April 19, 1998
Kaitlynne woke up to see Taylor above her. She screeched, frantically making sure the blankets had her fully covered.
He smiled and grabbed her arm, pulling her out of bed. He handed Kaitlynne the clothes that she had set out to wear the night
before and left the room so she could get ready. Kaitlynne really didn’t feel like doing anything. Really, she hadn’t
even felt like throwing a party for Joni yesterday, but she didn’t want to ruin her sister’s day. She brushed
her teeth and fixed her hair before heading downstairs to see Tay on the couch watching Rugrats.
“For what, Tay?” Kaitlynne asked, “Where are we going?”
“Out and about. Come on.”
“Tay, I really don’t feel like doing anything.”
“That’s precisely why I’m taking you out. You’ve been way too depressed for way too long and
I’m sick of it. You need to feel better, so come on.”
“Taylor, I don’t wanna.”
“Hush and come on!” he insisted, grabbing Kaitlynne’s hand and dragging her out the door.
“Wait Tay! I have to tell Joni!”
“I already took care of it, Kaity. Come on!”
“Tay, I really don’t feel…”
“I don’t wanna hear it.”
Taylor lifted his hand to call a cab and they got inside. Taylor told the driver where to go and sat back as the driver
drove towards town. When they got there, Taylor paid the cab driver and they got out. Only once they got inside did Kaitlynne
realize that this was a laser tag place. They got the stuff to play laser tag and went to play. They played quite a few rounds
before they both got tired and went to play a few games in the arcade. Once Taylor ran out of his seemingly endless quarter
stash, they left Laserquest and Taylor called another cab.
“We’re going to dinner,” Taylor told Kaitlynne, “You hungry?”
“A little. Where are we eating?”
“It’s a surprise,” Taylor smirked.
When they got to the restaurant, Taylor got out and walked around to Kaitlynne’s door, opening it and assisting
her out of the car. When Kaitlynne saw how nice the restaurant was, her chin dropped and her eyes got as big as saucers. She
tried to turn and walk away, but Taylor grabbed her arm, laughing.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“We can’t have lunch at a nice restaurant like this!”
“I’m not dressed appropriately!”
“Neither am I…”
“But you’re a Hanson. You look good in anything.”
“Kaity, come on. We’re gonna eat expensive food in an expensive restaurant and you’re gonna have
a good time,” he insisted, grabbing her hand.
They walked inside the restaurant and Taylor headed to the person who was seating.
“My father said he was going to call and reserve. It should be for Taylor Hanson.”
“I’m sorry. Your name’s not on here,” the girl informed him after looking over the clipboard,
“But we do have a table in the back for two.”
“Thanks,” Taylor smiled.
“Taylor! We can’t! There’s a couple back there that’s probably been waiting forever!”
“You really want to wait?” Taylor asked.
“No, but I’m sure they don’t either,” Kaitlynne pointed out, “You’d get frustrated
if you weren’t famous and a famous person got seated before you!”
“You’re right. Ma’am… will you please seat that couple first? We’ll get the next table.”
“Thanks a bunch,” the man smiled as they walked by, “I used to make fun of your band a lot, but maybe
I’ll buy your CDs now so I’ll support you guys. Y’all are nicer than most famous people would have been.”
“No problem man,” Taylor smiled.
The hostess said it would be about thirty minutes before the two would be seated so they sat on one of the benches
to wait. Taylor looked around the restaurant and Kaitlynne was leaning on his shoulder, staring at their hands. She was absentmindedly
holding Taylor’s hand and playing with his Hanson symbol ring. Taylor searched for the right words to say to Kaitlynne
before he finally spoke.
“Kaity, what’s wrong? Why have you been so down lately? You were so full of life when you first got here.”
“It was an act, Taylor. I was trying to be strong for Joni, but I can’t Taylor. I can’t be happy
“You can be happy. I know your parents died, but you have me now; you have my whole family. I love you, Kaity.
I hate seeing you like this.”
“What did you say?”
“I said I love you. You’re my best friend, Kaity. I can tell you anything. I know we haven’t known
each other long, but I love you so much. Maybe not as a boyfriend yet, but like a friend; like a sister almost. Of course,
that’d be a little off.”
Kaitlynne laughed and Taylor squeezed her hand, smiling.
“You’re right, Taylor. I mean… it’s okay to be sad, but I’m being ridiculous. They’re
not coming back and crying isn’t going to help. They would want me to be happy. They would want be to have a life.”
“Exactly. And I’m always there for you just like Ike is for Joni.”
“I know you are. Thanks Tay.”
“I love you,” he told her again as I’m Already There started playing, “Wanna dance?”
“Sure.” He led Kaitlynne to the
small dance floor in the middle of the room where a few other couples were already dancing. He sang the words softly in her
ear, revealing his secret love for country music. Kaitlynne held him close, afraid to love him. The last people she loved
so much died in a horrible car accident and she didn’t want the same to happen with Taylor. Joni was enough of a risk.
Soon, they were seated and they ate a wonderful dinner before they got in another cab and headed somewhere else to have fun
before it got dark.