"So, whaddya wanna do?" Zac asked, lying on his back with his hands behind his head. This was the way that things usually happened on the days during the summer before he and his brothers became famous. I rolled over on my side to face him and rolled my eyes.
"I dunno, what do you wanna do?" I asked him back. He appeared to be in deep thought.
"I dunno, whaddya wanna do?" he asked in responce, still lying beside me in my backyard, both of us looking up into the blue sky lined with perfectly white clouds. "Look, that one's a spaceship with a seahorse as a captain." he pointed, as a small puffy cloud drifted above us. I giggled.
"Only you would see that." I replied, playfully smacking his shoulder with the back of my left hand. He smiled, then looked over at me. His smile slowly faded, and then he sat up, his eyes growing wide.
"Don't move." he warned me.
"Shh, don't move, Ang!" he repeated. He leaned over closer to me, looking at my shoulder. I was thinking that there was some sort of bug on me. He reached over to touch my shoulder.
"ATTACK OF THE TICKLE MONSTER!!!" he shouted, tickling me while leaning over me. I laughed as he tickled me for at least five minutes.
"Zac! Stop! I give up! Tickle Monster wins." I said, still trying to catch my breath. from laughing so hard. His hair was coming loose from the rubberband that he used to pull it back with. He smiled triumphantly.
"Fooled ya, huh?" he asked. I nodded, then fell back against the grass again, looking up into the sky. "So...whaddya wanna do?"
"I dunno." I replied. Great, back to square one.
"This is boring." he finally said, then stood up. Boring? Things were never boring when we were together. Zac and I have known each other for forever and were basically raised like brother and sister. His mom took me in when my own mother had to go to a special clinic for alcoholics. My dad ws never around, so I spent all of my childhood living with the Hansons.
Now that my mom was better and back out of the clinic, everything was "back to normal" as she put it. But for me, being only 12 years old, they weren't normal. Normal was being with Zac and his family, not in a strange home with a stranger for a mother. She was like a stranger to me, and I considered Zac's mom my real mother, and Zac and his siblings my brothers and sisters. I didn't know my real mom the way a child should, and I was scared to get close to her, in fear that she would become sick again and have to go away. I didn't want to lose her. So, everyday, she made it possible that I could see Zac and the rest of his family, or he could come over to my new house.
Zac has been like the best friend big brother that I never had. I love him and would do anything for him and I know that he would do the same for me. Sure, I like Ike, Tay, Jess, Avie and the baby Mackie is really cute, but Zac and I clicked together instantly. We have so much in common that it's actually pretty scary. We finish each other's sentences and we can truly read each other's minds.
When he and his brothers started singing around publically , I was totally physked about it. I mean, they were accomplishing their dream. When they sang accapella at a few different places, I went with them because my mom was still sick. So, everyone thought that I was thier sister and a few girls even told me that they were jealous of me because I was their sister. I only laughed.
Only when they started to get really big in Tulsa did I begin to worry about my 'brothers', especially Zac. We weren't able to spend time together like we used to. When they got the instruments, I became really interested in the drums. As I would watch Zac play them, it made me want to play the drums to, then maybe we would be able to spend some time together if he would teach me how. So I asked my mom (she was better) if I could have a drumset and even turn our garage into a little studio like my brothers had. She agreed, but I remember the conversation that she had with me after I asked her that.
"Angie, they aren't your real brothers, you do know that, don't you?" she asked me. I was stunned. What? They weren't my brothers?
"Yes they are." I replied as just as any 10 year old would. Mommy shook her head. This took place about a month after she was better and out of the clinic.
"No honey, they're not. I am just really good friends with their mommy and she told me that she would take care of you while I was sick. I know that you grew up around them and that you think of them as your brothers and sisters, but they aren't. You have to stop saying that they are your brothers and sisters because it's not true." I remember the tears falling from my eyes when she told me that.
"Hey -- you wanna do that?" Zac asked, while jabbing my side with his elbow. Huh? What was he talking about? I looked back over at him.
"Do what?" I asked.
"You daydream too much. Who was it this time? Bob Rickot from down the block?" he teased and I know that my face blushed.
"How did you know that I liked him?" I asked him. He smiled slyly.
"I read your mind." he laughed. Oh darn it, I forgot about that. "I asked if you wanted me to teach you that new song on the drums."
"Oh, okay. But you better watch out. I am getting pretty good. Almost as good as you." I said, getting up and walking towards the garage. He smiled.
"Yeah, almost." he said. We both looked at each other and knew what the other was thinking. We both took off running as fast as we could to the garage. I beat him, but only because I had a little bit of a headstart.
"I win!" I shouted victoriously as I walked into the garage before he did. He stuck his tongue out at me, I shrugged then took my seat behind the drumset and began playing a little polka sounding beat. Zac looked up suddenly with a dirty look on his face. Hehe, he knew that the only reason that I was playing it was because I knew that he has not yet mastered it. I was only doing it to annoy him, and it was working! He continued to glare.
"I hate you." he joked. I only smiled, as if saying "haha".
That was almost two years ago, and even then we didnt have much time togeher, but it seemed like a ton of time considering what we were going thru right now. The last time that I got to actually see him was at the beginning of the summer before they left to go on the tour. Things between my best bud and me seemed to be getting more difficult, especially getting some free time to see each other. Every time that he called me from the road, we couldn't talk long because the static was always so heavy.
There was a new girl that had recently moved to our neighborhood and we became fast friends. I was in luck because she liked Hanson, but not the way that I did. She was almost like an obsessed fan, but I am more like a family member. When I told her that I was like that with them, she didn't believe me. Then I showed her the pictures that I had and her jaw dropped nearly to the ground. Micculla was at my house one day during the end of summer.
"I can't believe that you, like, used to live with him." she said, referring to Zac. She thought that he was the cutest person in the whole world. I glanced at her skeptically.
"Oh, c'mon Angie! He is so hot. I mean, you've probably seen him naked before." Micculla said. I shrugged my shoulders.
"Maybe, I don't really remember." I said. "But Zac, hot? Why say that?"
"Like you haven't noticed! He's totally awesome!" she said. Zac?
"I beg to differ. Ugh, I mean, he's like my brother! And no, I never really paid any attention, so I don't see anything." I said, looking at a picture of him and me. We were about 9 years old, we were eating ice cream cones and we had our arms wrapped around each other. Mic looked at the picture.
"I hate you!" she screamed, beating me with a pillow.
"Why hate me? It's like trying to think that your dad is cute or something. We are seriously like brother and sister! Not once has anything romantic happened between us and nothing romantic is ever going to happen. He's not cute."
"Oh, stop fooling yourself. Open your eyes." Micculla said, only leaving me shrugging. The phone rang just then. I jumped to get it.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Hey Ang!" Zac said. "Guess what?"
"Um, what?" I asked, then signaled to Mic that it was Zac. She smiled. Thats when I realized it. The static. It wasn't there. It was perfectly clear.
"I have a surprise for you." he said. The tension was killing me. I fidgeted.
"What? Zac! Tell me!" I shrieked.
"Fine, you're no fun." he said. "Go look out your window." Huh? I walked over to my window, looked out and saw nothing. Well, not nothing, but nothing out of the ordinary. There was the telephone pole, my moms car parked on the curb and there was someone on the sidewalk.
"Okay, now what?"
"Are you looking out your window?"
"Well what?" I asked.
"No, just some weird looking kid waving his arms like a retard in my direction." I replied. I heard Zac sigh and annoyed sigh.
"That's me, ya stooge!" Zac said, waving again. I squinted. Omigosh, it was him. I hung up the phone, then threw it onto my bed. Mic was confused the whole time. She followed me down the stairs and outside. I heard her gasp as she saw him. Oh wow, I thought, he's a lot taller! Now he's about 6 inches taller than me! No fair!
I timidly approached him, in fear that he might have changed over the summer while he was gone. Finally, I didn't really care if he changed or not and threw my arms around his neck. Woah, his shoulders were a lot broader and muscular, I mentally noted as he quickly hugged me back. Then I stepped away and looked into his eyes. I felt so short next to him now!
"Thanks for telling me that you were coming back!" I joked. He smiled, then looked at the porch and saw Mic.
"Whose that?" he asked.
"That's Micculla. She just moved here not too long ago." I explained. He nodded in her direction and she waved. He didn't waste any time.
"Okay, I have a ton of cool secrets that I learned while I was gone. Come on! I'll show you them now." Zac said, pulling on my arm to go into the garage. I looked back at Mic and motioned that I would call her later. She smiled, then walked down the sidewalk to her house. Zac sat down behind the small stool behind my drumset, which now was almost too little for him.
"I didn't recognize you." I said sheepishly. He looked up surprised.
"Well, you're about 3 inches taller now, you grew, that's all. Plus your voice is a lot deeper." I said.
"I lost a tooth, too." he beamed. Then he started playing something that I didn't recognize.
As I sat on another stool in the garage and watched him play, I felt something in the bottom of my stomach. I didn't know what it was until Zac looked over at me, smiled a crazy smile, then started to head bang. I had to giggle, and that's when I knew what it was. It was the feeling that seemed to be forbidden for me to feel. I tried to think of something else, so that my thoughts wouldn't be loud enough for him to hear me, but I failed.
I couldn't help but think back to the conversation that Micculla and I had before Zac called me. That's when I realized it. I saw it for the first time. It was as if I was looking at Zac with new eyes. All of the thoughts, all of them running thru my head, I thought that I was going to go crazy! Zac was like my brother! I can't think he is cute. I can't think that I might start to like him! Not like 'that'!! No Angela, you can't like Zac! You can't think that he is cute. Then I looked over at him again and I felt my heart make a little flutter. Oh, he is cute. And I think that I am starting to like him. Mic was right, he is awesome.
It seemed as tho he matured overnight or something. Even tho that was the first time that I had seen him in about 4 months, it seemed impossible for him to grow up that fast! His voice deepened, he grew, his chest, arms and shoulders were muscular and they were broader. It seemed so weird to be looking at him, and thinking back before he left for the tour and what he looked like then and to compare it to what I was seeing before my eyes. I blinked to rid the two images from my mind. Oh, he is really cute.
"What?" he asked and stopped playing.
"I didn't say anything." I said quickly. Then I panicked. Oh no, he heard me thinking!
"I know you didn't say anything." he said. "You were thinking. I heard you think that you thought that someone was cute. You still have a thing for Bobby?"
My face blushed. "I guess you can say that."
"I never figured out what you see in him. I just passed him on my way over here and he's nothing too great, you know? I mean, what's he got that I -- nevermind." Zac cut off short. I looked him directly in the eyes. Was he trying to say what I think he was trying to say? My thoughts raced as I drilled my eyes into his. The stare became so heavy that we both looked away from each other at the same time.
"What were you going to say?" I asked. He didn't look up at me.
"Tay's a pretty good drummer, you know. You better keep practicing so he won't get to be better than you." he said instead. Great, he's pissed about something. I tried to read what he was thinking, but he was sending out some weird messages. I wanted to know what he was going to say! I tried desprately to read his mind, but I knew that he was purposely thinking other thoughts to throw me off.
"Stop it!" I finally yelled, getting up angerily from my stool. "I hate when you do this to me! It's not fair!" Then I walked over to the door, about to storm out.
"Do what?" he asked innocently.
"Like you expect me to believe that you normally think about broccolli and cheese whiz!? You are purposely controlling what you're thinking so I won't find out! What's so horrible that you don't want me to know?" I exploded. Zac didn't answer. He only began to play drums again. I threw my hands up in frustration and slammed the door behind me.
How could the thought even register in my mind? WHY did the thought even register in my mind? How could I even attempt to begin to think that he was the least bit cute?! He was so annoying! That's when I went to my room, picked up the phone and dialed Bobby Rictor's number.
The phone rang. I tightened my grip around the receiver as it rang for the third time. Then someone finally picked up.
"Is Bobby there?" I asked.
"This is Bobby." he said. His voice sounded so great. It was already deeper than Zacs voice. But, then again, he was a year older, too. "Who's this?"
"This is Angela. I live right down the block from you." I said. Oh God, that sounded so stupid!
"Hey, you rode my bus, didn't you?" he asked.
"Yeah." I replied. "Anyway, I was wondering if you would wanna go see a movie with my tomorrow night with me or something like that."
"Sure, that would be fun." Bobby said.
"Cool! What movie would you wanna see?"
"Um, we can decided that tomorrow." he said.
"Okay." I said. I didn't know what else to say.
"Alright, then I'll see ya tomorrow?"
"Ok, bye!" I said, then waited to hear his click from hanging up before I placed the receiver back onto the cradle. I gave a little jump for joy. He said yes!!!