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The Way you Smile

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Jake stood strong on his wobbly legs staring at the door. The door that held a boy with dangerous burns, a boy covered in plaster, a boy that lit a fire in his house , a boy that did not wake, a boy who he wished he could be friends with.

Jake knew when Rich awoke he would distance himself off from the friend group, he had done it in the past for getting into a fight for no reason, the group sided with the kid Rich fought and he thought that everybody hated him. It took 3 weeks for him to join the group and an extra 3 days for him to talk and act normal with them. It mentally drained Jake walking through the hallways and walking past Rich with a massive bruise on his cheek, the bruise didn't come from the other kid.

Jake also knew what Rich’s dad did to him behind closed doors. He knew that when he got so drunk he would take his anger out on the smaller boy, he knew because when Rich couldn't hold up his walls and he would call Jake and cry in his arms until he calmed down, Jake would then sleepover and they would binge movies until they collapsed.

Raising his arm he twisted the unlocked door slowly pushing it open, Rich was stationed next to the window, casting soft morning light onto his slumbering face.

Hobbling closer to the male his features were more prominent, he dirty blond hair still held the vibrant red streak in his hair, his brunet roots were growing into the artificial colour. His freckles littered his soft features and sun kissed skin, the soft scar on his jaw was hidden with the light spects and the scar above his eyebrow.

The most noticeable was a flaming pink scar on his cheek running down his neck and disappearing into the unknown of the cast.

Jake sat down at the chair facing the boy, he could see the deathly pale colour Rich’s face held and dark bags under his eyes were contrasting his complexion. He could notice how long his lashes were or how plump his lips were, chapped

Placing a gentle hand on his face covering his ear, he stared at the male fondness coursing through his eyes gracing a light smile on his face at all the jokes they cracked with each other and the deep meaningful late night talks. Soft tears graced his eyes staring at the sleeping male,

Jake leaned over the shorter male he placed a chaste kiss on his forehead it was warmer than what it appeared to be. Drawing back he stared at the face.

Slowly he got up from his chair with the help of his crutches he made his way to the door looking back at the male basking in the morning warmth. He looked peaceful despite his abnormal excitement. Rich managed to always bring a smile wherever he was and that was a talent Jake was jealous of, turning any awkward situations into a huge laugh.

Smiling Jake left and trudged back to the lobby

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Silence. Rich awoke with bleary eyes and the sound of rhythmic beeping. His limbs burned with pain, he could feel his pulse thumping through his veins transporting useless blood to his fingertips. The room was a blurry but white plagued the walls and the smell of antibiotics filled his nose.

Closinging his eyes he fell into the speechless noise

“pathetic”

Rich’s eyes shot open to the sound of speaking, he knew that voice. A musky male voice belonged to his SQUIP. Said SQUIP took the appearance of a human form of Kermit the frog from an angsty teen dream, their high cheekbones and tattooed arms clashed with the pale green. They stood in the center of the room. Rich felt panic rush through himself, looking at the genderless SQUIP
“you can't do any right! I really have to do everything for you! I brought you popularity and you pay back with stupidity!” the SQUIP laughed mocking at the casted male he was waving around an arm it light circles.

“suicide doesn't suit you Rich” The SQUIP spooke putting a hand on their hip “honestly burning down a house is one way to go down in history!” They laughed again. “honestly Rich, you are beyond fixing now. You ruined your reputation with that stunt and you expect to be normal and popular?!” The SQUIP began approaching the bed where layed a mute and defenceless Rich
“you know their spreading rumors about you like wild fire, you being gay, you going nuts… OH and,and! That you were dead!” They chuckled looking at the door

“YOU can't even kill yourself right!” They spoke. Rich felt the tears rolling down his cheeks and his heart rate begin to grow, the once repetitive beeping turned erratic, he tried taking breaths but he ended up short, wheezing and choking on nothing” All the hard work we went through to change your shitty personality is gone and wasted, two and a half years Rich, gone. Poof. Out the window.” they turned and faced Rich getting closer until they were looking directly into his eyes.

“Fucking DIE RICH” The voice and body vanished

Rich began to hyperventilate looking at the empty space where the SQUIP was.

nurses burst through the doors and went running to Rich, trying to calm him down during his panic. Coming up useless the women called in a woman with a syringe in her hand.

Rich tuned them out staring at the SQUIP-less room. He should have died when he first started high school, the yelling and the pure rage that his father held for him, the hidden bruises littered his back everyday hiding behind false happiness. The vicious words spat at him from peers sneering and glaring at him.

The bullying got worse throughout the first semester and the numbing bruises were normal to him, his oldest brothers turned a blind eye to him and his fertile attempts for help. Rich fell easily into the dark hole of depression and anxiety.

He began to hate every freckle that littered his face and body, every time he opened his mouth, the gap in his teeth annoyed him in every meal, his abnormal height.

Rich hated himself and the ‘gift’ life.

Rich’s vision began to swim, closing his eyes he fell into a dreamless slumber.

Chapter Text

The silence was unbearable. Jeremy had just left his room, he was good company even when he was passed out and Having Michael visit Jeremy and talking to him was pleasant. However when they both left Rich was left with a suffocating silence, he was so use to the Squip yelling at him for holding his arm when he was nervous or the consent “you’re so pathetic” or “just kill yourself Rich” even the way the Squip tormented him on how he spoke or looked.

Rich’s head began fading in and out of reality, burst of colours would litter the walls dancing to the roof and Breaking everything in its path, then all of a sudden he was left with gray walls and deafening beeping noises, it kept repeating itself that Rich was able to memorise where the colours were. Reality was becoming harder and harder to keep track off.
One of the nurses said it was a monday when they were removing his cast. It had been at least 2 weeks after Jeremy left and he had gotten the all clear for the cast to come of, and honestly Rich was never gonna miss the Hospital!

He was never going to miss the plain walls or irritating noises at ‘asscrack o’clock’ from people walking around at midnight, he was never going to miss the tasteless food or the constant itch behind his ear, But mostly he was never gonna miss the silence that the hospital carried.

It had taken what felt like hours of the small blade sawing at the cast and when it was finally off Rich wanted to put it back on. When the cast was removed it allowed Rich to see the horrible, ugly burns littering his arms top to bottom, it made Rich sick looking at the permanent marks from his stupidity and of his failed attempt. Rich’s legs weren't shy with burns, they licked from his thighs to his shins to his feet, every limb he had were covered in the disgruntled scars and thousands of Freckles, and his face…. Oh his face, Rich had thought that the tooth gap and Freckles were horrible and made him look hideous beyond belief but why not add the pink scar on his cheek reaching his ‘eyebrow’ half of which was burned off.

At least his fingers were scared up to his knuckles along with his toes, everything was ugly and hideous and Rich felt like a walking scar showing how shitty a unsupervised teenager ended up. He could already image the stares.

“Now! I want no smoking, you hear Mr. Goranski! Your lungs can’t handle it and they might collapse on you!” A young nurse whose name Rich had forgotten continued waving a finger around his face saying why smoking was bad even for a healthy body, nodding along to fake attention.
He was handed washed clothes from a donator along with a broken phone and burnt wallet, it still held a couple years to it.
Wobbling out of the Hospital his noticed his father with crossed arms leaning against a dolphin gray Mazda 3, hobbling closer he also noticed his eldest brother in the driver's seat looking just as annoyed as his father did. When he reached the car he refused to look either men in the eye “Get in the back boy.” his Father demanded walking around the car to the passenger side.

Rich slided into the car eyes trained on the ground, he felt horrible. The atmosphere was crushing and once again the silence was murder. His brother never looked away from the road, concentrating on the road while his father, never a drop seen without alcohol was taking swigs of his flask, he never tried to hide it, holding it in his lap with the cap off ready for another swing.

It had taken 15 minutes to return ‘home’ and as soon as the car was turned off both his Dad and Brother were out of the car not spending another second around the other, Rich did the same thing and exited the car, Upon entering the house Rich’s nightmare flashed a grin as his two other older brothers spang from the couch enclosing Rich in a tightening hug.
Rich was the youngest and the shortest out of his other 3 brothers, Robin was the eldest and towered over the family and was a head taller than Jake, while Ray and Roy who were twins were the same height as Jake and poked and made fun at Rich for his height

“Jesus Christ Rich! What the actual fuck were you thinking?!” both Ray and Roy yelled in unison, High fiving for the sync up. They would always crack a joke in the most tense environment, and when one got in trouble the other did to.
“Yes, Rich i would like to know why you burned down a house!” Robin said behind the twins, arms crossed and staring hard at Rich
“I-i… um- i” Rich stuttered out feeling tiny under the stares he hated the pressure his family had over him
“Do you know how much money i had to fish out, for you. Of all kids. Your lucky nobody pressed charges” His father said holding an 8 pack of beer, walking to the couch the twins were at. Said twins gave piercing glares at him.
The twins let him pass after no answer but Robin wasn’t taking anything.

“What the fuck Rich. you burned down your best friend’s house we come down for Christmas only to be bombarded with this news! What the actual fuck!” Robin yelled.
Rich could feel the panic and Anxiety rushing through his body, but rage within exploded “No Fuck you and Fuck this house, Maybe if you were here and i had a better older figue then that piece of shit laying in the couch! Then maybe i wouldn’t have burned a house down!” Rich Lashed at Robin.

The house fell into silence and the sound of the Tv was unwanted noise “Now if you can Get off my Fucking back so i can go change clothes, and while im upstairs maybe you all can pull your head out of your Ass and oh i don’t know leave me the fuck alone!” Rich Said pushing Robin out of the way and storming to his room refusing to look behind himself.

Slamming the door behind him he changed into a hoodie and track pants with socks finding comfort with the hidden skin he rested his back against the cold door it felt grounding as the first of the tears began to roll down scared cheeks.