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Weak and Broken
Chapter Eighteen
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Chapter Eighteen

Goodbye

May 22, 1998

Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

            There was only another couple of days left in school for both Joni and Kaitlynne, so Jacob had just pulled them out of school. He had rented a U-Haul truck and had packed all of his stuff and all of Joni and Kaitlynne’s stuff. Jacob was a smart man so he knew that – even though Lynda got the house – he got all of his stuff out of it. So he did. He was nice enough to leave Lynda the bed, but he took his dresser, the couch, the chair, and all the other furniture that either came out of his paycheck or from his relatives. By the time he had gotten all of the stuff he and the girls owned, all Lynda had was a loveseat, a coffee table, a dresser, a bed, and a few smaller things that Jacob either didn’t like or didn’t need.

            Jacob asked Isaac, Taylor, Zac, and Walker over to help him load all of the stuff into the truck. Knowing that Joni and Kaitlynne wouldn’t get to see the guys as much anymore, Walker got Jason and Ashley to come over and help so the kids could hang out. Isaac and Joni went back into the woods and sat on the rocks by the creek behind the Hanson house. Zac, Taylor, and Kaitlynne went inside the Hanson house and played video games. Jessica came in after a while and they all played 007 against each other.

            Joni stood up from the rock she had been sitting on and picked up a few pebbles, skipping them across the creek. Isaac only sat there watching her. He wanted to confront her about the alcohol so badly, but he didn’t know how. Finally, he decided to just go out and say it. Even if she did get extremely mad at him, they were leaving anyway.

            “Joni…”

            “Yeah, Ike?”

            “I want you to stop drinking.”

            She was silent a few seconds before, finally, “I know you do.”

            “It wouldn’t be as big a deal to me, but Joni… you’re pregnant. If you don’t lay off it, you’re probably going to kill that baby. You’re gonna either kill it or injure it somehow. You need to quit drinking. Now. Joni, it’s dangerous.”

            “Maybe it will kill me too,” Joni whispered.

            It was almost silent. Almost.

            “Joni!”

            “What?”

            “Don’t even think that! Kaitlynne needs you right now and if you die, she’ll have no one left, Joni. No one! And what about me, Joni?”

            “You’d probably be glad to get me out of your hair. I’m such a crybaby. I get into so much trouble-”

            “Joni,” Isaac started, standing up and wrapping his arms around her from behind before continuing, “I love you. You may think I’m insane for it since you think you’re a crybaby, but it’s true.”

            By then, Joni was in tears. Isaac turned her around and allowed her to bury her head in his shoulder.

            “It’s not fair, Ike! Everything’s being taken away from me! My parents, my friends, my home, my school, and now you and your family. Ike, your family has been the greatest. Despite all the depression and all the trouble, you guys have stuck by Kaity and me the whole time! Once I finally start to have a normal life, it’s all taken away from me again! It’s not fair.”

            Isaac just stood there with one hand on her quivering body and the other petting her hair. What was he supposed to say? He knew how she felt? He didn’t. Everything would be okay? It might not be. He couldn’t say anything and he hated it because he wanted so much to comfort her. So he just stood, caressing her back and praying that everything would work out for the better.

            Back at the Hanson house, Jessica sat on one end of the couch and Zac sat on the other end; Taylor sat in front of the middle section on the floor with his knees pulled up and Kaitlynne was positioned between his legs with her legs crossed. Zac had first player blue, Jessica had second player green, Kaitlynne had third player red, and Taylor had fourth player yellow. The four of them were engrossed in a game of 007 as they had a few other times before then.

            “Don’t shoot me, Tay!” Jessica cried, “You’re on my team, remember?”

            “Sorry Jess. Forgot that was you.”

            Really, you couldn’t have teams, but they all had agreed early on that they would have makeshift teams since neither Jessica or Kaitlynne were very good. Zac and Kaitlynne were team one and Jessica and Taylor were team two.

            The four played video games for a good two hours or so before Jacob, Walker, Jason, and Ashley wandered inside; Jacob to get Joni and Kaitlynne so they could leave. Kaitlynne and Taylor went outside to get Joni and Isaac. They stopped when they saw Joni with her face buried in Isaac’s shoulder. Taylor went up to Isaac after a couple minutes and rested a hand on his shoulder.

            “They have to leave pretty quick so bring her up to the house in a couple minutes.”

            Isaac nodded and Taylor and Kaitlynne headed back towards the house. When they were about halfway up the lawn, Taylor stopped, taking Kaitlynne’s hand. He tried to smile, but failed, before leaning in to hug Kaitlynne. When they pulled away, their lips met for a split second before both of them smiled.

            “I’m really gonna miss you, Kaity.”

            “I’m gonna miss you too, Taylor, but we have to move. You know that.”

            “Yeah, I know. I just hate to see you go so far.”

            “Me too.”

            With that, the two headed back to the house. Since Jacob and Lynda’s car was under her name, she got to keep that, too, so Jacob didn’t have to worry about taking a car. His job paid good money, so he assumed just buy a new one when they got to the city; a better one. Joni knew where the new house was, so she and Kaitlynne stayed behind about fifteen minutes after Jacob, saying goodbye to everyone.

            When Joni’s car finally pulled up at the new house, she and Kaitlynne were both in awe at the size. They hadn’t seen it yet; Jacob had gone up to see it a couple days earlier and had bought it. Joni took her sister’s hand, much like she had when they were new to Tulsa. Kaitlynne smiled, glad to have her older sister back, if only for a moment. They made their way into the house before running their separate ways to find their rooms. It was pretty humorous when Joni chose the basement and Kaitlynne chose the attic. Kaitlynne was worried though. She loved the house and her new room, but there was no way to get Joni to stop drinking without Isaac’s help. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed the now-familiar number.

            “Hello?”

            “Hey Jessica!”

            “Kaity! Hey! I’ll go get Taylor for you.”

            “Actually, I wanted to speak to Isaac.”

            “Really? Oh. Okay. He went out with Avery. I think they went to the zoo. You can call his cell.”

            “Oh okay. Thanks Jess.”

            “No problem. So how cool’s your new house?”

            “Honestly?”

            “No, I want you to tell me the exact opposite,” she joked.

            “It’s really freaking cool!”

            “Really? Bigger than ours?”

            “A little. Spiral staircase, Jessie!”

            “Are you serious?! I’m moving in with you!”

            “Somehow, I don’t think your parents would like it much,” Kaitlynne laughed.

            “Yeah, yeah.”

            “Well, I’m gonna go call Isaac.”

            “Okay. Want me to tell Taylor you said hi?”

            “Sure. Thanks Jess.”

            “That’s what I’m here for.”

            “Of course,” Kaitlynne laughed.

            The two girls said their goodbyes and hung up before Kaitlynne scrolled through her contact list to find Isaac’s number. Once she found the number, she pressed send and waited for Isaac to pick up the phone.

            “Hello?”

            “Ike!”

            “Kaity? What’s wrong? Is Joni okay?! Where are you? I’ll be there ASAP.”

            “Ike… Ike, calm down. We’re fine.”

            “Sorry,” Isaac muttered. Kaitlynne could practically see him blushing. “It’s just that you never call me unless Joni’s in trouble.”

            “I know. She’s not, but I am worried about her. Isaac, she chose the basement as her room and I chose the attic. She usually went to the basement to drink, Isaac. What if…”

            “Kaitlynne, I think she’ll be okay. I had a talk with her earlier.”

            “I know… when Tay and I came to get you, I could tell she was crying.”

            “Yeah. She told me she hoped the alcohol would… kill… her.”

            Kaitlynne dropped her phone and stood for a second before Ike’s voice rang through the phone. She was glad the attic was carpeted already.

            “KAITY!!!”

            She picked up the phone.

            “She said that?”

            “Yeah… I scolded her and told her you needed her.”

            “Thanks Ike… I have to go. Have fun with Avie at the zoo.”

            “I’m not… at… the zoo… I dropped Avery off at dance class half an hour ago…”

            “Jessica told me you took her to the zoo.”

            “Well, I did. Then she had to go to dance class. I’m out with Ashley now.”

            “Oh, well tell him hi for me!”

            “Not Ashley Greyson. The Ashley that baby sits the kids on tour.”

            “Um… Isaac? Joni?”

            “I know, Kaity. Don’t tell her, please.”

            “Isaac!”

            “I’ll explain later. Don’t worry, Kaity.”

            “You better have a good explanation, Ike. If you hurt her-“

            “Don’t worry, Kaity. I have to go.”

            “Whatever, Isaac. Bye.”

            Kaitlynne hung up and laid on the floor of the attic, thinking about what Isaac was doing. She didn’t think he was cheating on her older sister, but she wasn’t sure. She hoped Isaac knew what he was doing. She vowed to not tell Joni until she was sure Isaac was cheating on her. She really hoped Joni would be okay, though. She hated seeing her sister like this.

Chapter Nineteen