Through   Thick   and   Thin


"Bye Tay!" I sobbed, as my family got into the car that was taking us to Atlanta. "Bye Meg!" he screamed after me, and started chasing our car. I turned away, not wanting to look at him anymore. It was too painful to leave my best friend. ******** That was about 11 years ago when I was three. Now I'm 14 and still living in Atlanta. Tay and I had promised to write and to call each other, but being so young, we got wrapped up in new things. Such as new friends, and we now lead completely separate lives.


"Mom! Have you seen my new khakis? I can't find them anywhere!" I screamed out the window to my mom who was packing the car. Today was going to be a great day. My family had decided to go on a summer vacation since we didn't go on one last year. Dad wouldn't tell me where we were going, but said that I had been there before. It was supposed to be a big surprise I had packed the night before, leaving out my CD player and an outfit for today. "Did you look in the laundry room honey? I might have washed them when I did the laundry yesterday." Susan called up to my window. Susan Riley was my mom who was 43, but looked very young for her age. I also have a younger sister named Christina, but everyone called her Chrissy. My dad, Mike Riley, was a big time producer who mostly handled fresh young music groups. Since all of the groups didn't live in Atlanta, he had to travel a good part of the week to be with them. I wandered down stairs and found my khakis lying in the clean clothes bin neatly folded into a little square. My mom was an excellent packer. She folded everything so small. She had helped me pack yesterday, and my suitcase had my entire wardrobe in it. And trust me, I have a HUGE wardrobe. We were only going to be gone for 3 months, but I insisted on bringing EVERYTHING!! Quickly, I changed into my shorts and walked into the kitchen just as Chrissy was about to jump off the counter. "Chrissy! Stop!" I shrieked. She jumped with her arms out. Chrissy was going through this flying stage. We showed her the movie Peter Pan a couple of days ago, and now she thinks that she can fly. I sprinted across the room and caught her just before she hit the ground. I now had a three year old squealing with delight in my arms. "Fun to fly!" she chanted over and over again as I put her back into her high chair. "No! Flying is not fun! Flying is bad! Don't fly." I said in an angry voice. Just then. Susan burst in from outside. "What's the matter? I heard a commotion." "Chrissy was trying to fly again." I said pointing to the table where she had made her flying attempt. "When will this ever stop!" she said, and put her hands over her face. Chrissy giggled and I shot her a dirty look. She stuck out her lower lip and started to pout. Mom took Chrissy out of the high chair and carried her outside. Relieved, I went back up to my room to finish getting ready. My room looked bare and empty. I had taken all of my stuff off of the surfaces, and packed it. My bed was made and my blinds were closed. I rushed over to the window and pulled up the blinds. With my hands in my mouth, I whistled as loudly as I could to get Liv's attention. Her real name was Olivia, but she hated that so I call her Liv. Her house was right next door, and her window was opposite of mine. The only thing between our houses was a huge Oak tree that we love to climb. Liv was sitting on the floor of her room reading a new magazine. She obviously heard me whistle because she raced over to the window. I motioned for her to open it. She did and we engaged in a sort but sweet conversation. We started to talk about where we might be going for vacation, and about the boys at school that we liked, and even about the new high school that we would be going to in the fall. By the end of our conversation, we were sitting next to each other in the oak tree. A car horn brought me back to my senses. I guess that we had been to engrossed in our conversation to realize that my mom had been honking the car horn for about 5 minutes. "Oh sorry mom! Be there in a sec!" I yelled to my mom who was in the car motioning for me to hurry. "Well, I guess I better go. I'll call you and we can write letters and stuff" I said to my friend who was trying to get out of the tree. Her right foot was stuck. I went over to help her and we both slipped out of the tree and into my side yard. Both of us were laughing hysterically. We gathered ourselves up and said our final good bye's. I hugged Liv and then ran to the car. "Don't forget to call Me. OK Meg!" she yelled. "Ok!" I screamed back to her.


My mom had the radio blaring as I got into the front seat of our new Mustang convertible. She turned the music down and looked at me. "You guys have been up in that tree gabbing for over 30 minutes. I thought I would never get your attention." "Well," I said, "I'm here and ready to go." My mom reached over and gave me a small hug. "Mom! Not in public!" I said blushing. I blush very easily. "Oh. Sorry. I forgot that you are to old for me. Teens don't hug their mothers. What was I thinking." she said in a very sad tone. "I'm sorry mom." I said reaching over and giving her a hug back. "You can hug me anytime, just not in front of any guys" I added whispering. Chrissy found this whole conversation hilarious and was giggling uncontrollably in the back. I turned around and poked her in the ribs to make her laugh harder. Which, of course, she did. About half way to the airport, she stopped laughing and began to get antsy. "Here yet?" she asked yawning. "Not yet sis, but soon." I replied. I turned around and saw her flapping her arms like a bird. "We need to watch her every second of every day!" I laughed. About 10 minutes later, we arrived at the airport. A big muscular man helped us to unload our bags and get them to the right plane. He was about 6'3 and had short black hair and a dark tan. He looked very much like my dad, except my dad had a mustache and was not very tan. I picked up Chrissy who was whining. We followed my mom who was heading for gate B28. She knew her way around the Atlanta airport like the back of her hand, because she was always bringing Dad here for his flights around the world. We made it to the gate in record breaking speed and sat down at the seats that were located in front of the window. Chrissy was mesmerized by the plane that was being loaded up with luggage. Our luggage. She spotted her bright pink Barbie bag. "Mine!" she said "Uh huh." My mom said. She was looking at the tickets to see what time we left. We boarded the plane at about 1:30 and took off around 2:00. My dad had gotten us first class seats. I claimed window seat and ended up having Chrissy sit on my lap the whole plane ride. The plane trip wasn't a long one. About two hours. Half of my trip was spent listening to my new Mariah Carey CD. I guess I must have drifted off to sleep, because the next thing I know, Susan was shaking me."Wake up sweetie. We're here."I opened my eyes and noticed a drastic temperature change. It must have been at least 10 degrees colder than in Atlanta. Chrissy was lying on top of me with her head resting on my CD player. She was breathing very softly, so I assumed that she was asleep. I whispered to Susan, "Mom, could you get my carry on? I'll carry Chrissy." "Sure hon." she replied. Since we were in the front of the plane, we were the first ones off. On the way out of the plane, I noticed a sign that said welcome to Tulsa. My mom looked at me and grinned. "This was were you were born and grew up. You're gonna love it!" Susan said quietly, trying not to wake up the sleeping Chrissy. Mike saw us and ran up to us. He gave Susan a big hug and winked at me. "I would hug you, but you seem to have an armload." he said. I smiled and handed Chrissy to mom. I ran up and gave my dad a huge hug. He had been here in Tulsa for two weeks working with a new band. "I missed you." we both said simultaneously. Dad escorted us out of the airport and into his Ford Taurus. Our luggage had to be tied to the roof of the car, because it was to much for the trunk. Susan and David were sitting up front and Chrissy was back here with me.


"So when do we get to meet her?" Zac asked pestering his older brother Isaac. Isaac looked over at his little brother who was lying on the floor building a lego mansion with Taylor."I don't know. But when she gets here, let's all go and say hi to her...okay?" he said. The other two boys were busy and just nodded there approval and went back to the legos. The the middle brother stood up."I wonder how old she is?" Taylor asked Isaac who was on the top bunk writing in his journal."Remember, Mike said that she was 14. How could you forget that? That's how old you are." he replied not looking up."Oh. I guess that I have just been so busy that it slipped my mind.""She's probably a member of the 'Scream Squad.'" Zac said finally looking up at his brothers. The 'Scream Squad' was what Zac had nicknamed the mob of girls that chased them and screamed their name. "No. Mike said that they haven't heard about us in Atlanta yet. Good thing too. I'm so sick of the fans. I have been waiting forever for these next three months to come." Isaac said and closed his eyes. Soon snores were heard from the top bunk. Taylor looked up and saw his older brother lying on his side in a blissful slumber."I personally love all of the attention. But the next three months will be a blast. No concerts, no gigs, and no 'Scream Squad'!" said Zac who had finished the lego mansion and was now adding a two car garage. He was the kind of kid who never ran out of energy, and was hyper all the time."I don't like all of the attention" replied Taylor. "I mean, were just normal people who happen to sing. That's all. Nothing more. It would be nice if, just once, a girl wouldn't scream at the sight of us. Just once." The last two words were whispered. At this, Taylor went over to his bottom bunk and looked out the window. Soon he was asleep too. Zac, who was once again bored, got up and left the room.


"Well, here we are. Home sweet home." said Mike as we pulled into a driveway that led up to a beautiful three story house. The house was all brick with hunter green shutters and a rose garden out front."This is where we will be staying for the summer. Meg, your room is on the third floor, Chrissy, yours is on the second along with mine and your mothers. Why don't you go and check out your rooms. I'll bring your suitcases up in a sec." Mike said. A huge smile was plastered on my face. The house was beautiful, the weather was perfect and it was going to be the best summer! I practically jumped out of the car, knocking Chrissy's car seat. "Sorry sis!" I said as I bounded up the walk and into the front door. I opened the door cautiously and peered inside. The house was even better on the inside. A huge spiral staircase loomed right in front of me, and a smaller room with a computer was to my right. On my left, was a small hallway that led to a bright and modern kitchen. I ran up the stairs and checked out the second floor. My parent's room was relatively large with a walk in closet and a master bath. There was a door that led into my sister's room. It was painted pink with a small closet and a bay window. "Pretty spiffy." I thought aloud. After exploring the whole second floor, I decided to go upstairs and see my room. I walked past the bathroom, and saw a small flight of stairs that led upstairs. I climbed the stairs slowly. When I reached the top, my heart stopped. This room was huge!!! It took up the whole third floor. A king size bed was against the far wall with night stands on both sides. I went and sat on the bed. It wasn't to soft, nor to hard. Perfect. My attention was drawn to a set of doors on the opposite wall. Curiously, I walked over to them. When I opened them, a breeze of fresh air blew across my face. I inhaled deeply and noticed that I had my own balcony. "Cool." I said under my breath. I went back into my room and opened the other door. This one led to a quaint little bathroom that had a shower, sink, and toilet. This room was perfect. "I wonder where the closet is?" I said, talking to myself again. That is my worst habit. "Your closet is over there." said a male voice from behind me. I jumped and turned around. There stood Mike who was pointing to a small door on the other side of the room. "Thanks dad, but don't sneak up on me again!" I said laughing. "You scared the hee-bee gee-bee's out of me." My dad nodded. "So how is your new room. Does it fit 'Your Majesty's' liking?" David said and he bowed. I had to laugh. "The room is perfect! I love it. Let's never leave!" I said and rushed over to give my dad a hug. He looked at me with a far away look in his eye "What's the matter dad. Did I say something?" "Oh. no. I was just thinking." he said, brightening up. "Hurry up and come downstairs. I want you to come with us to meet our neighbors. They are the band that I manage. They have a boy your age I think. I'm sure that you guys will have a blast!" he said and walked downstairs. I took one last look at my new room and smiled. I was content. Then I ran downstairs, eager to meet the neighbors.


My family and I walked across our lawn and into the grass of our neighbors. We stepped up onto their doorstep and rang the bell. A sign that hung right above the door caught my eye. It read: WELCOME TO THE HANSON'S. OUR HOME IS YOUR HOME. My mind was brought back when a lady answered the door. "Oh! It's so good to see you again Susan! And my, look how you've grown!" she said pointing to me. What on earth was she talking about? I had never met this lady in my life. How did she know me? Then she took Chrissy, who was sitting on my back. "And who is this young beauty?" the lady inquired. Chrissy looked at me with a confused face. I shrugged. "Please come in. The boys are dying to see you again." said the lady. I figured that she must be Mrs. Hanson. What did she mean by "again"? I had never met these people, and they had never met me. Mrs. Hanson called up the stairs for her kids to come down. Within seconds, I heard three sets of feet running down the stairs. "Meg, I would like you to meet Jessica, Avery, and Zac. And this little man here is Mackenzie." she said pointing to a little boy in Zac's arms. "Mackie for short. Hi. My name is Zac and I'm pleased to meet you." said the boy. As he said this, he stuck out his hand. I shook it. Zac looked to be about 11 years old or so with shoulder length blonde hair and a very round pudgy face. His two sisters looked like him, only the oldest one had brown hair. He told me that Jessica was 8, Avery was 6, and that Mackie was only three. "Chrissy is 3 too." I said pointing to the little girl who was running in circles with her arms flapping. "Zac, where are your brothers?" asked his mother. "They are asleep upstairs. Would you like me to go and wake them?" "Yes please." she said. At this, Zac put Mackie down and bounded up the stairs screaming, "Ike! Tay! There here! Wake up!" He disappeared into a doorway. While all of this was going on, our parents had moved into the living room and were blabbing away a million miles a minute. I turned and picked up Chrissy who was still running in circles. Then I sat on the stairs and waited for Zac and his brothers to return.


Zac bounded into the room with a broad grin on his face. He looked up and saw Isaac laying on the top bunk who was still sleeping in the same position. Then his eyes wandered over to Taylor, who had his head resting against the window sill, and his feet dangling off of his bed. Zac took this as a perfect opportunity. He quietly crept up onto the ladder that led to the top bunk. He clapped his hands as loud as he could and screamed, "Ike! Fire!" With this, Ike woke up and fell off the bed. He stood up wondering what had happened, and he saw Zac who was on the floor rolling with laughter. "What was that all about?" Ike asked groggily, rubbing his head where he had bumped it. Zac was laughing to hard to respond. Then Zac remembered Taylor. He looked over and saw Taylor still sleeping. How had he managed to sleep through all of this commotion? Zac thought. Isaac had left the room, and was in the bathroom. Again, Zac stood up and quietly crept up to Taylor. He got onto the bed with him and leaned over his sleeping brother. Zac stifled a laugh as he pulled back Taylor's eye lids. Taylor jumped up, hitting his head on the bunk above him. "Aw man Zac! What are you doing? It had better be important because I was dreaming." Taylor said rubbing his head. "I bet that you were dreaming about girls!" teased Zac. "And so what if I was. I'm 14 ya know. It's a hormone thing. You wouldn't understand." he said and pushed Zac off the bed. "Well, there is a girl downstairs who is waiting to meet you...and she's pretty!" taunted Zac. At the mere mention of a girl, Taylor blushed. He stood up and brushed his hair. Then he changed into a clean shirt and a pair of baggy pants. Ike then walked into the room and changed his shirt also. Within minutes, all three boys were walking down the steps to meet the new girl who lived next door.


The three boys were coming down the steps and I stood up ready to greet them. Zac took the liberty of introducing them. "Hi Meg. These beautiful ladies are my brothers." teased Zac who was laughing uncontrollably. His brothers did not like this comment, and the one who I assumed was my age turned red. I could feel my face turning red also. They did not look like girls at all, even if they did have long hair. The middle brother backed up behind the oldest. The eldest, sensing his brothers discomfort, stuck out his hand. "Hi. It's so good to see you again. In case you don't remember me, my name is Isaac, but you can call me Ike. And this guy behind me is Taylor. "At the mention of his name, Taylor moved out from behind Isaac's back and shook my hand. "It's nice to see you. You can just call me Tay. Please excuse Zac, but he is always hyper like that." "That's okay. I have a 3 year old sister, so I'm used to hyper kids." I replied. The three brothers laughed as Zac took a bow. "Thank you! Thank you! You really love me!" Zac said in an English accent. Just then, our parents came out of the living room. "Hey Ike, Why don't you show Meagan around Tulsa tomorrow. I'm sure that she would love that." said Mrs. Hanson "Sure mom. Would you like to go with us tomorrow?" he asked turning to me. "I would love to." I replied. Taylor finally backed out from behind Isaac and stood next to me. He leaned closer to me, and whispered into my ear. "Have you ever heard about us?" he asked. I thought that question was a little weird. "No, I have never heard of you. Am I supposed to know who you are?" Taylor sighed. Whether it was a sigh of disappointment or relief, I couldn't tell. He said, "No, it's just that we are pretty well know around here. "I'm glad that you don't know who we are" "Why?" I asked. I was totally confused. The whole situation was confusing. First, a lady claims to have known me, but I have no idea who she is. Second, Isaac knows me too, and I don't know who these boys are. Why are they known? "Well, every girl around here knows who we are and likes us because of our fame, and not because of who we really are. It gets really annoying, so it's good to have someone around who doesn't know us that can like us for how we really are." Taylor said. "First impressions are really big to me, and it seems that you guys are pretty normal, except for Zac," we both laughed and looked over at Zac who was belching his ABC's. "so I don't care how famous you are, just that you are nice." Zac, who heard his name being spoken, came over and jumped on Taylor's back. "Do I sense a relationship growing?" he teased, pulling Taylor's hair. "Ow! Zac! Get off of me!" Taylor screamed, obviously in pain. The whole scenario struck me as funny and I tried to stifle my giggles, but they came out and pretty soon, all three of us were laughing. "There's no personal relationship here." I said, still laughing. We all quieted down and sat back down on the steps. "So how about if we pick you up tomorrow around 10:00? Does that work for you?" asked Isaac. He had told me to call him Ike, but that just sounds funny. All three brothers were already calling me Meg, so I guess that I should start calling them by their nicknames. "10:00 sounds good to me. Where are we going to go anyway?" I said. "Well, Tulsa isn't that big, so we'll hit up the mall, the arcade, the Laser Quest, the movies, and other fun places. So bring some spending cash if you can." replied Taylor. Isaac walked in and sat down with the adults, who were crowding around a table looking at picture items. Zac ran upstairs to play video games, so that left just Taylor and I at the bottom of the steps.


Taylor and I were both very shy, and he wasn't saying anything. So I decided to start the conversation "So, how come your famous?" I asked. "Well, Ike, Zac, and I are kinda in a band. Actually we are the band. It's called Hanson." "Cool. So do you do like local gigs and stuff, or are you more advanced?" "We do local gigs alot, but only when we are not touring or something. We have three completed albums out right now, and our latest one has gone double platinum on the west coast, so we tour out there alot, and we do multiple photo shoots and interviews." "Wow! You guys are major! I'm surprised that I haven't heard of you." "That's because our album isn't on the east coast yet. It will be released later this summer. Like mid-August. But enough about me. What about you?" "Well, my full name is Meagan Brooke Riley, and I have lived in Atlanta for like seven years. Um, I'm 14. Going to be a freshmen at Woostock High School in the fall. What else do you want to know?" "Um, do you remember living here?" "No. Sometimes I have flash backs of memories, but other than that, I remember nothing." Taylor looked hurt by my comment. As if he expected me to remember something specific. "So how long have you lived in Tulsa?" I asked "I have lived here my whole life." Then he changed subject again. "Do you really remember nothing at all about living here?" "The only thing that I remember is me in a pool, and one of my friends was with me. We played Marco Polo. Another thing that I remember, is crying in the car as we were leaving. My friend was chasing us. And that's all that I can remember." "Well, I remember everything about when you lived here." "How do you remember? I didn't even know you." "We were neighbors. You lived in the house that you are staying in now. Anyway, I remember everything. I was that friend who you played Marco Polo with, and who chased the car down. You and I were best friends. That was the best time of my life! Don't you remember?!" "No, sorry. Wait! I do remember something. Did you give me a painted rock as a going away present?" "Yes! Why do you ask?" "Because I still have it. C-mon! Follow me!" I said, and raced out of his house, and into my house. He followed me up the stairs and into my room I entered the room, and ran over to my suitcase. The zipper broke as I tore open the bag in search of the rock. Soon clothes were everywhere and my room was a mess. Then I found it at the bottom of the bag. "Ah ha! Here it is. I carry it around every where I go for good luck." In my hand was a small rock about the size of a peach. It was painted as a frowny face. "There is only one thing that I can remember about my friend. I remember their eyes. Their eyes were a crystal blue. Like the color of a pool, only clearer." As I said this, Taylor looked up at me. He looked at me with the same crystal blue eyes that I remembered. "Now do you remember?" he asked. "Turn the rock over and read the inscription." I flipped the rock over and read what was inscribed on the bottom T.H. & M.R. I could feel my eyes watering up as I held the rock. The inscription meant Taylor Hanson and Meagan Riley. I had finally found my best friend from long ago. The tears started to roll down my cheeks and onto the bed spread. Taylor noticed and put his arm around me. "I'm glad your back. We can be friends again." I could tell by the tone in his voice, that he was about to cry to. "I remember it all now. We were inseparable. Oh, how I have missed you." I silently wept into his shoulder as he whispered soothing words into my ear. After a while, I stood up and gathered myself together and told Taylor that it was time for me to eat and that he had to go. "Don't forget. 10:00 tomorrow. I can't wait." he said. A huge grin swept across his face. "Until tomorrow then!" I said. He gave me a hug and then raced out the door. I watched him out my window as he ran across both yards and into his house.


After a very large meal that consisted of corned beef, cabbage, and corn souffle, I went up to my room and stood outside on the balcony. I had decided that the balcony would be my haven from the world, a quiet place for me to relax and to think. I was trying to remember more things about Taylor and my friendship, when a light from a window brought me back to reality. The light was coming from the Hanson house. I sat down on the balcony and decided to watch the activity that was going on in the room. I saw Isaac sitting at a desk strumming a guitar and writing something every now and then. Zac was playing Nintendo on the floor, and Taylor was laying on his bed looking out the window. He was looking right at me, except he seemed to not see me. We sat there for a long time, just looking at each other. Then Taylor began to hum something. At first it was soft, then he gradually got louder and added some words. Isaac looked up from his guitar and came over to the window. I could just make out the conversation. "Where did you hear that song?" Isaac asked "I didn't hear it anywhere. It just popped into my head today and I wrote it down. It's not very good. It was a spur of the moment type thing." Taylor replied, still gazing out of the window. "Well I love it! I think that it is very well written. What inspired you to write it?" Isaac inquired. "When I was asleep today, I was thinking about how great it would be to see my best friend again, then when she arrived, I had all of these feeling come to me, and I had to express myself. Since I'm so shy, I couldn't say how I felt, so I wrote it all down in the form of a song. It's called "Longing". Do you really like it?" "I like it alot. Tomorrow, how about if Zac and I help you to write the instrumental part?" "Okay, but I also need help with the vocals. You see, I wrote it as a duet, and the other part is supposed to be a female voice. Do you think that Meg knows how to sing?" asked Taylor. That sentence made my heart skip a beat. "He wants to know if I can sing?!" A million thoughts rushed through my head. Should I tell them that I do know how to sing? I had sung the lead part in almost all of the school plays, and I was in the choir. I guess I said something aloud, because both boys looked out the window at the balcony. Since it was dark, I hoped that they wouldn't see me. I sat in complete silence as the two looked at me. They shrugged and went about their conversation. "We can ask her tomorrow when we pick her up if she can sing. Then we will explain to her about the song and about it being a duet." Isaac said. "Okay. I'm tired. Can we go to sleep now? I've had a long day." replied Taylor. "Of course little bro." Isaac stood up and walked to the light switch. Taylor crawled into his bottom bunk while Zac took to the trundle. He turned out the light and I heard him climb onto the top of the bunk. "Good night guys." whispered Taylor. His brothers whispered good night, and they soon fell asleep. I stood up and walked back into my room. There were clothes all over my bed and on the floor. The clock next to my bed was flashing 10:28. Since I wasn't that tired, I decided to straighten up my room. After hanging up my clothes in the huge walk in closet, I walked back over to my bed and laid down. My head hit something hard. I reached under my pillow and pulled out the rock. Tears swelled up in my eyes again as I remembered the day that he had given it to me. I drifted off into a restless sleep and dreamt of the day that we had left Tulsa...... It was a cold day in November. The day after my birthday. The car was packed and ready to take us to the airport. My parents were over at the Hanson house saying their final good byes, and giving each other lots of hugs. I was sitting at the edge of my driveway with tears falling down my face. Taylor came over and sat with me. We didn't say anything to each other. He handed me a blue box that had my name on it. I opened it and took out a frowny face rock. We sat there until my parents came out of the house. I stood up and walked into the car. "Bye Tay!" I sobbed, as my family got into the car that was taking us to Atlanta. "Bye Meg!" he screamed after me, and started chasing the car. I turned away, not wanting to look at him. It was hard to leave my best friend.....


"Meg. Wake up sweetie. The boys will be here soon to take you around Tulsa." Susan said as she turned on the lights. My eyes slammed shut in reaction to the rude awakening. "I'm up! I'm up! What boys?" I replied groggily. "The Hanson boys of course. They're gonna show you around today. Remember?" Then the thoughts of yesterday came back to me. I hit my foot on my CD player as I jumped out of my bed. "Ow!!! Mom, could you please leave so that I can get ready?" "Of course honey." She answered. She left the room, and I was sitting on the bed trying to decide what to wear when I heard a familiar voice calling my name. I turned around and saw Chrissy in my closet wearing the biggest pair of blue jeans that I have, and a baby tee. "Now me grown up!" She giggled. I had to laugh. She looked ridiculous! " Why don't you take my clothes and be grown up in your room. How does that sound?" She looked hurt. Her face fell and she started to wine. "Okay I'll carry you." Her face lit up and she rushed over to me with her arms out, ready to be picked up. I picked her up and she crawled up onto my back. "Go horsy!!!" She screamed. I took off and flew down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs. I almost fell as I made a sharp right into her room She was squealing with delight as I placed her onto her bed. "Now I have to go and get ready. Have a fun day!" I walked out of her room and up the stairs. My room was somewhat cleaner than the night before, but clothes were still on the floor around my bed. I must have fallen asleep before I cleaned it all. I walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower. The bathroom was just big enough for a shower, a toilet, and a sink. It was very cute with black and white tiles on the floor, and sunflower wallpaper . The shower curtain was the same pattern as the wallpaper, but it was different colors. I took a quick shower and washed my hair. When I got out, the clock read 9:30. "Perfect! That leaves me thirty minutes to dry my hair and get dressed." I said out loud. "I really must stop talking to myself. This can't be healthy." The bathroom floor was wet, so when I stepped out of the shower, I fell flat on my face. "Crap that hurt!" I mumbled. As I walked back into my room, I noticed that the doors to the balcony were open. I closed the doors and then got dressed. The outfit consisted of short blue jean shorts, a plain white sleeveless shirt with a blue sleeveless over it. Then the doorbell rang. I figured that it was them, so I slipped on a pair of Birkenstocks, and pulled my hair up into a loose pony tail. "Mom! Could you answer the door please? I'll be down in a sec." I practically had to scream to be heard on the first floor. "Sure hon." I heard the door open, and soon there was a thunder of footsteps coming up the stairs. I was in the bathroom again putting on my make up, when Zac busted into my room. "Meg! Where are you Meg? We're here to pick you up!" I laughed out loud, giving away my location. Zac threw open the bathroom door. "Zac! What if I was taking a shower? You should have knocked." Zac's face dropped as he went outside and closed the door. "Knock knock! NOW can I come in?" "Sure Zac. But I'm coming out." I heard him sigh and I laughed. Everything that Zac did struck me as funny. I walked out of the bathroom, expecting to see all three of them, but I found Zac alone in my room. "Hey Zac, where is Tay and Ike?" "Oh!" He nodded towards the door. "They were too embarrassed to come in so they are waiting outside in the hall." I walked over to the door and peeked my head out into the hall. Sure enough, there were the two brothers. They were laying down in the hall studying a piece of notebook paper. They didn't see me because their backs were to me, so I quietly crept up to them. When I got closer, I could read the title at the top of the paper. It said "Longing". That was the song that Taylor had written. "Hey guys." My comment must have startled them because they practically hit the ceiling. Taylor was on his back now, looking up at me with his face the color of his shirt. Maroon. Isaac was already on his feet and brushing off his pants. "How long have you been standing here?" asked Taylor. "I just got out here. Zac told me that you wouldn't come in, so I came out to get you. What were you doing?" I secretly knew that they were working on the instrumental lines to his new song, but I didn't want them to know that I overheard their conversation last night. "We were just, uh, working on a new song. I'll tell you about it later." he answered, and picked up the song, and put it in his pocket. "So are you ready to go Meg? The car is out in the driveway." said Isaac "Sure. Hang on. You can come into my room. I don't bite." Taylor laughed a nervous laugh and entered behind me. All three brothers sat on the bed and started looking at the yearbooks that I had strewn across my desk. "I"m on page number 76 in that Ike, and 46 in the other one." Isaac flipped through the pages and then stopped to look at something. I focused my attention on my dresser. Taylor had said to bring some cash, but how much is some? I reached into my money tray and pulled out a ten and two twenties. "This should be enough. Okay I'm ready." But when I turned around, I saw that they were not. All three of them were totally engrossed in my middle school yearbooks. "C'mon guys! Let's go. I want to see what Tulsa is really like." Isaac looked up. "Can we bring these? I want to see what your school is like." "I guess so." Zac stood up, followed by Taylor and then Isaac. We all walked out of the room and down the stairs. "Bye mom. I'll be home later." "Have fun honey. Don't stay out to long." "I won't mom." Then we walked out onto the driveway and towards the black Miata that was parked in my driveway. "Is this your car Ike?" I said astounded. "Yeah. It's a beaut ain't it!" he said in a false southern accent. "I love it! This is the kinda car that I want when I'm able to drive." "Well, until then, I will drive you wherever you want to go. Consider me your chauffeur." he replied. "But I'll only be here for three months." When I said this, Taylor looked down at his shoes and mumbled something. Isaac climbed into the driver seat, and Zac took the passenger side. This left the back seat for Taylor and I.

Chapters 11-20: