Lost & Found

~October 3rd, 2014~

Bryan cringed as the needle went into his skin. He drained the small syringe of its dark orange liquid.

He laid back; letting the liquid warm his veins as group of his newfound friends crowded around watching his experience unfold before their eyes.

Bryan had never felt this amazing in his life. Not only did the drugs alleviatehis general sense of unhappiness, his feeling of loneliness and being misunderstood, but in light of today’s events this high was just what he needed.

~January 7th, 2013~

Attending a private liberal arts college was never in the cards for any of the Myles children. Robert Myles was a gun-toting, God-fearing, red-blooded American, and any man like that would not condone such a lifestyle for his children. However, after the events of Christmas of 2012, Robert had to choose the lesser of two evils: a son with a useless degree, or a son who loved other men.

“Here’s the deal,” he said to his son. “I’ve spoken with your mother, and we’ve decided to allow you to attend that fancy school of yours in the fall.”

“What’s the catch?” Bryan replied more harshly than usual.

Robert knew his son would be difficult to fool, that’s what made this situation so difficult for him, but that didn’t alter his plans.

“I think you know what the catch is,” Robert said as calmly as he could muster.

Bryan took a long look at his father, considering his options.

“You know that this won’t fix me, right?”

“A father can only hope.”

~October 4th, 2014~

The night descended into a blur, and by some miracle, Bryan made it home. Home being a loose term, since he woke up the following morning in the bushes outside of his tiny crappy apartment that he could no longer afford.

Bryan emerged from the bushes, trying to maintain his balance, and made his way into the lobby of his complex. As he climbed the stairs to the top of the fifth flight, his impending doom began to sink in.

Bryan pushed open the door to his apartment that he had apparently left unlocked all night. He made a B-line for the bathroom and immediately got into the shower. While letting the water run over his face and down the rest of his body, he tried to piece together the previous night.

There were definitely drugs. He knew that for sure. Although he couldn’t remember which ones exactly after his encounter with the heroin, he knew there were a lot ,and he knew they probably shouldn’t have been taken together.

He remembered a guy, a cute guy, one that was eyeing him all night. He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t made a move, but then again maybe that was one of the lost memories.

~September 1st, 2013~

Bryan had only been alone for all of two minutes when he suddenly felt a rush of relief. His apartment was organized impeccably, thanks to his mother; his furniture was assembled and arranged, thanks to his father.

Although he was grateful for their help, he was thrilled they had finally left. He was finally alone, finally free to be… free.

His first move was to remove the small painting of a crucifix his mother had insisted be hung over the non-working fireplace and replace it with a small flag he had received at Pride the previous year.

It was his time to shine; there was no turning back. He was finally free.

~October 4th, 2014~

Bryan emerged from the shower, grabbing a towel and moving to stand in front of the mirror. He wrapped the towel around his waist and took a long look at his reflection.

He could see it in his eyes, the sadness, the look of rejection. These sad eyes were the eyes of a boy who had lost his family. Although, his family wasn’t lost, they had left him.

~October 3rd, 2014~

Bryan had been given no warning.

He was coming off of two back-to-back all-nighters: studying for his Econ exam the first night, then blowing off steam the next.

Seeing as he hadn’t passed out until about six in the morning next to a much older man after the Adderall had worn off and the alcohol had kicked in, it came as a shock to him when he awoke abruptly to the terrified shrieks of his mother.

As Bryan began to focus his eyes and began searching for words, his father stood in the doorway stunned, unable to look away from what he was witnessing.

After a few moments, he finally spoke.

“Tara, we’re leaving,” he said to his wife as he began to steer her out of the room.

“Wait!” Bryan called out, fumbling around the sheets for his boxers. Finding them amidst the mess in his room, he pulled them on in a hurry, chasing after his parents.

His father stopped by the front door and turned slowly back to Bryan.

“We had an agreement,” he said.

“I know,” Bryan replied.

“Please don’t call or come home. You are no longer welcome in our lives.”

Bryan froze, unsure of how to react.

“Goodbye,” his father said as he and Bryan’s mother left.

Bryan fell to the floor as tears began to fill his eyes.

~October 4th, 2014~

Bryan exits his bedroom after drying off and getting dressed. His apartment isn’t lavish, but it works. He opens his fridge to see that not only is it basically empty, but the few things in there are expired. He sighs deeply and turns to leave. Grabbing only a few loose dollars off of the kitchen counter, he exits the apartment.

After a block or so of wandering, Bryan happens upon a small diner hidden between a busy Starbucks and a large office building. He enters quietly but doesn’t go unnoticed by a young waitress, excited to see a customer enter.

“Have a seat where ever!”

Bryan sinks into a booth by the window and picks up a menu. Over the top, he can see an attractive man around his age. Bryan sinks lower into his booth, embarrassed to be seen in his current state by a cute boy, especially one that dresses like the cover of an issue of GQ. The cute boy smiles at Bryan, who’s cheeks turn red.

~December 24th, 2014~

Seated on the couch in his living room, Bryan’s tear stained face looks more worn than ever. He hasn’t slept in days, unless blacking out counts as sleeping. He clutches an almost empty bottle of vodka in his fist.

It was Christmas Eve and he had nowhere to go. He had no one to go to. There was no one left in this world that he could truly count on. Bryan takes another long drink from the bottle as his phone vibrates on the table. The caller ID reads “Charlie”. He ignores the call and takes another long drink.

A few moments go by and the phone vibrates again. Bryan places the bottle on the table and picks up the phone.

“Hello?” he answers.

“Bryan! Okay, so here’s the deal, my flight home to Maine got pushed back until tomorrow morning because of the snow storm so that means we are having Christmas Eve out somewhere. You pick the place, I’ll pick up the tab.”

“How do you know I don’t already have Christmas Eve plans, Charlie?”

“I don’t. But I’m going to take a wild guess that whatever you do or don’t have planned would be a lot more fun if we did it together.”

Bryan looks at the now almost empty bottle on the table. He looks around his undecorated apartment and out the window where snow has begun to fall outside.

“We’re going to Peterson Park. We’re getting take out from Hungry Face Tavern and we’re taking one of those horse drawn carriage rides through the snow no matter how controversial PETA has made them.”

“I’ll be at your place in ten minutes.”

~October 4th, 2014~

An older waitress approaches Bryan’s table with a sympathetic smile and a pot of coffee.

“I took a guess that maybe you would need some coffee this morning.”

“Yes please,” he replies quietly. She pours the coffee and places the pot on the table.

“What can I get for you, dear?”

“Can I just have a bowl of Raisin Bran?”

“Coming right up.”

The waitress turns, leaving the pot of coffee for Bryan. He thought that after his shower he looked a little less frazzled from his night out, but that must not have been the case.

~May 16th, 2015~

An empty pill bottle lies on the floor of Bryan’s bathroom, he is holding the pills in his hand, debating.

He had never really thought that it would get to this point, that he might actually want to take his own life, but this is where he had ended up. It was the eve of his sister’s wedding. She had sent him an invite against their parents’ wishes a few months back, he had promptly received a letter rescinding his invite from his father just a few days later. Until tonight, it had never really hit him. Until he realized that he wasn’t at the rehearsal dinner. Until his sister had called him crying, wishing that she could change their minds.

And so he was here, with a handful of Ambien, wondering why he bothered to keep going. He had no goals, no money, no family and few real friends. He had spent most of his nights in a haze and most of his days trying to scrape up enough will to just get by.

Impulsively, he swallows a good portion of the pills in one gulp. He chokes and spits out a few, then falls to the floor. Bryan bursts into tears, waiting for the end. This can be it for him. He has nothing else left to offer.

Suddenly, there’s a knock on his front door. Bryan tries to ignore it. After a few moments, he hears the knock again.

“Open up!” Charlie yells, “I bought tickets to that sappy indie film you wanted to see! You are coming out of this apartment even if I have to break down this door and drag you out myself!”

Bryan begins to cry even more, hoping that the pills will knock him out sooner rather than later so he can rid himself of the guilt of leaving behind the only person who tried to make him happy.

His vision begins to cloud and his limbs become weak. Everything begins to sound cloudy. From the other room Bryan can hear Charlie.

“If you really wanted to keep me out, you’d lock your front door.”

The last thing Bryan sees before he completely loses consciousness is Charlie’s horrified face. He can feel Charlie grab and shake him right as everything goes dark.

~October 4th, 2014~

From across the diner, Bryan sees the cute boy from the other booth walking towards his. The stranger takes a knee in the booth in front of Bryan’s and turns to him with a smile.

“Rough morning?” he says.

“More like rough life.”

“You know,” he says, changing the subject to a lighter one, “the Western omelet here is to die for. You should definitely consider it if you haven’t decided on what to order yet.”

“I think I’m just going to stick to this entire pot of coffee and a bowl of cereal.

“Of course, the caffeine and cereal diet. Sounds like my college years.”

Bryan stifles a laugh. Laughing doesn’t bode well with his usual stoic and mysterious façade.

“Well, I must be going,” the mystery boy says with a smile. “I hope the rest of your day goes better.”

“Thanks,” Bryan replies.

He turns to leave, stopping by the register on his way out to pay his bill. The waitress returns to Bryan’s table with his cereal and a small pitcher of milk.

“Here you are, sweetheart. And don’t you worry about the bill, that nice young man took care of it.”

“The one who just left?”

“Yes, that’s Charlie. He’s a regular here.”

Bryan looks down at his breakfast and smiles. Charlie. He liked the sound of that.