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segment twenty-four

"Want a pretzel?" I asked Tay as we headed for the CD store in the mall.

"Stop eating. You'll fill up before we have dinner." I guess that was a no.

"Since when did you become my mother?"

Tay laughed and shook his head. We had decided to make a trip down to the mall for some fun. No shopping for clothes alowed! I'm not like most girls. I hate shopping for clothes! Tay did too.

Ike had come along too since he was the only one who could drive. We'd borrowed my parents' maroon car instead of taking their van. As soon as we had entered the mall, Isaac took off in his own direction while Tay and I checked out our own stores.

I'd also stopped for the umteenth time to buy some food. I was eating like a pig now! Tay had never seen me eat so much before.

"Come on, I haven't had that much have I?"

Tay and I rumaged through the rock 'n' roll section in the music store. I looked at the new singles wondering if there was anything interesting that I could buy. Hanson's 'I Will Come To You' single was stocked up. There were still about ten copies left. I grabbed a copy of The Spice Girls' new single, 'Too Much.' Hey, don't blame me if you hate the Spice Girls! The song had entered my mind only about a million times from it being played on the radio so much!

I figured I'd buy another copy of 'I Will Come To You' just to help support my three favorite guys even though I had already bought it twice before!

As I picked up a copy, I heard giggling coming from near by and looked up to see Tay flirting with two other girls nearby. I walked up to him, a tad bit mad. Okay, so maybe I was more than a "tad bit" mad.

Taylor turned around as I tapped him on the shoulder. He stopped laughing. "Oh, hey Jen. Meet Crystal and Melissa." I looked over at the two girls. They were my age. One of them looked familiar though. Then it hit me! One of the girls was the Melissa who I go to school with. What was she doing flirting with Taylor Hanson? She hated his music!

"Oh, hi Melissa. Never expected to run into you here."

"Jennifer? Oh yea, you're the Hanson freak I know, right? Ha! So, you know Taylor here?" I saw Tay blush.

"Yea, do you?"

"Oh, not really. We just met. He's sweet." Okay, obviously she had no idea who he was. I knew for a fact Melissa wanted to skin all three Hanson brothers alive!

I turned to Taylor. "Um, Tay? Come on, lets go look at another store..."

"Sure, Jen. Bye girls!" he said and waved as I pulled him up to the counter to by the CD's.

As we headed off towards the bookstore I decided to figure this out! "Tay, what were you thinking by talking to those two back there?"

"Relax, Jen. It's no big deal. I can communicate with other girls ya know. Besides, we're not officially going steady or anything." Well, he did have a point there.

"Oh well, whatever. I just hope you know that Melissa isn't exactly a big fan. I don't think that would make Crystal one either."

"Well, I guess they didn't know who I was." I nodded and walked over to the magazine rack. About five different types of teeny bopper mags stared out at me. Hanson was on all of the covers. I heard Tay laugh.

"Imagine that! I didn't know we were this popular!" I smiled and grabbed a new issue of Teen Beat. Taylor looked confused. "Um, did I, like, miss something here? Why exactly are you buying these?"

"Is it a crime to spend your money on pages and pages of cute boys? I need to add to my collection."

"Well, what's the point if you've got the real thing right here?" he asked and posed for me.

"That doesn't exactly do any good unless you let me take about fifty pictures of you," I said sarcastically.

He sighed. "Look, don't waste your money on these things..."

"Tay, it's my money..."

"Okay, okay, fine. You can take pictures or whatever, just don't become a teeny bopper! Please!"

"I already am a teeny bopper. I've been buying these mags for the longest time. Why can't I now?"

"Jennifer, you're not a teeny bopper. You don't need those magazines. It already scares me a little that you've got millions of pictures of me inside a scrapbook! Just please, don't buy anymore..."

Okay, now he was beginning to scare me. There was really no harm in buying some. What did he have against them? I looked at him strange. "Um... why not?"

"Because... oh, I don't know! It's just that I don't like the thought of you spending all of your money because of me. Besides, who do you love? Me or the posters?"

Why was he doing this? "Tay, you know perfectly well that I like you more than any subsitute. I-" Suddenly I realized what he had tricked me into saying. He didn't want to think that I liked fake pictures that weren't his personality, or a person, at all. He wanted me to like him, and the way he was, yada, yada, yada... that sort of thing.

"Okay, fine. You win! Even though I just confused myself even more, I'll listen to you," I told him and placed the magazine back on the rack.

"Thank you..." Tay said looking relieved. "I just can't stand the thought of some girls going to bed every night looking at me up on their walls."

I think it was at that moment that I decided Taylor had the major hots for me. He liked me enough. I decided that sometime soon, maybe not that day, but soon, I would ask him out. I sort of liked the idea of him for a boyfriend. What's not to like about him? Taylor Hanson was smart, funny, cute, sweet, nice, and a bag of deluxe ruffles all in one! I just hoped he'd say "yes." At least after that he wouldn't be able to flirt and get away with it either.

"C'mon Tay-Tay. What do you say we go find Ike and scoodaddle on out of here?" I asked him. I don't think I even needed to ask because Tay grabbed my hand right then and pulled me through the mall until we found Isaac, flirting with a few girls...

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