The List

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance

Chapter 2 (v.1) - chapter 2

Submitted: April 06, 2018

Reads: 184

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 06, 2018



 When I was a child, Ryder's home always was a safe haven for me. And even now, as I sat in the dining room where Ryder and I were never allowed in (two ten-year-olds were sure to make a mess in there), I felt safe and oddly protected.

And even though the house had changed beyond my recognition, Ryder hadn't. He was charismatic and warm and welcoming, and deceivingly prying, as I always remembered him to be.

"So," I looked up to him from reviewing his last math test, my list torn from it's bindings from my planner in his hand, a smirk planted on his face, "your list."

I made a face, standing from my seat reaching over the table for the stupid piece of paper, "Ryder," I complained as he pulled it out of reach.

He pointed at me with an accusing finger, "No Alice, we're talking about this!"

Was he being serious, we were talking about my list? Us? "Ryder that's private, for my eyes only!"

"No!" He protested in a child-like voice, "It's for Alice and Ryder's eyes only!"

I sighed, leaning back to a regular stance, crossing my arms, "Listen, Ryder, I really appreciate your enthusiasm, it's refreshing, but I don't need your help for it, we're not even friends!" I exclaimed, making another failed grab for the paper.

"Alice!" He genuinely looked hurt. "Of course we're friends, why would you even tempt that idea?"

I frowned.

Ryder Thompson was friends with everyone, and I mean, everyone. For Ryder, it didn't matter who you were, what's your grades were, whether you were annoying or not, he was kind and he made you his friend, no matter what.

So I supposed, I was still friends with him.

"I mean," I stammered. "We haven't spoken in years Ryder, and we sort of drifted, and-" I couldn't find any more excuses to why we weren't friends anymore. Our mothers had been best friends all their lives, and we just became best friends because I was always there, but we just found interest in different things in high school that was all, and there was nothing wrong with that.

"We'll always be friends Alice, hell, we'll always be best friends," he skipped around the dining room table and paused by the swinging door, "you're never getting rid of me."

I raised a brow at his disappearing figure, turning to follow him out the door, "Ryder!" I called to his retreating figure running up the plush stairs to his bedroom.

Groaning, and rather annoyed that he was diverting from our present task: study, I followed him up the stairs and into his bedroom, that was remarkably unchanged, though the mess of toys was replaced by a sensible desk, lined with papers and books.

He stood in front of that, taking a tac and pushing it into the paper, pinning it to the wall.

I leaned against the banister of his doorway, crossing my arms, "Whatcha doing?"

He turned to me, a ghost of a smile playing on his lips, "I want it here, where we will be constantly reminded that this is something that has to get done, and will get done." Pausing, he peered at the list, "What the fuck is whack shit Alice?"

I flushed, "I wanted thirteen and couldn't think of anything better- besides Ryder, I won't be in your room that often!"

He winked, "Yeah you will be."

I made a face at him, "Ryder I've known you my entire life, your charms aren't going to work on me."

His eyes were trained on the list as he read it through, his finger coming to rest on a point, "Well Alice, I'm beyond flattered- I'm on here," he chuckled and I rolled my eyes. "I'm having a party this Saturday, come."

I blinked twice. Me? At a party? With Ryder Thompson? "Ryder, I'm not prepared for that one yet, I had hoped I completed a few easy ones before I tackled that one," I confessed.

"Alice!" He walked up to me, grabbing my arms roughly.

I trembled in his touch, and he took note of this, letting me go quickly, "It'll be fine, my parties are never too rowdy," at my disbelieving glance, he changed his words, "too rowdy! You know this house well, despite the changes in furnishings, and I'll even keep an eye out for you- it'll be fun!"

When I wrote number three, I had never, in my wildest dreams thought I'd be the Ryder Thompson that invited me to his party, I supposed by that time, I would've made friends and went with them, not like this.

"I mean," I leaned my head against the doorway, staring at Ryder's stubborn figure. "I suppose I can't turn down the opportunity to complete a number on my list."

As I finished my sentence, the smile on Ryder's face had grew to a full blown grin, and he took two long strides to me, whisked me in his arms, and spun me around.

I giggled in his arms, for the first time in a long time, feeling free and like a teenager- like a kid.

It was a moment, a nice moment, a moment of bonding between us. The fragile friendship slowly making mending it's hems and repairing it's holes.

Our moment was shattered by a loaded voice calling from the stairs, "Ryder?"

A shuffle, "Where are you?"

Ryder eyes suddenly clouded as he heard the constant thump of two heavy feet on the stairs, hurriedly shoving me into his closet, giving me firm instructions not to come out, and shutting the door in my face.

I stared at the white door, both appalled and freaked out. The precarious situation I was in felt way too similar to a situation I often put Angelica in.

And with the memories of why I had to hide Angelica in the closet, brought out even more anxiety in me, what happened on bad day's with Dad.

They weren't often, maybe every few months or so, but when they were bad, they were bad.

I heard my breathing before I realized it, heavy and constrained, making guttural sounds in the back of my throat. I leaned my head against the door, silently trying to remedy my cotton-dry throat, gasping and coughing lightly.

It felt as if there was a fire in my lungs and it was threatening to devour me. There were a million thoughts in the world and they were all passing me in a flash but I couldn't focus on one.

It had to happen now? While I was at Ryder's and he had a vague person in his room while I tried to overcome a minor panic attack, a attack brought on by the similarities sometimes faced at home?

It wasn't even like Dad was that bad, he avoided hitting us, he avoiding talking to us at all when he was drunk, but when he did, it was spewing insults and shattered beer bottles and the fear that the bottles he was throwing would at some point be aimed at one of us.

With my head against the door, I was able to manage the few words spoken in the room over, "When's it going to stop hurting Ryder?"

The voice was soft and fragile, and completely unrecognizable, which if we didn't live in such a small town wouldn't be so alarming. But we were a small town, and I did know mostly everyone, which led it to be the only person I hadn't really talked to before: Eros Zane, Ryder's best friend.

Curiosity caused me to crack the door open, eyes peering to the boy laying on the bed, and the boy that stood afar, watching the other carefully.

They didn't notice me, small and insignificant. But I noticed them. I noticed him.

He was long and brooding and angry. He was blonde and blue eyed- the whole white boy get up, but he wasn't your average white boy. He wasn't preppy with khakis and polo shirts. He was dominant and frightening. He was ripped black skinny jeans, band tee shirts, and a black lip ring.

I stood in the crack of the closet, eyes locked on the saddened boy in the bed, and the concerned boy in the corner, turning to face me briefly, eyes widened by my appearance, making hand gestures to close the door, but I refused.

I was Alice, the kindest girl on the block. These things mattered to me.

"I miss them so much," when Eros spoke, I didn't expect to hear such pain, such a tortured voice.

"Alice," Ryder's voice was quiet, but not quiet enough, Eros shot up on bed, his eyes searching for my body, then landing on me, seeming dazed and confused.

"Why are you crying child?" His voice was cold and cruel, and I touched my cheeks, not even aware that the tears had begun to fall.

"I," my voice cracked, the eyes on me feeling heavy and judgmental, "I'm just going to," I walked out of the closet, stumbling slightly out of the room, down the stairs, my feet carrying me to a deck I had known very well once.

As I stood outside, taking deep breaths of the cool air, I recounted the minor panic attack I had in the closet, taking note to write it down in my planner, naively hoping that keeping track of them would help me control them.

Did it ever work? No, but I'd keep trying.

The glass door slid open, and he spoke again, annoyed, "You're out here."

I turned my head to him, his cigarette butt lighting his movements as he crossed the deck, standing away from me.

"What a great observation Eros," I commented sarcastically, turning away from the deck, now intent on leaving.

I didn't much enjoy the presence of Eros, maybe it was because we saw each other at our most vulnerable that caused this, but I wanted to be as far away from him as I could.

I wanted to clear my head and fix myself, all by myself.

"You came out here for the air didn't you?" I really didn't expect him to talk more than he already did. He was Eros, the quietest, and still, hottest boy on campus. He had a reputation to upkeep.

Just like me.

"I did." I affirmed, my hand on the handle of the glass door, but my gaze fixed on his tall figure. We held eye contact, an understanding, an understanding that I didn't think would happen between the two of us.

An understanding of why I needed the air, and why he needed it too.

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