Turn a different corner 92/102
About: Ryan, Elizabeth, Tyler, Justin, Chad, Jordan, Nora, Joe, Jason, Kitty,
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23, part 24, part 25, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44, part 45, part 46, part 47, part 48, part 49, part 50, part 51, part 52, part 53, part 54, part 55, part 56, part 57, part 58, part 59, part 60, part 61, part 62, part 63, part 64, part 65, part 66, part 67, part 68. part 69, part 70, part 71, part 72, part 73, part 74, part 75, part 76, part 77, part 78, part 79, part 80, part 81, part 82, part 83, part 84, part 85, part 86, part 87, part 88, part 89, part 90 and part 91
NEARING THE END OF MAY 2008
“I’m done.” Elizabeth says, holding up her sports-bag.
“You don’t have to go with me, you know.” Ryan tries.
“You’re not going anywhere without me.” Elizabeth says and Ryan smiles.
“Alright then, come along.” And they quickly take the bus to the address of Ojai Foods. All it had taken was one phone-call from his mother to put this total fear in Ryan.
“I just spoke to your boss.. Nice man… Told me you do good work in the restaurant... Seems you make quite some money in tips….
That surprised me. All I ever get is your salary, but I never saw the money from your tips. What did you do with that?”
“It wasn’t much….” Ryan tries, he can lie on the phone, if his mom isn’t staring at him.
“That is not what your boss said.”
“I don’t know what you’re planning behind my back, but I want that money, you hear me? It’s expensive enough to raise two bastards, I never wanted to begin with, on the little money that idiot George is sending me….
So stop lying to me. I know you have it stashed somewhere… And tell your sister to go to bed early. She doesn’t want to be there, when I get home....” There’s a click and the connection is gone and Ryan, leaning against the wall for support, slowly slides down. He’s going to get it tonight. His mother will kill him. He’s sure of it.
Beth looks at him with big eyes. The sheer panic in Ryan’s body makes her understand that it’s bad. She recognized the sound of her mother’s voice and she’s as white a sheet.
“Get out of here, Ryan.” She whispers.
“Mom will kill you.” Ryan replies.
“If you don’t tell me where you’re going….”
“Won’t make a difference, she’s drinking at a bar. I recognized the sounds. She’ll kill you. It’s not about the truth, it’s about inflicting pain and you know it.”
“Then WE have to leave. Run away…. Find dad. Don’t we have enough money?”
“Two-, three hundred dollars, maybe. We can’t live on that.” And panic start to take control of Ryan. “I won’t be able to take care of you, sis.” He cries and Beth wraps her arms around him.
“You’ll think of something, Ryan, you always do. You’re the smartest man I know.” Beth holds Ryan very close. “Maybe we can go to our aunt or cousin?” She suggests and at first Ryan shakes his head, knowing no one will help them, but then he lifts his head, surprised at the thought that pops up. He searches his nearly empty wallet and there it is. An address and telephone number and maybe a refuge.
And it is. At least, they’ll have a place to go to. In the bus they consider the possibility to contact George Lafferty and ask for his help. Ryan holds his sister close and hopes for a good solution to their problem, because if Connie catches him now, she’s not going to stop hurting him until he’s dead.
Tyler lets herself fall on the couch next to Justin.
“Alright. I give up. What is going on between the two of you?” she asks.
“Nothing.” Justin replies, which is the truth.
“Come on, I understand that you miss him.”
“What? Why? What do you mean?” Justin wonders if he had been that obvious.
“It’s tough to suddenly loose a friend, because he or she is falling in love. But Jordan is happy, Chad is sweet with him and don’t worry, soon enough you’ll get a girlfriend of your own and you can go out with the four of you.”
Justin knows that Tyler is trying to cheer him up, but the idea of double-dating with Chad and Jordan sounds like a nightmare to him. The thought of being with Jordan and not being allowed to touch him…. Which is exactly what is going on his life now…. He’s not allowed to be with Jordan…. A nightmare…. Which has to change!
“Tyler, how about it if the two of us went out tonight?”
“We …? Out…? On a date...?”
“Yes. Why not? We’ve been friends for ages. Come on! I’m not asking you to marry me, just relax a bit.” Justin encourages and Tyler says yes.
“This must be my favorite moment from ‘Swing Time’.” Jordan sighs, as he watches Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers slide across the dance floor on the large screen. Chad makes an approving noise, stuffing his mouth with popcorn.
“Translation, please?” Jordan laughs. Chad swallows away his popcorn.
“Yes, it’s one my favorites as well. It was the best advice ever: Pick yourself, dust yourself off, …”
“… start all over again.” Jordan finishes with a sigh. “Who could have guessed that you love Fred Astaire movies?”
“Love him. Best escape ever. I would have loved it to be a dancer, but I have two left feet…. But God compensated that by bestowing me with something else that could provide me with a good decent living.” Chad says with a wink and Jordan can’t help but laugh. He nestles against Chad.
Their strictly platonic relationship works out remarkably well. They have everyone fooled. Chad even gave him a key to his house and sometimes Jordan sleeps over in Chad’s spare room to give the impression he spends his nights with Chad. Everyone think they are a happy couple.
They however don’t fool themselves. Jordan hardly sees Justin these days, but he thinks about him all the time, convinced that Justin will move on as well… soon. And Jordan knows that Chad still misses Jason, like he misses Justin, but neither of them really have a choice. They both want someone completely out of their reach.
“Hi, Holly. Did ‘the package’ arrive?”
“Mmmyes. On their way to you right now.”
“Their?” Nora asks suddenly suspicious.
“A young man and his sister. That is why I called you. They don’t look too good. Scared, underfed. The boy’s shirt was all dirty… I don’t know what is going on, but I think that they need help… badly.” Holly replies.
“They do….” Nora acknowledges.
On the bench in the small chapel, Jordan stares at the statue of Christ, hoping to find strength and consolation there, as he usually does, but it no longer works. Another semi-sleepless night is starting to take its toll and he’s so tired. He feels a hand on his shoulder. Father Gomez sits down, pulls him closer and holds Jason as Jason sobs his pain away.
Joe’s bags are packed. He can’t wait to go home. The last concert is done. The band found a new guitarist. He can leave with a good feeling about himself, his decision, his marriage and his life in general. A final round of hugs and then he gets in his car and drives off. Almost into the sunset… but definitely on the way to the woman of his dreams… To Sarah.
Kitty never believed it really existed, but apparently it does. Here, in Robert’s arms, in Robert’s bed, for the first time in her life, she feels completely satisfied. She doesn’t want to be anywhere else, ever again. Robert kisses her again and his voice rumbles:
“You already practically live here… Move in with me.”
For a moment Kitty isn’t sure. This is all fresh, new, but what would she leave behind? Just a room in her mom’s house, where she can always return to… And moving in with Robert means more moments like these…. What would she loose if she says yes...?
“I’d like that.” She replies, placing a kiss on his chest.
Connie slams the door behind her.
“Ryan! Ryan!… Get down here immediately!” She yells, but it’s eerily quiet in the house. She marches to Beth’s room, but the room is empty, safe for some signs of a quick leave. Some clothes are still on the bed. Drawers are open. Sport-bag is gone.
“I’m going to kill that bastard …. And I’m going to make little bitch watch it.” Her face filled with hate, she goes from room to room, finding no evidence of where they could have gone to, until she reaches the kitchen and there, on the floor, is a carefully folded piece of paper, that fell out of Ryan’s pocket, when he tried to put it away.
She picks it up and read what’s written on it. First with disbelief, then with shock and eventually with fury. Nora Walker! Of course! Well, they are not going to get away with it! She gets in her car and drives off like a madman. It’s a long way to Nora’s house and it doesn’t look like Connie is going to cool off.
END OF PART 92