Shit, I thought to myself, that boy was Marcus .
I can’t believe that I didn’t realize this before. But he looked so different when he was younger and then I remember that boy leaving the end of fifth grade and he never came back. Shit, I feel so stupid. I knew that there was something familiar with Marcus . I wonder if Marcus remembers any of this. I don’t even think that was his name in fifth grade, he must have changed it or something. Marcus and I have had sexual affection before Ryan passed, and he was the one who called Ryan a fag.
I got off of the couch slowly and made my way to the bathroom. I checked the clock as I went by, it read 9:30. Ugh. I thought it was later. I stood in the bathroom looking at myself in the mirror, my eyes were bloodshot from crying and my hair was a mess. I looked down at my hands and they were covered fin dust from the picture frame. I guess I haven’t cleaned in a while because that picture was really dirty.
I turned on the faucet and a steady stream of warm water poured out. I pumped some soap on my hands and scrubbed the dirt away. I splashed some water on my face to wake myself up a little more. I turned off the water and dried my hands with the towel that was hanging to the left of the sink. It was soft and felt like Ryan’s hair. Ryan…I miss him so much.
I made my way out of the bathroom still holding the towel in my hands. I couldn’t get myself to let it go, it felt just like him. I lay down on the couch still a little tired. The water I splashed on my face didn’t help much. I closed my eyes for a bit and drifted off into another deep sleep.
“Liam, come down stairs, we are going to meet the new neighbors.” My mum called me. I came running down the stairs almost tripping over my feet as the velcro straps from my light up sneakers smack my legs.
“Buckle your shoes hun, and then we can go.” My mother said to me. I bent down and buckled my strap and sprang back up with a huge smile on my face. My mother got the sense that I was ready to go meet the boy next door who was a few months younger than me. I was glad that I could finally have a friend on the street to play with. It got kind of lonely playing with my cars at home by myself.
“Okay, Li, ready to go?”
“Yup!” I said and grabbed her hand, leading her to the front door. I wrapped my small hands around the door and pulled it open as the door creaked. My mother was still holding on to my hand and we walked across the street where a little boy and his mother were standing. The boy had brown hair and blue eyes. He was short like me, but what do you expect, we were five. I was going to tart kindergarten soon so maybe me and this kid will be best friends.
“Liam, this is Ryan Jacobs. They moved here from Ireland.” My mother said. I didn’t move. She gave me a nudge and I stepped forward a tad.
“H-Hi.” I managed to get out of my stuttering mouth.”
“Hi!” Ryan said holding out his hand for me to shake. This kid is very open. “Do you like cars?” Ryan asked me.
“Yeah, I have lots upstairs in my room.”
“Cool, me too.” Ryan said.
“Why don’t you two go play in the back yard while me and Liam’s mum talk.” Ryan’s mother suggested.
“Come on Liam, let’s go. I have swings and a slide that we can play on.” Ryan said grabbing my hand. We ran around to the back yard and I sat on one of the swings.
“Want me to push you?” Ryan asked.
“Yeah.” I said trying to pump my legs but I didn’t get very high. I felt Ryan push on my back and his hands left then returned again.
“I love swings, they are my favorite part of a play scape.”
“Mine too.” I said
Ryan and I swung on the swings until our mothers arrived in the back calling us in for dinner.
“Come on Li, let’s go home, we are having your favorite.”
“Mac and cheese?!” I said jumping down from the swing and running over to her.
“Yup and hot dogs.” She said grabbing my hand again. I looked back at Ryan slowly swinging, he looked at me like I had just got up and left him, which I did, but I was hungry and I like my mac and cheese.
“Bye Liam. I will see you tomorrow.” He said without a smile.
I walked over to him and gave him a hug. “I will come play tomorrow. Promise.” I whispered in his ear.
“Okay.” Ryan wrapped his arms around me and squeezed me tight. I like this kid. He is so nice and we get along great together. I walked back to my mum and we made our way home.
“So, how is Ryan, do you like him.” My mother asked bending down to my eye level.
“Yeah, we get along great. I really like him, he’s funny.” I said and gave her a hug. “Thank you.” I said and ran into the house finding my father in the kitchen cooking the mac and cheese.
I awoke to the sound of my phone buzzing on the counter. I made my over to find that it was a message from Marcus . Marcus …I check the messages and he asked if I was okay. I hadn’t talked to the boys all day and it was already 3. 3…did I really sleep for that long? I clenched my stomach as it made a grumbling noise. I hit reply on my phone:
‘Yeah I’m okay, thanks for asking. Hey do you Harry and Lucas want to grab an early dinner? I slept through breakfast and lunch and I am starving.’
Food. Starving. The memory of Ryan eating a large pizza came flooding back to my memory. I need to get out with the boys. It has been almost a week since Ryan has passed. I need to get him off of my mind for a little while. My phone buzzed in my hands as I came back to reality.
‘Sure, meet us at the pizza place down the block in fifteen minutes.’ Marcus texted back. I was glad they wanted to or else I would be left here with only my mind and that is not where I want to escape to right now.
I walked to my room and opened my closet. I was still in the closes from yesterday so id decided to change into a pair of blue jeans, a gray T-shirt and my red Nikes. I unhooked the watch that I only wore for special occasions and placed it down on my bureau. I put on some deodorant and axe then made my way to the door to meet the guys for a pizza. By the time I was out the door, I hadn’t realized that I put on Ryan’s axe by accident.
Ryan, just the smell made me feel like you are still here with me.
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