Chapter 5.2: Ryan

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"Jacky?  What are you doing here?" Ryan asked

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"Jacky? What are you doing here?" Ryan asked.

He hadn't been expecting anyone. It was a rare day when the church volunteers hadn't found someone to come sit with his mother in the afternoon, so Ryan had called the office and explained that he couldn't make his appointment. Just as well. He was sore from football practice yesterday, and tired as usual.

He most certainly had not been expecting Jacky to show up at his house.

"You weren't at therapy," Jacky said, looking beyond him, into the house. "I was worried."

"Why? I'm not allowed to have a day off?"

"I, uh... I thought..." Jacky scraped the toe of his black converse sneaker along the welcome mat. "I got worried that you were gonna try to off yourself or something."

"Oh." Ryan couldn't think of much response to that. "Well, I'm not."

They didn't look at each other for an awkward period of time. Ryan started to get the feeling that Jacky wanted Ryan to invite him inside. Ryan kind of wanted to.

"Okay, well, I'm glad you didn't kill yourself today. See ya at school."

Jacky took off on his bike like a shot.

Slowly, watching Jacky pedal away, Ryan closed the door. He found that, once the door was closed, he couldn't quite bring himself to push away from it. Instead, the door propped him up while the living room turned blurry.

Why the hell was he crying? Oh yeah, because the kid who seemed to hate him most of the time had cared enough to notice when he wasn't there.

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