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Weak and Broken

Chapter Six

Weak And Broken
Pictures That Make You Wonder
About Beccy
About Jenn

Chapter Six

Crush on You

January 17-19, 1998

Tulsa, Oklahoma


            Taylor and Kaitlynne walked on until they reached a park not far from the Hanson’s place. Kaitlynne walked over and sat on one of the swings. Taylor sat next to her. Kaitlynne twisted around in the swing, as young kids do, and took her feet off the ground, letting the swing spin. Laughter rang out as the swing came to a stop. When Kaitlynne looked over with a grin, Taylor returned the smile.

            “Why are you so happy?” he asked her.


            “Your parents died in a horrible accident and you’re laughing and happy. I thought Joni was taking it well, but you… I know if my parents died, I’d be worse off than Joni is.”

            “I figure that my parents wouldn’t want me to be unhappy. They would want me to be happy whether they were here or not.”


            “Don’t worry about it, Taylor. I’ll deal with it the way I know how.”


            Taylor and Kaitlynne played on the playground for quite a while before heading back to his house. Joni and Isaac had moved from the stairs to the couch where they sat, watching a movie. Diana was at the kitchen table, nursing ZoŽ. Jessica and Zac were at the sink, tending to the dishes. Avery and Mackenzie were on the floor behind the couch playing Candyland. Walker wasn’t anywhere to be seen, but Taylor informed Kaitlynne that he was probably in the garage. Taylor and Kaitlynne watched the rest of the movie with Joni and Isaac. When it was over, Joni announced that she and Kaitlynne had to get home.

            “You girls can come back anytime you want,” Diana assured them as they walked out the door.

            “Thanks, Diana,” Joni replied, “We will.”

            Joni took Kaitlynne’s hand and they crossed the street. Jacob and Lynda were home already, so there was no need for Joni to get her key out. They walked through the door and were greeted by their aunt and uncle. It was late, about 9:30, so the girls said goodnight and headed upstairs. Kaitlynne put on her green and blue, cotton pajama pants and a white tank top and headed down the hall to Joni’s room. They talked about what they had done in the time they weren’t together. Before they knew it, it was 11:00 and they had school the next day. Kaitlynne said goodnight to Joni and headed back to her room.

            The next day was a regular school day for Joni and Kaitlynne. Their aunt and uncle had agreed to let them have a sleepover on Friday, one friend each. No boys. Kaitlynne invited her new friend, Susan, while Joni invited her friend, Allysen. There was some worry, on both Kaitlynne and Joni’s parts, concerning whether or not their new friends would like each other and, worse, whether or not they would like their sister. They would just have to see come Friday.

            After school, Joni picked Kaitlynne up and they went home. Isaac had gone to the dentist to have only Lord knows what done to his braces, so he wasn’t home, but Taylor was. Kaitlynne told Joni where she was going and ran across the street to the Hansons’. When she knocked, she was greeted by Jessica. Jessie let her in and she found Taylor on the couch with a clipboard in his lap, working on algebra.

            “Good!” she exclaimed, “You’re working on math! Wanna help me?”

            “Sure,” he laughed, “What kind of problems are you doing?”

            “I don’t even know.”

            Taylor laughed and showed her what it was and how to do it. It was funny. Her teacher used big words all the time and expected her to know them and Taylor knew exactly how to word things so she would understand. Why didn’t kids teach? At this point in time, Kaitlynne had no idea that the boy beside her was famous. All she knew was that he was sweet, caring, funny, and cute. She liked him a lot. She just hoped he didn’t see her as a kid like he did his brother, Zac. Maybe that was the reason she learned more from him. He was cute. Maybe if her math teacher was cute, she would pay more attention to him and make better grades. Unfortunately, her math teacher was an old balding guy that was probably in his early fifties. Oh well. At least she had a cute new tutor.

            Pretty soon, it started to get dark and Kaity had to go home. She gathered  her homework and walked out the front door, yelling a quick goodbye to the family. Taylor came outside after her and rested a hand on her arm so she would turn to face him. Obviously, it worked because that’s exactly what she did. Although, it may have been more frightening to her than he would have expected.

            “Kaitlynne, I know this is pretty forward, but…”

            “Yes, Taylor?”

            “I really like you. Will you go to a movie with me Friday?”

            “Taylor, you don’t know how much I’ve wanted you to ask me, but Friday isn’t a good night. Joni and I are having a couple friends over for a sleepover.”

            “Oh alright. How about Saturday?”

            “Of course, Tay. I’d love to.”

            “Alright,” he grinned, kissing her on the cheek, “Goodnight, Kaitlynne.”

            “Night Taylor.”

            Kaitlynne made her way across the street and inside the house. Jacob, Lynda, and Joni were all sitting down to dinner. Kaitlynne took her seat and nudged Joni, grinning. Joni looked at the grin on Kaitlynne’s face and just knew that she had been asked out. She wasn’t sure if it was by Taylor or Zac, but she was guessing that it was Taylor. For the first time since her parents’ deaths, Joni smiled. A real smile. She was glad her sister had gotten a date. She only wished that Isaac would ask her out already.

            After dinner, Joni didn’t even give Kaitlynne the chance to change her clothes. She dragged Kaitlynne into her room and made her tell every little detail of what happened. This was her little sister’s first real date. Okay, so it hadn’t happened yet, but she was asked out!

            “Well, all we really did was work on my math. He helped me. When I was leaving, he came out after me and asked me out. He even kissed my cheek! He wanted to go out Friday, but I told him we were having the sleepover, so we’re going out Saturday instead.”

            “That’s great, Kaity! I’m so happy for you!”

            Usually, Joni would have been worried sick and wouldn’t have wanted her sister to go out, but Taylor was different. Joni had met him and the rest of his family. If he was as nice as Isaac and Diana were, he was definitely good enough for her baby sister. The only thing she didn’t like very much was the fact that he was two years older than Kaity. She could overlook that part, though. Maybe it would even be better if he used his age to protect her and teach her and not to take advantage of her, which Joni doubted he would take advantage of her anyway. Taylor was perfect for Kaity. Joni knew it.

            Kaitlynne soon got tired and decided she should get to bed. Kaitlynne left the room and got dressed for bed. As Kaitlynne drifted off to sleep, she thought of Taylor. He was so sweet. She knew her mother would have approved of him. Her father, too. She missed them so much, but there was no way she could let Taylor know, much less Joni. And she wouldn’t.

            The next morning, Kaitlynne got up for school. Joni was still asleep, so Kaitlynne got in the shower first. She put on a pair of hip-hugger jeans and a perfect-fitting t-shirt that read ‘Angel’ with a halo around the ‘A’. Not long after, Joni was up and had gotten dressed as well. The two grabbed their stuff and headed outside. They had gotten up a little early today and were going to leave early so Kaitlynne could have time to eat breakfast at school, but when Kaitlynne saw Taylor outside with Avie, she had to change her plans. She and Joni walked across the street and said hello to Taylor and Avery. Taylor smiled and stood up from where he was coloring with Avie. Joni helped her color while Taylor and Kaitlynne talked for a few minutes.

            “You’re leaving early today,” he noted, slipping his hands into his back pockets.

            “How would you know? Do you watch us everyday?” Kaitlynne laughed.

            Taylor shrugged and Kaitlynne laughed, playfully shoving him. Taylor smiled and stepped closer to her. Kaitlynne leaned her head on his shoulder and sighed, proclaiming that she didn’t want to go to school. Joni only replied that Kaitlynne was going whether she liked it or not. Kaitlynne rolled her eyes, instinctively running her hand up and down Taylor’s back. Joni stood after she and Avery had finished the page and announced that they had to go before they were late.  Kaitlynne stood on her tiptoes and kissed Taylor’s cheek before she grabbed Joni’s hand and they ran across the street, jumping in Joni’s Mustang and driving towards the middle school.

Chapter Seven