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segment fifteen

"Ike, ummm, we sort of need your help." Another day had passed. I had gotten home from school and found myself all alone. Everyone was gone. Hanson was practicing, My parents were working, the Hanson family was off sight-seeing, and my two younger siblings were still in school.

We had just finished dinner. Taylor and I had gone into my room to talk about going out that evening. I had been so excited and so... it was undescribable. Even Taylor looked esstatic. We had finally decided on a small rollarblading date at the rollarskating rink in town. There was only one problem... how would we get there?

With no other choice, we went to Ike. I had been hopping he wouldn't find out. I didn't really want anyone knowing.

Ike looked up from the computer game he was working on. "What do you need help with?" he asked. Tay and I stood next to him not knowing exactly what to say.

"Well, you see... Jennifer and I... we were sort of thinking about... maybe going... we wanted to go... we want to go out rollarblading for a little while," Tay managed to spit out.

"And, so, you need help from me?"

"Well, yea. We're going skating at the rink nearby. And we-"

"We sort of need your help transportation wise," I cut Taylor off.

Ike looked at us suspisiously. "You two are going alone?" We nodded our heads slowly. "For how long?"

"Maybe a couple hours.."

"We can never get enough of skating!"

Ike eyed us again. "Let me get this straight: You two are going skating alone, in the evening, for awhile, it's a Friday... very interesting." He smiled. I knew what he was thinking. He knew what we were up too.

"Well?" asked Taylor. I tensed up.

"Mmmm..." said Ike as if he was thinking real hard about it.

"Mmmm what?" asked Tay.

"Mmmm Bop!" Ike joked. I laughed nervously. Taylor glared at me.

"Don't encourage him," he said quietly. Gosh! Taylor was more choked up about telling Ike then I was! It wasn't even a real date. It was just a hangout. Well, it didn't seem like it, the way he was acting.

"Okey dokey. I'll take you," he decided. Tay let out a sigh of relief.

We told our parents that we were leaving the house and we got into the Hanson's big white van. It was certainly the biggest van that I've ever been in!

Taylor was quiet the whole way. I was busy giving Ike directions. When we pulled up in front of the rollarskating rink, Tay got out first. As I jumped out Isaac winked at me and smiled. I knew just what he was thinking.

We waited until the van pulled away before we said anything. I shivered. It was pretty cold outside. Music was blaring from the inside of the building. Tay looked at me and smiled.

"I'm glad you wanted to go someplace with me tonight," I said, trying to start a small conversation. I could tell I sounded like a corny idiot.

"No problem. I'm glad you asked." I smiled back at him. "Well? Should we go inside and get out of this freezing weather?"

"Yuppers!" I agreed.

"I'll race ya!"

"Tay, Zac already beat me once in a race and I know-" Too late. He ran ahead and yelled at me to hurry up.

"I'm coming!" I ran after him and tried not to drop my blades.

"Hello," the ticket manager greeted us.

"Two please," said Tay and handed her the money.

"You know, I should have been the one to pay. After all, I was the one who asked you out."

"You said this wasn't a date so those rules don't apply."

I thought for a moment. "Well, in that case, we should have each bought our own."

Taylor rolled his eyes at me. "Weirdo," he said as we rushed inside.

The rink was packed full of people and the music was deafening. I practically had to yell for Taylor to understand me. We found a spot on the benches in the dark and we sat down to put on our blades.

Taylor put on a pair of sunglasses before we got up. "Can't forget my quick disguise." I laughed at him.

"Taylor, it's dark enough already," I told him.

"OK, you win. I doubt there are any obsessed fans here anyway," he said and took off the shades.

"All except for me."

"You're not obsessed."

"You don't know me very well do you?" I said sarcastically.

"Oh well, you're so impossible. Let's skate."

We joined the other skaters and we bladed next to each other for awhile, grooving to the music. I looked around to see if there was anyone I knew. All I found were tons and tons of high- schoolers that I'd met before, but didn't actually know. Then I spotted Mark. He was just some flirty 16-year-old who had had a crush on me ever since he first laid his eyes on me.

"Hey Jenn, who's your friend?" he said and skated next to me.

"Oh, hey mark. This is Taylor. Taylor, this is Mark. Mark's a friend of mine," I explained wishing he'd just disappear!

"Hey Tyler," Mark said.

"It's Taylor, not Tyler. Hey Mark," he said trying to be nice.

"So Jenn, how long have you two known eachother. I thought you were gonna hang with me more often," said Mark ignoring Tay.

"Well, I changed my mind. I like Taylor for company a whole lot better."

"Oh, come one. Don't you want someone who could at least drive a car?" he said as if he knew Taylor was over hearing this.

That was it! "Look Mark, I'm here with Taylor right now and I don't need you around." I looked at Taylor and made eye contact with him to try and tell whether he was bothered at the moment or not. Mark shook his head and we skated silent for a few seconds longer.

Then Taylor made a quick little move. He put his arm around my waist. "Infact, mister skateboard pro, Jennifer and I are a whole lot more than just friends and I'd really appreciate it if you'd bug off and let me take over! Just face it. No one likes druggies!"

Right then I loved Tay even more. It was really no big deal. Mark had just been annoying me and I had been there to hang with Tay and not him. I couldn't help but blush a bit. Although, I knew it was all an act. Even so, Taylor was a very good acter!

Mark looked shocked. He was surprised someone younger than him could yell in his face like that. I could also tell that he was jealous. Jealous, meaning Tay's hand was where he wanted his to be. I started snickering.

"Uhh, geeze. Don't be so pushy," he said trying to sound tough. "I'll call you sometime Jennifer." Taylor glared at him harder. "Make that sometime, like, a few months from now," he added and went to rejoin his friends.

We skated together a while longer with Tay's hand around my waist. I looked up at him and for once he wasn't blushing.

"Thanks Taylor," I said shyly. "You didn't have to do that. He was just being his plain, normal, annoying self."

"No problem. He wasn't exactly my idea of company either." He took his hand down from around me. I sighed as the Deejay switched music.

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