Quick Character Info:
AN: Don't worry "When will it
be okay?" will continue!
Sometimes life deals you a bad hand. But what can you do, throw a hiss
fit? Who ever said life was fair? But sometimes... life gets a little
too hard, too much to bare; and i don't think i can make it... times
like these, i really need you...
Chris idly sat on the bathroom sink as he slowly dabbed at the raw gash across his forehead, wincing at the sting of the alcohol. And that was only the tip of the iceberg. The left side of his cheek was still swelling from the hits as the color slowly distorted into the familiar reddish purplish state. Times like these, he wished his father was ambidextrous so he wouldn't always get it on the left cheek. His father just had to be right handed. His ribs gave a soft throb, but nothing he couldn't deal with.
As he studied his 14 year old self in the mirror, he notice how visibly thin he had gotten. The tone of his skin had gone from sickly pale to ghastly. 'No wonder everyone thinks I'm a freak at school... well, I come to school with a new bruise every week and a pair of sunglasses on cloudy days to cover it up... I never say a word and I don't eat lunch but rather sit in the library by myself... and I really wonder why everyone calls me a freak?'
Staring at his reflection, he was tempted to run his fist through it. He hated it. Looking at himself. Seeing what he had sunken down to. What would his mom say about him now? Would she still be proud like she said she was then?
Chris shook his head clear of any thoughts... he didn't want to remember... he couldn't remember. It hurt too much. He didn't want to feel his heart ripping. Didn't want to feel the guilt. The loneliness.
As he slowly dazed off in front of the bathroom mirror, he heard the front door open as the rustle of footsteps could be heard. Shaking his head, he cleared away the first aid-kit and made his way into the living room, shuffling nervously as his foster dad entered the living room/ dining room. He knew what was coming... it was like a pattern to him. A schedule. He comes home drunk, angry and upset, sees Chris, takes it out on Chris, then disappears for a few hours. Comes back sober and blubbering about how sorry he was. It wasn't the fact that his dad would hit him that bothered Chris... not even how he would promise not to do it again but come home drunk in a few hours. The fact that he himself was used to this pattern, expected this to happen... that was what scared him. 'How much lower can u get then when your day isn't complete till your dad takes a swing at you?'
As he saw his foster dad, Nick, stare awkwardly in front of him, he couldn't help but pity him. He looked so broken, so lost. Eyes blood-shot, his once handsome face sullen and drastically older than his ideal age. Could he really have the heart to be mad at his dad? He wasn't the only one who was hit hard by the loss; his dad was just dealing with the pain the only way he knew how. Chris could take a couple of hits if it eased his dad's pain.
"Chris, I-I'm sorry. You know I didn't mean it, right? Come on, kiddo. You know how I get when I chug a few down?" Nick awkwardly placed a hand on his son's shoulder as he pleaded for forgiveness. He knew he didn't have to try, Chris would forgive him. He always did. "You alright? I didn't get you too bad, did I kid?" He placed a hand under his son's chin and lifted it up for a quick examination.
Chris shrugged out of his father's hold and forced a small smile, "I'm good, dad. I know, work stressing you out. Don't worry, I understand. Cleaned the cut, bruises will fade, I'll live."
Seeing this, Nick shook his head. 'What kind of fourteen year old had to live through this? Oh yea, the one I raised.'
"Do you want me to start on dinner?" Chris offered as he made his way into the tiny kitchen.
The house they lived in wasn't anything you would want to take a second glance at. Two small bedrooms, a living room connected with the kitchen and the dining room. A sofa, T.V, and a kitchen table were the only furnishings. The walls were a musty brown and the paint was slowly chipping off. But with both their low incomes put together, this was all they could afford. But it wasn't like their apartment before was much better.
"How about we go out? We haven't done that for a while, right? Take a break from the kitchen, we'll eat you're favorite, grilled cheese sandwich with no crust and a chocolate milkshake. How does that sound, kid?"
'It sounds like you're trying to
repress your guilt.' Even though these were the words at the tip of
Chris's lips, the words that came out were totally different, "Yeah,
that sounds great. Thanks, dad."
"I'm not telling you twice, Ry. You better not be sneaking out, or I swear I'll make your life a living hell," Wyatt threatened his little brother as he walked into Ryan's room, only to see him opening the window to make his escape.
At the sight of his older brother, Ryan only rolled his eyes and hissed, "Keep it down, everyone's asleep! Do you want detective mom and dad on our case!"
"Ryan, I'm not kidding."
Letting out a drastic sigh, he closed the window before him and whirled around to face Wyatt while crossing his arms, "You already make my life a living hell. I was just going to hang out with some friends at the new club. I'm 20, 21 in a couple of months! And yet, you, mom, dad, and the aunts STILL find reason to baby me to death! I'm not 9 anymore and I'm not Chris!"
At that, the two brothers stood facing off as the silence pressed around them. Each remembering events they rather bury behind in their past.
Wyatt was the first to break the tense silence as he sighed and made his way over to Ryan's bed and sat down while patting the space beside him. Ryan rolled his eyes in annoyance as he knew what was coming, "The Lecture".
Dragging his feet behind him, he finally plunked down on the bed with a distinct sigh.
"Ry, you know we're only doing this for you're protection, right?" Wyatt asked as he glanced at his little brother.
"I don't need protection."
Shaking his head at his brother's stubbornness, Wyatt continued, "You're the baby of the family, Ry. It's in our nature to want to protect you. I know you're getting older, but can't you understand from our point of view?"
Ryan let out a bitter laugh as he rounded on his brother with disbelief, "Yeah, I understand whats going on perfectly! Ten years ago, the real baby of the family, Chris, got kidnapped and killed and all of you are still in denial after all these years! You remember him, right Wy? Short little guy we used to call our baby brother, moppy brown hair, lop-sided smile, about this tall?" Ryan waved his hands to emphasize the height as he mocked his brother.
Wyatt let a breath of frustration as he knocked his brother's hand from the air, "Knock it off, Ryan. You know it's not like that."
"Then tell me how it is! Am I the only sane member in this family who doesn't want to live in a state of denial? Stop pretending he never existed! The only other person willing to talk about him is Uncle Cole! He understands where I'm coming from! No matter how much any of you deny it, Chris was real! And I don't know about any of you guys, but I still miss him and I'm still willing to talk about him instead of insulting his memory by pretending he was never born!"
Wyatt stared into the face of the seething young man in front of him. He opened his mouth to make a response but thought better of it as he closed it once again and merely shook his head, "Get some sleep, Ry. We'll talk later."
As he stood and made his way to the door, he left behind a disappointed Ryan who still wore a look of disbelief at his family's ignorance.
When Wyatt entered the hallway, he was met by his family all clad in their bathrobe. Shouldn't of surprised him, his family was on alert 24-7.
"He'll be fine," Wyatt informed them with a shrug as he shut the door behind him.
Piper gave her oldest son a tentative look before pursing her lips and returning to her room without a word to anyone. Every time 'the subject' was mentioned or even touched upon, Piper would immediately lock down and shut her mouth and begin to either furiously scrub the house clean or lock herself in her room.
Watching his wife go, Leo shook his head and turned towards Wyatt, "Thanks for trying, son. You know how Ryan is, stubborn like his mom. Don't worry, everything will cool over tomorrow morning. Let's just all get some sleep, g'night." And with that, he left to try and comfort his wife, although by experience he knew nothing would calm her when she was like this.
Not knowing what to say, the four stood in awkward silence as they heard the door to Piper and Leo's room shut.
"Do you want me to talk to him?" Cole asked as he gestured towards Ryan's room.
Phoebe gave a pondering look towards
the door with a slight frown before laying a tentative hand on Cole's
shoulder, "I think we should leave him alone. Nothing we say is
gonna make everything better. Let's just let him clear his head,
he'll be fine by morning. He just needs a new start..."
"Hey squirt, how was you're day? Guess what I made for you at school!" an eager 13 year-old asked the young toddler as he reached into his bag to pull out a stuffed teddy bear with a lopsided head and crooked eyes.
The four year old toddler with moppy brown hair giggled as he accepted the gift and clung to it against his chest.
"What is it supposed to be? Looks like that scabber dem-" a 10 year old Ryan began but was cut off by a hand that clamped over his mouth.
"Ry, no talking about emon-days in front of Chris," Piper scolded as she released her son and continued to move the cookies over to the cooling rack.
Wyatt cocked his head to the side as he stared at the doll that was now in Chris's clutches, "You're right, it kinda does. So I guess I'm not the BEST student in sewing class, but at least Chris is too young to appreciate art."
"WyWy," Chris blubbered as he stared into the eyes of his oldest brother.
Piper smirked as she saw Wyatt flinch at the use of his nickname.
Ruffling his hair, Wyatt put on a fake encouraging smile, "Come on squirt, you can say it, Wy-Uht. Wy-Uht."
"WyWy," Chris exclaimed with a squeal of laughter.
Shaking his head, Wyatt rolled his eyes.
"Up, Up!" Chris demanded as he held his arms up for Wyatt to lift him.
"Nuh-uh!" Wyatt teased as he repeated Chris's new favorite word and crossed his arms across his chest and made the pouting face just as Chris did.
As Ryan laughed at his older brother's childish behavior, he felt a tugging at his pants and looked down to find Chris with his arms up in the air and small pout across his lips. "Pweaze?" he begged. His round green eyes gave a twinkle as he pleaded to be lifted up. Ryan rolled his eyes with a grin as he bent down to gather his little brother in his arms, "Why do I have a feeling those eyes are gonna get us all into a lot of trouble..."
"Don't do that to me Chris, please?" a woman in her early thirties begged as a 11 year old Chris pouted with his large bright green eyes.
"Do what, mommy?" he innocently responded as he continued to stare up at her.
The woman with her blonde hair pulled up into a pony tail had to laugh, "That!"
"I'm just looking at my beautiful mommy," the boy responded with a cheeky smile.
The women let out a breath of defeat as she placed her forehead against the kitchen counter in their small run down apartment, "I surrender, just take the cookie."
Chris grinned as he grabbed for a large fudge cookie, "You're too easy mommy."
Jaime had to lift her head and smile, "I swear, you can get away with murder using that face. Just don't pull it in front of the girls; they'll all be swooning over you yet. And I'm not ready to share you."
"Girls are yucky," Chris informed her as he made a face.
"That's my boy, just remember that when you hit puberty."
Chris gave her a small peck on the cheek. "Love you, mom," he replied as he split the cookie in half and gave the slightly larger piece to his mom, "always and forever."
"How could you not tell me!" a frustrated 13 year old Chris exclaimed as he stared into the faces of his two 'parents'. Or who he thought were his parents...
"Chris, we didn't want to hurt you," Nick stated as he tried to clam down a hysterical Chris.
"No! You should've told me! You had no right to hold that from me!"
"We tried to tell you earlier, but we couldn't find the right time," Jaime added in as she tried to hold back her tears.
"You couldn't find the right time to tell me I was left on your doorstep 9 years ago! That the whole time, you guys were only pretending to be my parents!" Chris screamed as he turned away from them to stare at the dirty brown walls as tears began to trickle down his cheek. He angrily brushed them away. "Do you even know who my real parents are?" Chris asked in a hoarse voice as he still refused to turn around.
"There was no note, just a sheet with you're name Christopher."
Chris let out a bitter laugh, "They go through all the trouble of having me and then raising me for 4 years but they can't seem to leave a little note explaining why they don't freaking want me?"
Jaime got up and laid a hand on Chris's shoulder, although Chris didn't seem to respond, she still continued, "I don't know why they decided to leave you with us, they might've even had a good reason, but it doesn't matter... it's their lost. And frankly, I'm glad they did... otherwise, I wouldn't have received the best gift anyone could've ever given me... the perfect son..."
Leading her son back to the couch where her husband watched on, the two sat down as Nick wrapped a comforting arm around his son's shoulder.
"Blood doesn't always define a family, Chris. You're family is where you're heart and trust lies. Me and your mom love you more than you can imagine. Just remember that."
Chris buried his head into his father's arms as the tears continued to rain down his cheeks.
Jaime began to rub soft soothing circles into the sole of her son's back as she wore a saddened smile, "They may have been your mother and father, Chris... but we're your mom and dad."
Chris lifted his head, as Jaime wiped the tears from his face, "I love you, Chris."
"Me too mom…
always and forever…."
Chris shot up from his lumpy bed as beads of sweat and tears ran down his face. His heart continued to thump through his chest as he nervously glanced around his barren room.
He ran a shaky hand through his matted hair as he tried to control his heavy breathing. As he tried to hold on to the dream, his hopes were shattered as his memories slipped through his fingers like sand. Trying to recall, he could only remember bits and pieces. Blurry faces, a few words here and there... but never the grand picture. It was like that every time he had this dream... or nightmare...
However, one face always seemed to haunt him even after he awoke from his sleep. It followed him to school, to work, when he ate, whether his eyes were closed or open, the face would haunt him till the day he died. Ever since that night a year ago...
Chris wrenched his eyes closed as he fell back down upon the mattress, he held tightly onto the locket around his neck as the stubborn tears still made its way down their course.
"I'm sorry mom... I'm so sorry... I miss you, so much. Dad needs you... I need you... please, just come back..."
I know this may be kinda confusing for you guys, but I decided to jump into the middle of the story and have flashbacks of the beginning rather than start from a slow beginning and work its way into the plot.
I don't know about you guys, but I hate slow beginnings. I'll explain what happened to the halliwells and Chris and the whole thing about Chris's foster mom throughout the story in clips... don't worry, you'll understand soon enough...