Heart

Ryn is morbidly pessimistic, blaming the world for his problems. He would probably see past the anger if he could still... well, see.

Asher sees the good in everyone, probably best since she blocks out what everyone says about her. Not by choice, but she does it.

The pair are forced to form a bond after becoming partners in group therapy as a desperate attempt to bring some light into their lives, starting with writing letters to each other. No one expected a third letter to arrive.

// Cover by ireumeun.chloe

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5. Four ∞ Thoughts

The song lyrics scrawled across the fresh page of Asher’s journal are bordered with a variety of tiny arrows, each one completely different but sill reminding the girl of something her grandmother always used to say, back when she still visited her family.

           

You can only shoot an arrow by pulling it backwards, Ash. When you’re being pulled back by all of your problems, you’re about to be flown into something great, something beautiful.

           

Although her grandmother usually ended up rambling about her archery skills in her younger days, the words stuck in Asher’s mind and she added them to her lyric collection, trying to use the words of someone else to explain herself.

           

“He’s so different to everyone else,” she murmurs, the words coming out more confident than they do every other time she speaks. She can’t hear the words, but she can feel them throbbing inside her head. “He’s different but he’s still just like me.”

           

Another song lyric comes to mind and she instantly scribbles it into a small gap on the page, writing the date in the top corner and flipping over to the next, finally ready to write down her own thoughts.

           

It sounds crazy, but I think I’ve finally found someone who makes me feel less alone. I don’t know his name, I don’t even know half of what he said. But, what I did understand was flawless.

           

The last word in the line is underlined twice with a small flower doodled just above it.

           

He said that having nothing can be better than having something when I was talking about being alone. I guess he means that being alone and unloved is better than experiencing the bad sides that can come when someone inflicts those feelings onto you.

           

I think he must be alone, too.

           

She takes on last look at her page of lyrics before snapping the journal shut and wedging it deep into her pillowcase where her mother will never find it.

 

And I don’t want the world to see me,

‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand.

When everything’s made to be broken,

I just want you to know who I am.

 

***

 

Ryn sits with a guitar across his knees, trying to match up the chords he’s playing to the ones he can hear in the song, echoing mournfully in his ear. He curses as he plays the wrong one and skips back to the start of the song, plucking at the strings and playing along to the parts that he’s already managed to work out.

           

This is when he wishes he paid more attention to the music he and his father used to listen to when they were both a few years younger, regretting that he didn’t learn to play the current music when he could still read the chords off of a sheet of paper.

           

“If you break my guitar, you’re the one who’s going to pay for it.” Ryn’s father walks into his bedroom with a pile of laundry, balanced precariously on his outstretched arm. “Where are you messing up?”

           

Ryn rushes through the verse of the song that he’s deciphered and points out all of the bits in the chorus that cause him to slam down on the guitar strings when his fingers slip and the sound that comes out is choked beyond recognition.

           

“It’s just a load of C, A, and B for the chorus. There’s an E minor at the end.” He leans forwards and rearranges the position of his son’s fingers on the strings, helping him find the chords.

           

“Thanks,” Ryn mutters. A few years ago, he would have appreciated the help. Now, he can’t help but feel as if people are trying to help before giving him the chance to work it out.

           

“Are you going to tell me more about this girl?” his father asks when he’s done messing with the guitar, deciding to put away the laundry instead, frowning as the clean clothes already in the drawers are crumpled into balls from his son’s pointless rummaging.

           

Ryn sighs. What can he say about her? “Do you want to be any more subtle?”

           

“Well, I saw that coming.”

           

Ryn smirks at the comment. “Really? I must’ve missed it.”

           

“It’s been two years and you’re still making jokes. Anyway, the girl.”

           

“Her name is Asher. She’s different. I think she’s blind, too, maybe deaf. Seeing her would be quite useful.”

           

The older man rolls his eyes, saying one last thing before leaving the room. “It’s a good thing that appearance isn’t the thing you’re looking for, right?”

           

Ryn’s eyebrows raise, his replacement for eyerolling, and returns to strumming the guitar, a small smile appearing when his tune finally resembles the version screeching through his earphones. He thinks of the girl from group therapy as he plays, trying to piece together the small amount of information he knows about her.

           

I just feel like there’s no one I can relate to. I’ve lost my hearing and all that I get is a load of sympathy that I don’t want. I just want a friend, you know?

           

To Asher, Ryn was only a stranger, not even at the stage of being considered as an acquaintance. He resolved to make her realise that he would always be more than that. He would be the one to make her feel less alone.

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