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segment fifty-three


"Tay beaners. Hey you! The one with the cute face. Taylor? Wake up," I whispered to Tay early in the morning. The Hanson family was leaving around noon and I wanted to wake up early enough to spend a lot of time together.

I saw a slight movement of his arm and guessed that he was awake. "Oh, come on, Silly Head. You are awake!" I said louder.

"Don't count on waking him up this early," Ike called from the hallway bathroom. Zac was still snoring beside us.

"Oh yea? Well I know how to get him to wake up," I said and got on my hands and knees next to Taylor. "So, you're asleep? Well then, that means nothing will happen when I do... this!" I cried and covered Tay's eyes up with my hand.

It was an old trick I'd learned from over-night camp. If you were faking sleep, someone could easily get you to wake up by covering your eyes. If you were consious, you'd respond to the change in light.

Sure enough, Taylor sat straight up in shock. I work wonders don't I? "Woah, what the- aww, man! You got me!" he surrendered.

"It's about time... come on, get up."

Taylor lazily crawled out of his sleeping bag and climbed into his wheel chair. "You know, I'm going to have a tough time getting around up and down the stairs like this," he laughed.

"Oh, stop worrying. We'll carry you. Besides, you only have to deal with it until later today." I wished I hadn't said that because my heart cracked at the words. They would be leaving.

Tay sensed what I was feeling. He looked up at me. "Don't worry, Jen. Now take me up to breakfast!"

Ike and I carried the wheely chair up the steps again and stopped in the dinning room. There was still left over confetti all over from the night before.

I popped us some waffles into the toaster oven and unpatiently waited for them to pop up, ready and done. Zac came up the steps soon after and poured himself some chocolate milk. I watched with a small interest as he blew huge bubbles in his glass.

"Zaccy, what's up?" I called from the kitchen.

"Why didn't you wake me up!?" he demanded.

I shrugged. "You weren't important," I joked. Zac glared at me.

"So, what are you going to do when we leave. You'lll miss me won't you?"

"Yes, Zac. Of course I'll miss you. I'll miss all three of you to death. As for the other question... I just don't know!"

"Well, we'll make sure to send a postcard now and then." Zac smiled and took another sip of his milk.

My dad and Mr. Hanson were busy carrying bags and luggage out to the car... already. I winced and brought out three plates of waffles for Ikey, Tay-Tay, and Zac-Man. Why did they have to leave?

I slowly picked at my food while relaxing my head in my hands. Taylor was trying his best to devour his waffle while using only one hand. He successfully dropped half of it in his lap in the mean time. Zac had PJ on his shoulder. My bird was squawking its head off just for a small taste of Zac's breakfast.

Only minutes after, Jessica, Avery, Samantha, Michael, and Mackenzie joined us and practically tackled the parents until they were given food.

"I want cereal!" my brother screamed and banged his bowl against the table. Mackie covered his ears quickly as my brother continued with the banging.

"Stop, please," Mackie pipped up. Michael shook his head stubbornly.

"I want my cereal!" he yelled again. My mom brought out cereal for the two youngest children and asked the others what they wanted.

I finished up my breakfast quickly and headed outside. The grass was wet with dew and I stretched in front of the morning sun. All the birds around made their usual chirping sounds. It was peaceful.

I stared over at the Hansons' van. Its back doors were wide open while my parents helped load bags in. I walked barefoot over to it and peered inside. The whole van looked cozy enough. It was already half filled with travel bags and things.

The whole scene was awkward. It had seemed as if it was only one or two days ago that I had suddenly gotten a phone call from the one and only Taylor Hanson. Now, they were leaving. In only a few hours they would actually disappear from me for who knows how long.

There was movement from behind me and I spun around to face Ike. "Hey Jen," he said quietly while walking up to me.

"Hey," I called back in the same low voice.

"What's up?"

"Nothing."

"Is there something interesting about are van or are you just staring at it for your health?"

I looked at him strangely and sighed. "I'm just gonna miss you guys."

"Well, I'll tell you one thing. I'll be glad to get on home again." I nodded my head in agreement.

"Aww, isn't it a kodak moment?" We both turned towards the house just in time to hear the 'click' of a camera. Zac sat laughing triumphently on the front stoop. "I've been secretly snapping photos all week," he added.

"That's it, Zac, you're dead!" Ike yelled and ran after Zac.

"You can't kill me with that arm!" Zac called and disappeared inside again.

So, little Zaccy has a roll full of memerable moments? I realized that I hadn't taken any pictures at all. Oh well.

I followed the two brothers back inside. During the few hours that we had left together, Isaac, Taylor, and I played word games and watched some television while planning out what we'd do when we saw eachother again in the future.

Then Zac got to telling his unbelievable story of being abducted by giant slugs from Pluto which got us all to laughing and I practically fell off the couch from it all. Mackenzie came up to our spot on the floor in my room and sat on my lap while sucking on his juice cup. He enjoyed himself by watching us make complete and total idiots of ourselves.

"You know," said Zac while wipping hysterical tears from his eyes, "we're acting as if we've all had chocolate for breakfast."

"Yea, I know. And it's weird because that's your diet, Zac," Tay said and laughed some more. Zac glared at Tay. "What?" he asked defensively.

"You're asking for it, Taylor.... tickle time!" Zac cried and pushed Tay to the ground while tickling his belly until he begged for mercy.

Only a half an hour later, I found myself outside on the driveway, a little less excited while the Hansons loaded into their car. I was sitting on the ground while hugging my knees to my chest. There was a slight breeze blowing which tossed my hair in diferent directions. Taylor rolled his wheel chair over next to me and I looked up at him with a longing face.

"Tay," I said suddenly.

"What?" he asked quietly.

"When will we see each other again?"

"I dunno. Hopefully soon."

I stood up and reached out my hand to him. "Tay, get out of that chair," I told him and pulled him up beside me. He stood on one leg so as not to pain his hurt ankle.

"Jennifer, I know we decided just to be friends and all, but I just wanted to tell you that I love you," he said quickly while looking into my eyes.

"I know," I whispered.

He smiled his innocent smile at me. "I'll never forget about you, okay?"

"Same here."

For a few moments we just stood there silently looking into each other's eyes. I wanted desperately to cry out and beg him not to go, but I knew I couldn't. I almost thought I saw a look in Taylor's eyes that was crying out for me to say that so he wouldn't have to go.

"Taylor, come on. it's time to leave," we heard from behind us. It was Walker.

"Um, so.... I guess I'll see you," I said and watched him nod his head.

When he didn't move, I looked at him curiously. "Um... Tay? You have to leave now."

"Oh, huh? What? Oh, okay. Yea, I'll see you," he sputtered out as if he hadn't realized what I'd said before, but still, Taylor didn't move. Instead, he turned a little towards the van, but stopped and turned back to face me.

"Uh, my hands?" I asked and looked down at them.

"Oh, sorry," he quickly apologized and let go of his tight grip on them. I watched as he sat back down in his wheel chair and rolled off towards Walker who helped him into the van.

"Check your email. I can garuntee that there will be something from me," Tay said and smilied as he climbed inside.

"Okey dokey," I called after him as the door slid closed.

Ike, Tay, and Zac climbed into view in one of the windows and began waving desperately towards my family and I. We waved back as the car began to pull out of our driveway slowly. I tried to hold my tears back, but was unsuccessful as I felt a small drop of water roll down my cheek and land quietly on the pavement.

"Bye guys! Bye everyone!" I called.

Their white van turned the corner of our street and headed onto the main road and just... disappeared. Just like that. "Bye..." I called in a small whisper. "I'll miss you Taylor." They were gone just like that.

My little sister walked up to me cheerfully. "So, now what should we do since they're gone.... Jennifer, why are you crying?"

"I'm fine, Samantha. Just go... play with Michael or something," I told her and brushed my tears away.

Even though the Hanson brothers had left my sight, something inside me told me that I hadn't seen the last of them. I knew that I would run into them again one day, maybe soon. I stared towards the road and tried to imagine what Taylor was thinking while settling down in the car which had begun only a small part of its trip.

Somehow, I knew that I hadn't seen the last of Taylor either. We had promised just to be friends and only friends, but would that last? I had a sneeky feeling that Taylor and I were just beginning. The story book was only on page one.

I would soon find out how it all would go. In the meantime, all three of the boys would always be with me in my mind. I'd always be able to find them for company. Not physically, but mentally. They would always be there for me and I knew that they had left me with a million memories...


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