Kicked Out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Guy tries to help his friend after his father kicks him out of the house.

It was 10:47 pm on a warm Monday night in May when Caleb heard the doorbell ring. He had been on the computer in the living room looking up cheats for his new video game and wondered who could possibly be at his house this time of night. When he opened the door, he was surprised to see his friend Ryan standing on the front step, holding a sagging red gym bag in his hand and wearing a very forlorn expression on his face.
“Caleb, is it okay if I stay with you for a few days?”
“Are you okay? What happened?”
Ryan waited until he was inside, sitting on the couch, to tell his friend about how his father kicked him out. Just hurled a gym bag at his face and slammed the door on him, those were Ryan’s words.
“He did that?” Caleb commented. “Why? What were you two arguing about this time?”
Ryan and his father had starting arguing constantly in the three months since Ryan’s mother left them for another man to go who-knows-where. Ryan had stayed out late to see a movie, past the nine o’clock curfew his dad had put in place because exams were fast approaching. Ryan came home to a good chewing-out by his dad. Ryan kept arguing that the idea of curfew was dumb, and that if his mother was still here she wouldn’t have put such a stupid rule in place. The story ended with Ryan being thrown out and forced to wander the streets in search of Caleb’s house.
Caleb opened his mouth to respond to Ryan’s story, but Caleb’s mother and father had come into the room.
“What’s going on here?” Caleb’s dad inquired, rubbing his eyes. “Ryan? What are you doing here?”
“Ryan’s father kicked him out of his house,” Caleb explained.
“What? Did they have another argument again?” asked Mrs. Garret, raising her hand to her cheek.
Caleb nodded. “Can he stay with us for a few days? At least until things cool over with him and his father!”
“Well…” began Mr. Garret, stroking his chin for a while. “I suppose we can’t just throw him out, too. Okay, he can stay. But make sure he talks to his father by the end of the week.”
“Thank you, Caleb,” Ryan commented, getting into the sleeping bag his friend got out for him onto his bedroom floor.
“Don’t mention it,” responded Caleb. “It’s like my dad said, we couldn’t just leave you out there.”
“My dad’s such a bastard!” exclaimed Ryan scornfully. “He needs to just get over mom leaving him, and stop taking it out on me!”
Caleb shrugged. “Well, just give him some time. I’m sure by the end of the week, he’ll have forgotten all about it, and you can move back in. Hey, could you get the light?” In a few seconds, the room was almost pitch black, except for the moonlight illuminating through the window above Caleb’s bed.
Nobody seemed to mind Ryan staying at the house, except perhaps for Caleb’s sister Janice, because that meant the bathroom was tied up for even longer. She complained about it to her brother, who just responded, “For goodness sakes, Janice, he’s just had an argument with his father. Let him get settled.”
“Settled?!” exclaimed Janice. “You mean he’s going to start living here?”
Caleb continued his daily high school routine, attending his classes in the morning & afternoon, walking home with Ryan in the afternoon, and doing his homework in the evening. He had Ryan in both his History and English classes, and noticed during both of them, to his surprise, that Ryan wasn’t being his normal self. He didn’t talk as much and, during lunch, when he would sit with Caleb and the other boys, just sat there munching on the stuff on his tray, not conversing with his friends except to chime in with a “Yeah” or “Maybe” or the like. This concerned Caleb at first, but he figured his friend was still in the process of adjusting to a new life, and decided not to bother Ryan about it.
Thursday night, Caleb was interrupted from his homework by the phone ringing.
“Garret residence,” Caleb said after he picked up the receiver.
“Hey, Caleb, is Ryan there?” asked the voice of Ryan’s father through the speaker.
“Oh, Mr. Mercer!” exclaimed Caleb joyfully, so loud that Ryan, who was working on his Calculus at the kitchen table, could hear. “I was hoping you’d call! Yeah, he’s here. He’s staying with us for a few days….Sure, you can talk to him.” He handed the cordless phone to Ryan, ecstatic at the idea that his friend could finally get a chance to smooth things over with his father.
But, to Caleb’s surprise, Ryan didn’t say anything into the receiver. Instead, he jammed his thumb on the Power button (which yielded a loud beep) and set the phone down on the table, mouthpiece side down.
Caleb needed a few moments to catch his breath after what he saw. When his awareness finally came to, he gasped out, “W-w-what the hell did you do that for?”
“Oh, shut up, Caleb!” grumbled Ryan. “I’ll never forgive that bastard for what he did, not as long as I live and breathe!”
“Ryan, he’s…he’s your father! He wanted to talk to you so the two of you could smooth things over!”
“The only way I’ll listen to him is if he gets down on his knees and begs me for forgiveness!” Ryan sighed, then grabbed his textbook and supplies from the table. “Dammit, I can’t concentrate anymore! I’m going upstairs!” He walked out of the kitchen, leaving Caleb shocked and speechless.
The phone rang again, and Caleb picked it up again. “Hello?... Hi, Mr. Mercer…He hung up; he said he was still mad at you…Sorry…Yes, I’ll be sure to talk to him…Thanks, bye.” He hung up, sighing.
On Saturday evening Caleb found his friend slumped over the brown leather couch, his face buried in the armrest. He was staring at the TV, where an episode of Jeopardy was playing.
After shifting his eyes between the TV and his friend, Caleb finally opened his mouth and said “How long is this going to go on, Ryan?”
“How long is what going to go on?”
“You haven’t made any efforts to reconcile with your father. You just lie around the house feeling sorry for yourself. The Public Library keeps calling, Ryan. They say you weren’t in for work on Friday like you were supposed to be.”
“Shut up,” Ryan responded, hardly moving from where he lay.
“I will not shut up, Ryan. This is ridiculous! You act like the world has to stop for you just because you ‘have a problem’. Stop mooching off of me & my family and get off your ass and take some action!” The words that escaped Caleb’s lips surprised him; it felt like he was a different person. But the words had to be said, and he let them stand.
Ryan sat up, drowsy but annoyed. “Don’t tell me how to live my life! You’re sounding just like my father!”
“Maybe that’s a good thing! As your friend, I feel like I’m entitled to help you with your problems, and that’s what I’m doing right now. But if you can’t see that, then maybe I can understand why your father kicked you out!” With that, he stormed out of the room, leaving Ryan to collapse back onto the couch.
Caleb was overwhelmed by the words he just said to his friend. He didn’t want to insult Ryan, just help him back onto his feet. He decided that whatever the cost, he must get Ryan and his father back together. After weighing his options, he picked up the cordless phone in the kitchen, took it outside onto the back patio, and started to dial.
“Hi, Mr. Mercer?....Ryan? Oh, he’s looking terrible lately. I try to talk to him, but he keeps sitting around feeling sorry for himself…Don’t worry, I have a plan…Just come to the coffee shop on the East Side of town tomorrow at noon.”
“Hurry up, Ryan, or I’ll leave you behind,” Caleb called out to his friend. The two of them were walking two blocks from the parking lot where they were stationed to Easy Perk Coffee Shop, a place they used to hang out at constantly. Caleb had lured Ryan out there under the pretense that they had a cute new girl working behind the counter that he wanted to introduce him to.
“Why? It’s not like the girl’s going anywhere.”
Caleb pushed the glass doors open, allowing Ryan to go in before him. When he caught up to him, he took Ryan by the arm and led him to the back corner of the shop, where Ryan’s father sat. He was a tall, respectable man with dark curly hair, glasses and a beard. Caleb turned to see the face of Ryan, only to see an annoyed look on his face.
“You!” exclaimed Ryan to his dad. “What the hell is this? I’m out of here.” He turned around to leave, shaking his arm free from Caleb’s grip, but Caleb grabbed his jacket and tried to secure him. Instead, Ryan threw his friend up against the wall and pinned him there. “You did this, didn’t you? What the hell are you trying to pull?”
“I did this for you. When are you gonna stop being such a prick and face your problems?” Ryan had Caleb pinned against the wall by his neck, and was choking Caleb.
“Dammit, Caleb,” growled Ryan. “I thought you’d be on my side.”
“I am on your side, Ryan, but I need to draw the line somewhere. So your dad kicked you out; get over it. He wants to talk, so why don’t you just listen to what he has to say?”
Ryan released his friend from the wall. He grunted spitefully. “Fine. But there’s no law that says I have to forgive him.” He finally sat down across from his father, his right arm hanging over the back of the chair.
Caleb went to get drinks for the three of them while Ryan and his father stared each other down. While he was standing in line, he looked back at the two of them. Ryan’s father was talking, even though he couldn’t make out the words, and the look on the son’s face was one not of contempt, but of focus. Caleb turned back towards the girl at the counter and said, “Yeah, I’ll have three iced Frappucinos, please.”

Submitted: December 10, 2009

© Copyright 2021 Mavi Hunter. All rights reserved.

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