About: Connie, Elizabeth, Max Carter (Yeah! He’s back!), Nora, Ryan, Wally
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, part 91 and part 92
NEARING THE END OF MAY 2008
Nora opens the door and is shocked to see how bad Ryan looks. He seems even thinner than a few weeks ago. And now that she can have a closer look at him she sees, that there are lines in his face that a 20-year old shouldn’t have, his eyes expressing a deep sadness that breaks her heart.
Next to him is a blonde girl, almost as tall as he is, her deep blue eyes also reflecting a maturity she shouldn’t have yet.
“This is my sister, Elizabeth Lafferty… Elizabeth, this is Nora Walker, the wife of William Walker, the man mom claims is my dad….”
Nora admits it is a strange introduction and she’s also surprised by the careful description that Ryan gives, as if he doesn’t trust his mother too much either. Ryan turns back to Nora.
“We didn´t know what else to do, where else to go…” He starts.
“’s Alright. Come in, both of you.” Nora says. “You must be hungry. Just put the bags over there. We’ll take care of those later.” In the kitchen she introduces Wally and Max.
“This is Wally, he is my son’s father-in-law and temporarily staying here, while he’s looking for another house. And this is Max, a friend of the same son.”
She purposely doesn’t tell that Max Carter works for the police and that she invited him to hear Ryan’s story and advice her on what to do. Wally and Max both join in on Nora’s delicious dinner and watch how Ryan and Elizabeth eagerly finish their plates as if they are both famished.
But before Nora goes for the desserts, she finally asks the question on her own mind.
“Ryan, why did you call me, why did you feel that you needed help?” Ryan looks at her, bites his lip, before slowly answering.
“You’ll think I’m such a coward….”
“No, I won’t …” Nora answers.
“… And you’re not. Tell her, Ryan, tell her the truth…. Maybe we can even call dad.” Elizabeth says and Ryan seems caught.
“Mom is very abusive…. But I think you already guessed that….?” Ryan starts again and Nora nods.
He rolls up his shirt and to her horror Nora sees bruises and dark spots everywhere. Max takes a deep breath, but remains quiet.
“Why did this happen? Is there a trigger? ” He asks. Ryan opens his mouth to say something, but before Ryan can answer, Beth says:
“Booze…. She’ll drink and drink, but not enough to make her sick. She’s just mad… all the time… every day. We can’t do anything right… Ryan in particular. She hates him. Says that all the misery in her life is his fault…. If it hadn’t been for him…. and then she comes with everything she coulda, shoulda, woulda have been ‘if only’….
But it’snot true. She’s a loser and she’s just shifting the blame on Ryan, because she cannot handle taking responsibility for her own stupid mistakes.” In the face of the pretty girl lies so much anger and frustration, yes, even a glimpse of hatred, that she scares Nora. She’d die if one of her children would hate her this much.
She shares a glance with Max and then says:
“You both can stay here tonight… Wally, why don’t you help them with their beds? Ryan can take Justin’s old room and Elizabeth can take Sarah’s…” Wally nods, understanding that Nora wants to talk to Max in private.
“… and once that is done….” She smiles at Ryan and Elizabeth. “We’ll talk further with the help of some delicious ice-cream.” The idea is greeted with a little cheer from both Ryan and Elizabeth and they quickly follow Wally, giving Nora time to sit down and talk to Max.
“I know, I know, I’m not supposed to let her stay. He is 20 and can do what he wants, she’s only 14…. But this is bad. Really bad. They are both in bad shape. I cannot send her back not knowing if she’ll be safe or not. Besides, if she goes, then so does Ryan. And I think that Ryan is absolutely terrified of his mother.”
“I agree with you there. Unfortunately, the girl is also a minor…. For one, she should contact her mother and tell her that she’s alright and that she’s with Ryan. I suggest I contact her father and talk to him. Maybe if someone from the police will contact him, he’ll realize the severity of the situation…
There might also be a few things that Ryan or Beth’s father could do on a legal level, but that is something Kevin will probably know more about than I do.”
“I’ve taken the liberty to call Kevin. He’ll be here any moment… In fact, I hear a car pull up, must be him… I’ll go open the door.” Nora says.
Nora has vague notion that Kevin’s car sounds different than usual, but considering she’s not expecting anyone else, she pays no attention to it and opens the door without checking first.
“Where is he?” Connie barges in, an air of alcohol about her that takes Nora’s breath away.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Nora replies. “And you’re not welcome here.”
“Where is he? … Where’s the little bastard?” Connie yells at Nora. Her high-pitched voice travels all the way to the kitchen, where Max, realizing it’s not Kevin he hears, quickly gets up, to go to the hall and see if Nora is alright.
Though Nora tries to stop Connie, Connie sees movement on the top the stairs and then she sees her son standing there. Enraged she pushes Nora aside with considerable strength and storms up to the shocked Ryan, who momentarily freezes at the sight of seeing his mother and then it’s too late.
There’s an unfamiliar sound and it takes Nora a few seconds to realize that Connie is just hit Ryan. Still overwhelmed she reacts by looking up to the sound of Max entering the hall.
“I’ll get it. Stay out of this.” Max says, pushing her aside, again, and moving towards the stairs as well. But he will not reach in Ryan in time.
In Sarah’s old room, Elizabeth turns around at the sound of her mother’s voice as Connie screams at Nora. She drops her pillow and pillow-case and runs into the corridor, followed by Wally and, to her horror, she’s just in time to see Connie reach out to her brother.
She, too, hears the sound of Connie’s hand hitting Ryan in the face. She sees her brother raise his hands to protect himself from their mother, like she’s seen so many times before. But tonight, right after all the sweet attention of Nora, the contrast becomes too big for her to handle.
With a yell, she runs forward to put herself between Connie and Ryan. Connie, momentarily distracted by the sudden appearance of Beth, steps backwards, but doesn’t let go of Ryan’s shirt. Ryan’s first reaction is to protect Beth, but Beth is determined to protect Ryan. She puts all her force into pushing her mother away.
Years of repressed anger are added to the shove and it hits Connie hard. Very hard. Connie takes another step backwards, but though the ball of her foot might still touch the ground, her heel doesn’t. And Connie feels herself go over the edge of the top-stairs and fall backwards into nothing.
Because she’s still holding on to his shirt, Ryan feels himself being pulled forward into the fall. His only rescue comes from Wally, who by now, has reached the fighting three-some and wraps his arms around Elizabeth and Ryan and pushes them away from the stairs and thus prevents them from being dragged into the fall.
Caught between the sudden extra weight pulling Ryan into the other direction and Connie into the other, there is a ripping sound coming from Ryan's old shirt and Connie’s fingers slip away from it, as it tears. All Ryan sees is the sheer panic in Connie’s eyes as she, in a flash, realizes nothing can stop her from falling now.
Her body crashes into Max’s, who can only grab on to the banister to prevent himself from falling along with Connie and though in a reflex he tries to get a hold of Connie as well, he misses by a few millimeters and Connie’s body flies by, to end up on the bottom the stairs with a nauseating cracking sound.
And that is the sight Kevin and Scotty see as, at that moment, they enter the house through the front door. On the top of the stairs Wally holds back a shocked Ryan and a hysterical Elizabeth, while Max stares in bewilderment at the body at the foot of the stairs and Nora stands there, with her hand in front of her mouth, white as a sheet.
END OF PART 93