Ryan is quite different from Marissa in that his decisions are logical, not emotional; he doesn’t take things personally, he understands others’ views, and he doesn’t even really consider sex to be emotional, until he develops feelings for her. He just hooked up casually because it felt good and seemed like a good idea at the time. Being a 9, he’s sometimes lured into sexual encounters that he has no strong feelings about, simply because the woman puts the move on him (which leads Marissa to run off and sleep with her boyfriend in “revenge”). Ryan doesn’t take it personally that others don’t want to be around him, and also struggles to understand their strong feelings, because he is much more laid-back about his emotions. Under pressure, he does become more demonstrative and open with saying how he feels, but it’s rare. Ryan makes impulsive decisions but is also good at improvising in the moment; he is also quite physical with girls and inclined to beat up on guys that threaten him or that he doesn’t like, sometimes doing a “punch and run” to flee the scene. His solution to avoid foster care is to hitchhike down to Texas and see if he can dig up a friend who “might” be able to help him (his friends talk him out of it). Sometimes, he has opinions about people and their moral character that turn out to be right, but for the most part he lives in the moment and makes all of his decisions based on what’s happening right in front of him.

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Ryan both doesn’t like conflict and finds himself initiating it whenever someone upsets him – he will go out of his way to keep the people he cares about happy with him (or go along with them, despite having moral misgivings, in some situations), but punch people in the face who annoy him or who disrespect one of his friends. He’s often in trouble for fighting at school, and landed in jail for stealing, at the behest and by the encouragement of his brother. But Ryan is actually quite gentle, especially with Marissa, whom he carries into his beach house when he finds her passed out drunk outside of her home, with no keys to let her into the safety of her home. He withdraws from his friends when making decisions (when he finds out they intend to put him in social services, his solution is to set out for Texas to hook up with a friend), but also allows them space in his life. Ryan accepts most things quietly and without a strong opinion, but also doesn’t hesitate to stand up for himself and his friends when the situation calls for it.

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