It BurnsThe young pianist sat alone in the choir room, knowing he should have been long gone by now. His blonde hair was ruffled and his hazel eyes had an innocent look. Keys had danced to play notes, but only simple melodies. A twelve year old boy should have definitely been home by now, but was also clearly stalling leaving the school building. To him, the school was a place of protection from the outside world. In a way, it was, even if temporarily.
“Shouldn’t you be home by now, Ryan? Your dad must be worrying..” The choir teacher was just about to leave when she heard the young boy named Ryan playing. “My dad isn’t the nicest person...” was the only response before turning the page and playing again, a bit more emotion in the song. The teacher only sighed at this, sitting next to him. "You're going to have to leave, I'm sorry. If there's any way I can help-"
"Don't make me go home." The music had stopped and his tone shifted entirely. The usually calm, upbeat boy had suddenly turned scared, afraid. His eyes turned watery as he held back tears. "My dad scares me too much. He hurts-" Ryan had closed his mouth and sniffled, trying to calm himself down, wiping his tears from his face. The teacher was about to speak up again, but Ryan had stood and left the building, grabbing his jacket on the way out.
The had gotten her phone out and began calling the police.
Everything after that for Ryan was a blur. He remembered the burning around his eyes, and screaming in pain. Sirens, click, screaming and shouting as his face was burning in agonizing pain, sobbing, unable to see, smelling the acidic liquid dripping down his face with hints of metal, and being carried into an ambulance. Everything hurt. Ryan just wanted a safe place from his dad and the possibility of seeing his mom again, but seeing anything was ruined- his sight was gone.
That was ten years ago, and the memory was etched into his mind. His sanctuary was a piano that sat in theaters and opera houses, the piano that sat at his house waiting to be played. He should never hear his father's voice again, not in a million years. In a way, it was a blessing as well- without his father's abuse, he would have never gotten into playing the piano, and never become famous. He still missed being able to see, sitting on the couch and reading books, scanning eagerly to learn a new song through the pain of sheet music.
Ryan loved the piano, but he hated his father and wanted his sight back.
The last song for the concert was supposed to be an angry one, and even with the memories going back to him, it was fitting to the song if he put any anger into it. And, so, that's what Ryan had done. It wasn't much effort anymore, it was like reading now. If he could read again without braille. Song ended, go backstage and talk to the set, relax. It was routine now, almost as normal as breathing.
"Sir? Your father wants to see you." A lady called, making him stop talking. "Really? I thought he was locked up.."
"He says he has proof. 2008, January 6th."
Ten years ago on the dot. How lovely, there's no way anyone could have gotten a hold of those dates, not in the entire universe. Ryan scowled slightly, feeling both anger and fear all at once.
"Ma'am, please, I just wanted to apologize to him-" A man called out. It was elderly, sober, and truly full of self hatred.
Ryan led himself over to his father. At this point he was sure, that voice was the one who had screamed in his face constantly for twelve years, the one that burned his face with God-knows-what. Acid? Boiling water? He didn't know, and he didn't want to.
"I could accept an apology from anyone, I usually am the one apologizing, even. Yet, at the same time, no. Not you. Anyone but you, I could accept an apology from. How you got here I have no idea- parole? Probably. But when you're the man who burnt my face, made me loose the possibility of reading sheet music and having to blindly- literally and figuratively- walk around, no. Not now, and I don't think I ever will. I'm sorry, but have a good day, and leave me alone."
Ryan turned around and left, going to the bar to relax and perform out of leisure, not out of need.
And then he met Ross.