I opened the first door labeled with a 5, leading to a staircase and two doors on either side of me. Climbing the stairs two more doors appeared. I stood before the 5B apartment door, precariously holding my fist out to knock on the door. Like he knew I was coming, the door opened before my hand touched the wood. There he was, standing in front of me in all of his sick, twisted goodness. Same stupid smirk, same evil eyes. He looked slightly older and had scruff growing on his chin and cheeks.
“Hi.” I brushed past him into the kitchen, setting my bags down on a chair. My instincts were tempting me to turn around and punch him as hard as I could. He wouldn’t suspect a thing, wouldn’t even see it coming.
“What is that?” My back was to him, but I could hear his grin dropping and the anger settling in as he spoke. “That’s the greeting I get when I haven’t seen you for two whole years?” I heard sadness in his voice and did it for the hell of it. I hugged him and said I missed him. In reality it was just a lie, though. I tended to do that a lot.
“How are you?” Pouring myself a glass of rum leftover from the freezer, I offered him some as well. Toxic accepted, of course, and drank it within seconds. When I was younger I could never decide if I liked my father better when he was drunk or sober.
Oh, right. I don’t like him at all. “Fantastic. You should have written while you were away. You’ve had your mother in tears.” The curling smile reappeared and that same unsettling feeling in my stomach caused me to cough up a few fluid ounces of the rum. I wiped my mouth and stared narrowly at him, wondering who would break gaze first. We dared each other for five minutes until Allure came bursting through the door with groceries.
“Ryder, my baby! You’re home!” With every single plastic bag still in her hands she jumped on me for a bear hug. Now she I didn’t mind hugging. Finally she released me and began unpacking the goods.
“What’d you get?” I asked eagerly as she pulled out a few bottles of alcohol, candy bars, and gummy worms. Sour gummy worms; my favorite.
“A cake!” Allure exclaimed, taking the raspberry cheesecake out of its bag and setting it on the table. I licked my lips, eyeing the frosting. It looked amazing; thankfully my mother didn’t try to make this herself. She’s never been the best cook.
“Ryder, I want to talk to you.” Toxic’s antagonized scowl came from inches behind me. I turned around, his scarred eye piercing my gaze.
“I don’t.” I replied and disappeared to my room, praying he wasn’t on my tail. I stashed some weed in my dresser before I left for Ridgeway. Tonight I needed to smoke. My head’s been pounding since visiting Jackson’s office.
“Son.” He closed the door behind him and stood against it. There’s no escape. Ignoring his presence, I began rummaging under my socks to find the baggie of marijuana I left there years ago. The buds were still emerald green. “You know my rule about love…”
He always knew how to catch my attention. “What about it?” I glared in his direction, stuffing the bag in my pocket.
“Cass. Things could end badly for her… if you try anything.”
“You can’t decide what I feel for someone. This is my life!” Only a bed between us stopped me from launching at Toxic and ripping his eyes out. I didn’t want to look at them anymore.
“Oh, can’t I? Don’t you remember that you’re my puppet? I own half of your mind.” He snarled, stepping closer towards me. “Your thoughts, your emotions, your ideas and pain… I control it all.”
“Liar.” I braced myself for impact, tightening my muscles.
“Those headaches you get when you talk to girls? From yours truly.” Toxic ran his hand along the wall, scratching the paint with his fingernails. I squeezed my eyes in discomfort, blocking the sound from my ears.
“I only let you fuck Cass because you were still a virgin at fucking nineteen years old!” He spat, ramming against my body and pinning me up to the wall. I heard the windows behind me creak.
“Shut the fuck up! I love her!” My lungs screamed, aiming to fight back but I was getting nowhere.
“Lust is different than love, you moron.” His eyes rolled at my ignorance, smirking again. “You’ll never feel love. Not as long as I’m alive.”
“We’ll have to change that then, huh?” I grinned broadly as Toxic leaned fully into the windows, shattering them and crumbling part of the wall behind me. As my body began to dive to the ground, I grasped onto Toxic at the last minute and dragged him out the open space with me. I landed first, a fiery tingle beating on my back. Throwing Toxic off of my paralyzed body, I noticed the blood underneath me. A scream came from the broken window and immediately I knew it was my mother. Maybe this time I would lose too much blood and black out and go into the gentle hands of God. I’ll see the heavenly light and meet angels. I’ll ask them where they were when I needed them.
My vision was dissipating. Black splotches were taking over the color. Sirens were in the distance, coming towards Steinbeck, probably for me. They had time to save me.
I didn’t remember the ambulance ride over to the hospital or being carried on a stretcher, but they tell me I never blacked out. They said my eyes were open the entire time. First thought was that I was in heaven, surrounded by so much white. But then I touched my back and felt a pad of bandages around me and a slight burning sensation. A doctor came through the door, setting down a clipboard and lowering the mask on his mouth.
“Quite the fall you had, eh?” Rhetorical question, of course. Obviously, I had quite the fucking fall, old man. “Nothing’s broken fortunately, but you’ve had forty stitches put into your back. Avoid excessive movement and get plenty of bed rest. Oh, and don’t jump out any more windows.” The walking skeleton chuckled to himself as he left my room.
I groaned. More scars from Toxic. Thanks, father. This one would truly be remarkable. Maybe I could be in the circus as the incredibly scarred man and make something out of my ugliness.
More of Ryder's story! This is one of my favorite parts, and one of my favorite parts to write (:
This is when he returns from the army after being discharged for a severe head injury and this is how he gets that huge scar across his back, of course from Toxic. Ryder also finds out why he's had such a hard time talking to girls or feeling love... although he doesn't believe Toxic at first that this is true. Cass is a girl Ryder went to high school with, who you will meet soon! She was his first time having sex, but not real love. Ryder tries to convince himself he loves Cass, but he only uses her... typical Ryder!!
It's so nice to share with you guys his story. I'm so proud of it (:
I also wanted to draw Ryder fierce with blood all over him. I wish I included Toxic being lashed at, but oh well! I threw in the background because I'm lazy tehe xD Enjoy guys!
Feedback is LOVED! Drawing & writing!!!! <33333
Ryder, Cardiac Laceration & art is mine