Hello once again on this fine Sunday, which is also the first day that marks this long endeavor. (Writing every day for 30 days to write a novel) I’m going to keep these short unless I have something to say, and…. nope I have nothing to say for today, so, here you go. The first chapter of “Home For The Unwanted”.
The day grew old, and there wasn’t much activity, at least not for Ryan. His days went by just as quickly as he realized how much he cared; he didn’t. Every single day, Ryan Anderson trudged through the pavement to walk to school. The sun engulfed his entire being, and the wind made imaginary cuts on his soft skin. His legs grew tired of the same routine, but he knew that he couldn’t break the mold. The norm was his life now, no matter how mundane, Ryan had to live on.
The bells rang throughout the hallway, and the clock had struck a satisfying click. Ryan turned his head towards the circular device with the same amity as everything else in the school. His eyes were weighed down by his sleepless nights, but he did a good job of compensating during this time.
“Hey, Ryan!” A boy called out to Ryan, and interrupted his scared slumber. Ryan lifted his head and noticed a dark haired boy at his desk. His height towered over him, but only due to the slouched position that Ryan had gave himself. The boy had never really made an impression on Ryan, and because of that, he never remembered his name. However, Ryan played along, realizing that the boy knew of him, and that he didn’t want to come off as rude.
“It’s lunch, you know that right?”
“Yeah, and this is when I sleep. If you don’t need anything, I’ll be off now.” Ryan bit his tongue at the end of his sentence, realizing he had came off as rude anyway. But nevertheless, he lowered his head back on his desk, and tuned out.
“You can’t survive on sleep alone, you need to eat. Aren’t you eating?” The boy asked. Ryan didn’t lift his head this time, and simply shook while facing his desk. Ryan wanted the boy to leave, he wanted to have his peace. In other words, Ryan didn’t want to associate with this boy. Nor did he care to associate with this boy, all he wanted was to stay in his own world. The world that he had deemed as normal. The world that he sees as nothing but a reflection of his own self. Except, he didn’t have mirrors.
“Fine. Have it your way, but you know…the class is saying things about you. If you keep this up, won’t you be bothered by it?” Ryan shook off the meddling inquiry of the boy and tried his best to fall asleep. Soon enough, he heard the footsteps of the boy leave the classroom. They were quite loud. Unbearably loud for Ryan, but he understood that it only meant the world around him was growing quiet. The bass of the steps meant that everything else subjugated to nothingness. With his eyes closed shut, and his back slouched down, Ryan knew that he was alone. The darkness enveloped his mind, and his entire body was soon being devoured, and no one would care. No one was left to care. No one was left, and Ryan was happy.
As the class bell rang again, Ryan quickly jolted his head and rubbed his eyes to adjust. The class was filling once again, and Ryan felt indifferent about the occasion. Students flooding into a classroom meant one of two things to him; either they were being shepherded by a man with a silver gun or class was starting. Ryan preferred the former, it would mean he could sleep through it and not have to worry about being shot. Criminals love obedient hostages, he thought.
“Alright class, settle down.” The teacher was very much like Ryan, very indifferent about his job, and very indifferent about coming here every single day in the morning to torture himself. They got along, only in spirit. Ryan soon found himself growing ever so tired from the antics of the class, and just like he would, Ryan found himself delving into his own fictitious stupor.
The world around him grayed out. His peers soon turned into blackened silhouettes, and all sounds that came to him turned into a deep buzzing. The sound of pen to paper, of chalk to board, and of the low tone of the teacher were all but mechanical rambling. Then, his body grew light. The chair he was sitting on soon faded, and he was simply amidst an airborne throne. His hands on the desk grew elated, and the weightlessness of it made him queasy. Ryan licked his lips, but the moisture came off as unrecognizable, he continued, but could not feel. Even the air from the windows could not wake him from his mindless state. He was in complete sanction of his own world, and while he was stuck in his, the others were breaking away. The silhouettes faded one by one, until he was alone in absolute darkness. No one cared to notice, and Ryan simple sat staring at nothingness until his time was done. This was an average day for him, a day without care, and a day all to himself. This also made Ryan happy.
When the bell struck again, it was time for Ryan to leave. He noticed that all his classmates were concentrated into small packets in the room. They had their own conclaves, their own agendas, and their own incandescent chatter. Ryan couldn’t close his ears, but he could ignore the words by simply letting them in and out the same. Ryan wanted to scoff at his peers, but couldn’t find himself to it, nor did he want to be branded more than he already was. He pushed past them and found himself out of the classroom where he made a bee-line for the nearest exit.
Overtime, Ryan grew accustomed to this. He had walked alone throughout the hallways for as long as he could remember; he ignored everyone, and they ignored him. However, on this day, he noticed things. From walking on these hallways so much, Ryan’s learned how to zone in on his hearing. Aside from his classroom, Ryan has never really sought the need to focus and indulge himself in his own world; perhaps once or twice outside, but he doesn’t get out much. When Ryan is in his stupor, his hearing turns into buzzing. From walking on these hallways he’s learned to selectively choose what he wants and what he doesn’t. In other words, when the halls are too loud, he does what he does with his classmates; he lets the words bounce right off. He can’t escape from every word, however, since he is walking, and walking and closing are two very strenuous tasks for Ryan. Thus, he lets some words in, and from this, he learns just a bit more about the students he walks by every day.
“Do you see that guy?”
“Yeah. They say he’s always alone.”
“Has no friends.”
“He has no family, right?” Ryan grew agitated by all the words he had to let in, all the slander, and all the garbage that roamed the halls were too potent. Rumors had spread across the grade, and people were extremely wary of the boy named Ryan. Sometimes, after crossing these halls, even Ryan starts to think the same, but he doesn’t call them out. He doesn’t bat an eye. He doesn’t falter. Ryan continues to walk down the same hall, and he continues to listen in on the darkened whispers, and he continues to come to school. For that, is the norm, and Ryan lives the norm.
Once Ryan steps out of the school building, a waft of air greets him. It pushes his hair back a bit, and causes his eyes to squint. Students begin swarming out behind him, and Ryan makes quick work to get out of their way. There are multiple paths for Ryan to take to walk home, but he always chooses the one with the least traffic. The walkway lies at the base of a forest, but Ryan knows not to venture too far off the road. He has never once stepped foot in the forest, nor does he want to. The greenery and pricks would be too much for him, that kind of life is aside from the norm. And besides, Ryan knows that if he were to get lost in the forest, no one would look for him. That kind of life seems not too far from appealing, however, he can’t cause trouble for his benefactor. If he did, even the afterlife wouldn’t be safe. The last thing Ryan wanted, was to get yelled at after death. Even he couldn’t ignore his benefactor. Despite all this, Ryan still managed to forget one important fact. Life doesn’t wait for anyone. It doesn’t wait for him, nor did it wait for his parents. Life is a stream of self-indulgence, and Ryan will soon find himself in the middle of all its chaos. Before he realizes it, Ryan will find himself following the threads of fate, and be swept up in life; that is, the norm will be broken.
“Wait up!” A voice resounded within Ryan’s ears, a voice that he had not been familiar with. A voice of a child’s.
“Come on! Get me if you can!” Another voice resounded, a voice of a child’s, but this one, was male. Suddenly, a small figure jumped out of the forest and crashed onto the pavement in front of Ryan. The boy picked himself up without regards to Ryan and brushed off his clothes. He then turned around back into the forest and yelled, “I’m alright! Don’t worry!” The boy then sprinted back into the forest, all without regard to the bewildered person who he had stumbled upon. Ryan blinked twice to revitalize his senses, and once he did, he noticed a small rectangular card in front of him. He picked it up, and noticed it was cut from a notebook. The edges were rough, but the handwriting was fairly legible. If it was left for the wind, it would probably rip, he thought. Ryan read the words on the card twice before thinking about it.
“Lorna’s Orphanage; for the unneeded, unwanted, and unattended.” Ryan quickly realized it belonged to the boy, and realized even faster that he had disappeared in the thick of the woods. Ryan folded the card and carefully placed it in his pocket. He sighed heavily and thought about coming back tomorrow to catch the boy again. However, just for today, something within him thought otherwise. Something within him told him to follow the boy. It broke his norm, and Ryan hesitated before taking his first step, perhaps it was the words.
“Unneeded, unwanted, and unattended.” Those words resonated within Ryan. They were something that he could relate to, something that he could care for, and something that he could call his own. Ryan didn’t have much of those, and so, he took his first step. His legs slowed almost to a halt at first, but once his foot had planted into the dirt in front of him, he couldn’t stop.