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segment twenty-nine

At dinner, everyone began to sense that something was wrong. Tay and I weren't having our usual chatty conversations that we'd always bugged everyone with for the past few nights. Instead, we both sat next to each other silently without even glancing at each other. I wished the quietness would go away!

At one point, Isaac kicked me under the table to get my attention. I looked up at him and he mouthed out the words "what happened?" as if it was against the rules to speak out loud.

I looked down at my feet and shook my head. I'd never been so bummed in my life. Later on that night, when our parents scooted us off to bed, only Ike and Zac came into my room with me.

I found out that Taylor had moved out into the family room with his younger siblings. He was already asleep in his sleeping bag by the time I closed our door to get into ours.

"Okay, now I'm getting freaked out," Zac said once we were sure Tay couldn't hear us. "What exactly happened?"

I tried to keep a straight face, but couldn't. I broke down right in front of them. Actually, I think I scared Isaac half to death because he'd never seen me like this before. Zac came over to me.

"Oh, it's okay Jenny-poos. You can tell Uncle Zaccy what happened can't you. Here, give me a big hug and wipe away those tears!"

Did I have any choice? Zac rapped his arms around me and squeezed me tight. At least he was able to cheer me up a bit.

"Thanks Zac," I choked out while rubbing my eyes.

"Okay, now tell us what you and Tay were so upset about," Ike started and looked concerned.

"Well," I wasn't sure how I'd tell them. "I asked him out like you guys kept pushing me into doing... he said he didn't want to. I was hurt, that's all." I stopped, hoping that was enough although it seemed like a silly excuse for all my floods.

"Well, I just don't get it! How could he say no after all that he ever did to me? He told me he liked me, he kissed me, he didn't ever show any signs that he'd say no! Oh, God, maybe it's just me and I'm just over reacting!" I said gloomly.

"Wow, I never knew Tay could be such a jerk," Ike concluded.

I took in a huge breath to keep from crying out after that last remark. Instead, I plopped down on my sleeping bag and curled up into a tight, little ball. The bare spot next to me didn't help any. It just made Taylor seem farther from my reach.

"We aren't talking anymore. I'm ignoring him and I don't think he's jumping at the chance to talk to me either."

Zac nodded and sat down next to me. "I miss his company already!" I forced out. "I never meant for this to happen. I didn't expect it- Tay didn't either! All I want to do now is apologize. I want things back the way they were. I just think Taylor hates me now."

I looked up at his brothers for support. Honestly, I thinked they looked as grim as I felt. We were silent. The only movement going on in the room at the time was the tap, tap, tap of my cat's tail hitting the bed. She looked up at us with calm, relaxed eyes, not knowing anything had happened.

"I... I don't know what you should do Jen... " Ike said.

"But we could help you and him get back together if you really want us too... " Zac offered. I managed a smile.

"There's Ms. Happy! I knew we hadn't lost her!"

"Thanks guys. You're the greatest." I just wished that everything would turn out okay and that they would be able to help me out after all.

Suddenly, the door creaked open and in popped Tay. "Sorry, I forgot to bring Jennifer out here with me," he said in a small, distant voice. My heart jumped for a second until I realized he was only talking about the mouse. Taylor grabbed the cage quickly and just walked back out the door without saying anything to any of us. I looked over at Zac and Ike.

"Okay, maybe this will be harder than we thought," Zac realized. Ike decided to leave me with something other than that to think about.

"Well, I guess we'd better hit the sack now. We've all got school tommorow. Jennifer, while you're gone, Zac and I will try to convince Tay and if that doesn't work, we'll be thinking up back-up plans." With that, he jumped into the covers and Zac unzipped his sleeping bag. I just hoped Tay wasn't too mad at me.

* * *

"He did what? You did what? What happened? You're not supposed to fight like that!" Emily was jumping up and down in the hallway and pulling her hair out in big chunks. I had just told her about the day before.

"Em, I have no idea where we went wrong? I don't even understand what happened!" I said as we strutted down the hall to gym class.

"Well, at least there's one good thing about this," she said slyly. I turned to her and gave her one of my looks.


"Now, Tay will start falling for me and we'll go out instead," she said and flipped her hair.

"Emily!" I groaned. She was definetely not making me feel better.

"Kidding, kidding, don't take me seriously." I rolled my eyes at her. "But, there could be a slight chance ya know." I sighed.

"Em, chill. Please just stay calm about this for one day. I don't want to go crazy right here in front of everyone."

"Okay, okay. I'll be good. I just don't understand how you could call the sweetest boy in the world a ti-" I clamped my hand over her mouth.

"Don't say that word here! There are teachers around. If you get detention, I won't have anyone to help calm me down when I start to get emotional." Emily nodded and smacked my hand away.

"Okey doke, Jen!"

I laughed at my crazy pal. We stopped talking about the incident once the rest of my friends joined us.

"On we go to the torture chamber," Amy joked as we reached the locker room. I wasn't listening though. Instead, I was singing the old Hanson song 'Boomerang' over and over in my head.

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