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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. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Paper Walls - 6. Chapter 6

“Mom, I really don’t need any new clothes,” I tell her as we pull up to the mall.

“Really, you don’t need any at all?” she says, looking at me.

“I mean, not really, I have a lot of clothes.”

“So, you don’t need any compression boxers, jeans, socks, or shirts,” she says, looking at me.

I think about it. I kind of do need some more compression boxers. “I mean. maybe some boxers, and socks.” I tell her, going red in the face.

“That’s what I thought,” she says, smiling.

We get out of the car and walk to the entrance of the mall. It’s huge, and I look at Mom, and she has a smile on her face. “So, how nervous are you for school to start?” she asks.

I wiggle my hand to say so-so. “I’m indifferent about it, I guess.”

“That makes one of us. I am nervous.” She says, laughing. I love when my mom laughs; she has this infectious smile, and it makes me happy.

“Why, Mom? You know you’re a good teacher,” I tell her.

“I know, but new school and all that stuff.” She says.

“True,” I tell her.

We stop at Pacsun and I grab a few jeans. I like the skinny ones. I don’t know why, they just feel more comfortable to me. Then I stop at a sports store and grab a few more compression boxers in some eccentric colors I love a lot.

I freeze when I hear a voice, “Callen, come on dude, I don’t have all day!” he says, complaining.

Of course, it’s Garret. I curse in Russian. “Ryder Weston Kessler!” my mom scolds.

“Sorry. Please don’t tell Dad,” I plead.

“I won’t, but you know how he feels about that!” she says.

As I have said, I can speak Russian, so I know a lot of cuss words. Sadly, my parents brushed up on their Russian, as well. My dad doesn’t really want me to speak it a lot. He says there is no need for it, but I do anyway.

“What’s wrong?” Mom asks.

“It’s a guy from the team….Garret. He doesn’t like me too much,” I tell her.

That’s when I hear him call me out, “Hey superstar!”

I roll my eyes and turn around, “Garret,” I tell him.

“What’s up, man?” he says, with a cocky grin.

“Just finishing back to school shopping,” I tell him.

“Garret, what about these?” A kid walks up to him and shows him a pair of green gym shorts.

“Those are gay as fuck!” Garret tells him, and the kid punches him in the arm.

“Don’t say that, douche bag!”

“Stop being so sensitive,” Garret snaps back.

“You’re such a tool. Who are you?” he asks, and his tone is a lot lighter to me than it was to Garrett.

“Ryder,” I say, looking at him. You can definitely tell they are brothers. They both have brown hair and eyes, with a tan complexion.

“Wait, as in Ryder Kessler, Coach K’s son?” he says.

I nod my head, “Yeah.”

“Holy shit, dude! I’m Callen! We’re in the same class., I’m a freshman as well!” he says, reaching out his hand.

“Nice to meet you, man,” I tell him, shaking his hand.

“Dude, Garret, you didn’t tell me you know Ryder. Why didn’t you introduce me? Dude, you are so freaking awesome! I was actually really stoked that your dad would be the new head coach, and that you would be coming here and in the same year as me!”

“Shut up, Callen!” Garret snaps.

“Yeah, Garret, why didn’t you introduce me to your brother. I mean, he seems really cool,” I say with a smirk.

Garret just glares at me. “It slipped my mind. Besides, been busy with football practice. Callen is on the freshman team, plus he totally idolizes your dad and I didn’t want him to act like a spaz!” he says, and I see Callen go red in the face.

“Hi, boys,” My mom says, coming up behind me.

“Hi, Mrs. Coach,” Garret says.

My mom laughs. “You can call me Mrs. K,” she says.

“I’m Garret, and this is my annoying little brother, Callen,” he says.

“Oh, you are the Parker boys. I will be teaching both of you this year. I have Callen for freshman AP English and you for AP English, am I correct?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Garret says.

“Hey Mrs. K, do me and Ryder have class together?” Callen asks.

“Yes, I do believe so,” she says.

“Dude, that’s so awesome. Have you got to see the town or anything? I can introduce you to some of my friends, man!” Callen offers.

“No, I haven’t, and that would be cool,” I tell him, actually getting excited.

“Let’s go, Callen. I have stuff I need to do. it was nice to meet you, Mrs. K. I will see you at practice, Ryder,” Garret says.

I watch them walk off, and Callen turns back. “Dude, can I get your number? Maybe we can hang out?”

“Yeah, that sounds cool, man!” I tell him, and give him my number.

I watch him walk off as I look at his number in my phone.

“Food?” my mom asks, and I nod.

We hit the food court, and I get Chinese food. I love it; it’s my favorite. We sit down, and surprisingly there isn’t anyone near us, which I am really ok with. “So, Callen seems like a nice young man, and so does his brother.”

“Yeah, Garret is Shawn’s best friend,” I tell her.

“Callen seems like he really wants to be friends,” Mom says.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I tell her.

“He is cute, don’t you think?”

I instantly go red in the face. “Mom! No, he’s straight,” I tell her.

“How do you know?”

“I just do.”

“I just want you to be happy! Besides, he was blushing really hard,” she says.

“Mom, if I just make some friends I will be happy!” I tell her.

“I know, sweetie, and you will. I know this move has been hard on you.”

“Yeah it sucks. I just miss Jeremy so much,” I tell her.

“I miss him too…he was like my second kid.”

“Hey, Mom?”

“Yes, sweetie?”

“Did you and Dad ever want another kid?”

She ponders this for a minute. “We talked about adopting another kid…,” she says.

“But I was a lot to deal with, huh?”

She gets a guilty look on her face, “It was a lot more challenging than we anticipated,” she says.

I look down at my food, not really having an appetite. “Which part? The messed up part of me or me being gay?” I ask.

“No, honey, you know both your father and I support you being gay. We didn’t anticipate the emotional damage that you suffered and it’s not your fault, sweetie, not at all. Your father and I cannot be more proud of you. I remember us watching you and how fast you could run while playing with the other kids. Your father pointed at you and said ’Him, that’s my little football star.’ Adopting you was the happiest moment of my life, and the most proud moment of your father’s. He still tells me it was the best decision we ever made.”

“Thanks, Mom,” I tell her.

“I wish I wasn’t so messed up,” I tell her.

“Honey, you’re not messed up, you have had things happen to you that no kid should ever have to them.”

“Mom, the nightmares are back. I can’t stop them! Plus, I don’t even know what they are. I asked Dad why I couldn’t remember anything from Russia. I don’t remember my parents, nothing!” I tell her.

“We can take you to see a therapist. Your father brought it up with me. He knows you’re having nightmares, and you cannot deny it since I heard you crying last night.”

“Can we please just see how the week goes first?” I ask, knowing I am not going to get any more information from her.

“How much sleep are you getting?” she asks.

“I don’t know. Four or five maybe,” I tell her.

“Ryder…,” she says.

“Okay, three to four hours of sleep,” I tell her, looking down at my food.

“What? Are the nightmares the same one or different?”

“Some are someone attacking me, but I don’t know where I am. I just see a body of a woman, and that’s it. Some are me falling down the stairs, and being held down. I don’t understand any of it. Mom, how old was I when you and Dad adopted me?”

I can tell she knows more than she will tell me. “You were seven, honey. Look, sometimes we block out things that are too much to take, and yes, I know it sucks, but sometimes it’s for the best. It’s your mind’s way of keeping you happy. You about ready to go home?”

“Yes ma’am. I am tired of shopping!” I say, grinning.

On the ride home, we talk about school, and the football team. I love talking with Mom because I can be emotional if I want, and she doesn’t judge or give me a concerned look. “SO, Mom, there is a concert that is coming, and I kind of want to go,” I tell her.

“Oh yeah? Who is it?” she asks.

“Umm, never mind,” I tell her.

“Who is it, Ryder?”

“Troye Sivan….”

“Who is that?”

“He’s a young musician…he’s gay…” I tell her.

She smiles. “Well, we can talk about it when it gets closer,” she says.

“Thanks, Mom.”

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

 

I wake up in a cold sweat, screaming…..fucking nightmares. A clap of thunder makes me jump. I pull my knees up to my chest and hug them. I fucking hate thunderstorms, I can’t control the tears as they are flowing. I try and regulate my breathing, but it’s not working. Another clap of thunder and I jump again.

I hear my door open, and it scares me. “Ryder,” my dad says.

I start talking fast, apologizing. I know I woke him up, and I can’t help but cry because I am scared, and the fucking thunderstorm outside, and I feel guilty for waking him up. He makes his way over to my bed and sits on the edge and pulls me into a hug.

“Ryder, calm down. Speak English, Son.” He tells me, as he hugs me.

I didn’t even realize I was speaking in Russian. “I’m sorry,” I whisper.

“It’s okay, Son,” he says, hugging me tighter.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you up,” I tell him again.

“You didn’t wake me up, Son. I was already up. This weather woke me up. What were you having a nightmare about?”

I curl up into his side. “That you and Mom abandoned me and left me on the streets, and it was raining and I was so scared. I remember being so cold, and hungry.”

“Hey, hey buddy, we would never abandon you, ever! The first day I saw you, I knew you were my son. My football star. Hell, I don’t know who was more excited to get you -- me or your mother. You are safe, you will never be abandoned, ever.”

I hug him again, “Thanks dad.”

“I love you Ryder.”

“I love you too.”

He lets me just hug him for a few minutes before he asks. “Are you ready for school?”

I shrug. “I guess.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I just wish Jeremy was here,” I tell him.

“Me too, Son, he was like another son. Maybe he will come down during break.”

“Dad, do you think we will win the first game in two weeks?” I ask.

“It’s a good possibility,” he says.

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

“Now this is the best sight ever -- both of my men sleeping,” my mom says, waking up me and my dad.

“Too early!” I moan out.

“Hush, get up. Breakfast is ready,” my mom says.

My dad slides off the bed and stretches. “My back is stiff from sitting against the headboard of that bed.”

“You will be fine,” Mom says, kissing him.

“Not in my room!” I whine.

They both laugh and leave the room. I get up and follow them into the dining room. Mom made my favorite, pancakes with bacon and eggs. “Gosh dang, I love you!” I tell her, laughing.

Thank you again for all the support it means so much! Thank you to my editor who is amazing he has really helped me shape the story up a ton! Again thank you all!

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. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

I love Ryder. He's a screwed up kid but I think he has a truly gentle heart. I'm already attached to him haha. Great chapter!

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Was Garrett's dismissal of Callen's choice the casually homophobic slur typical of teenagers or something more serious? Was it an attempt to misdirect attention away from a closet-case or a warning to a closet-case to remain deep in hiding?

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I feel for Ryder; he has been badly hurt, and has compensated by constructing a thick armor of football and school smarts. His parents love him, and show it, but it still may not be enough. You have given us interesting clues to leave us wondering about Callen and Garrett....looking forward to another chapter!

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Ryder is living in a very frightening and lonely world right now. He is despirately wanting friends and confidents. Could Garret or Callen fill those shoes? Coach and Mrs. K obviously love Ryder very much, but coaches reference to his 'little football star' makes me wonder if the love is really unconditional. Ryders past in Russia has left him very broken and unstable. Is there someone out there who can help him understand and gain the confidence to grow into a wonderful and careing young man? Great story and more information and insight into the characters. Keep up the good work KD.

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It's good that Ryder now knows someone his own age. That will make his first day of school that much easier. It's frightening, though, that he can't remember anything before the age of seven. That shows an incredible amount of trauma he experienced as a child.

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On 11/15/2016 03:14 PM, Okiegrad said:

I love Ryder. He's a screwed up kid but I think he has a truly gentle heart. I'm already attached to him haha. Great chapter!

Hahah thank you, he really is a messed up kid. But he does have a heart of gold

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On 11/15/2016 03:29 PM, droughtquake said:

Was Garrett's dismissal of Callen's choice the casually homophobic slur typical of teenagers or something more serious? Was it an attempt to misdirect attention away from a closet-case or a warning to a closet-case to remain deep in hiding?

That is the big question right there! I can't answer that right now :)

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On 11/16/2016 01:56 AM, Parker Owens said:

I feel for Ryder; he has been badly hurt, and has compensated by constructing a thick armor of football and school smarts. His parents love him, and show it, but it still may not be enough. You have given us interesting clues to leave us wondering about Callen and Garrett....looking forward to another chapter!

The brothers are also complex as well, and Ryder does have a thick armor that's hard to get through, thank you for reading!

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On 11/16/2016 03:08 AM, wenmale64 said:

Ryder is living in a very frightening and lonely world right now. He is despirately wanting friends and confidents. Could Garret or Callen fill those shoes? Coach and Mrs. K obviously love Ryder very much, but coaches reference to his 'little football star' makes me wonder if the love is really unconditional. Ryders past in Russia has left him very broken and unstable. Is there someone out there who can help him understand and gain the confidence to grow into a wonderful and careing young man? Great story and more information and insight into the characters. Keep up the good work KD.

Thank you and you are spot on. I know in coming chapters tension will be rising alot between characters.

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On 11/16/2016 05:40 AM, Graeme said:

It's good that Ryder now knows someone his own age. That will make his first day of school that much easier. It's frightening, though, that he can't remember anything before the age of seven. That shows an incredible amount of trauma he experienced as a child.

The trauma he experienced is a huge amount, he probably knows more than what he will ever let on, because deep down he doesn't want to put that on others that guilt of knowing what happened, then again alot of it he has just blocked out. School will be awkward for him

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I wish knew what to make of Ryder's dad. One minute he is so caring, and then he puts on his coaching hat. The football coach part draws to some of my biases. And I can't relate to being so focused on one thing in your life. Ryder is very intriguing as a character. Your slow peeling away of layers keeps me interested and frustrated. I am really hooked. Looking forward to finding out how the first day of school goes. Thanks. Jeff

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On 11/16/2016 03:37 PM, JeffreyL said:

I wish knew what to make of Ryder's dad. One minute he is so caring, and then he puts on his coaching hat. The football coach part draws to some of my biases. And I can't relate to being so focused on one thing in your life. Ryder is very intriguing as a character. Your slow peeling away of layers keeps me interested and frustrated. I am really hooked. Looking forward to finding out how the first day of school goes. Thanks. Jeff

Thank you, Ryder's dad is a complex character He wants what is best for Ryder and alot of times he thinks that not focusing on the past is what is best for him, other times he gets overwhelmed because he cannot control what is happening to him. I am happy to hear you are hooked thank you!

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I really like how you're slowly revealing more and more of Ryder and he has so many layers. His character is endearing, not because he's such a great guy, but because he's interesting and quite real. I found your hints about his nightmares leading up to this chapter so intriguing. I also like how you're slowly revealing Ryder's relationship with his parents. His primary focus was his best friend and we got to meet and know about him early. His father and mother's relationship is opening like a flower showing us a bit at a time.
Your portrayal of Ryder's isolation and loneliness is also well done. You are showing us how he feels. Many of us have been there, alone, friendless, and sorta scared. Callen was like a beam of hope to him, just like a new friend is when you're feeling the solitude. Really good story so far also. I'm not sure what's going to happen but I'm now along for the ride. thanks!!!

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On 01/07/2017 08:36 AM, Cole Matthews said:

I really like how you're slowly revealing more and more of Ryder and he has so many layers. His character is endearing, not because he's such a great guy, but because he's interesting and quite real. I found your hints about his nightmares leading up to this chapter so intriguing. I also like how you're slowly revealing Ryder's relationship with his parents. His primary focus was his best friend and we got to meet and know about him early. His father and mother's relationship is opening like a flower showing us a bit at a time.

Your portrayal of Ryder's isolation and loneliness is also well done. You are showing us how he feels. Many of us have been there, alone, friendless, and sorta scared. Callen was like a beam of hope to him, just like a new friend is when you're feeling the solitude. Really good story so far also. I'm not sure what's going to happen but I'm now along for the ride. thanks!!!

Thank you so much! I don't think I can even add anything to that cause you hit it all on the head! I am really happy you are enjoying the story!!!

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My first impulse was to feel sorry for Ryder. He has obviously been emotionally damaged by something — or someone from his childhood. But he’s in a good place now, with two parents that chose to embrace him into their lives, and are not afraid to love and support him for who is. Every child should be so lucky. For me personally, this was a very powerful chapter! I may read it again before this day is over. 

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