20 - Never Let Go - SinginGrrl
January 19th, 2001
Taylor Hanson pushed a strand of blond hair out of his sexy, irresistible aquamarine eyes. He sighed deeply, staring at the blank sheet of music sitting on the warm oak table in the kitchen.
"What's wrong Tay?" Taylor looked up to meet his brother, Isaac's eyes. Isaac was 21, and worry-free, ever since he got into Yale, he was satisfied with everything. He smiled weakly, pointing at the paper.
"It's okay Tay. Mercury doesn't need the new song until next month. We could just use one of the songs we wrote on tour."
"No. I will write this song. There will be no stopping me. I am invincible!" Taylor grinned wildly, trying to convince his brother. Isaac smiled, grabbed a red apple and tossed it in the air. He left the room. Taylor picked up the paper, sighed again and put it back down.
"Taylor?" he heard his mother ask. He looked up.
'Yeah, mom?" he said. She smiled warmly at him.
"Taylor, get some sleep. Tomorrow you have that appearance at the Children's Hospital," she said. Taylor winced. His least favorite thing about life was hospitals. The wreak of death in those crisp uniforms. He hadn't always hated hospitals. Just since Cassandra.
May 6th, 1997
Even though I've never met you, I know we were meant to be...
I know you don't like people calling you that, but since I'm your future wife...
Dear Love of My Life,
Somehow we will be together. I'm saving my money to get to Tulsa and meet you, Even though I live in Brazil...
Taylor laughed out loud. "How do girls come up with this?" he thought. Today was Hanson Day in Oklahoma. Taylor, Isaac and Zac were all in New York. That night they were appearing on David Letterman, and since Taylor was so bored he was reading fan mail that Isaac had dumped at his feet. He picked up another letter.
I've never known a love as great as what I feel for you. You are so strong and beautiful. When will we be married, dear? I love the engagement ring you sent me...
What!?!?!? Taylor didn't remember proposing to anyone. He shrugged, crumpling the letter in his palms. He reached into the pile, pulling out a pale yellow envelope. He slid the letter opener into the side and ripped it open. He inhaled the sweet scent of the paper. Funny, he never remembered paper smelling like that. He picked up the crumpled engagement letter and sniffed it. It smelled like his hand. He smelled the yellow letter. It smelled powdery, sweet and soft. He never got that from a letter before. It intrigued him. He unfolded the soft yellow paper.
Hi! I felt like writing to you because I am regally bored and it's not like you'll really be reading this. So, I don't want to write "I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU" because it's pointless. I don't. I admire your music and talent, but I'm not an obsessed fan. You are very lucky. I love to sing but I'll never get to be famous, but I guess it's the luck of the draw, right? Hah, please ignore my poor sense of humor. I'm very bitter, considering I'm 14. Anyway, I thought I'd write, because, like I said I was bored. But I'm not anymore, so, I guess I'll sign off. Later, Mr. Hansondudes.
Below the signature was an address. It was in Tulsa. As a matter of fact it was a few streets down from where Taylor lived.
"Tay!!! Is your ego-boost done with? We gotta move!" Zac Hanson poked his head around the door. Taylor stood up, shoved the yellow letter in his back pocket and walked to his brother.
May 18th, 1997
Cassandra James tossed her deep red hair over her shoulder. Her green eyes twinkled as she stared mischievously at her best friend.
"Ready? Aim! FIRE!" She hollered, spraying a jet of cold water over Candice. Candice's black tank top clung to her back while her beige cargo shorts slouched heavily on her legs.
"Now you die Cassey dear!" Candice replied. Chasing Cassandra around the backyard, she shot a steady stream of icy water at her. It hit Cassey hard against the back of her red tee-shirt. Cassey shrieked. The water fight endured until they were called inside by Cassey's mother.
"Cassey, dear you have a letter from that Hanson boy!" she said. Cassey raised her eyebrows and grabbed the letter from her mother. She read out loud to Candice.
I found your letter intriguing and enjoyed reading it. I will be stopping by your house on May 18th, at approximately 2:00 p.m. See ya!
"2 p.m.?" Cassey shrieked wildly, staring at her watch, "But that's in 10 minutes!"
Cassey and Candice raced upstairs to Cassey's room. "What can I wear?!?!?!"
Cassey pulled off her tee-shirt and replaced it with a pale emerald one. She yanked off her soaking jeans and pulled her yellow hip-huggers on. "How do I look, Candy?"she asked. Candice smiled and gave her a thumbs up. Cassey pulled her long hair back and braided it, but her half-grown bangs stuck out framing her face.
"DING-DONG!" The doorbell chimed. Cassey raced downstairs with Candy close behind. Cassey smiled demurely, took a deep breath and opened the door.
"Hi!" She said. Taylor looked up to meet this cheerful voice. He smiled.
"Hi." he said quietly. She grabbed his arm and pulled him inside, Candy snuck out motioning for Cassey to call her. His hair was pulled back in a ponytail and he was wearing a red shirt and black jeans.
"So..." they said in unison. They laughed.
"Wanna go to the park?" Cassey invited. Taylor nodded. "Mom!!! Taylor and I are going to the park!" Cassey closed the door behind her. They walked in silence. Taylor shoved his hands into his pocket. He couldn't believe that this was Cassandra. He loved everything about her. She had a beautiful smile and she was just the right height, so that if they slow-danced her head would rest on his shoulders, like it does in the movies. He blushed, thinking of being so close to her.
"When's your birthday?" He asked quietly. She smiled.
"Really? That's mine too." So she was a Pisces. Pisces and Pisces were very compatible. Zac had told him so 12 times at breakfast.
"That's really cool," She said, smiling at him.
"Would you stop smiling?" Taylor thought, "You're making me want to kiss you!"
"What?" Cassey asked.
"Shit! That had been out loud!"he thought.
"Nothing," he replied.
"Fuck!" Cassey suddenly exclaimed. Shocked, Taylor turned to her. Her hands were clasped over her mouth.
"Sorry," she said sheepishly, "I've got really bad potty-mouth."
Taylor laughed. Suddenly he turned to her and brushed his lips against hers. Surprised, Cassey stood on the sidewalk.
"C'mon! Don't you wanna go to the park?" he asked her. Nodding numbly she followed him.
June 12th, 1997
"Tay! Not another appearance!" Cassey cried into the phone, "I'll miss you!"
Taylor twirled the phone cord in his fingers absently. "I know, I know, but there's nothing I can do. Chris says we have to make this one. I tried everything to reschedule but we can't! I'm really sorry." he explained to his girlfriend.
"Screw Chris, Tay! What about us?" she demanded.
"I don't know! I don't know! We can do it another time!" he pleaded.
"Another time, Tay? Another time!?!? Taylor, this is the band's last performance. They're breaking up!" Cassey screamed.
"Fine, Cassey, go with Candy!" Taylor said.
"I don't want to go with Candy. I had this cute little black number, and you woulda loved it. It was our night out, Tay!" she exclaimed. Taylor got goosebumps at the thought of Cassey in a tight little black dress.
"I'm really sorry," he said.
"It's okay,"she said, "As long as you don't dump me for that LeeAnn Rimes slut, I can deal with it."
"You're the only slut for me," he said, smiling.
"I know, I kn--hey! I'm not a slut!" she exclaimed indignantly.
"Just teasing you!" he said.
"Miss you more"
"You could not miss me more!" Taylor exclaimed.
"YOU DO NOT!!!"
They laughed. This was all part of their "loving relationship".
"That's more like it! Bye Tay."
She hung up the phone. He listened to the dial tone, sighed and placed the receiver onto the phone.
July 2nd, 1997
"Taylor!" Cassey shrieked. He ran towards her and kissed her cheek. He stopped, staring at her.
"Something's different about you."
"Nope. Nothing's changed."
"No. Something has--" Then it hit him, "You changed perfumes!"
"Yeah, so? I was out of the other one so I borrowed my mom's."
"No! I love the way you smelled!"
Cassey laughed at him.
"Did you love me or my perfume? My perfume couldn't do this," she kissed his neck, "or this" she nuzzled his chest, "or this!" She kissed him square on the lips.
"Okay, okay, I get the picture! I love you. But I REALLY love your perfume," he said stubbornly.
"I just bought a new bottle," she showed him the white paper bag in her hand.
"Oh good." Cassey rolled her eyes.
"Listen, um, Tay. I'll have to cancel our date tomorrow. I've got a doctor's appointment," Cassey said.
Tay pouted. "Will you make it up to me tonight?" Cassey laughed.
"You" she pointed at Taylor, "have a SICK mind!"
July 3rd, 1997
"Taylor, I'm fine!" Cassey exclaimed.
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"Taylor! This was just a regular checkup! I'm perfectly healthy! Dr. Gregore said so herself." Cassey said exasperated.
"Okay. As long as you're fine."
August 18th, 1997
"Taylor, do you know what today is?" Cassey asked.
Taylor reached over, intertwining his fingers with her. "It's our 3 month anniversary."
"Ding, ding, ding! Tell the man his prize!" Cassey said.
"I do believe it's a kiss!" Taylor said hopefully.
Cassey reached over to Taylor and clutched the side of his face. His soft skin felt powdery under her fingers. She pulled him close and pushed her lips next to his. He slowly opened his mouth and she kissed him, hungrily, sweetly and softly.
"Wow! I like this game!" Taylor exclaimed.
March 14th, 1998
"Happy Birthday Boyfriend!"
Happy Birthday Girlfriend!"
Taylor and Cassey kissed.
"So, what do you want to do? Go see Titanic for the millionth time?" Taylor suggested.
"Nah. Let's just hang out Mr. Superstar. You wouldn't want to get mobbed or nothing."
"Are you done your art project yet?" Taylor asked.
Cassey smiled. "I could have sworn I had said you couldn't see it until it was done" she teased.
"Exactly! Is it done? I wanna see it!"
"You're so immature!"
"That's why you love me!"
"Well, if you insist." Cassey scrambled off her bed. She yanked open her closet door and pulled out a cardboard box. She lifted a square of canvas out and showed Taylor what it was.
"Wow" he breathed. It was abstract and decorated in hearts, all red, pink, purple and white.
"It's not done yet."
"Mr. Rock, I swear that's his name, insisted I do something to do with Valentine's Day."
"I take it that you like it."
"You are such a dork!"
"C'mon. Let's go watch Titanic. It's on special at Admiral Twin."
"That's a drive-in."
"Finally! Not 'Wow'" Cassey laughed at Taylor as he sat looking hurt. She laughed at him and smiled.
"Let Cassey kiss it better." She leaned over and kissed him softly. He grinned, and puckered up for more.
"No, Mr. Dawson. We are going to watch Titanic!"
Taylor really didn't mind seeing Titanic for the 12th time because Cassey always got mushy and kissey-faced after Titanic.
"Okay, let me find my boots!" he exclaimed.
"Oh Taylor, you're really not going to wear those..."
May 22th, 1998
"What do you mean Mrs. James?" Taylor asked frantically. He'd only been gone to Europe for 3 days. Cassey couldn't have been sick already.
"She was a bit ill when you left. Last night she fainted and she didn't wake up after a bit, so we took her to the hospital. They're running some tests. There's nothing we can do."
"Oh. I see. Well, tell her I miss her and that I'll be home soon." Taylor tried hard to concentrate on what he was saying, as Zac was dancing absurdly to some stupid song on MTV Europe.
"I'll do that, Taylor."
Mrs. James hung up the phone and gently placed it in its' cradle. Soft tears slide down her cheeks. She had promised Cassandra that she wouldn't tell Taylor the awful news. Leukemia. Stealing her daughter's life as they spoke.
July 17th, 1998
Cassey sat up slowly in her white hospital gown. Gaunt and pale, she reached over to the phone and dialed a number. Soon she heard a familiar greeting.
"Hi Taylor," She said weakly.
"Cassey! It's so great to hear from you!" Taylor smiled, thinking of his girlfriend fondly.
"I love you Taylor."
He sat in silence, confused. They'd often joked about getting old and married. They'd never actually said "I love you".
"Taylor, how's the tour going?" she asked brightly. "I will not tell him" she thought, looking at herself in the sad mirror. Her face was yellowed, her rich red hair, scattered in clumps over her head as a result of chemotherapy. Her blue eyes were frantic amd wild.
"It's great. But I miss you." He said sincerely. Hot tears dripped from Cassey's eyes.
"I miss you too." she choked.
"Cassey, what's wrong?" Taylor asked intuitively.
She sighed. "Taylor...I'm dying." The tears poured fast and furious from her eyes, "I have leukemia and...and... I'm dying."
Taylor inhaled a deep breath, fighting tears.
"You can't die."
"But I am! My hair is falling out, and I'm ugly and I puke every six seconds. I'm disgusting!" she said angrily.
"You can't die Cassey."
"Taylor! I'm dying as we speak!"
"I need you, Cassey."
"You were fine before me! You don't need me."
"I want you, Cassey."
"You don't always get what you want, Taylor."
"I love you Cassandra."
Cassey choked back her tears.
"I'm sorry, Taylor. You don't love me."
She hung up the phone quietly. She let the tears fall, slowly at first, then angrily. She punched her pillow.
"This is for leukemia!" She hurled the pillow across the room.
"This is for me dying!"She threw another.
"This is for Taylor!" She screamed.
"He doesn't love me! He can't! I can't hurt him! He will not love me! How dare he LOVE me! I'm hideous! I'm a monster! He can't love me! I won't let him!" she shoke with her sobs.
"I can't die. I'll live. For him."
July 18th, 1998
Taylor stepped into the white hall. He walked up to the nurses' station. He asked where he could find Cassey's room.
"Oh! You're that Taylor Hanson! You're one of those MmmBop Boys! Well, Cassey's room is room two-oh-six."
He thanked the perky nurse and started down the hall. He peered into the frosted glass window of room 206.A thin, pale, balding girl slept peacefully in the clown wallpapered room. He opened the door and slipped in. He sat, watching her sleep, listening to her shallow breathing and smelling. No matter what, she still smelled like that wonderful perfume. She stirred softly.
"Taylor." she smiled.
"Hi Cas." He reached forward and held her hand tightly.
"That feels good Taylor. I know you're here for me."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"But what about the tour?" Cassey said with worry in her eyes.
"Screw it Cassey. I love music, you know it's my world. But, Cassey, you're even more important. Mom's praying for you. Zac wanted to come sing for you. I wouldn't let him disturb you."
"Why not Tay? I love Zac! He's like the little brother, I always wanted."
"He's too loud. You get some sleep."
"Okay." She closed her eyes, slowly drifting to sleep.
"Taylor?" She said.
"Yeah?" he said hoarsely.
"Never let go."
January 19th, 2001
Cassey had died two weeks later. Taylor never has let go. He wiped the tears forming in his eyes. Now, he knew what he was writing about. He picked up the pencil, and started writing.