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segment fourty-seven

As I ran outside and down the driveway, I prayed that the public bus hadn't left already. If it had already passed, I would have to wait another hour just to catch a ride. As I reached the stop, I smoothed out my white shirt that I was now wearing and reached into my back-pack for a quarter.

Sure enough, the bus came by just as I had found some money to let me on. I found I seat in the very back next to two other teenage boys that looked about my age. I hoped they would just leave me alone.

The bus took off towards the south side of town; towards the hospital. My plan was to sneak into intensive care if no one would let me in. Maybe it was a crazy idea, but I had to see that Taylor was okay. It didn't care what it took.

The hospital was busy that day. It was always very busy! I hurried to the intensive care room. I remembered exactly where it was so it was no problem to find it again. There was no window of any sort on the door so I had no way of seeing in. I hoped someone had accidently left the door unlocked so I could get through, but it was only wishful thinking. I reached for the handle when it suddenly turned on its own. My hand jumped back and I realized that someone was opening it from the inside. Shoot!

The door creaked a bit and made me realize that I had to hide fast or prepare to stand the embarassment of getting thrown out of the hospital or some cruel torture like that. I practically flew around the nearest corner and peered out just to see who was leaving.

Boy, was I glad I got a hiding place fast because at that moment the entire Hanson family exited the room. They all looked as if nothing mattered anymore. A doctor in a white coat stepped out as well.

"I'm very sorry about this," he muttered and they nodded.

I held my breath as the Hansons passed me without even noticing. When I turned around again, the doctor was checking his notebook that he had with him. As he turned to leave down the hall, I saw the door begin to swing closed. No, no, no, no! I thought and ran to grab it before it locked shut.

"No!" I said outloud when I didn't reach it in time. I tried the knob and it was locked. Stubbornly, I kicked it with my foot, but realized that wasn't a good idea when a jolt of pain ran up my leg. "Dangit!" I muttered under my breath.

A nurse walked by at that moment and looked at me strangely since I was jumping up and down while holding my foot at the same time. I smiled innocently at her and she walked on by.

"Stupid door! Why'd you have to lock on me?" I asked it although I must have been pretty desperate to talk to a door about my problems.

Instead of cursing at the door, I decided to stick to simple stuff and ran to catch up with the doctor. He was walking at a leisurely pace through the halls as I came up behind him. I just hoped that this was the same guy I'd seen earlier.

Think fast, Jen. Think fast! I said to myself as I tried to keep up with his pace. Now, let's see. If I were a doctor, where would I put my keys? In my pocket. Please don't notice.... I shut my eyes and reached into his back coat pocket as fast as I could. I was over relieved that his keychain full of assorted keys happened to be in there. I stared at them in amazement. "I got them!" I said silently and couldn't believe that I'd gotten away with it so easily.

The man didn't notice and kept on walking. I rushed back to the intensive care room and frantically tried each key to see if one fit. This one... no, that one... no, this one... no. That's all that went through my mind. One of the keys had to work!

Finally, about five minutes later, the door popped open after trying one of them. I breathed a sigh of relief and pushed the door open the rest of the way. I cautiously glanced inside. This time, it wasn't as dark. The blinds were left open and the sunshine poured into the room. I looked over at Taylor in the same bed and almost same position as before. I bit my lip. He was still unconsious.

I gained up my courage and walked over to him. I sat down on the bed next to Taylor and looked him over for a few minutes, just staring down at him. I was just happy I could see him again. His sunshine choker glimmered in the light and I smiled.

Familiar tears came to my eyes and I didn't move to brush them away. It wasn't fair. Taylor, of all people, least deserved this to happen to him. I gently reached down and brushed a strand of hair behind Taylor's ear. He looked so cute.

"Taylor," I said calmly, "I brought you something."

I reached into my back-pack and pulled out a small stuffed animal. It was a bear, but not the usual Teddy bear. This was the type that newborn babies get as presents from their aunts and uncles. Or at least, that's how I'd gotten mine. It was pink with ABC blocks printed on its stomach and the words "Baby Safe" underneath them. Sure, you might think it sounds cheesey, but it had a sentimental value to me. Besides, I figured Taylor needed something to keep him company.

I laid the bear next to him. "Just thought it could help you get better."

Maybe I was crazy, but I thought I saw Taylor smile then. I smiled back at him. With a small hesitation, I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek and saw Taylor take a deep breath.

"Taylor... please wake up... please wake up for me... I love you," I told him and gave him a second small kiss for good luck. "You'll make it... I know you will."

After that, I quietly and calmly layed down next to him on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. I was happy just to be with him. Nothing else mattered anymore. I chattered on with Taylor about useless things without getting responses back. I've heard that people in comas can hear what you say, so I told him halarious stories about Tommy, and Emily, and Jessica, and everyone I knew. I told him things I'd never told anyone else. My life secrets.

After that, I reached into my back-pack and pulled out my disc- man and mini-speakers. "What music do you want to listen to Taylor?" I asked him cheerfully.

I imagined Taylor's answer and decided to put in one of my Beatles' CDs. Once we had listened to all the songs, I put in the Titanic soundtrack and listened to 'My Heart Will Go On' over and over. The song always made me cry, but it reminded me of Taylor and I, or at least how I pictured it in my mind.

So what if it was just puppy love. It was certainly the strongest puppy love feeling towards anyone. I didn't go crazy over most stars the way I had over Taylor and his brothers. The first time I'd laid eyes on them, my love hit me full force like a hammer hitting a nail. Who would have thought that this would happen to me... and to them.

Hours went by as we sat there listening to music and I talked. The whole time, I expected Taylor to suddenly wake up and be better again, but it didn't happen. Nonetheless, I was convinced it would happen soon. Tay had to wake up. He would.

"Jennifer! Oh my God, there you are!" a familiar voice yelled and I sat up straight. It was my mom. She'd found me.

"Uh.. mom?" I sputtered out.

"Don't mom me, young lady! How dare you sneak out of the house like that! Do you have any idea how long we've been looking for you?" she continued to yell at me.

"Mom, stop! I'm okay now..."

She ran over to me and pulled me up by my arm. "Come on now. We're going home and you're going straight to your room!"

"But... mom!"

"No BUTS! Just get your stuff and we're leaving," she said and made me pack all of my junk back into my back-pack. This time, I didn't throw such a big tantrum as she dragged me out of the room.

"Mom? Please... stop it! Let me go!" I yelled at her as she pulled me through the door. I turned back to Tay. "I love you Taylor! Get bettter, okay?" That was all I had a chance to say.

As I was forced out to the car, my mother turned to me. "Jennifer, do you have any idea how long I've been looking for you? Isaac and Zachary and I have been searching all over town for you. We looked everywhere!"

Once in the car, I crossed my arms and turned up the radio so I wouldn't have to listen to her bickering. I could barely hear her screaming at the top of her lungs over the music. "...And will you turn that retched thing down!" she cried and flipped the volume down to null.

"Hey! I was listening to that!" I said and turned it back up. My mother just turned it right back down.

"Now, just listen to me, Jen. When we get home you are going straight to your room, got it? You're grounded until further notice?"

"MOM! No.."

"... That means no friends, no phone, and no computer! Got it?"

"But..." I tried to tell her and she gave me a look that told me not to say anymore.

"Got it?" she repeated.

I nodded my head yes and looked down at the seat. "I know this isn't the best time to ground you, but I can't have you running off like this!"

I turned the music back up and we were both silent on the way home. I would never forgive my mom for this!

"I hate you!" I screamed at her once I was thrown into my room back at my house. I kicked the door and remebered that it wasn't to good of an idea from the incident before. My toe throbbed in pain again.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid!" I yelled again and again.

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