Ryder’s Point of View
I had just gotten up to go use the potty. I tiptoed in the dark and felt around on the wall until I found the light switch. When I turned it on everything was all fuzzy and it was hard to see. I wish I could say that it was from the dark but I know it’s not. My eyes have been getting fuzzier and fuzzier all the time. I want to tell daddy but… what if something is wrong with me? I’m too scared to find out, so I kept it a secret.
I squinted and stared at the potty… there was something coming out of it! Oh my gosh, it’s a monster!!
I ran out of the bathroom and into daddy’s room. I hit my knee on his side table and stumbled over to him. I shook his arm but he wouldn’t wake up! My daddy is such a heavy sleeper and he sounds like a bear!
“Daddy! DADDY!!” I screeched, shoving at him more.
His eyes shot open and he sprung up, “WHA- What happened?! Is the house on fire?!”
What? Why would he think that? He’s so weird.
“No daddy, there’s a monster coming out of the potty!!” I whimpered, “Go look!!”
He rubbed his eyes, “Mon-monster? What?” he yawned, “Yeah, okay. I’ll go kill it.”
Noah’s Point of View
Kids. They wake you up in the middle of the night for the craziest things! I couldn’t even make out what he was saying until he repeated it a bunch of times! Apparently there was a “monster” coming out of the toilet. So, being the great dad that I am, I drug myself out of bed at 3:30 am and went to go look for said “monster”.
I came back in the room, “Well, I found your monster.” I laughed.
He squinted at me, “What is it?! Don’t touch it!”
I was taken aback by that. He couldn’t see that I was holding Snoopy?
I tossed the cat to the ground and looked at him.
“Something wrong, bud? There was no monster, it was just Snoops.”
His eyes went wide, “O-oh… I knew that. I-I was just kidding.”
Yeah, alright. Sure. “Ryder, are you sure you’re alright?”
He nodded his head. Yeah, for some reason I don’t believe him.
“Ryder?” I questioned, “How many fingers am I holding up?” I tilted my hand side-ways to test my theory better.
“Uhm, uhhh…” he squinted, “Uh, I’m tired! I’m going back to bed.” he stuttered before running out of my room.
Great. He’s having trouble seeing but he won’t even tell me. Why do I have a feeling he isn’t going to make this easy on me?
After Ryder had woken me up last night, I couldn’t get back to sleep. I just kept thinking about him and his eyesight. I also was wondering why he wanted to hide something like this from me! My kids never wanted to hide anything. Heck they would tell me some things that I just did NOT need to know! It was driving me insane as to why he’d want to keep a secret like this. I know my Ryder can be a bit paranoid with things, but that’s more of a reason to tell me. He knows he can come to me for anything…
He was heading out the door for school when I stopped him. I placed my hand on his shoulder and spun him to face me.
“Ryder, do you want to tell me what happened last night? Is there something wrong with your eyes, bud?”
He glared at me, “NO! My eyes are FINE! Leave me ALONE!” He screeched, heading towards the door.
Whoa. Where did that come from?!
“Hold on there!” I shouted, “Don’t talk to me like that! I’m your father! I was only asking you a question, Ryder!”
He didn’t stop. He just kept going and ignored what I had just said. Great. I knew this day would come. I knew that my kids would someday get to the “Noah” phase as I like to call it. Where everything I say doesn’t matter and everything they do is right. God, why do my kids have to be like me? I don’t want to raise ME! Yeah like that doesn’t make me sound like a total whack- job. It’s crazy because I thought I had more time with them just thinking everything I said and did was right. Ryder is only 7 for crying out loud!
“RYDER I’m not-“ SLAM.
Sigh. What’s the point?
Okay. So I don’t know how to deal with one of my kids lashing out like that. So, I decided to go to the pet store and get them a puppy. Yeah, I know it’s probably not the greatest thing – to reward his behavior – but I don’t know what else to do! I mean, in a way, I kind of feel bad for him because he’s probably scared that he’s going blind or something. I just want him to open up to me and tell me what’s wrong; maybe a puppy will do that. Yeah, or maybe I’m just trying to bribe him. Ugh, I don’t know what I’m doing! Maybe I want a dog! Who knows…
I searched through their many breeds of dogs until I found this cute little black and white puppy. She was adorable and just what I needed to get Ryder to open up to me! Well, at least that’s what I like to think. As I was waiting for the lady to get my puppy all situated, I stared at some of the other nasty looking animals they had- Like snakes.
I shivered, “You’re a scary thing, aren’t you? You look like you could kill me with one bite.”
I’m glad they didn’t ask for a snake. I hate snakes and anything that crawls or is tiny and has beady eyes. I’d never tell anyone that though! They’d think I was a wuss.
As I was standing there a lady came over to me.
“Excuse me, sir? Uhm, do you work here? Can you tell me-“ She stopped mid-sentence and stared at me.
Oh god. It’s her!
She glared at me, “YOU again?” she scoffed, “Oh you have got to be kidding me.”
I closed my eyes and sighed, “Yeah. Small world, isn’t it?”
She rolled her eyes, “What? Are you getting a kitten to show off your “softer” side so girls fall for you? Has your wife not found out yet? It’s been like a year!”
Oh god. I really don’t need this today.
I turned towards her, “Listen.” I started, “I’m not cheating on my wife, because I don’t HAVE ONE!”
She shook her head, “Bull-crap! I saw your wedding ring! You even told me it was a wedding ring! I can’t stand guys who cheat, my last boyfriend cheated on me and it hurt like crazy!”
I rubbed my temples, “Oh my god… would you just listen to me? Yes, I was wearing a wedding ring, but that’s just because I WAS married at one time. My wife passed away on the day of our wedding! Are you happy now? Are you happy that I confessed that I missed my wife so much I wouldn’t take off my ring?!”
She really had me steaming!
She was taken back, “W-what? Oh my god. I’m SO sorry, I had no idea. I just thought-“
I sighed, “Yeah exactly, you thought. You didn’t even ask me about anything, you just assumed that I was cheating on my wife. Listen lady, if my wife was still alive I would NEVER cheat on her. I loved her so much. It’s been a year since I took off my ring and sometimes I’m really tempted to put it back on. It’s just… I know she wouldn’t want me to do that. I know she wants me to move on- So I am.”
Is it just me or is it weird I’m confessing everything I’ve been holding in, in front of a random lady and a snake… in a pet shop. I guess you never really know when or who you’re going to spill stuff too.
She rubbed the back of her neck, “Listen. Can I make it up to you? I’m going out this Saturday to a club with my best friend; would you like to join us? I’ll pay for anything you drink or eat. I swear. I just feel so bad that I did this to you…”
Pity. People always pity me. Guess I should take advantage this time, eh?
“Well, I’d love too, but how am I going to go out with a girl when I don’t even know her name?”
She blushed, “Oh I’m so sorry. Brooke. My name’s Brooke. You’re… Nolan?”
“Noah. Close enough.” I laughed, “Well, now that I know who you are, sure, I’ll go.”
She smiled, handing me her number, “Well I guess it’s a date!”
A date? Wow… I haven’t been on a date in a life-time! I hope I still remember how it goes…
After all that happened with Brooke, the lady finally brought out the little puppy I picked out. I think she said it was part Husky and part… something else. The breed doesn’t really matter to me; she’s just the cutest little thing! Well, let’s hope she stays little or my landlord is going to have a fit. I’m not supposed to have any big animals living here.
“Welcome to your new home, puppy! I’m going to wait for the kids to get home so they can name you. For right now, you’re puppy.”
Puppy looked at me and then started to sniff out the new world she was just put into. Snoopy saw her and the moment he did he hissed and took off running. Eh, he’ll get used to her.
It had been a long day already but it wasn’t over yet. The moment I was about to sit down and FINALLY enjoy my day off, my cellphone started to ring.
“H-hello?” I answered.
“Hi, Mr. Terrey? This is Vice principle Lars calling about your son, Ryder. We’d like it if you please came down to the school, the principle would like to see you.”
My eyes got wide, “S-sure of course! I’ll be right there.”
The principle wanted to see me about Ryder? I know I had his teacher call before about him acting up, but he never got more than a warning! My kids aren’t bad; I don’t understand why the principle would want to see me!
I look down at puppy, “Uhhh… I know you just got here and stuff, but I have to head out. Do… puppy stuff or whatever.”
I hurried down to the school as quick as I could. That phone call had me really concerned! What in the world did Ryder do??
I walked into the principles office, “Hi, I’m Ryder’s father. You wanted to see me?”
She pointed to the chair, “Yes, please have a seat Mr. Terrey.”
She sighed, “Where do I begin with this?” That doesn’t sound good! “Well, Mr. Terrey-“
“Please, call me Noah.”
“Noah. We are just very concerned with your son and why he doesn’t seem to return any letters back to the school! Our teachers here become very busy and just don’t have all the time to be calling parents every day. We’re wondering what’s going on. Do you not see these letters?”
I stared at her puzzled, “Letters? I’ve never once seen a letter.”
She shook her head, “I had a feeling. Listen; since I have you here I’ll just explain to you what those letters were saying. Basically, Ryder has been being bullied by a number of certain boys. We just now found out about it because a teacher caught them picking on him in the bathroom. He confessed that they have been doing it for a while but he never said anything. So we sent a few letters home this week about you meeting with his teacher, but they were never signed and returned. I didn’t want to let this go any further, so I had to bring you in. I know you work, I’m sorry I had to call you in like this.”
My eyes went wide, “It’s my day off, but that’s beside the point; my son is getting bullied?! He never once told me that!! I just can’t believe this! Why wouldn’t he let me know this? I don’t understand…”
“Well his teacher tells me he’s a very reserved child. He doesn’t speak much, unless he’s answering questions or reading aloud. He’s a very bright boy and he claimed that they pick on him for that. Also, Mrs. Lee has informed me that he’s having trouble seeing the blackboard, are you aware that he might need glasses?”
I nodded my head, “Yeah I just figured that out last night. I tried to talk to him about it before he left for school today but he just screamed at me and ran out the door. I now know why he doesn’t want glasses; he’s already getting picked on enough. This sucks.”
She sighed, “Yes, it’s not the greatest. I really recommend taking him to an eye doctor though and having him checked. His schoolwork will start to slip if he can’t see what the teacher is writing.”
I agreed with her and then stood from my chair.
“I’ll make sure to talk with Ryder when he gets home” I looked at the clock on the wall, “Err… when I get home, considering he’s probably there by now. Thanks for letting me know about this, Mrs.-“
“Miss Wright and you’re welcome Noah. It’s my number one concern to make sure my students feel safe while at school.”
“Thanks and have a nice day.” I sighed, before leaving her office.
My son? MY little boy is getting picked on for being smart? I’m pissed off that some little punks would pick on my boy, but that’s not what’s bothering me the most. I just can’t believe Ryder would hide something like this. First his eyes, now this bullying? Why is he afraid to tell me things? I don’t- … I just don’t understand.
I got home about 10 minutes later. When I walked through the door I saw my kids had already noticed Puppy. They were hugging her and petting her and going back and forth with different names. It was such a sweet sight to see.
“We should call him Lightning!” Ryder exclaimed!
“NO! It’s not a boy, it’s a girl! We should call her Princess!!”
“That’s a GIRLY NAME!” Ryder teased, poking out his tongue.
I rolled my eyes, “The dogs a girl.” They both jumped when they heard my voice, “Stop fighting and agree on a name.”
“TOLD YOU!” Sam laughed.
“Fine, let’s name her after mommy!” My eyes went wide. Oh please don’t name that dog Riley…
“No, let’s just name her after what mommy is.” Sam smiled. Then in unison they both said, “Angel!”
“Well now that you two decided on a name, Sam, can you take Angel and go to your room? I really need to talk with your brother.” I smiled.
Sam nodded her head and grabbed Angel from Ryder. Ry just stood there staring at me. I could see he was worried; he had that look in his eyes.
I pointed to the couch, “Sit. Now.” He nodded his head and without a word sat down on the couch.
I sat down next to him and sighed, “I got a call from your principle today and I went down to your school.”
He just continued to stare.
“Do you want to tell me why you never gave me those letters about you being bullied?” He shook his head no. “Ryder, you don’t have to hide things like that from me. I’m your dad and I love you very much. If you’re having trouble in school you can always come to me.”
“It’s fine.” he mumbled, “They stopped.” Oh yeah, like that’s not a lie.
“Ryder, come on. Do I look like I fell from the stupid tree? I know when you’re lying to me. Ryder, you don’t hide things like this. Bullying is wrong and you go to grown-ups when someone does that you understand?”
“Now that’s not the only thing I want to talk about- Your eyesight. Spill it, what’s wrong?”
He shook his head, “My eyes are fine.”
I glared at him, “Ryder stop lying to me! Bullying isn’t the only thing that is wrong, lying is bad too! You don’t lie to people! Now tell me the truth Ryder, what’s wrong with your eyes?”
His lip trembled, “T-they, uhm, I-I can’t see clear; everything is fuzzy.”
I sighed, “Well that just means you need glasses, bud. See? How hard was that? I’ll call the eye doctor and have him see you.”
And cue the waterworks…
“GLASSES?!” he cried, “I don’t want to wear glasses! Old ladies wear them! Everyone will make fun of me and call me names!”
I shook my head, “Old ladies don’t just wear glasses, lots of people are near-sighted! You’re going to be alright Ryder, if anyone makes fun of you, you tell the teacher.”
He cried harder, “NO! I don’t want to tell the teacher, I don’t want to wear glasses and I don’t want to get picked on anymore!!”
“NO! You can’t make me wear them!” he shot back.
“OH YEAH? Watch me! Tomorrow I’m dragging your little butt over there and making you get them!”
He jumped off the couch and ran down the hall, “I HATE YOU! I want MOMMY!”
Okay ouch. That really hurt… Dang it, me and my temper! I wasn’t trying to get him that mad but it’s true! He really does need to get glasses.
I followed after him. I tried getting inside his room but he locked it.
I knocked on the door, “Come on Ryder, let me in. I’m sorry I yelled at you, but I just don’t want you struggling to see anymore. I promise the glasses won’t look bad and you’ll be able to see better!”
“NO!” he shouted, “Just go away! I don’t want to talk to you!”
I could hear him crying hard and I heard some banging noises as he threw stuff at the door. Darn. I really got him pissed. I’ll just let him cool off before I try to talk with him again. I know I’m just making things worse…
Wednesday was when the whole incident happened; Saturday was when we finally went to the doctor. It took 3 days to talk Ryder into actually going to see him! The only reason he went was because I told him we could get contacts instead. The doctor was skeptical about it because he was so young, but he agreed to it. He had Ryder put them in and try them out but Ryder told the doctor they made his eyes really uncomfortable and itchy. So it was back to the glasses plan… He of course started to cry again, so the doctor had a talk with him. I don’t know what that doctor said, but my son walked out of the doctor’s office with his new glasses on his face. Jeez, I need him to teach me how to do that!
“Come on, Bud. Give us a smile.” I stated.
“Yeah.” Sam added, “I mean they don’t look THAT bad.”
I nudged Sam’s arm and glared at her.
“What? What did I do?”
Ryder continued to hang his head, “I look stupid.”
God, seeing him like this just broke my heart. I mean, I can’t even say I know how he feels because I don’t. Wait a minute, I have an idea.
“Hey don’t say that! You look awesome.” I smiled, “Hey, I know! How about you give Grandpa a call and talk to him about it?”
He sniffled, “O-okay.”
If I knew anyone that could relate to Ry’s situation it would be my dad. He’s worn glasses ever since I can remember!
I handed Sam my cellphone, “Here. Go over and give this to your brother.” I sighed, “Oh and then get out of my room the both of you! I need to get ready for tonight.”
Sam rolled her eyes; “Yeah yeah…” she walked over to Ryder, “Here you go!”
“Thanks.” he sighed.
Sam frowned, “Hey, don’t be sad Ryder! You look fine. Besides, if anyone picks on you again, you tell me and I’ll beat the snot out of them!”
Ryder smiled and I glared at her, “You will NOT! Now both of you OUT!”
It only took me about an hour to get ready and get the kids situated with the babysitter. Their old one moved away when Ryder was 4 so I had to start asking the lady that lived underneath us. She’s a nice older woman, but she scares the crap out of me sometimes with the stuff she wears. As long as my kids are safe, I don’t care what the heck she puts on. Well, as long as it’s not inappropriate for small kids. God, I really need a new babysitter…
I was the first one at the club so I took it upon myself to order up some drinks. Brooke said she was paying, so I was not going to waste that opportunity. Okay, so I kind of felt bad about it… but she insisted!
“Yeah, I’ll take a couple of drinks. Surprise me.”
After ordering the drinks, I got up from my seat and almost ran into some dude. It was weird because usually people just step aside after that happens, but this guy just stared at me up and down! He was giving me this nasty look and to be honest, it was really creeping me out!
“Uhhh… can I help you?” I questioned the man.
He glared at me, “You’ve done enough.”
What does that mean?!
I growled, “Listen buddy, I don’t even know what the heck you’re talking about. Can you please just get out of my way?”
He stepped a foot closer to me. It was then the bar tender caught site of the tension building.
He shouted, “Alright that’s ENOUGH! Dude in the stripes, get lost before I call someone!”
The man was about to say something but instead he just shook his head, gave me one final glare and then left. Seriously, what the heck? What is it about people always trying to start crap?! Thank God Brooke showed up only moments later, because I was already not enjoying myself.
“Hey.” she started, “Wow, you actually came and early at that.”
I raised a brow, “You’re surprised? I told you I’m not a player; I don’t do that to women.”
She smirked, “Well alright. I trust you.”
She waved over her friend, “JAMIE! Come over here, I want you to meet someone.”
The girl came over, a giant smile on her face. We took one look at each other and just started to laugh!
“You can’t be serious!” she laughed, “Noah!?”
“Oh my god, we really do live in a small world!”
Brooke stared at us puzzled, “And HOW do you two know each other?”
I laughed harder, “That’s my kid’s principle! I just saw her the other day about Ryder. This is just too weird; you looked like a military officer! Now look at you!”
“Hey!” she teased, “My work is one thing, but my social life is another! Just because I’m a principle doesn’t mean I don’t like to party!”
“Heck, alright then!” I chuckled, “You want to party? Let’s party!” I grabbed a drink and chugged it down and then grabbed another and quickly drank that one too.
Jamie and Brooke were just laughing their heads off as they watched me down the random concoctions I had ordered. Everything was going great until Brooke spotted some man walk into the club.
“Oh no…” Brooke sighed.
She walked over to the man who was grinning like a mad-man. Heck, he was probably drunk already! Brook sure does know how to pick ‘em.
She glared at him, “Sean! What in the world are you doing here?!”
He grinned wider, “BROOKIE?! Oh god it’s so good to see you! God, I miss you baby. I’ve been thinking about you for the last couple of months. I just can’t get you out of my head. Can we please go somewhere and talk? I can’t believe I ran into you like this!”
She shook her head, “I’m out with my friends right now.” Friend? … So much for this being any kind of date. “What do you want?”
“I just want to talk with you is all. Please?”
She sighed, “Fine.”
“Great!” he smiled, “Let me just go get my stuff and we can go.”
Brooke slumped over to the couch and threw herself down, “I’m sorry guys. It’s just… complicated.”
Jamie frowned, “You want us to just call it a night?” Aww… but I’m already dr-drunk!
She shook her head, “No. You two shouldn’t worry about me; have fun.”
“Well alright. “Jamie sighed, “If you’re sure.”
“I’m positive. Enjoy yourselves.”
After Brooke left, well, things got kind of out of hand. Jamie and I played this drinking game and after a while we were both wasted. I don’t even remember half of anything that happened after that…
Things got blurry…
The room just seemed to spin…
I could remember what happened…
Thanks for reading!