Walls - Chapter 10
Zac tried to climb into the car, but it wasn't working well for him. He hurt everywhere, more than he had when he'd gone into the hospital. His ribs hurt so badly he'd needed help getting his shirt on. He couldn't manage to get his arms through the sleeves. He'd felt like such a baby, needing help to get dressed, and now he thought he might need help to get in the car. He felt tears pricking his eyes, and scowled, mad at himself. All he did was cry lately. It was disgusting. He was too old for that. He looked back at Tay, who was waiting for Zac to get out of his way, so he could get in. No help there, Tay looked about ready to keel over himself. He was leaning against their dad as if he had completely forgotten how to stand on his own. Zac finally gave up, and reached out his hand "Hey Ike, help me." Ike, already in the car, looked up, and smiled slightly. "You're gettin' old Zac. C'mon." He took the younger boy's hand, and pulled him into the car, causing Zac to screech slightly at having to bend that much. Ike's eyebrows went up at the sound. "You okay, Zac?" Zac nodded. "Yeah. Sore. Better than him." He nodded at Tay, who was still leaning against Walker.
Taylor had a bad couple of days. The last of the Valium had worn off, and he felt awful.
Things just didn't look right, he had little lapses between his eyes and his brain, it felt like. Turning his head made things kind of jump around, and it was annoying, and vaguely sickening. Top it off, his moods were jumping around worse than his vision was. One minute he felt better, next minute he wanted to die. They told him it would all wear off, but his nerves were fraying fast. He felt a gentle nudge from his dad, and got into the car with a sigh. They were letting him ride shotgun, for a change, only because the people at the hospital had told him that he'd probably get sick riding. They were so sure, in fact, that they'd insisted he take a basin with him, just in case. His dad figured he'd have a better chance of avoiding it if he sat in the front. He didn't have high hopes. He felt pretty nasty just sitting here. He didn't want to think what would happen when they started moving. He locked his door and leaned the side of his head against the window. He was just too tired. He felt a reassuring pat on his shoulder, and reached back and took Ike's hand. Isaac had been pretty nice to him the past day or so. He seemed to feel bad about the whole thing, but not mad anymore. Taylor was glad. He'd been having a lot of trouble dealing with Ike not seeming to like him. He hoped Ike really was feeling better about him. He let his hand rest loosely on his brother's, and let himself doze.
Isaac was indeed feeling better about Taylor. He'd had a lot explained to him, about all that had happened, by about a dozen of the doctors who'd been poking and prodding his brother. They'd made him feel better, sort of, because they'd assured him that Taylor was still the same Taylor he had been. That the attack on Zachary hadn't been personal. It had been chemical. They'd also explained the fight Taylor was going to have, to stay away from the stuff. They'd told him that Tay was far from physically a drug addict, but he'd been using the stuff to hide behind, and that he'd need help not falling into that again. It had made Isaac feel very protective of Taylor, knowing that. He wasn't sure why, but he wasn't mad at him any more. Instead his heart went out to him. He wished he could take it away for him. Sighing a little, he sat back, letting his hand fall off of Taylor's shoulder. He was tired.
None of them mentioned the thing that was on all their minds. The thing that was putting such a weight on them. They didn't say it, but they were all thinking about it. They were going home. None of them wanted to. But there it was. The decision had been made. For now at least, "Hanson" was a thing of the past. It was over. Whatever backlash came, would be dealt with by professionals who's job it was to take care of such hassles. The boys were going home. Diana and the little ones had left the day before, leaving Walker to take the three older ones. Diana had offered to take Ike with her, but he had declined.
Walker started the car, glancing around at his sons. Zac was squirming around trying to find a comfortable position, and he looked ready to cry. Walker shook his head. Zac wasn't doing real well. He wished he'd thought to give the poor kid some Tylenol or something, before they'd packed it. He shifted his gaze to Taylor, who was leaning against the window for all the world as if he were jello. His fingers rested limply against the bowl he was holding. Walker sighed. He knew he was going to get sick, he just knew it. He at least hoped he'd say something in time for them to let him out. Ike had leaned forward between the seats and reached out to shift the car into gear. "Dad, we can't sit here all day. Want me to drive?" He was kidding, but Walker very nearly said yes. He was about as bone weary as it was possible to be. Instead, though, he swatted Ike playfully, "I think I can handle it. If you don't mind that is." He pulled out into traffic, hoping this ride wouldn't be too nightmarish.
Twenty minutes later they were stopped on the side of the road, Isaac holding on to Taylor, who'd begun throwing up ten minutes ago, and hadn't managed yet to stop. Ike was getting scared, it was all he could do to hold Taylor up, this attack was so violent. He looked frantically at Walker, who had his hands full with Zac, who'd begun to cry when Tay got sick, and had rapidly slipped into hysteria. Walker was desperately trying to calm him down, leaving Ike to keep Tay on his feet.
Taylor felt like he was being ripped apart. The nausea just wasn't backing off, even though there wasn't a thing left in him. He was beginning to think he'd never breathe again, and he was having a terrible time not being thrown right to the ground. He was clutching Ike in a very panicky grip, afraid if he let go, he'd just die. A few minutes later, as suddenly as it had hit, the sickness stopped, leaving him winded and shaking. Isaac held him gently, letting him catch his breath and recover a little. Taylor finally looked up, first at Zac, who's hysterical crying was finally tapering off, and then into Isaac's eyes. Memory suddenly slammed into both of them, standing on the side of the road, waiting for control to return, of a very different car ride, to a very different airport. They had never dreamed, then, what would happen. They had all been very different people then.
Nine months previous
"MOM! Tell him to cut it out!" "Zachary, stop teasing your sister!"
"We're going to New York, we're going to New York!"
"I have to go to the bathroom!"
"Zac, you went before we left the house."
"I know but now I have to go again."
"You always have to go to the bathroom. I can see it now... 'excuse me Mr. Letterman. Do you mind if we stop performing for a minute, our drummer has to take a piss."
Taylor leaned back against the seat and smiled. His family's pointless bantering fell upon deaf ears. All he could think about was getting to New York and performing. The past few days had been torture for him. The minute he had found out they were going to New York, he had ran to his room and threw a suitcase together. His father had found him shoving clothes into and already jammed bag and had laughed. "Tay, we aren't even leaving for another week," he had said. "I know, but I want to be ready," had been Taylor's chirpy reply. Taylor almost laughed aloud at the memory as he watched as the, flat Tulsa landscape raced by. It would soon be replaced by the huge buildings of the city. As he drifted in and out of daydreams, he vaguely felt something hit him in the head, but instead of getting mad like he normally would, he simply laughed. He was in to good a mood to let anything wreck it.
Isaac noticed the dreamy look on his brother's face and laughed. Leaning over the seat he whispered, "You as excited as I am?"
Taylor beamed. "This is gonna be so great, isn't it? I mean, living in hotels, performing almost everyday, photo shoots. Amazing. It's gonna be amazing."
"Amazing" he whispered to himself. The thought sent a thrill through him and he shivered with delight.
As the airport loomed in front of them, Taylor's heart thudded with anticipation. He was ready for the best time of his life.