Thanks to Ally R. Swan and Dixie F. 9. for reviewing.
I wanted to write more about the sleepover the boys had but I just couldn't think of anything. Since trying to think of something was the reason this chapter took me so long to get started and then write. But I think I found a way to write it and I hope you like it.
This chapter is told from Ryan's POV.
Long after midnight, I and the boys visiting, plus Seth and the dog were in the pool house, and none of us had any thought about ever sleeping.
"You have a cute teddy Ryan." Seth suddenly said and took the blue, soft teddy I had put on the bed but under the pillows. "Why would you be trying to hide it? What's its name?"
I could feel my cheeks going bright red. If only I'd left him back in Chino with so many other things.
"Come on now Ry." Tom said with a smirk. "It can't be anything so stupid you need to keep it secret like this."
"Yes." Seth agreed. "Tell us the name of your teddy bear."
They didn't say anything more but all three boys (and the dog) were staring at me to make me uncomfortable until I answered.
"Patrick." I said at last with a smirk. "His name is Patrick. Blue Patrick actually."
The boys screamed with laughter and I couldn't blame them.
"Should…" Clark panted. "Should you really refer to…. "Patrick" as a he? Because I'm not sure that's a sign of anything healthy."
"If I say that my old teddy bear Blue Patrick is a he then he is, is that a problem to you?"
The boys screamed with laughter again and from where he laid Murphy was looking around as if all two- legged creatures around him had gone mad. But he also looked to my old bear, stood up and went to sniff over the blue fabric.
It wasn't hard to figure what would happen next…
"Keep Murphy away from the bear."
Hector laughed so much he could barely move, but he did move on, took Murphy at the back of his collar and pulled him closer to himself.
Murphy looked back on his owner as if he had offended him, then to me and to Blue Patrick in my hands. Hector scratched his head through the dark fur and Murphy growled in well-being. He then gave a deep sigh and laid his chin down on his paw to rest.
"I guess he's tired." Hector said. "Not so strange, it's almost two A. M. But I'm not tired. Not anywhere near, no sir."
So much for not being tired! The first one who fell asleep right where he was, was Hector. And Seth not long after him.
I guess I should have known that staying up would mean that I slept almost all until noon, when my dad would show up.
"Look who's back amongst the living." Sandy said as he came into the kitchen where I and Clark were the first ones to have breakfast. "Did you have a good night?"
I didn't mention the long hours I'd spent awake, staring into the ceiling and wondering where on earth I would be tomorrow at this time.
I turned my head a bit when I heard the door to the patio open, and Hector along with Murphy came inside.
I and Clark had already put some bagels and orange juice and everything on the table, but Hector just gave it a look and then went to give Murphy his food.
There was a plastic bag that Mrs. Ebbett had brought, filled with fruits. Now Sandy grabbed an orange for it and then reached it to Hector who had an insecure look on his face.
"Your mum told me."
"Of course she did." Hector said with a sigh, but he took the orange and started peeling it. "But thanks."
"What's that one about?" Hector had just sat down, I wasn't going to ask and noticed how Hector seemed insecure. "And why do you keep on eating those fruits?"
"Ehrm…" Hector seemed more insecure by the second. "…I don't know really."
I stopped listening to the two and drew a relieved breath when Tom and Seth too came in from the pool house. With them by the table and Sandy in his office I could make my way out of the house to grab my bags, that I'd have packed since the last few days piece by piece and make my way out to the front door without anyone having asked about where I was going.
"What's up with Mrs. Cohen? Is she alright?"
When Sandy was suddenly there I had to think of something to say.
"She's fine. She had a headache so she's just stay in bed for a couple of hours and then she'll be fine… But you can just call her Kirsten. You've been living here for quite a while so I absolutely forbid you from calling me anything else than Sandy."
Sandy frowned towards me. Maybe he knew that I was hiding something from him.
"Are you doing alright Ryan?"
"I'm fine." I said a bit too fast. "I just wanted to get away from all noise from the others for a bit."
Sandy gave a short chuckle, but he was still frowning.
"You know, you can always come and talk to me if you need anything."
"I know. Thank you, Sandy."
Behind that thank you there was so much.
It was for getting me from a hospital room in Thailand when I could barely walk and slowed him down.
It was for him staying by my side even though he had found his family.
It was for coming to see me at the hospital and the first time we met again, when he had proved a way better dad than my own, biological dad could ever be.
It was for stuff, a phone and clothes that I knew I had to leave behind, it was for staying by my side through that disgusting first night with a food poisoning. I thanked him for all times I had cracked and that one time I and Seth had had that fight…
It was for each and every time Sandy had been on my side as well as his own, biological son.
It was for driving me to Chino, to meeting my dad, to go to the hospital to find mum and Trey had both been killed.
It was a thank you for Sandy, who had put himself aside to take care of me.
"No need to thank me kid…. Now, do you want to come with me back inside?"
"I'll be right there."
I took my backpack.
I knew this backpack was one of all the things Sandy and Kirsten had gotten me, and I had left a lot of what they had gotten me. I just couldn't see how I'd ever show my gratefulness much enough to keep the things.
Sandy's frowned went deeper, but when he went towards the kitchen I followed him, and suddenly remembered the papers and pencils that laid in a kitchen drawer and they'd told me to use if I ever went outside at night again.
I couldn't believe I had ever done that…
And I just couldn't believe how the Cohen's had stuck to my side after I had scared them like that. And through everything I had made…
Seth suddenly wanted to show something on a video game, and Sandy went back to his office. I prayed to whatever higher power there was that no one would be back in the kitchen until I was finished and long gone.
I took the small notebook and pencil from the drawer. But suddenly I realized I'd have to find something to sum it all up. I didn't know for certain what I'd put on the note, but I needed it done before anyone came and asked what I was doing so at last I just scribbled something down from the top of my mind.
Ryan F. Atwood
When I signed it at last I suddenly felt a lump in my throat and all of a sudden tears were rising in my eyes.
I didn't let wait for it, I took my bags and crutches and out the door I went.
Down by the driveway I stopped, making sure I would be nowhere where they could see me from the house.
I wanted to take my phone and check the clock. But quickly realized the phone was among the things I had left behind.
The Cohen's really had given me a lot lately…
As soon as possible, I would have to find a way to call them back.
Right now all I could do, was to look down the street and wonder when on earth my dad would pull up.
I guess this is a filler, but it had to be anyway.
If I say that my old teddy bear Bamse is a he, then he is a he. Is that a problem for you?