Okay, so I think soon this here little novella will be finished, and then I can focus on other stories too. Not that I didn't love writing this one! It's just that while I was writing this one, I couldn't write the sequel to Still Suffering, because something might happen in these last over chapters that I might need to put into the sequel. I already have to put Miley in the sequel, at least a little, and explain why she didn't show up in the first story.


Chapter 10 (1 year 5 months)

The people in this world are hopeless. They are stupid, they suck, and I hate them. How could they have not find Ryan!? They knew where he was! They knew what city he was in, or near at the very least! So how could five months have passed, with nothing to show for it? Nothing!? Five months, and Ryan was still lost to the world. The only one who knew where he was, was the man who took him.

I knew what he looked like now. I had the description that Joey had given me. The guy was tall, well-built, brown hair. Now I couldn't walk down the street with out staring at every man who fit this description.

I had thought that the moment we figured out where Ryan was we would go there. Go to Wyoming. But we hadn't. I tried to convince them, told them we had to, we had to be there, and help the police.

But Kyle and Terry didn't go. And even though I tried, I couldn't make them. Even after I'd been nice to them, nicer then I'd been since the day that the baby was born. But it didn't work. The only that went was Thomson. Thomson joined the force in Wyoming, and he'd gone down there, to try to find Ryan.

It made me furious at my parents.

Thomson cared more about Ryan then they did.

It pissed me off.

Me, Joey, and Thomson.

We cared.

No one else. Not all those strangers that I didn't even know, who came up to me to tell me that they were praying for him everyday, or whatever. Maybe they cared for a few seconds, or a few days, but they didn't keep caring, I'm sure. They had to focus on their lives, and stop paying attention to mine.

Miley cared, I knew, but she hadn't even known Ryan, so it would never be as hard for her as it was for me, and for Joey. But I wasnt' mad at her for that, and I was so glad that she cared.

*(*)

"You guys ready?" Joey asked, and me and Miley jumped off the couch and slipped into our shoes. Joey was taking the two of us out today to see a movie, but I wasn't sure which one. I told Miley she could choose, which now that I think about, was silly, because she probably picked some girly movie.

Joey paid for the tickets, and bought the snacks and drinks, leading us to our seats just as the previews started.

"Just in time for the previews!" Miley said happily. She had insisted on leaving the house five minutes early, so we could be in time for the previews. I didn't really understand why some people wanted to see them so badly though. I thought it was just better to wait for the movie to come on.

The movie started after like, five previews, and like I thought, it was some silly romance comedy thing. I zoned out quickly, thinking about nothing in particular. But then suddenly, I felt somebody's hand in mine. I blinked, confused, and looked at my left hand, which was the one being held. I followed the hand up, and could feel my heart beating faster, because I knew who it was, of course.

Our eyes met, and Miley blushed quickly, making me do the same. I looked at the ground, counting the popcorn that had been spilled there, but there were too many for me to follow, and it was too dark to see them all anyway. Suddenly, Joey tapped my shoulder, and I looked over, trying to hide my blush, hoping it was too dark for him to see.

"Going to the bathroom." he whispered, and I nodded quickly, barely paying him any attention as he got up and moved away. When he was gone, I went back to think about Miley holding my hand. We'd held hands before, the very first time we'd met, and she'd walked with me home after school. But this felt different.

Miley wasn't saying anything, so I didn't say anything either. The whole rest of the movie I just sat there, not watching the movie, even though I stared at it the entire time. When Joey came back from the bathroom and asked what he had missed, I couldn't tell him at all, and Miley had to fill him in in a whisper. Did this mean Miley liked me? Like, as a boyfriend? She wanted to be my girlfriend? I mean, I'd thought she did, because of that time she'd asked me if I liked her, but I didn't know for sure. And I knew I liked her too. I didn't think about any other girl, not even the celebrities that the boys in my class liked.

I tried to think about it, but my thoughts were flying around, all blurry and stuff. But I didn't pull my hand away from her, partly because I didn't want to be mean, but also because I didn't mind. Once the movie ended, and the credits started rolling down the screen, Miley let go of my hand.

"Come on guys, we better start walking." Joey said, but Miley coughed gently and said, "Um...can I go to the bathroom first?"

"Sure." Joey answered. "Me and Steven'll go too, and we'll all meet up in the hallway."

I was done first, and Miley was done second, so we were alone in the hallway while we were waiting for Joey. We didn't look at each other, but that felt wrong, so I tried to talk to her.

"Did you like the movie?"

"Yeah." she answered. "Did you?"

"Um...yeah." I said, even though I didn't remember a single thing about it, even the main character's name. Joey was there a second later, so we started walking, and I was glad I lived close, because it was really awkward, at least for me.

As we walked, I thought about Ryan. And the more I thought about Ryan, the more guilty I suddenly felt about holding Miley's hand. But I guess it was different for her, because she started to walk beside me, and grabbed my hand again. I saw her looking at me closely, trying to figure out what I would do. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to hold her hand, but I knew I shouldn't. Because it wasn't fair to Ryan. He was alone with his kidnapper, scared, afraid we'd never find him.

And I liked Miley, I know I did, but I couldn't...

I couldn't be with her, while Ryan was with him...

I couldn't.

Joey took us to my house, and then he left, while we waited for Miley's dad to arrive. She and I sat outside, and I found myself staring at the dog house. Miley saw me.

"Do you want to go in?" Miley asked, and I shook my head. That was a place for only me and Ryan to go. Miley nodded in understanding, and leaned against me to gently kiss my forehead. Thankfully, that still felt the same, and not complicated.

It was only quiet for a couple more seconds, then Miley asked, "Was it okay that I held your hand?" She sounded scared, so I quickly nodded.

"Yeah. It was okay. I liked it."

She smiled brightly. "You did?"

I nodded again. "Yeah."

"Does that mean...you like me?"

I didn't say anything, even though I had a lot I wanted to say to her. I tried to get the words out, because I did like her, and even if we couldn't be together yet, she deserved to know why.

"I like you Miley. But..."

Her smile went away. "But what?" she whispered sadly.

"But...Ryan..." I said in explanation, and even though Miley still looked sad, she looked relieved. I guess she thought I was going to say I didn't like her like that.

"Oh." she said.

"I can't be with you, if he's with him. It's not fair to him." I told her, using the words I'd thought of earlier. It was quiet again, and I wanted to cry. If only Ryan was here, then me and Miley could be whatever we wanted. If only that guy hadn't taken him, and ruined our lives.

"But you want to be my boyfriend?" Miley asked shyly, and I looked at her and smiled. These days, she really was the only one who could make me smile. If Ryan was here, he'd make me smile. He always could. And I could make him smile too. It's what brothers do.

So what did I start to do?

I started to cry.

Why had this happened to us? Why had Ryan been taken from us, and why had it happened to him? Why couldn't anybody find him, and why didn't they all care? Why was it just me, and Joey, and Thomson? I was the one who should have been taken, because he was out there because of me. It should have been me!

"It wasn't your fault Steven." Miley said, because I'd told her all this, and even though it was nice of her to say it, it wasn't true, and she wasn't the one I needed to hear it from. She held my hand again though, while I cried, and when I was done, I was really embarrassed, because this wasn't what we'd been talking about.

"Miley." I said, and I cleared my throat with a little cough, and she cocked her head, telling me to go on.

"When Ryan gets back, let's be together." I said, and she blushed, and nodded. Her dad's car pulled up outside our fence, but she didn't go. She hugged me and said, "Do you promise?"

"I promise." I said into her ear.

Miley pulled back, and looked over her shoulder at her dad, who we could see was motioning for her to hurry. She blushed and looked back at me, and then suddenly, she kissed me quickly, then started running to her car. I sat there, stunned and blushing, and as she was closing the door, she called to me, "Can we still hold hands?"

I nodded dumbly, and she smiled. "Remember!" she said, touching her lips with her finger, "It's a promise!"

And she was gone.


Phew! Done. Sorry for the long break, something just like...stopped wanting to write inside me. But now I'm back.

I really loved this chapter, it was so sweet. My sister was the one who came up with the idea for this chapter, so thank you Belle! I'm glad you love Steven too!

I think there are like, only two chapters left, then I'll start on the sequel. Well, I already started it, but I'll finish the first chapter, and post and all that jazz.

See you soon!