Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know
January 22, 1998
Kaitlynne and Susan woke
up pretty early the next morning. Kaitlynne smiled as she remembered her date with Taylor tonight. She and Susan went to the
kitchen and ate a couple bowls of cereal each, Kaitlynne eating Trix and Susan going for Cocoa Puffs. They watched TV and
played a couple of bored games while they waited for Joni and Allysen to get up. By well after 1:00, they still hadn’t
gotten up, so Kaitlynne decided to go upstairs and check on her sister. When she got there, she found various empty alcohol
bottles on the floor with Joni and Ally right in the middle of the floor. She tried to wake them up, but all they could do
when they were awake was mumble incoherently and fall back asleep. Tears sprang to Kaitlynne’s eyes. Jacob and Lynda
had left a message on the answering machine telling them that they were staying with their friends all weekend. Usually, she
would have called them, but they were in Oklahoma City.
Kaitlynne remembered Taylor
and Isaac and, still in her pajama bottoms and a tank top, ran downstairs and got Susan who was still in her similar pajamas.
Susan wasn’t a big fan of Hanson, so Kaitlynne allowed her to go as well when she ran across the street to the Hansons’
house. Kaitlynne beat on the door until Zac, clad in only boxers and an old t-shirt, opened the door. Kaitlynne, still in
tears, explained everything and Zac let her inside. By now, Kaitlynne was in hysterics and shaking like crazy. Zac got his
parents and his older brothers and they all ran over to the house. Zac stayed to watch the kids. Walker and Diana checked
on the girls while Taylor and Susan went to call an ambulance.
Isaac stood behind Kaitlynne
and wrapped an arm around her as she continued to cry. Kaitlynne and Isaac each had different thoughts running through their
minds. Kaitlynne was thinking about her sister and whether or not she would be okay. She hadn’t liked Allysen to begin
with, but she couldn’t just go out and say that. There was no way. Isaac was thinking about how Joni could have done
such a thing. He knew she wasn’t like that. How was Allysen able to influence her so much? He felt sorry for Kaitlynne.
She had just lost her parents and she couldn’t lose her sister too. Isaac vowed to himself that he would try and help
Joni. Not only for her own sake, but Kaitlynne’s as well.
okay, Kaitlynne,” Isaac promised, “I know she will.”
Kaitlynne looked up at
him with worry in her eyes, “How could she do this? I hate Allysen. I hate her.”
“Be reasonable, Kaitlynne.”
“I am, Ike! I heard
Joni and Allysen talking last night. Allysen stole the alcohol from her bar at home. Joni didn’t want it, Ike!”
“She seemed to want
it when I came over last night.”
“You came over?”
“But Aunt Lynda said
“Oh, I didn’t
go inside. We just talked a few minutes.”
“I was probably asleep.”
The medics arrived and
took Ally and Joni. Kaitlynne didn’t think alcohol could be that fatal… not unless you drove or something. Maybe
Ally was just a heavy sleeper and it affected Joni so much because she hadn’t ever gotten drunk. Taylor appeared beside
she and Isaac, as well as Susan. Taylor wrapped his arms around Kaitlynne in a hug, trying to comfort her. Susan stood there
awkwardly before Kaitlynne pulled her into the hug as well. Isaac hugged all three of them, knowing that Kaitlynne needed
all the hugs she could get. Susan decided to go home once the ambulance had left. Isaac drove her home while Taylor took Kaitlynne
to his house.
“I don’t think
we should go out tonight, Taylor,” Kaitlynne told him.
At dinner, Kaitlynne didn’t
eat one bite of her food, she only moved it around on her plate. She didn’t feel like eating tonight. She apologized
to Diana and asked to be excused. Taylor got up and found her on the stairs where her sister had been not two weeks ago. Taylor
sat down next to her and hugged her. Kaitlynne started to cry. It wasn’t weeping like her sister had done, it was silent
tears streaming down her face. When she had calmed down some, she looked up at Taylor with tears still threatening to fall.
I had to cancel our date,” she apologized, “I really do like you.”
“I know. It’s
okay. I understand.”
“Thanks Taylor. For
everything. You and your family have dealt with me and Joni and stuck with us through all this crap and you shouldn’t
have to. You’re a really great boyfriend. I know my parents would have approved.”
“They do anyway,
Kaitlynne. They’re with you at all times. My brothers and I have a song called With You In Your Dreams that we wrote
about our grandmother’s death. You should listen to it,” he instructed.
“I will, but I don’t
have your CD.”
Taylor started singing until she fell asleep. When she had fallen asleep, Taylor carried her to the couch and laid
her down, draping a quilt over her that his grandmother had made before she passed away. He kissed her cheek and whispered
something in her ear that he knew only she and the heavens could hear. It was meant to stay that way, too. Just between them.