Walls Chapter 7
Zac was oblivious to the tears streaming down his flushed cheeks as he screamed and lashed out at Taylor. Then as quickly as the outburst came, it faded. His hand weakly went for Taylor one more time, then it fell to his side. He was nearly hysterical now, choking on sobs, a wailing noise coming from somewhere deep in his throat. Taylor instinctively wrapped his arms around the small boy's convulsing body and with as much strength as he could muster... he held Zac to him. They sat, rocking in each other's arms for a moment, the only noises were Zac's sobs and the gentle whirring of machines. Taylor closed his eyes and gently stroked Zac's matted hair. Suddenly, without any warning, Zac pushed Taylor away, and tried to stand. Using the leg of a plastic chair for support, he slowly climbed to his feet, swaying, as a rush of nausea and dizziness hit him. "Don't," he said, his voice thick with tears. "Don't you even touch me." Zac staggered over and sat on his bed, facing the window, staring out into the dark, rainy night, his vision blurred by the hot tears still falling uncontrollably from his eyes. "How can I forgive you for this?" he whispered, so quietly that Taylor had to strain to hear his small voice. "How can I? You're supposed to be there for me... you're supposed to..." His chin trembled and he stopped as a fresh set of tears slid down his cheeks. Zac closed his eyes and hung his head. "All I wanted to do was help you. All I wanted was my Taylor back." He took a deep breath that shook when he let it out. Lifting his head, he looked at his brother who still sat on the floor. Taylor couldn't move. He felt paralyzed. Words pounded in his head, but none would form and roll off his tongue. He wanted to tell Zac that everything was going to be all right. That he would change. That things would go back to the way they once were, before all this started. But somehow he couldn't bring himself to say them. So they sat, both mute.
After a few minutes of this, Isaac crossed over to Zachary and slipped an arm around him. Zac buried his face in his brothers shoulder, still crying, and Ike did his best to comfort him, stroking his hair and murmuring softly... Taylor watched this, shattered. They were separated now. He wasn't part of them anymore. He climbed to his feet, pulling up on the furniture, too drained and weak to make it on his own. He took one unsteady step toward the two on the bed, but got no farther. Ike saw him coming and flung out one hand, palm outward. "Don't. Just don't. Don't come anywhere near us. Just get out. Or don't you think you've done enough?" He was glaring at Taylor, eyes full of contempt. Tay just shook his head, helplessly, "Ike, I..." Ike waved him off, "I don't care. Just get out." He turned his attention back to Zachary, as if Taylor no longer existed. Taylor just stood there, unable to move, or to think, until Diana finally took his arm and led him from the room.
"Tay, look up here..." Diana tipped his chin up a little, to reach a small cut on his face, she'd spent the better part of an hour patching him up. Zac had managed to do a fair amount of damage, albeit superficial. She'd shooed the nurses out, she'd wanted him while he was still open, before the walls came up again. "Tay, that was pretty bad, wasn't it?" She stated the obvious, hoping that he'd start talking if he didn't have to think about it. He nodded, and his eyes filled up again. "Yes..." His voice was a whisper, "They hate me now, don't they?" His eyes searched hers, and she knew he wanted her to deny it. She couldn't. She continued her ministrations, gently, and kept her replies neutral. "I don't know that it's hate Tay, do you think they should hate you?" He sighed bitterly, "Yes, I do. They have every reason..." His voice broke, and he stopped, struggling desperately to keep control. She took his hand and started on the gash he'd put in it, pulling out the IV line. He winced a little, and she stopped for a moment, not wanting to hurt him any more than he already was. He watched what she was doing."You know, I don't care if it hurts, just do it. It doesn't matter."
"Well it matters to me."
She stopped, surprised... and it was a minute before she could answer him. The question had cut to her soul, that he could even ask why she cared... "Tay..." she fought tears, "Taylor, you're my son. I love you. Nothing you could ever do..." She lost the fight, and tears began to fall. "I don't know how, or why you did this, and I don't understand how it happened... but I don't hate you. I hate myself for letting it happen, for not realizing, for letting you..." His hand clutching hers, hard, cut off her words. She looked at him and his eyes were flashing. "Don't you ever say that! Don't you ever say you hate yourself! You didn't do this! I did this! and I knew what I was doing! So don't you ever..." Unable to finish, he pulled away from her, and slid down in the bed, turning his back to her. She could see him shaking, and knew he was crying. She let him be for a few minutes, and then gently pulled him back over. "Tay, Mike told me the first time, you had no idea." He nodded. "I didn't, I just felt awful and he said it would help."
"And did it?"
He nodded. "Yeah, it helped a lot. "
She sat next to him on the bed, gently running her fingers back and forth against his hand. "Tay, what was going on that you needed all that stuff? What was so bad?"
His gaze was searching, as if wondering if he could trust her. She kept contact, making sure she never broke touch, he needed it. She needed it. He finally sighed, and said what she had been hoping he'd say. "Mom, it doesn't matter what it was. It was a stupid thing to do and look how much it helped, right? I'm so sorry... you just don't know what I feel like right now..." She shook her head. "No I don't. But I'd like to know how you feel." He sat up then, and pulled her close to him, resting his head on her shoulder. She held him gently, waiting, knowing that right now it was just closeness he needed, that talking would come later. He sat with her like that, finally feeling warm, finally feeling safe. She still loved him. At least he still had her. He held her tightly, not about to let go, and finally fell asleep there, in her arms.