Don't Let Me Drown

Chapter 1: Perception

8-19

Dear Diary: I am an Evans. I'm supposed to be perfection personified. Looking at all of my family, perfection is what you will see.

I'm not perfect… and maybe that's the reason why I'm the black sheep of the Evans family. A blight on the face of the earth. From the very beginning I've always found myself attracted to other boys; the sheen of sweat on their toned muscles causing a blush over my body and a swelling of my loins that suffocates them within my jeans. My sister with her immaculate golden curls and piercing brown eyes is without a doubt beautiful. She hears it all the time from everyone around her. They gush about her beauty, males and females alike.

And for every boy that she's ever brought home, I must resort to the use of my own right- hand in order to sate my own needs.

I'm ugly. I'm thin as a rod, hideous bruises on my fair skin, adorning my jawbone and abdominal area. I can feel the arch of my spinal column and the outline of my ribs as they protrude slightly from my flesh. The cover up I apply before my unapproving, vacant-eyed reflection just barely conceals the handiwork of my hateful conformist peers and the dark circles beneath my eyes that originate from insomnia that has plagued me for weeks.

The word "anorexia" is tossed around in the form of whispers, but I'm not deaf. I know they're attempting in their own way to analyze me, to understand me, to diagnose me. The key to thwarting your foe is knowing what makes them tick, right?

My mother has always attempted, more so than anyone else in my life, to show me love and devotion the way a mother should. I was always her "Ducky", her blue eyes, so like mine used to be sparkling with her unconditional love and pride at everything deed I accomplished. Shar is dad's princess. She can do no wrong.

Even my mother has seemed to tire of my existence the way I have come to tire of it myself. Living is such a chore, especially when the very fact that you exist in the first place is a mistake.

I watch my sister shining flawlessly and radiantly, longing to share even a fraction of her luster. But I know I must not indulge. It's not right of me to be so presumptuous. It's not my place. Sharpay and I used to be the best of friends. Inseparable practically joined at the hip. We shared our secrets, our dreams, our fears, with one another. We were each other's source of comfort in the face of adversity. But even that partnership, it seems, has come to its expiration date. Although I occupy the room down the hall from my sister, she ignores me, choosing instead to share her life story with her all-too-willing servants known as friends, and Zeke Baylor, whom seems to have taken on the role of man numero dos in her life, second after our father.

Is he a replacement for me, I can't help but ponder, or is he merely a distraction to keep her mind from straying to the brother she forgot she had?

As the days go by, I grow weary. Exhausted. I don't want to live anymore. I'm nothing but a burden, mud on the Evans family name. I stare at the ceiling, images flashing through my mind as my conscience reminisces on the ways that I have embarrassed my family time and again. The way my viewpoints, my behavior, my mannerisms become topics of heated discussion when the speakers are convinced I'm not listening.

"Faggot" is spat at me viciously on a regular basis when I leave my room for a stroll down the street. That vile word among a torrent of other vulgar oaths. Even the music streaming from my iPod nano is incapable of providing enough insulation to prevent the sounds from bombarding my eardrums. Many estranged relatives have suggested reform, giving out pamphlets for Christian organizations that claim they can "convert and cure" people like me that have my "disease".

I shrug them off drily. My sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. Men like Alexander the Great, Oscar Wilde and Harvey Milk have all achieved great things and made grand contributions to society all while having men as their bedside partners. Sir Elton John and Adam Lambert are both musical and pop cultural icons and Queen can never climb back up to the proud place it once had in the music rock n' roll hall without its late but amazingly talented lead singer Freddie Mercury. Once, I dreamed that I would someday join their ranks. Now I've just given up… on me.

Re-reading the entry in his diary, Ryan Evans shut the leather bound book, locking its precious contents away with a key before sealing both book and key away within a drawer of his nightstand. Remaining on the side of his bed, the slim blond pinched the bridge of his nose, wearily rubbing the stretch of skin across the narrow piece of cartilage.

Down the hall, he could hear his sister chatting idly to someone, most likely over the telephone. Her inflection was high and cheery, the exact opposite of what her brother was feeling at the moment.

Outside of his window, Ryan could see that the sun was just beginning to set in the sky but lethargy was already casting its spell of sloth on his thin and exhausted frame. His stomach grumbled, its gastric juices churning miserably for even a scrap of food to digest, but the frail adolescent was too weak to attend to his emaciated and malnourished body. Too weak to even move. Laying back on his magnificent king size bed that seemed to swallow him up, he tried to ignore the nausea that bombarded the empty muscle. He closed his eyes, knowing no sleep; no peace would come to take him no matter how he wished.

There was a soft "mrrow" and a gentle weight joined him on the bed, warm tortiseshell fur brushing against his arm. His blue eyes flicked open, meeting large round orbs of amber, full of silent concern.

"Hey, Holl," he greeted the cat, stroking the tiny animal's silky fur.

As the creature made himself comfortable, a purr rumbling in his throat, his master could not help but acknowledge that this was the first affection he had seen directed at himself in so long.

Sharpay continued her animated conversation.

Ryan stared fixatedly at the light shining on the lavender wall opposite his bed, his stare dull and listless. In his mind, there was only one true method of escape. Death. It is only in death that myself and everyone around me shall finally find salvation.

A/N: As you can see, Ryan is very depressed. Something has caused a rift between him and his family. What? You may be asking. Will he kill himself? These answers and more will all be answered dear readers. Until then…

Yours, nek0_sama