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A Stranger's Home
Everywhere he goes a dark cloud seems to follow him. Ryan turns the music up in his car, trying to drown out the thoughts of what happened on this very day, three years ago. He looks out his rear-view mirror and sees a dark, ominous cloud trailing him. His rock music blares loudly as he presses his foot forcefully on the gas pedal. He doesn’t care if he dies, no one would miss him. He’s just a seventeen-year old boy who has nothing more to live for since the horrid incident.
Ryan walks through the front door of a home that does not feel like his. He’s lived in this very house for seventeen years, yet the past three he was felt as though he is living in a stranger’s home. He throws his keys on the counter grabs a bag of chips and a coke and heads upstairs. He looks over to his drunken father laying on the couch with a bottle of Whiskey in his hand yet again. Women’s Beach Volleyball is playing on the television while empty beer cans and Whiskey bottles lay around the couch. Ryan rolls his eyes at the man who is suppose to be his influence and heads up to his room.
Taking out his Physics book, Ryan cannot help but think of what happened three years ago. His mind keeps flashing back to the moment he found out what had happened to his mother.
It was another normal day of sophomore English, sixth period. His mother was on a plane to New York City on a business trip, so it would just be him and his dad for the next week. Ryan loved when it was just him and his father alone. His father let him eat pizza for breakfast and ice cream for dinner, stay up late and watch scary movies, and would even take him fishing and let him dive his truck the whole two miles to the lake. These were the weeks Ryan looked forward to in his adolescent life.
Ryan’s teacher was talking to the class about Shakespeare and how intelligent he was, but all Ryan could think of was sitting behind the wheel his dad’s old beat-up blue truck.
“Ryan. Ryan? Ryan Stone!” yelled his teacher.
“Yes ma’am?” Ryan asked embarrassed by the laughs on his peer’s faces.
“You’re dad is here to take you home. Make sure you read the first chapter of Shakespeare over the….” Ryan grabbed his things and ran through the door before his teacher was finished telling him his homework. He couldn’t believe his father was getting him out of school early to go fishing. Man I love my dad!
No! No! Stop! I don’t want to remember! Ryan yells to no one but empty walls. Ryan reaches into his desk drawer and pulls out a bottle of Aspirin. He taps four pills into his sweaty palms, throws the pills in his mouth, swallows them dryly, and reaches for the door. He loves the sensation of dizziness when he overdoses. He likes to make himself feel pain to try to punish himself for not being able to help his mother.
Ryan turns on the shower and slips out of his clothes. The hot water stings his cold skin and causes steam to rise. Ryan stands there, remembering.
“Dad! Ready to fish?” Ryan excitedly asked his father.
“Not today son. You’re mother has been in a plane crash. They aren’t sure if there are any survivors. We need to go home and watch the news” Ryan’s father tells him as tears flood down his wrinkled face.
“What! Dad no!” Ryan screams to his dad.
Tears stream down Ryan’s face in the shower. This is the only time he ever cries. No one can hear or see him and he cannot feel the salt run from his eyes. The newscasters voice pops into Ryan’s head, “there are no survivors”.
Ryan didn’t sleep at all the night of September 11, 2001. He kept imagining a plane crashing into the World Trade Center and his mother dying. Over and over again in his mind he heard his mother scream. It was like a movie, a movie that should never be shown.
Ryan turns off the water and dries himself off, he is done with crying like a baby. He dresses himself, looks in the mirror, wipes off the remaining tears, and retreats to his room. He opens the oh-so-familiar drawer and takes out three more Aspirin. Feeling light-headed, Ryan lays down on his bed and tries to sleep, but all that comes to his mind is the movie that should never be shown.
Ryan rolls on his side and winces in pain, “Ouch! Shoot fire!” He had rolled onto his bad hip.
About a month after Ryan’s mother’s plane crash, Ryan’s father started drinking everyday. He was no longer the fun dad that Ryan loved. Ryan’s dad had turned into a drunk and began to beat Ryan. At first, Ryan’s father would only slap him or kick him. But after a year of non-stop drinking, Ryan’s father became more intense. His father would wait for him to get home from school and then unleash his anger. He would punch, slap, kick, throw, and stomp on Ryan. On September 11, 2003, Ryan’s dad took the beating to a whole new level.
Ryan had just got home from school and was bracing himself for the daily beating from his father. He walked through the door, dropped his backpack, and grabbed a bag of chips. Ryan sat down at the kitchen table and began eating his chips. Any second now. Ryan reached into the bag for another chip when all of the sudden he felt an arm around his neck and a sharp pain in his right hip. Ryan tried to turn his head to look at the sharp object penetrating his hip, but his father’s arm around his neck prevented him. The sharp pain quit as quickly as it had begun, and before he knew it, Ryan was on the ground and his father was kicking his hurt hip. Ryan winced in pain, but that didn’t stop his father. Ryan’s father jumped on top of Ryan and began to bash his head into the hardwood floor. Ryan blacked out.
Ryan pulls the covers over his head and screams, “I hate you! Look at what you’ve done to me! It wasn’t my fault that she died!” Ryan fights the tears back, but this time, he looses. The salty tears stream down his smooth face. All he wishes for is to be a happy family once again, but he knows that will happen. Maybe, if me and dad die, then God will make us a happy family in heaven. Heck, what am I thinking? There is no God! If there were then he would have saved mom, not let her die. There is no God!
Ryan jumps out of his bed and heads over to the drawer in his desk. This time he takes out a bottle of sleeping pills and pops five into his mouth. There! Now I can finally get some sleep. Stupid-good-for-nothing-lazy-butt-son-of-a-gun-dad! Goodbye!