Hello once again, 4 more days…… This finale is shaping up. People are yelling, people are screaming, and people are getting to understand. People are seeing an end, and Lorna has a plan? Will this end in every single character getting what they want? Of course not. Will this end nicely and all neat and packed in the next few days? Hopefully. Word count: 55,956. Here you go, chapter 26 of “Home For The Unwanted”.
“Lorna?” Ryan said as she opened the door of the building. Lorna had more or less simmered down, and was trying her best to appear calm and composed despite the severity of the situation.
“Ray?” Lorna refused to call Ryan by his name. Ryan would only be known as Ray to her. Nothing more, nothing less.
“You did.” Ryan was anxious. The answers he wanted were right in front of him, and all he needed to do was ask. Ryan only wanted the truth, and it would be this truth that would drive him. Ryan was tired of running from the truth, and he was tired of chasing it. Ryan wanted answers. He wanted to know.
“But I stayed.”
“Ray, you have to–”
“I’m staying.” Ryan stood his ground. He was just as involved as she was, Ryan thought. Ryan was attached, he wanted these norms to last. For once, Ryan felt wanted, but he failed to see the implications of having those feelings. He failed to see that if he stayed to protect his norm, and to protect his family and friends, that he would be staying in a home for the unwanted.
“Ry–” Lorna stopped. Her voice had gotten louder, and she was getting unconsciously frantic over the situation. Lorna knew that she had to remain calm, and she knew that the children would be affected by her if she were to have an outburst. Lorna didn’t want to involve Ryan, but the more she sees him, the more that feeling dissipates. The more she sees him, the more she wants her norm to last. Ryan was an integral part of her life, he had shown her just how much she could do if she focused and had a goal in mind. Ryan was Ray, and to Lorna, he was a ray of hope. Ryan’s norms and experiences were all culminating, and Lorna was left with only a small portion. She only had one slice of the pie, but that slice was important. That slice was the opener, and that slice was an investment. Lorna saw a sky of muddied clouds, but once time had eroded, it became pitch perfect. It became a beautiful blue, and it became clear enough for Lorna to see the sun. It was almost blinding.
“Ray,” Lorna said.
“I can’t have you here anymore,” Lorna was speaking in a rather somber tone. Her voice was low and concise, but her eyes were locked straight on Ryan. The others were huddled in a nearby room. They were listening, but most of all, they were waiting. They all had answers they wanted. However, they may never get to hear them. That fact scared them. The children didn’t want to leave or be separated, but they knew that it was inevitable. What the children wanted to know, was if they were going to get closure, whether Lorna was coming with them, or if Lorna was going to fight the ‘bad guys’. And if so, will she win?
“Go back. There are people waiting for you, right?” Lorna wanted to say more, but her voice began trailing.
“I’m staying,” Ryan paused, and before Lorna could give a response, Ryan stretched out his arms in a big motion and walked forward towards the stairs. Ryan looked up towards the second floor, and then turned his head towards both ends of the hallway before continuing.
“This place has become my home now, Lorna. It’s my second home. And I want to protect that feeling.” Ryan lowered his arms and stepped to the window.
“I don’t care about what’s happening in my home unless I know that this place, this feeling, is safe.” Ryan paused.
“This building, this home, means so much to me, Lorna.”
“I’ve changed because of you, because of everyone here.”
“If this norm is ending, then I want to fight. I want to be here with everyone else.”
“You can’t tell me to leave when I’ve become so attached. You can’t tell me to leave when I’ve poured my new life into this experience. You can’t tell me to leave when my friends and family are in danger!” Ryan was shouting at this point. Words were spewing from his mouth, but the only thing he wanted to say was accomplished in merely six. His emotions ran across his mind, and his mind was filled with gray. Everything he wanted to say slowly started mixing. Ryan was changing, yet to him, he was merely adapting.
“Calm down, Ray.” Lorna waited for Ryan.
“Everything will be fine. No one is in danger,” Lorna’s eyes wandered across the wooden tiles until they locked with Ryan’s.
“But, I can’t involve you anymore,”
“No!” Lorna shouted over Ryan. Her calm and collected voice had risen a storm. Lorna was torn by her decisions, and by her mistakes. Just as much as Ryan, Lorna wanted the whole world to stop. She wanted everyone to stop talking, and she wanted a sense of assurance; she got neither.
“I know how important this is to you. Trust me, Ray–” Lorna stopped and allowed her voice to settle before finishing.
“But you have somewhere to be. We both know this. Your mom is waiting, right?” The sound of the word ‘mom’ made Ryan feel a burst of disgust. Ryan had made up his mind. Years of longing wasn’t what he had. It was years of self-indulgence. Ryan’s condition wasn’t a result of his own insolent attitude, but it was built up through the shattered puzzle pieces that Anna had left.
“So go back. You need to be with her, right?” Ryan’s temper began rising, and he slowly realized that his hands were scrunching up into fists.
“Rebuild while you can, this is your only chance.” Lorna had deciphered Ryan’s situation. Lorna knew that Ryan was missing something. He was missing a real family. However, Lorna was often pretentious, and she often jumped into untrodden territories. She often did this when she was still playing with wood and strings. However, Lorna allowed herself to read into Ryan more than usual, and allowed herself to create a stigma. Lorna didn’t care, all she wanted was for Ryan to be safe, and for Ryan to be casted away from the norm that he had entertained.
“It’s for the better, so go and–”
“No!” Ryan yelled at Lorna.
“Stop!” Ryan’s face contorted into one of pure anger.
“Stop. Please,” Ryan’s tone quickly shifted from one of anger, to one of sincerity. His face mellowed, and he looked like he wanted to cry, Lorna thought. Ryan was pleading to Lorna, pleading for her to stop and pleading for her to allow Ryan to be with them. Lorna had no words.
“I won’t go back.”
“Even if my mom is waiting. Even if my uncle is waiting. I’ll stay here. I’ll stay here with everyone else!” Ryan seemed desperate, Lorna thought. Lorna didn’t understand it, and neither did Ryan. Ryan wanted to give his mom a chance to prove to him that she would stay by him, but his norm, and his feelings had overwhelmed him. Ryan was intoxicated by Lorna, and by the children. Ryan couldn’t leave, he couldn’t go back if it meant that his second home was going to disappear.
“Ryan,” Lorna said with her somber tone. Her voice was clear as ice, and it tinged with the aftertaste of steel. Lorna continued to stare into Ryan’s eyes. Ryan was at a loss for words. Lorna’s alluring eyes had captivated Ryan, and the calm and melancholic expression on Lorna’s face had fixated him.
“We’ve spent time together, with everyone. I can’t ever say that I would want to take that time back, because the time we spent was ethereal.” Lorna gave off a smile small. It was a self contained smile, that was filled with pity, and regret. It was a smile that deserved more malice than rejoice, and even Lorna felt bad for giving Ryan that smile.
“But, that time, can’t last forever. We all have to move on, Ryan. I have to move on. You have to move on. And…. I’ll make sure that the kids can move on as well. After all, they’re my responsibility.” Lorna paused again, walked over to the door, and slowly opened it.
“I did this, because I needed to,” Lorna took one step onto the porch.
“But it slowly turned into want. It turned into a poisoning want.” Lorna jumped from the porch and into the dirt, which prompted Ryan to walk to the open doorway, and stand by the ledge.
“I realized, Ryan, that the time I had, and the time I was going to get, were all wrong. I loved the time I had, and the time I was able to get. But it was all wrong. I was wrong. The world is wrong.” Ryan remained quiet. For some reason, Ryan wasn’t able to talk. He was simply awestruck. He was simply listening.
“I want this to last, Ryan. Please trust me when I say this. Please.” Lorna turned towards Ryan, and smiled again. This time, it was a bitter smile. It was a smile filled with all of her sadness, and all of her happiness. Ryan had to look away, Ryan had to focus his eyes. Ryan couldn’t bear to see Lorna in that state.
“I trust you,” Ryan said.
“But, my feelings are real too. And the time that we spent, and the time that we had, is something irreplaceable to me. I want this to last. So please, let me–”
“Ryan. You can’t do this anymore. You know this. You’re wanted. There are people other than us, that need you. You will be attended to. You’re not an orphan. You’re just a lonely kid.” Ryan wanted to yell out at Lorna, but knew that doing so would simply lead them into a cycle of cynicism. Ryan was done. His world had stopped crumbling, and he made it so. He didn’t care anymore. Ryan was going to stay. He was going to see to it that the norm he was in, wasn’t going to be left unattended to. Ryan didn’t care that he had a family, Ryan didn’t care that he was given a chance for bloodied love anymore.
“But I guess, you’re not leaving, no matter how much I tell you,” Lorna said.
“And I guess, that no matter how dangerous this may get, you’ll still stay?”
“You just said that it wouldn’t be dangerous,” Ryan remarked suavely.
“I said that no one was in danger. But, that could all change. I can’t say for certain what will happen from here on out.”
“And I don’t need you to. Simply being here is enough. And simply getting through this is enough.”
“Have it your way.” Lorna gave up. She jumped back onto the porch, and walked inside.
“I’ll tell you more about our situation. The kids already have a gist of it.” Lorna walked up to the second floor. Ryan followed suit, and walked back inside the building, closing the door behind him. Ryan was relieved, and he was happy. Despite the situation, Ryan was happy. The day wasn’t going to get longer, and Amanda and James weren’t going to find them yet. However, they were close, and they were dangerously close. Their days were going to end. Lorna knew this for a fact. What Lorna also knew, was the truth. And that truth, was going to be stretched for Ryan. He would learn of the ‘bad guys’ but what he wouldn’t know, was what Lorna had planned. Lorna didn’t make any mistakes. She had her plan. And she was going to adhere to it. Lorna was leaving.