Hello once again, and……… I’ve got nothing. Today’s been such a time crunch and such a rush that I’ve really got my work cut out for me. Things happen without you ever knowing, and you quickly come to realize that many things in life are out of your control, and that you’ll have to adapt and find times to adjust. I hate when that happens, it defeats the purpose of having a schedule and hey, quite lately I’ve actually been trying to keep a schedule. Word count: 28,961. Here you go, chapter 15 of “Home For The Unwanted”.
Ryan trudged slowly towards his home. It was a long day of school, and an even longer day playing with everyone at the building. His legs were sore, but his breathing had became stable. Ryan was unsure of why he kept agreeing to let Runner choose all the games. His lungs couldn’t handle it. As Ryan made it to his home, he sighed. It was a large house, too large for him, too large for anyone. But Ryan made it there anyway, and he braced himself for it. He took out the key he was given, and pushed it into the harrowing lock. He opened the door with a slight creak and then stepped inside the house; a draft of cold air rushed behind him. The house itself was very quiet, and the only noise that Ryan could hear was the sounds of his own footsteps. Ryan knew the house very well, surprisingly. He knew where his room was. He knew where the kitchen was. He knew where the storage room was. What he didn’t know, was the hidden compartment in his basement, but neither did his benefactor. He also knew where his benefactor’s room was. That was important. That was very important.
Ryan made his way across the kitchen, where there was a plate of food on the table. There was no note, or person there to accompany it however. It was just a lone plate of food, which Ryan understood as his dinner. The only time he’s remembered to have eaten together with someone else in this home was when he first arrived. Shortly thereafter, most of his meals were by himself, sitting on the cold table, and listening to the silverware cling with the plate. Ryan was unsure of what his benefactor did in his room. He was curious, but never bothered to bring that curiosity much further than outside his door. Ryan was glad that he was even given a place to stay. This home, no matter how decrepit and lonely, was a place that allowed Ryan to form and join new norms. Every day without fail, Ryan would wake up, and walk to school. He would attend school, and walk back, all the while in his own self contained world. Ryan seldom spoke, even in his own home. But it was because of this home, that he was able to meet so much new people, and so quickly. It was because of this home that he made real friends, people he could hold dear. And it was because of this home, that he found another place to call home; his second home. Ryan was happy, for the first time in a while, Ryan was truly happy. And he could thank it all for the home he resided in.
“Out late again?” His benefactor had a scruffy beard, and an even scruffier voice. It was harsh, and brash, but Ryan got used to it fairly quickly. His hair was in a dark mess, but he dressed relatively normal. Ryan’s frequent outings have caused quite a stirring within the norm of this house, and he’s noticed that his benefactor has been awfully inquisitive as of late. What it meant for Ryan, was more talking; which he didn’t mind at all.
“I was just with some friends.” Ryan stretched the use of the word friends as his benefactor didn’t quite know who his friends were.
“You’ve been with friends for a while now,” Ryan’s benefactor waited for a response, but harbored none from Ryan, which prompted him to speak again.
“It’s a sound change, I’ll tell you that.”
“It’s a good change, uncle.”
“Right. It must be. You’ve even seemed different lately.”
“Different?” Ryan’s uncle didn’t think hard about it, nor did he hesitate to answer.
“Normal. You seem more normal. Everything about you just radiates that.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“It is.” Ryan’s uncle paused again, not looking for an answer, but gathered his thoughts. Ryan never took his uncle as much of a talkative type. He was more of a listener than anything, Ryan thought, however, Ryan has learned over the past few weeks that his uncle is more than what he initially thought. Ryan saw the man as cold and uncaring, which Ryan still thinks holds true to some extent. However, his uncle’s tough exterior is very easily a facade, and Ryan has been able to notice that facade more frequently. Whether that facade is a good or a bad thing, Ryan has yet to figure out.
“It’s a good thing, because you always seemed so down before.” Ryan could contest this point. It wasn’t a means of being depressed or trying to look depressed, but it was his own norm, and that’s how he seemed in it. Ryan was just being Ryan. And now, Ryan was being Ryan, and Ray. And in some other part of the timeline, Ryan, would just be a norm.
“You always looked like you were in a daze. Always in your own world, and uncaring for everything around you.” It was only recently that Ryan had begun thinking of what others were thinking of him. He knew that before his new norm, he was a very unsociable person, and despite all the times he had blocked off the world and ignored the slander, he still knew. Ryan still heard, and some words were still able to linger in his mind. The only difference now, was that those words were turning from a cold wind, to a block of ice.
“To be honest, that kind of life, isn’t so bad.” Ryan’s uncle seemed to be speaking with a glint of mysticism, and load of wistful reprise.
“You would know?” Ryan answered quietly brashly. Ryan wasn’t surprised that he was able to answer with such intent now, nor was it surprising that he felt indifferent about his possible insensitive question. To Ryan, it was just a matter of perspective, and a matter of person. Ryan found himself to be odd in both.
“I would. Once upon a time, in fact.” Ryan’s uncle gave off a small chuckle to his reminiscence. His sharp eyes then lowered into a focus, and he added, “Perhaps now even so.” Ryan would argue that his uncle truly was in his own world. He was always in his room during the day when Ryan was around, and never seemed to leave unless necessary. Ryan couldn’t account for when he was at the building, but his uncle always seemed to be in the house whenever he got back. Ryan didn’t know exactly how his uncle did what he did, but Ryan knew that it was able to sustain his way of life, and for that he didn’t question it. He embraced it, and if it truly was his uncle’s way of life, to be stuck in his own perplexing world, then Ryan would come to appreciate that norm.
“It’s true–” Before Ryan continued, he took a deep breath, and looked around the hallway he was standing in. It was nice, and bright, too bright for a person like him. Too bright for only the two of them. It was large, it was welcoming, and at the same time, it was a closed off room. It was a locked room, and Ryan couldn’t find the key. He was stuck in a world of nothingness, and he was stuck in a world filled with choking norms. Everything eventually evaporated into a mist of substantial matter, and Ryan was slowly losing himself into a fictitious stupor, however, his mind fought. Ryan didn’t succumb to his mindful lust, he hadn’t in a while.
“That I used to live like that.” Ryan finished.
“I lived in a world where I was the only person. I blocked what others said, and I ignored everyone else. But–” Ryan smiled, he thought back to all the things that happened, all because of a simple slip of paper, all because of a broken rule. Ryan smiled because it all happened before he knew it. It was fast, frightening, and fervorous, and Ryan couldn’t help but be swept up in all of it.
“After finding friends, I’ve realized things. I’ve realized how fun life can be. I’ve realized how to cherish life. And I’ve realized things about myself.” Ryan paused. It wasn’t hard for him to quickly think of the things that he’s realized about himself, and the things that he has gained through the children and through Lorna.
“I’ve realized many things. And it’s all because I was able to break out of my own world, and find others.” However, Ryan was still unsure of whether he was ready to talk about the things he’s realized, and whether those things are important or not. All Ryan knew was that he’s changed, and that change enough was already a good start. He wasn’t sure whether the details were needed, but, he wasn’t scared. Ryan was still very much confused, and very much stuck in a realm of two norms.
“That’s good. That’s very good. Living in one’s own world shouldn’t ever be a lifestyle. It’s a compromise,” Ryan’s uncle talked softly towards Ryan. His voice was rough, but Ryan could also hear a soft gentle touch to it. Ryan couldn’t understand what word to put towards that feeling however, and Ryan couldn’t figure out what he would attribute that tone to. All Ryan understood, was that his uncle was more than just a cold man who lived secluded in his own world. He had more to him, but it seemed like he can’t leave, and that he’s stuck for his own reasons, Ryan thought.
“People like you, people with youth, should spend their youth accordingly. Living in your own room and only knowing yourself as a friend is something for old people and cynical theorists. You’re not any of the two.”
“But I will become old.”
“You will. For sure. But now that you’re still young, you should play. It’s fine to mess up, and it’s fine to do things you’ve never tried before. After all, when are you going to get that kind of leeway later?” Ryan’s uncle walked around Ryan, and headed to the kitchen.
“Play now. Eat later.”
“I won’t be getting any seconds if I eat later.”
“Exactly.” Ryan’s uncle smiled, but Ryan couldn’t quite catch it. Ryan headed back to his room. He only ever ate when he was free from school obligations, which Ryan saw as chains toward norms. Although, Ryan wouldn’t have it any other way. It kept him occupied, and he’s learned that learning is quite fun in its own right. However, he did have trouble in math. Logic and numbers just didn’t seem all that logical to Ryan. Those numbers aren’t having fun, nor are they crying, nor are they getting angry. Those numbers are following a straight pattern, and are all part of a norm known as equation. Ryan has long retired from this norm, and is moving into a norm known as variable. Ironically enough, variables do exist in math, and Ryan is getting better each day. His own puzzle pieces are being found, and he’s found a meaning for them in his norm, hopefully he’ll be able to apply this to his work. The only thing Ryan still can’t figure out, however, is how those pieces will fit into other norms. Ryan needs to figure out why the things he’s learned now is important, and why it’ll be of use to him later, but he’ll take all of that one step at a time.