Okay, I get that this is juvenile and maybe little obsessive sounding, but I’ve really been on a Boy Meets World kick and took a break from my normal writing to explore some fanfic. I find it entertaining and good practice.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. They are borrowed from the series Boy Meets World.
(The Lines I Wear Around My Wrist Are) There to Prove That I Exist
They painted up your secret
With the lies they told to you
And the least they ever gave you
Was the most you ever knew
And I wonder where these dreams go
When the world gets in your way
What’s the point in all this screaming
No one’s listening anyway
Turner opened the door to find his young student waiting. “Matthews!” he exclaimed, letting him into the apartment. “How’ve you been?”
“Just fine, sir,” Cory responded. “Is Shawn here?”
Turner motioned to the back of the apartment where Shawn’s room was. Cory walked over and banged on the door, opening it as he did. “Shawnie,” he called out.
Shawn heard the noise but didn’t have much time to react before Cory was inside the room and shutting the door behind him. He threw the blade that was in his hand onto the floor and jumped off the bed.
“Cory,” he stammered, “what are you doing here?”
“I just came by to” Cory stopped when he noticed Shawn’s arm, which he’d tried to hide behind his back but to no avail. “Shawn, what happened? Did you cut yourself?” He reached out to look at it better but Shawn pulled it away.
“No it isn’t. You’re bleeding.” He grabbed his arm and pulled it towards him, staring in disbelief at the three dark lines across his forearm. Blood was still oozing out of them. Then he noticed the razor blade by Shawn’s feet.
“What’s going on? Did you do this to yourself?”
Shawn yanked his arm away and grabbed a towel off the nightstand. He pressed it on the wound and sat back down on the bed.
“Shawn, talk to me. What are you doing?”
“Cory, just forget about it okay? You wouldn’t understand.”
“Wouldn’t understand? Shawnie, you’re my best friend. I can’t believe you’re doing this. Do you have any idea… Have you lost your mind?”
Shawn just looked at him.
“Why are you doing this?” Shawn looked down but didn’t say anything. He added, “If you don’t start talking, I’m gonna yell for Turner.”
The thought of Jon finding out about this made Shawn concede. “Okay, okay. This isn’t easy to explain.”
Cory sat on the bed next to him. “Try me.”
Shawn took a deep breath. “I mean, how could you even begin to understand? You have a house, you have a home. You have parents who care about you.”
“People care about you Shawn.”
“I don’t have a home, okay? I don’t have any parents.”
“Your dad’s going to come back. He’s going to find your mom, they’ll come back and you’ll be together again. I know it’s tough being away from them but it’ll all be over soon.” He looked over to see Shawn staring at the floor. “I don’t know what reasons you might have for doing what you do, but it can’t be helping anything.”
There was a pause before Shawn spoke, his voice thick with emotion. “He’s not coming back.”
“What do you mean?”
He picked up a single sheet of paper off the floor and handed it to Cory. “My dad isn’t coming back. He sent me this a couple weeks ago. Verna isn’t my real mother either.”
Cory looked up from the paper which only consisted of a few short paragraphs. He watched as Shawn’s eyes watered and his lips trembled.
“My mom was a stripper, Cory. She died of an overdose five years ago. My dad said I’m better off, staying here, without him. He isn’t coming back for me.” His voice broke then and he put his face in his hands.
Cory set the letter to the side and put his arms around him, pulling him close, letting him lean against his shoulder. He felt Shawn’s body shudder as a sob escaped him.
“It’s going to be okay,” he told him, the only thing he could think to say.
Shawn laughed bitterly before pulling out of the embrace. “No, it’s not Cor. Things are not going to be okay. Things are never okay with me.” He got up, grabbed the letter and crumpled it in his hands. “The only constant in my life is pain. Pain and disappointment. And you know what?” He held out his raw arm. “This is the only thing that makes that pain go away.”
“Shawn, that’s ridiculous. You may think that, but it’s only a distraction.” He watched as Shawn pulled on his jacket. “The pain is only going to come back. And it’ll just be worse.”
Shawn glared down at him. “I’ll take any distraction I can get.” Then he walked out, leaving Cory to wonder just what in the hell to do.
Your voice is small and fading
And you’re hiding here unknown
And your mother loved your father
Cause she’s got nowhere to go
And she wonders where these dreams go
Cause the world got in her way
What’s the point in ever trying
Nothing’s changing anyway
Cory trudged home feeling confused and dejected. The thought of Shawn doing anything to harm himself consumed him with rage. How could he be so stupid? How could he possibly think this helped anything?
He didn’t want to talk to anyone about it, but knew he had to. When he arrived home, he went into the kitchen, relieved and anxious to find both his parents there.
“I need to talk to you guys,” he said immediately.
“Well hello to you too son,” Alan answered from behind a newspaper. “Yes I had a wonderful day. How was yours?”
“Just perfect. You wanna know how perfect things are?”
“I’m sure you’re going to tell us,” Amy said with a smile as she added a layer of carrots to the salad.
Cory opened his mouth, ready to blurt it all out, but then stopped. For some odd reason, he took the time to think first about what he was going to say. This was a serious and delicate situation. “First, I need to ask that you won’t get mad.”
His dad laughed lightly. “That’s a hard thing to promise if I don’t know what you’re going to tell me.”
“I just don’t want you to overreact, okay? I want you to hear me out first. This is, this is a delicate subject.”
“Mhmm, who does it involve?”
Cory sighed. “Shawn.”
They both nodded. With how serious Cory was acting, they figured it had something to do with his best friend.
“What did Shawn do this time?” Alan asked. He folded up the paper and set it on the table. “Because if he stuck another cherry bomb somewhere…”
“No, it’s not like that.”
“Do you want me to leave?” Amy asked.
“No, please, I need both of you here. See, when I first found out, I overreacted a little. I was really upset about it. But then when I heard the full story, why he was doing it, then I don’t know. I guess I understood it better. Not that that makes… what he’s doing okay.” He stopped when he saw both of them staring at him.
“You care to fill us in?” Alan asked.
Cory slumped into a chair. “Okay, so I went over to Shawn’s and I caught him doing something.”
Alan gestured with his hand to continue.
“He was, he’d just cut himself. On his arm. With a razor blade.”
Amy drew a hand to her mouth. Alan didn’t say anything but the expression on his face changed to one of deep concern mixed with anger.
“And I was asking him why he was doing it, and he showed me this letter. From his dad. His dad’s not coming back. He wrote Shawn to tell him that Verna isn’t his real mom.” A lump grew in his throat and he felt tears come to his eyes. “His real mom was some stripper and she’s dead and he’s not coming back for him. He said Shawn was better off without him.”
Alan swore under his breath and Amy laid a hand on his shoulder.
“Poor Shawn,” she said. “That’s awful.”
“Where’s Shawn now?” Alan asked.
“I don’t know. He took off.”
“Does Jon know anything about this?”
“I don’t think so. Shawn’s had the letter for a couple weeks now.”
Alan stood up and grabbed his coat. “And you saw him cutting himself?”
“Yeah, his arm was all bloody.” Cory got up and followed his dad to the door. “What should we do?”
“Let’s go over to Turner’s. He needs to know what’s been going on.”
They press their lips against you
And you love the lies they say
And I tried so hard to reach you
But you’re falling anyway
And you know I see right through you
Cause the world gets in your way
What’s the point in all this screaming
You’re not listening anyway
The three sat in Jon’s living room.
“I came by for a reason,” Alan began. He studied his coffee cup for a moment. “How’s Shawn been doing?”
“Fine, I guess,” Jon answered hesitantly. He wasn’t sure why the elder Matthews had shown up at his door with Cory in tow, both looking serious and concerned. And he didn’t know where Shawn had taken off to. Neither did Cory. “I mean, given the circumstances. If my dad just dumped me off somewhere while he goes off on a wild goose chase, I guess I’d be moody too.”
“When’s the last time you heard from Chet?”
Jon thought for a moment. “Couple of months, maybe? He sent a postcard. Hasn’t actually called or anything.”
“Has Shawn been different? Other than moody, I mean. Have you noticed anything unusual?”
Jon gave him an odd look. “What do you mean?”
“Look, Jon, I need to tell you something. About Shawn.”
“Cory told us that he saw Shawn…” Alan didn’t realize how hard it was to say out loud. “He said Shawn was cutting himself.”
Jon’s eyes widened. “What?” he exclaimed.
Just then the front door opened and Shawn walked into the apartment. He stopped short when he saw Cory on the couch, Alan in the armchair, and Jon with a shocked expression on his face. He was surprised at first, then angry.
“Shawn,” Alan said as he rose from the chair. “Have a seat.”
Shawn’s eyes flicked from him over to Jon then Cory. What did he tell them? “No thanks. I’m going to my room.” He started to leave but Alan stepped in front of him.
“I didn’t give you a choice,” he told him. “Now sit.”
Shawn glared at him but gave in and slumped down next to Cory, folding his arms over his chest. He ignored Jon.
Alan sat down on the coffee table in front of him. “I want you to understand something, Shawn. You don’t deserve anything that’s happened to you. Not your mom leaving or your dad abandoning you. You are an incredible person. You deserve to have a family that cares about you.”
Shawn stared at a spot just past Alan on the floor. He refused to look up at him.
“Now, I know that nothing is life is perfect. People aren’t always what they should be. Parents,” he emphasized, “aren’t what they should be.” He put a hand on Shawn’s knee. “But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there who care, who would do anything to make the pain go away. You have a lot of people that care about you Shawn.”
He could feel the tears well up in his eyes. Damn it. He tore his gaze off the floor and met Alan’s eyes.
“Jon cares about you. Your best friend loves you. I love you Shawn. You have always been a son to me.” He reached out and took Shawn’s hand, pulling his arm toward him. “I am so sorry this happened to you.” He gently pushed up Shawn’s sleeve, revealing the scarring up and down his arm. The skin was red around each dark line. He ran his hand gently over it.
Shawn struggled to fight his emotions but he couldn’t hold back anymore. He buried his face into his hands and cried. Alan pulled the young man into his arms and held him as he began to sob. He kissed his head and whispered to him, “Everything’s going to be okay.”
I hurt myself today to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain, the only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole, the old familiar stain
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
Title from Boys Night Out song “Introducing”
Lyrics from GooGoo Dolls and Nine Inch Nails