Finding Home

This is another post from the Tyran universe. If you don’t want to read things about self harm, I suggest you don’t read this one. It’s not too explicit in my eyes but it’s better to be warned! Tyran is my main protagonist in the real novel, he deals with most of the struggles I have too. Obviously some things are MASSIVELY fictional because I’m not writing a f**king autobiography of my life as a self-harming, duvet-stealing, constantly-hungry mini recluse, but maybe you’d find that interesting also, I dont know! I also doubt that any parent would simply make their child a hot chocolate and go to bed if they found out they self harmed, but I chose to make Tyran’s father an extremely relaxed figure for the most part. (Is it bad that I find that sentence amusing?) So this is another introduction, and I might make the next one… I don’t know, somebody else that I can mess around with xD

He hadn’t meant to do it. He had promised himself it would stop when he moved in with his father, Ronan. The sun had already dropped below the horizon and a cold night was beginning to fall. He couldn’t go back inside and he couldn’t stay out in the summerhouse all night. Ronan had seen him leave the front room. Maybe he could wait until he went to bed. Three more hours.
Tyran’s arms ached. He ignored it. The more he ignored it, the better. The more he ignored it, the better it would be when he caved.
“Stop it…” he whispered. He raised a hand to his face and pinched the bridge of his nose, running his fingers along his eyes as he went. If he pushed them hard enough, maybe he could blur out the ache. He pulled the sleeves of his black hoodie down over his hands. It wouldn’t stop him but it would make the next few minutes bearable. He could last for a few minutes without doing it again. He couldn’t. He could just roll the sleeves back up again and cut one more—
“Shut the fuck up. Shut up your fucking brain, Tyran.”
“Shut up your brain about what?”
Tyran jumped so quickly that he could have started a sprint race and won. Ronan had snuck out of the house.
“Never. NEVER. Do that to me. You know I can’t handle that shit!” Tyran held a hand against his chest, his heartbeat hammering so hard that he was certain it would soon be in his palm, breaking through his ribs and causing him to bleed out on the floor.
Isn’t that what I was planning anyway? He thought to himself. Tyran scowled and shook his head. A clear mind equals no stupid mistakes. A clear mind equals nothing. Think nothing, feel nothing… Tyran shook his head again.
“Anything wrong?” Ronan asked. He was taller than Tyran, only by a few inches and he had perfected the glare that pierced souls even with the height difference.
Tyran felt himself pull the sleeves of his hoodie down over his hands again. It was an automatic movement, barely registering to him anymore.
“Fine.”
Ronan’s grey eyes found his again, their cold, logical gaze burrowing through any of Tyran’s defences.
“Okay. You want a hot chocolate?” Ronan ruffled his dark hair nonchalantly. He was faking. He didn’t believe Tyran. No way could he believe.
“No. Thanks.”
“It’s cold…”
“I’m not cold.” Tyran shrugged as though it proved his point. He saw Ronan’s eyes drift down to his hands that were still clenching the bottoms of his sleeves.
There must be blood. Something is making it obvious. No. He doesn’t know. There is no way he can know.
Tyran watched as Ronan hoisted himself onto the railing overlooking the small lake that doubled as a pool. It still surprised Tyran how cat-like Ronan’s reactions and movements were. It always seemed effortless for him to balance on things.
Ronan crossed his arms over his chest, their exposed skin starting to prickle with goose bumps. Tyran watched him shake off the cold but remain perfectly seated on the small bar.
“I know you don’t trust me yet, but I’m going to be around for you now, whether you like it or not,” Ronan said. Tyran saw Ronan waver on the bar. He could tell that some part inside of him was still ripping itself to pieces over what had happened. Wasn’t that what Tyran was still doing?
“Just go back inside, Ronan,” he spat. Tyran had come out to be alone. Just leave me alone. This man that tried to call himself a father had been gone for all of the fifteen and a half years of Tyran’s life so far, why would he trust him?
Ronan shrank away as though the words were enough to send him straight over the railing. Tyran felt a pang of guilt, but decided he didn’t care. The sooner Ronan was gone, the better. His jaw stiffened and Tyran put his hands into his pockets. A verbal blow was enough, if he let his temper get the better of him, it would end with Ronan getting punched in the face.
As though he was copying him, Ronan put his own hands into his jean pockets. He was still on the railing…
“I can wait, you know. Part of my job is waiting for people to tell me what’s wrong.” Ronan stared at Tyran coolly. He began to tap his foot in the air, nodding his head along as though listening to a song only he could hear.
“Yeah, well, I’m not one of your patients so go fu-” Tyran caught himself before he swore. If he swore at his mother, Tyran would get a smack around the ear. If he swore at his father… He didn’t know what could happen and he didn’t want to find out.
“Go fuck myself? That’s the best you’ve got?” Ronan asked. A light smirk played on his lips and it soon broke into a wide smile as Ronan laughed. He laughed so hard Tyran thought it might actually affect his position. It didn’t.
Tyran stared incredulously at his father. The man was laughing at the idea that his child was about to swear at him. Was he insane?
“At least hit home if you’re going to try and insult me!” Ronan laughed again. He wiped tears from the corners of his eyes and his laugh slowly died in short bursts.
“You want to talk about hitting home?” Tyran asked. His pulse quickened. He pushed his hands further into his pockets to stop them from shaking. “Home is where my mother is probably lying broken on the fucking floor. Home is where I don’t even want to go back to because I’m terrified I’ll join her. Home is where you never were and where you can never be. Oh, and it’s not here either because why the fuck would I want to be here with some guy who has only just decided to give a shit now? Tell me that. I so want to hear it.” Tyran felt heat rising through his body, a deep rush that coloured his face red. He stared his father straight in the eyes and cocked his head, waiting for an answer.
Ronan sat statuesquely on the railing, his face a blank canvas. Except for his eyes. His eyes had darkened as though clouds had covered them, ready to pour oceans down on everything. Then Ronan’s jaw clenched and Tyran felt as though the pocketknife he had in his back pocket had sawn through his heart instead of his arms. He stood numbly as his father blinked harshly before staring out at the house in the distance. Ronan drew in a ragged breath and Tyran realised that he had gone too far.
Tyran bowed his head to stare at his hands, bunched in his pockets. He bit his lip, waiting for a sudden eureka moment to give him all the words he needed to say to fix everything.
“Good job,” Ronan muttered, “making a grown man cry.”
Tyran peered up from his pockets, taken aback to see that Ronan was once again smirking. Albeit with tears in his eyes and a splotched face. His eyebrows knotted together as he tried to fathom why it was okay.
“Credit, I think you’ve killed some part of me, somewhere, but do you feel better now?” Ronan crossed his arms again and huddled into himself. His face showed a deep concern that Tyran hadn’t thought existed in the man. Tyran struggled to find words, letting out only a small stutter.
“I am well aware that I’m a dick,” Ronan started.
“No. I—-You’re not. I know Mom lied to you. I know she pretended we never existed because she hated you.”
Ronan continued as though he hadn’t heard. “And that I wasn’t around for any of you as much as I should have been. But no matter what you think of me, I have a heart…”
Tyran looked away from his father and tightened his grip on his sleeves. Ronan slid from the railing and took hold of Tyran’s right forearm lightly. His whole body jerked without his consent at the shock and Tyran tried to straighten himself out again.
“…That I would have ripped out of my fucking chest.”
Tyran let his father lift his arm and pull down the sleeve. Barely formed scabs were ripped open, even with the gentle tug.
“To stop any of you going through this shit,” Ronan said. His voice nearly broke and Tyran found himself unable to look anymore. He turned his head to the side and shut his eyes as tightly as he could, stopping the barrage of tears that threatened to break through. His abdomen tensed, trying to push every negative atom of his body out, but he resisted.
Ronan’s warm embrace enveloped him and Tyran gave in. He cried into the chest of a man he had barely known, yet decided he trusted his life with. He cried until his eyes were red and raw, his energy sapped after letting out the internal agony he had been drowning in.
“I might not have been there to stop it from happening, but fucking hell, I’m going to fix it. You hear that?” Ronan asked. His voice was soft yet certain. Tyran nodded. He sniffed and pushed himself out of the tight hug they had been in for almost half an hour. He wiped his sleeve across his nose and dragged the heel of his hand over his eyes to dry up the last droplets of moisture there.
“Is that hot chocolate still on offer?” he asked timidly.
“Always,” Ronan replied. He nodded his head and tilted it towards the house. “Come on. We can talk inside.”
As they began to walk, Tyran watched his father in front of him. He took long strides, no doubt eager to be warm again, but he had the attitude of somebody who just knew life inside out.
“D- Ronan,” Tyran called, as they reached the back door of the house that would lead them into the kitchen. Ronan swung it open and stepped inside before he answered. The warmth wrapped itself like a blanket all around Tyran’s body. He hadn’t noticed the cold, only the stinging and aching in his arms as he had been cutting.
“Yeah?” Ronan asked. He opened the cupboard and withdrew two large mugs and a tub of hot chocolate powder. Tyran leant on the unit next to the refrigerator and watched his father potter about.
“How did you know?”
“Know?”
“About, you know?” Tyran gestured to his arms. Ronan looked up from the kettle he had just turned on to boil. He frowned and Tyran noticed he was getting wrinkles from obviously doing it often. He sighed heavily and turned to face Tyran.
“I didn’t know until I came in here earlier and looked out and saw it myself. You’re lucky I didn’t come charging out to punch you in the fucking head, because God, I hate it, I’ve seen kids, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends, so many people–” Ronan stopped and took in a breath before putting up his hands to signal he was done with that train of thought.
“I went back in there,” Ronan gestured to the front room, “smashed my head into the wall–literally–told myself you would hate me forever and then came up with the smarter idea of lulling you into a false sense of security with the chocolatey goodness of well… hot chocolate…”
Tyran found himself smiling.
“I guess it worked,” he said, “but on a serious note, yeah, I would never have forgiven you if you hit me.”
“I know.” Ronan met Tyran’s eyes with honesty and Tyran believed him completely. “And I’m sorry about pulling your sleeve over all of those cuts. I just thought it was the fastest way of letting you know that I knew. Like ripping off a plaster. It hurts but ta-dah, no more plaster.” Ronan snorted and chuckled lightly to himself, a small smile on his face that he couldn’t seem to control. Tyran wondered what was so funny about a plaster, or reopening fresh cuts, but found himself grinning. With a flick of his wrist, Ronan hit the kettle to boil. Then his face fell and Tyran swallowed, a sudden unease beginning to twist his stomach. Ronan had his eyes fixated on the kettle, watching it as though it was the most important thing he had ever seen.
“How long have you been cutting?” Ronan asked. Tyran shook his head. If Ronan knew that, Tyran figured that he wouldn’t get treated like a normal human being anymore. He had spent enough of his life living with stress and worry. It was supposed to stop at Ronan’s house. Everything was supposed to get better and if he told Ronan and ended up being watched like a hawk, he would struggle to relax even more than he was doing. Ronan reached for the tub of chocolate powder and began putting it back into a cupboard.
“I get it. Trust issues,” Ronan sighed. Tyran let out a breath he wasn’t even aware he was holding. If there was anything promising about Ronan, it was that he seemed to respect personal space. Besides the stupid move of pulling Tyran’s sleeve down over fresh cuts… But he could forgive that. Or he assumed he would eventually.
The pair fell into a comfortable silence as Ronan poured water into the mugs and stirred. When Ronan had handed Tyran his drink, they moved into the front room and sat down in the armchairs at either side of the sofa. Ronan kicked off his shoes and set his feet down on the dark wooden coffee table in the centre of the seats. Tyran glanced at him as he got comfortable and took a tentative sip out of his mug. Tyran looked at his own mug of swirling chocolate and bought it up to his lips, blowing it gently.
“Ronan?” Tyran waited until Ronan had swallowed his drink and nodded. “You’d prefer it if I called you dad, wouldn’t you?”
Ronan chuckled, holding his mug in his lap.
“It would be better than Ronan, yeah!” Tyran nodded absently and began to blow his drink again. Dad… He would actually be acknowledging Ronan as his father. Did one act make him worthy of that? Should he have always called him Dad, because ‘blood was thicker than water’? Was it even bad blood that had stopped him from doing that originally? Did the ‘water’ part even matter?
Tyran swallowed and took a sip of his drink. He shut off his internal debate and relished in the warmth that was now running through him from the hot chocolate.
He heard Ronan place his mug on the table, the hollow thud revealing that he had finished. It seemed that Ronan not only had impeccable balance, but heat-resistant taste buds.
“Right,” Ronan said, stretching himself out in the chair. “I need to get some sleep. Just leave the mugs ‘til the morning.” He stood up and made his way over to the bottom of the stairs. As his foot hit the first step, Tyran rotated in the armchair, leaning over the edge to see Ronan clearly.
“Dad,” he hesitated, “thank you. For… yeah.” Even to himself, Tyran’s voice sounded so meek he would have mistaken it for a child. Ronan smiled and climbed the stairs.
“Anytime, kiddo.” Ronan lifted his hand into the air as a parting signal and continued his ascent.
“Night,” Ronan said. His voice was barely audible from his position at the top of the stairs.
“Goodnight,” Tyran replied, just as quietly. He looked down at his mug again, and over at his father’s sitting empty on the table. Tyran took another drink and curled himself up in the chair, his eyes beginning to feel heavy. He smiled even as he began to fall asleep. It could be home soon enough.

 

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