"Hi, Ryan, mornin'." I said smiling as I saw him already in the classroom.
"Hey." he said.
"Ready for Lit?" I asked, enthusiastic, after all, I was in a good mood.
"I guess I gotta be, isn't it?" he replied and looked some across the window.
"It seems you're tired, dunno. What happened? Didn't you sleep very well?" I asked.
"Yeah, that's it... I couldn't sleep much last night." he answered.
"Why?" I asked.
He just shrugged with a little smile at me meaning like `who knows'...
"Guys?" the teacher said when she meant that we were disturbing her class. I felt like telling her that my friend had some problem that I was trying to figure out and that it was much more important than her class, but I didn't say anything, not to cause more problem.
During the exercises, at least, we could talk.
"So, what have you been doing since yesterday?" I asked Ryan.
"You mean since I beated ya on video games, yesterday?" he mended with a smile.
"Whatever." I sighed conformed with this... besides if it made him feel better... "Now, tell me!" I insisted.
"Not much, had dinner, did some of the homework. Today I woke up and came to school. See, how exciting!"
"Mhm... only that? There has to be something else!" I said.
"Er... I brushed my teeth... jerked off, yesterday. Right?!" he said, blushing. I couldn't help a chuckle.
"What?!" he asked.
"Nothing!" I said stopping my little laughter.
"You make me say such things!" he protested.
"Hey, that's okay, I did it yesterday too..." I said and he was looking at me with that look of `aham... what else' "...well and this morning before school again." I concluded, trying not to blush... but failing, I know.
"A-ha! So, you did it twice and wanna know if other people do the same!" he was teasing me, only to make me blush more.
The main thing is that he was laughing and smiling again, in a better mood and disposition than when the class started and he had a better mood at lunch break.
"So, where are we gonna have lunch?" he asked as we were with our trays.
I looked around for a moment and realized that there was more than the crowded tables, the noisy... I just realized the beautiful that sunny day was with a blue sky and there were the green grass and the trees. With such options, there was quite easy suggestion something.
"Instead of the tables, what do you say about the grass, ya know, there's that tree..." I was suggesting.
"Okay, let's go." he agreed before I could finish.
I was eating as we were sitting under tree, after all, I was hungry – of course. I realized Ryan was looking at er... nothing I guess...as the breeze ruffled his golden hair.
"Hey, what are you so concentrated thinking about?" I asked him.
"Er... nothing." he replied.
"Is she beautiful?" I insisted.
"Gosh... it's not that." he said and I managed embarrassing him. I giggled with that and so did he as we were finishing lunch.
"Alright, I gotta go." he said, getting up as the bell rang.
"Can't ya just waste some more time here, outside, and arrive almost late or something like that?" I asked looking upwards at him as I was still sitting.
"Nope. I have math test right now." he said as I was getting up.
"Oh, that's true. I have it on the last class too!" I reminded.
"And you were already forgetting!" he commented. "I bet you haven't even studied."
"Er... how do you know?"
"Well, it's obvious... being you..."
"Hey, what do you mean?" I inquired.
"Nothing, Nothing!" he said. "Now, as I said, I gotta go. Wish me luck... as you don't need that."
"Nor do you." I said as he took his way.
He made an `okay sign' and winked at me. He was so cute winking... I wish that wink meant what I wanted it to.
As I said, my last class was math and as I had the test, I finished it earlier, so that, I could train some more.
"Maybe a can swim one mile today." I thought to myself while settling my books in the locker, as I was in the hall.
"Ryan mustn't be there, yet. Well, I hope he's joining me" I was thinking as I was heading to the pool "He must be having his last class right now."
As I was outside, there was empty, the grass, the tables, and as I glanced, there was Ryan in a corner, sitting on the ground, close to the wall. He had his knees close to his chest and was facing downwards, so that, his hair was covering his face.
I didn't assume he was ditching his last class, so I went towards him asking why he was outside, why he was there and if he would join me at swimming.
I sat beside him, on the ground and as he realized that, he looked at me with reddish, very sad, eyes just for me to look back with concern filling mine.
He started crying – again, for what I realized –, bending his head to my shoulder. I just had to hug him, I couldn't help it. I rested my hands on his back, lightly wrapping my arms around him as we were sitting.
"Hey, Ryan, breathe... breathe, okay?" I said to him above a whisper as he nodded a little and started sobbing as he had his face on my shoulder.
"We're at school..." I whispered, hoping he got aware people would burst out at any moment and he wouldn't like people seeing him like that.
He stopped crying and with that I got up. He looked upwards at me, as he was still sitting, with his shiny watered eyes.
I outstretched a hand at him and he got it to stand up as well.
"Let's go, you gotta wash your face, okay?" I said to him.
"Okay." he mumbled.
As we were walking towards the bathroom, he was looking at the ground. I was thinking, searching for a reason, inside my mind, for him to be so sad, but couldn't find any.
He washed his face and passed his finger through his hair as I was standing beside him, looking at his expression in the mirror, and with this we could hear the bell ring.
"Much better, what about a smile now?" I asked tentatively, with a smile of my own.
He looked at me and managed a weak smile at the mirror. It wasn't a shiny smile, but as he was crying a few moments before, it was quite an improvement.
"Why don't you come over for a while, huh?" I asked him as we were walking outside. I stopped, waiting for a his affirmative reply.
"Please...?" I tried again, with pleading eyes looking directly at his.
"Alright, alright!" he sighed with a smile.
"Now, let's go drinking some water." I said.
"Oh, and I gotta take my bag too." he remembered.
"Yeah... people must not be there anymore." I commented as he looked at me with a look of surprise because I was guessing things as I was realy assuming he blurted out of the class like that, the way he was upset before.
Ryan was playing cool but I didn't forget something had happened and that he wasn't fine.
He was looking at the landscape the whole way home, probably not really paying attention at that, thinking of things I wanted him to tell me.
As we arrived home, there was nobody there... as usual. Probably dad was working, mom was buying useless stuff and sis... whatever, I had my friend with me... it felt so good thinking this way.
"Ryan, do you want some juice, something to eat?" I asked.
So, we went to my room and I guess Ryan needed to relax some... and I needed to know why he was sad. Such anguish was already making me sad too!
I left my binder on the bookshelf and Ryan was standing by the door with his bag on his hand. He wouldn't just throw it at the floor. He was very polite and sooo cute... I wondered what I'd done to deserve such good friend... but I was already staring too much without saying something.
"Hey, leave your bag wherever you feel like." I said and he put his bag on the floor, close to the bookshelf.
I sat on the bed, taking my sneakers and my socks off as Ryan was sitting on the desk chair.
"Take your sneakers off too, leave it there." I said, pointing to the floor.
I took my t-shirt off, leaned my head against the wall and took a deep breath.
"Why don't you join me?" I said to Ryan as he was looking at me, with that he got up.
"Oh, I have a better idea." I said as he was standing, with his bare feet, looking at what I was doing.
I took a mattress from the bed, and put it onto the floor. With that, I throw myself on the mattress and stretched using it on the `wrong side' lying with my back on the mattress and my legs on the floor.
"Much better. Won't you join me?"
"May I?" he asked with a little puzzled cute expression.
"Of course you do. That's why I did it!" I replied and he lay beside me.
"Now we can get here doing nothing... dunno why doing nothing feels so good... aaand in this meanwhile you can tell me what happened." I said.
"You just said doing nothing feels good..." he protested and I adjusted myself to a sideways position.
"Only if you want to, I mean." I said looking at him, more seriously.
"I want to, but I don't, you know what I mean?"
"No, I don't." I emphasized at him.
"You know, it's just that I'm having problems at home and it's annoying and I don't wanna bother you... alright, I'm already telling it."
"Now I got what you mean." I commented. "What kind of problem, can you tell me?" I asked as I was worried with my friend, I wanted to help him.
"My parents are getting divorced. They were fighting yesterday... again." he said and sighed looking at the ceiling.
"But they live together... with you?" I asked.
"Yeah, they still live at home, but it's like they shouldn't, the way they're mean to each other." he was telling me as his eyes showed the much he was already hopeless "... though I think they should, `cause they're parents and parents live together, ya know?" he said, looking at me.
"That's why you didn't look fine when I saw you first this morning, isn't it?" I said.
"Is that wh you were crying? I mean, you could've told me..." I said.
"Well, sort of..." He didn't reply anything I asked properly, I could see the much he was confused and I wished at that moment that I could do more...
"It was geography class and the teacher was talking about a lot of things..." he continued "and he started talking about divorve and I didn't wanna hear about it, ya know?" he said and I just nodded. "So, I asked for him to stop talking about it and the guys started teasing me saying that I was `too fragile' to hear it and stuff and I got upset and the teacher said I was being impolite and interrupting the class... he even said that maybe things as divorce happen due to spoiled kids like me..." he was telling me and tearing up, and I felt sad for him.
"And I was thinking of that..." he continued.
"What?!" I said in disbelief.
"Maybe I could've done more... maybe if I weren't impolite with dad and mom sometimes nor asked so many things..." he was saying as the tears were running on his cheeks.
"... sometimes, when they're having an argument I can't help seeing that and they start arguing because of me saying things like `see what you're doing to my son', `don't yell at him', it's horrible..." he said covering his face with his hands as he broke down into tears.
I didn't even think when I pulled his head to my chest, as we were lying.
I could feel his tears on my chest as he kept crying helplessly, and this time I wouldn't tell him to stop, as nobody was looking, as I was holding him tight and I wanted him to feel better... I was so glad he could share it all with me.
He was sobbing and trembling as I was holding him. Seeing him crying in such sorrow made me really sad, but I held myself still `cause I couldn't cry and I had to be strong for my friend... and that was more than enough reason for me... I just wanted him to feel fine and I'd do anything I could, anything he asked me, even if he wanted me not to see him anymore, dunno... anything.
As he wasn't shaky anymore and was stopping his sobs, I tried to let go of him, but as I was taking my hands away he held my hand in place, with his head on my chest.
After all, I guess I could make him feel better the way I so wanted, because his breathing was calm and it seems he was even lighter.
As we were lying on the mattress, on the floor, and a soothing breeze was blowing from across the window, I noticed that Ryan was not moving and his breathing was regular as he was resting his cheek on my chest... that he was sleeping, and just seeing him sleeping, I guess I drifted off not long afterwards.