A boy, no older than about fifteen, lay crouched in a foetal position on the floor of the crisp white bathroom, his hands clutching his ears to stop the sounds of his two fathers screaming at each other downstairs from penetrating his mind any more than it already had. The tears streamed from his rare purple eyes down onto the sterile tiles beneath him, the boy feeling the neat rows of tiles were the only thing that was in order in his world at the moment. Everything else was in shards around him.
His name is Matthew Williams, an average quiet boy who was sweet in his mannerisms, never spoke back to you, didn't gossip, didn't fight and got good grades. He was a perfect son in anyone's eyes and would be the pride of any parent, or at least he would be if his parents noticed him instead of threatening death upon each other.
He didn't have a typical family- he had two fathers, one was a Frenchman named Francis and the other an Englishman known as Arthur. Matthew, along with his brother Alfred, he been adopted by the two of them in infancy; neither of them could even remember their birth parents. It had been about twelve years since they were adopted. To drown out the sounds from the floor below him Matthew remembered the happier days with his family, back when the only arguing between his fathers was meaningless banter and Matthew and his brother could laugh as their English father got flustered as he lost the playful debate and would gaily add their barely articulate opinions without fear of rejection.
That was long ago though, they were hazy the memories of the good days. Matthew couldn't remember when but the joyful discussion that used to be enjoyed by the family turning sour. It happened before he could even blink. He was probably around ten when he realised that parents shouldn't throw bottles at each other to prove their point; that the house shouldn't reek of alcohol when he returned from school; or that when parents hit each other it wasn't to show that they loved each other.
Matthew, at age twelve, had to experience first hand the brute force of the aggressive arguments between his carers, the distinctive memory of clutching his brother's larger hand as they sat at the dinner table in silence as the two older man spewed curses at each other and banged their fists and palms on the table and threw nearby objects at each other causing cuts to drip with a distinct ruby liquid that would haunt Matthew. He remembered his brother, forever trying to be the hero begging them to stop with tears in his eyes, making the men hang their heads in shame. After that the two of them only fought in the cloak of night time when they thought their sons were sleeping. As though that would be possible with the noises they made. This carried on every night, regardless of whether it was a special occasion or if the boys had friends over. It was the same story.
Back to the present day Matthew, he had gingerly lifted his head from the balled up position to analyse the lack of noise coming from the floor below him, either one of them had passed out from the drinking or there was a simple lull in the fight. As terrible as it sounded, the boy prayed it was the former. The teen clawed his way to standing using the sink as an aid. He stared at his swollen eyes, feminine eyelashes that had been clumped together by tears and his round cheeks an angry red. He was a mess. He needed to get away from here even if it was for only a night. He used to be able to get through all this with his brother holding him in a warm embrace and telling him it would be alright, but then Alfred discovered sleepovers. The heroic boy made friends far more easily then Matthew and used it to his advantage, subtly worming his way into staying with them for the night, although never explaining why. It wasn't as though anyone questioned it to begin with though.
Matthew loved his brother but the betrayal he felt when he learnt what Alfred was doing made that love falter, it was now a forced sibling love. In the school corridors they acted as though the other was a stranger. No eye contact was made. Neither of them spoke to each other unless necessary. One of the only life lines Matthew had was severed. As much as he wanted to consider Alfred selfish he couldn't; if he was Alfred he'd do the same, he couldn't deny that.
Matthew felt fresh tears try to escape his eyes but he held them in, he needed to be strong. Tonight was the night he was going to leave. Not forever of course, but long enough to clear his mind, maybe tell someone about his situation and find a place to have a good nights sleep. Matthew nodded to himself in the mirror and mentally prepared a list of items he'd need to stay out for the night, he took his toothbrush and some toothpaste from the sink and scuttled out of the bathroom and into his bedroom. He flung the wardrobe open quietly and produced a satchel from the back. He also took a pair of jeans and a t-shirt along with a red hoody, some underwear, his wallet, a mobile phone, pyjamas and finally some faith in himself. He was finally going to do this; he could finally do this.
A smile spread across his face as he tip-toed down the stairs with his satchel slung over his shoulder. The lightest of steps were used so he didn't alert his most likely drunk parents of his presence. He was now standing at the bottom of the stairs the only light source was the moon flowing in from the large window above the door and the shaft of light from the kitchen were his parents probably lay. Curiosity got the better of the boy as he floated towards the door to check on his parents. He shouldn't have.
He saw his fathers on top of the kitchen table, obviously drunk out of their minds, kissing sloppily his, 'Papa' Francis looming over his Dad, 'Arthur'. That wasn't bad for Matthew it was when his Dad in the midst of this kisses punching his Papa sharply in the stomach and laughing at his Papa falling to the floor, obviously in pain before stumbling up and smacking Arthur around the head hard enough to cause him to collapse on the floor. This continued for God knows how long, Matthew wasn't able to tear his eyes away. It got progressively more violent, blood dripping from noses, mouths and various cuts. Each attack sedated by a drunken kiss.
The tears welled up again in Matthew's eyes. So this was what love was? Beating each other then hoping that a 'passionate' kiss would make it better. This was the role model he had for love. He almost lost the resolve to run then and there, his only thoughts were ones of wanting to collapse into a heap and sob at the feeling of losing a feeling that all humans should know. He didn't want to give up now though, he ran down the front corridor of his house, noises be damned, he didn't even care anymore he made it to the front door and threw it open in a mixture between anger and grief. He ran out the door and slammed it shut, an un-worded 'Fuck you' aimed at his parents.
He lived in the inner suburbs of New York City – about a twenty walk from the main parts of the city. He stumbled down the front steps of his house and sprinted down the pavement against his body's breathless orders to stop or at least slow down. He was free now. Or at least he thought he was; being free meant having no troubles and just doing what you wanted. He had only one of those things because he certainly had troubles, he didn't even have a stable home to go to. Teardrops traversed down his face and flicked off his chin as he continued to run. His legs were going on auto-pilot now, the cold probably making him lose feeling in the extremities.
The dull lighting of suburban houses grew to blaring neon lights before Matthew could realise where he was. Crowds of people surrounded him in a continual wave, mostly men in suits who ignored the frail blonde boy so desperately in need. The throngs of people pushed Matthew, his energy lacking body being thrown more than once onto the cold unforgiving pavement by rushing commuters wanting to get home to their families. Matthew willed his now shaking legs to get away from the sea of people; he didn't care if he was knocking people over. He needed to get away, manners be damned.
Where his body dragged him, Matthew didn't know. It didn't look like the best part of the city nor the worst. His body was shaking furiously, most likely due to the fact he'd only eaten one meal today; his family not providing him with a breakfast or a dinner. His vision was blurry now, the buildings on both sides of the street he was on merging together in the centre of his field of vision. He leant his back against the wall to regain his shuddering breath, before carrying on down the street in a light jog, the fastest his wary body could go.
He was lost, positively lost. He had given up hope for real now, his knees gave out and the tears were let loose. His wailing could probably heard by all the inhabitants of the city but Matthew couldn't care less. He needed to let everything go. It was about ten minutes into his violent sobbing that he felt a hand on his trembling back rub smooth circles.
"I heard you crying, are you alright boy? What's your name?" the mysterious stranger asked soothingly. Matthew could tell he was a man, probably foreign judging from the fact he had an accent. Matthew pulled himself up to sitting and looked at the man with bleary eyes. He had spiky golden hair and greyish-green eyes. The man had a prominent bone structure and was wearing a relaxed business suit.
"My name's Matthew and I-I…" Matthew broke down in tears again, not being able to help it, "Help me" that was all he remembered saying before passing out onto the strangers warm toned chest. The running and lack of food finally making the boy cave in.
The next thing Matthew remembered was waking up in a large clean bed with pure white sheets and an orange comforter. It was obviously morning, perhaps about nine or ten O'clock. His head hurt like hell and the memories of the painful night before spilled over him. The man he collapsed on must've taken him home. Matthew noticed he still had all his clothes on from last night and his satchel was on a table at the other end of the room. He stretched up and clicked his joints loudly as he yawned and staggered his way over to his back to check everything was still there. After a swift inventory Matthew realised everything was there, including all his money in his wallet. 'Maybe good people do exist' Matthew thought with a chuckle.
His weak body wove its way through the simple apartment, looking for the man who he presumed had saved him. He saw a door that was left slightly ajar and slipped his hand around and gently pushed it open revealing the kitchen and the man who picked him up from the street. He was only wearing a t-shirt and boxers from what Matthew could see and he was crouched over a cup of coffee reading the newspaper. The older man took a sip of his coffee and glanced at the door, his cold expression softened when he saw the boy.
"Good morning Matthew, that's your name right?" the man grumbled with a friendly tone. The two stared at each other for a while, not awkwardly as such, but with a mutual feeling of unease. The taller man took a deep breath and sighed, looking into his coffee, "Do you want to explain to me why you were sitting there crying on the street last night?" it was phrased as a question but the way he put it was more of an invitation to let Matthew get whatever he needed to off his chest.
Against Matthew's better judgement he spilled everything; the fighting, his broken relationship with his brother, his problems with finding friends and his complete loss of faith in love. The man listened patiently, consoling the boy when needed and rubbing his back to help quell the tears.
That was the first meeting among many between the two of them: between Matthew Williams and Lars van Rijn. The man, Lars, determined to get Matthew's faith on love back using any means possible.
This is their story.
Hey there, it's Cherry Cup of Tea speaking!
If anyone is wondering why I'm beginning to write a new story while in the process of writing 'Canadian Standard' it's because I have a very short attention span and so I've decided having a story to write on the side would help me keep focus a bit better so if I get bored writing 'Canadian Standard' I have this to write instead. This story will have shorter chapters - probably never running over about 3,000 words or so, but I still plan on taking it quite seriously. This is a bit (a lot) more angsty than 'Canadian Standard' because I want to take a stab at other genres. (It'll still be Romance as well though. :D )
The ages of characters are Matthew-14/15 and Lars-26 (Around that?)