"Life will go on without me."
"When people say life gets worse before it gets better, then that means they don't know anything. They don't know the pain you feel, they don't know the dangerous thoughts that enter your mind as you stand at the edge, they don't know what you're going through. They just want to say something positive to "try" and help you. But the people that tell you, yeah life sucks, but there is something out there that you haven't found. When you find it life will still suck because people will still leave you, people will still hurt you and life will go on, but at the end of it all you still have what you found and that is the only thing that will make you smile through the tears, through the pain. If no one has told you that then I'll be the first. Things don't get better until you make it better, so stop waiting for it to, chase after the one thing that will make you smile."-Ryan Nelson
The trees pass by the back seat window in a blur, not one stays in my line of view for more than a second before it disappears like the rest. The same for people, for other cars, for anything outside this suffocating car. It's almost as if I'm watching time fly by, one second there the next gone.
Time didn't stop, cars still drove, the trees still swayed, time seemed to continue without me, leaving me still stuck in the past. So, again, I will count, hoping when I'm done things will get better, I'll hope that life will be on my side and fix things. Fix me.
"Ryan! Are you even listening to me?!" I hear my mom yell at me from the passenger seat and she gives a questioning look to dad who glances back from the driver's seat. I look away from the window and stare at her blankly. I stare at her with the same blank stare as when she told me I was moving to another school.
"You weren't listening to me, were you? This is senior year! Your last year! This is important!" She says and I resist the urge to sigh. "Plus," she continues, "Your father and I have agreed this new school is best for you." She says and I resist the urge to sigh.
"This school will put a stop to all those weird thoughts that were brainwashed into your head. You can't go wrong with a Christian boarding school! " My dad says, glancing at me through the rearview mirror. I feel myself go sour, they didn't understand that I wasn't brainwashed, these were all my own thoughts and feelings. It hurt to know they didn't accept the real me, they believed something was wrong with me and it needed to be fixed. They were right about needing to be fixed but what they think and what I think are different. They had it in their minds that they were going to turn me on a straight path 'again'. But I don't say anything, I stay silent because it's all I can do. I've given up on defending myself, my words just fall to deaf ears.
"Really, none of this would have happened if it weren't for that boy." Mom says, spitting out the word 'boy' like it was dirt on her tongue. He wasn't just some boy, he was more than that. He was my best friend, my companion, my first love, and I'm still torn from how our story ended.
"Anyways! No need for the past to be brought up! Ryan, what are you doing for a sport? Or are you doing a club?" She asks and I shrug. My mother's face tightens and then her face lights up again. "You like soccer right? You have been playing since you were nine!" She says and I look out the window.
"I was ten and I was forced to play." I mutter and she looks back at me.
"What was that? You want to play? Great!" She exclaims and dad nods his head in approval.
"Good pick son." He says and I slump in my seat. Once dad agrees it's final, I'm doing soccer and I have no say. Just like in the past, I wasn't allowed to stand up for myself.
It was a Sunday, eight years ago when I didn't understand anything and when I was still friends with Issac. The boy I will never forget...
We were young, I was nine and he was ten, we wanted to be like the big kids who could go out places. So, one night we slipped out of our comfy beds and went on what Issac had called an adventure.
"Issac! Where are we going? We're supposed to be home sleeping." I had wined.
"Shh! Ryan, if you don't want to get into trouble then stay quiet, we're here." He says and my nine-year-old self looks up at a sign that says, The Skating Rink, then I looked next to it at a sign that read, CLOSED, in bright red letters. I frown.
"It's closed! Well! Time to go home!" I say with a shrug and turn around and begin to walk back the way we came, only to be grabbed by my hoodie and yanked back.
"Wait! I know a way in." He says.
Then we went in and at first, it was dark, but once the lights came on my breath was taken by what I saw before me. I saw a dream, a new world beyond what I knew, I fell in love without realizing it. So, when Issac reappeared with a pair of skates I took them. We played on the ice, falling and laughing. Around us was dark, the only light was from the lights around the rink. I was in wonderland and I didn't want to wake up. Then, the lights went on and we were caught mid-fall and slid on the ice. A man had appeared with a stern look.
"I'm sure the sign outside said closed." The man had said and next thing I know Issac is begging the man not to call our parents or the police for the break-in, but I was too busy staring at the ice, I had this deep feeling to return to it, and when I looked back at the man his eyes were already on me.
"How about this, kids. I won't tell anybody and you have to come back here every afternoon to help me clean around here for a month." He offered and Issac was already nodding his head. I remember thinking, the afternoon was for Issac and me to play together. We both agreed.