kids, Callen should go too.

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You told me that the story had been COMPLETELY redone... I had gotten to I think like Ch. 21 or 22 on the previous version. I was kinda dreading rereading so many chapters but you're right, this version is much 'cleaner' and easier to read. Although I recognize people and events as they were in the old story, this version leaves less lacunae and questions.

 

Thanks for writing!

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On 02/03/2017 12:21 PM, droughtquake said:

It’s way too soon for Ryder to be falling for another guy. But it is good for him to be meeting other LGBTQ kids. And since it’s a group for LGBTQ kids, Callen should go too.

I think he just needs a friend and maybe he can find that. Yes Callen might need to go to the group as well

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And a whole new group of people for Ryder to find common ground with. Maybe he will learn not to live so deeply in his own mind. Lots of chances to let go of some hurt and open himself to something better. Well done!

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On 02/03/2017 11:52 AM, JayT said:

Woohoo! Two more chapters! Don't worry, that's all I'm going to say, I don't want to give anything away. To quote Dr. River Song, "Spoilers."

Yes!!!

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On 02/03/2017 12:24 PM, Bndmetl said:

Please keep writing, I have been enjoying the story of Ryder and Jeremy only just got there.

Trust me this is far from over!

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On 02/03/2017 12:39 PM, Okiegrad said:

Oh I definitely hope you keep writing!! This is such a great series!

Trust me I am! These new chapters are good! I hope you will love them!

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On 02/03/2017 12:45 PM, Nahrung said:

You told me that the story had been COMPLETELY redone... I had gotten to I think like Ch. 21 or 22 on the previous version. I was kinda dreading rereading so many chapters but you're right, this version is much 'cleaner' and easier to read. Although I recognize people and events as they were in the old story, this version leaves less lacunae and questions.

 

Thanks for writing!

Thank you so much! Yes Rusty has put alot of time into editing and helping me organize the story where it's not going to leave holes in it. I can say this much these new chapters I have never felt more confident in my writing that is for sure!

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On 02/03/2017 01:27 PM, Parker Owens said:

And a whole new group of people for Ryder to find common ground with. Maybe he will learn not to live so deeply in his own mind. Lots of chances to let go of some hurt and open himself to something better. Well done!

100%

 

We will see!!!

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I am glad Ryder decided to try Dr. Decker's group. It's a whole new group of potential friends, and maybe a romance. Plus these kids may help him sort through some of his issues. Seems like the story is headed in a slightly different direction. Still liking Ryder and company, and this story. Thanks. Jeff

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