[/>chapter five<\]
... silence ...

1997 Late May
Mania hit and it hit strongly. No one could seem to get enough of Hanson. Well, there were the people that “couldn’t stand” them, but whatever. I bought their CD and immediately noticed that Taylor was still the cute one. On the CD, I recognized three of the songs: Thinking of You, MMMBop, and With You in Your Dreams. They had all been on the CD I got at Mayfest. I still wasn’t really communicating with them. The only time I would really hear about them would be from Lori (“Guess what?? Taylor called me and told me...”), and of course, through the media.

Lori talked me into going to some promotional concert with her. It turned out to be awful because we got to the venue late and we had horrible seats. Lori was pretty upset about it because she really wanted to get to see Taylor, and for him to see her, because, as she put it, she had “matured” a lot in the time that they had been separated and she wanted to see the look on his face when he got a load of her now. I admit that I wanted to see them again, even Taylor (and his godly smile), but we couldn’t get backstage. The security didn’t believe that we actually knew them. That was the last time I saw them in person.


“Yeah,” I said. Anger flashed in his bright blue eyes and then he started walking off, still carrying my bags. “Woah! Hold up! Where are you going?”

“To my car. We’ll have a long car ride ahead of us because it’s rush hour. I’ll explain everything then,” he said. I caught up with him and started walking beside him. I noticed that as people passed us, they began staring. Taylor didn’t seem to notice, though. Then I reminded myself that he was used to it. He took his sunglasses off from the neck of his shirt and placed them over his eyes.

“Taylor, do you realize that people are--”

“Yeah, just don’t pay any attention,” he said, then shifted both of my bags into one hand and placed his free hand on the small of my back and hurried me along. “Let’s speed it up a little.”

We walked to his car, a black Volkswagon Jetta. He popped the trunk open with the remote that was attached to his keychain and he put my bags in the trunk. Then he opened my door for me, which was really nice of him, and shut it for me, too.

After a few minutes of driving in silence, I reached down and switched the radio on. I could stand the volume of silence; it was deafening. He looked over at me, questioning me with his eyes.

“Well, do you want to hear about it, or listen to music?” he asked me.

“Gee, Mr. Attitude, since you’re going to make me choose…”

“Fine, if you don’t want to hear about it, then--”

“Oh my God!! I honestly don’t know what your friggin’ problem is!!” I said rather loudly.

“Let’s just say that you hit a bad nerve with the Lori topic,” Taylor replied calmly.

“But you told me that you would tell me about it,” I complained.

“Okay, okay, wait until we’re out of the airport traffic, will you?”

More silence.

“I never liked Lori,” Taylor began. I didn’t know what to say. Lori was my best friend and she was so in love with him, and here I am, hearing that the guy she’s in love with never liked her in the first place?? How am I going to keep this to myself??

“Why not?”

“Brook, let me talk, will you?” he snapped. I shut my mouth and let him continue. “The reason that I never really liked Lori at all is because she tried too hard. She’s older than me, for one thing, and I always imagined myself being with someone younger than me. Anyway, she flirted constantly, but I pretended that I was too young to pick up on what she was trying to get. But I don’t like it when girls throw themselves at you. That would be all too

easy. I like having a challenge. You were a challenge.”

My eyes never left his lips as he spoke. I was under some kind of magic trance and I couldn’t break myself out of it. Even when I heard his last sentence, I didn’t comprehend the words. They all seemed to be running together and not making sense. I guess you can say that I forgot that he used to like me.

“You still are a challenge,” he went on, and then he lifted his hand and placed it tentatively over mine. The fixed gaze on his lips ended and I looked up into his eyes. Thank goodness we were stuck in disgusting rush hour traffic and were at a standstill or else we would have wrecked. Our eyes connected and seemed as though we were stuck together with glue.

What was happening? I began to feel these weird tingly feelings inside. Then he smiled. Oh, his smile!

Our everlasting stare was broken with the sound of horns behind us. Taylor immediately removed his hand from mine and placed it back on the steering wheel and he tore his eyes away from me. It’s not like we went very far because the traffic was totally backed up and we would be there for at least another 15 minutes.

“So,” he said, “do you want to know the main reason I asked Lori out?”

“Yes,” I nodded.

He appeared to be slightly nervous and uncomfortable with what he was going to say. He stumbled on his words at first, then caught his balance. “Because, I uh, wanted to make you jealous.”

“What!? Make me jealous? Jealous of what? If anything, Lori was jealous of us!!” I exploded. Was he for real? Just when I was beginning to think that there might be something good about this boy, he had to go and say something weird like that!

“But there was no ‘us’ to be jealous of!” he interjected.

I scowled at him. “Are you serious? You didn’t think there was an ‘us’?”

“No!! You basically laughed in my face that night I told you that I liked you! You wouldn’t even let me hold your hand,” Taylor seemed hurt.

“That is so not what I’m talking about! Our friendship meant nothing to you?? We were like a team; we were Taylor and Brook. We were always together. Don’t you think that would classify as an ‘us’?” I asked him. I saw his eyes widen. He knew that I brought up a good subject.

“If we were such good friends, then why did you choose not to speak to me when you found out about me asking Lori out?”

“Because I knew that you didn’t like her!!”


“Why do you think I came and picked you up today instead of your parents?” he asked me.

“Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe so that you could make me feel about 2 inches tall? Or maybe because you wanted to make me furious beyond belief, and let me tell you, you know exactly how to piss me off. Or maybe because you wanted to rub it in my face that you went out with my best friend when it was me all along what was in love with you?” I shouted.


He stopped. Oh my God. I did not just say that out loud. I could feel the heat rushing to my cheeks and my face turned a deep shade of red color.

“What did you just say?” he asked me after he gained his voice back.

“You heard me and I am not going to repeat myself.”

“What? I am so confused,” he admitted.

“Do you want me spell it out for you??” I asked. I was actually the one that was confused. Wasn’t he the one that was supposed to be doing most of the talking, telling me why he didn’t like Lori? He nodded. “Fine, if you really must know ... I was in love with you the first time I saw you smile.”

<-- Chapter 4
Chapter 6 -->