|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Three
08 - The Hanson Game Saga - Tammi
I feel that I have to put up a disclaimer considering the situations taking place in this story. I am in now way affiliated with Hanson or Mercury Records or anything or anybody of the sort. Now all of this story is made up! It is just merely a figment of my twisted and curious imagination. And one other thing. It's fiction people. Fiction. Wow. Not true. Made up. Never happened and never will happen. There now you can read my story. In case anyone is confused I have put voices/thoughts in different colors like this: Ike: green Vivian's voice/thoughts:purple Anybody elses voice/thought:blue Any song lyrics: red
Sleep. All he could think about was sleep. The idea of sleeping was a dream come true for him. He was tired. Not only physically but mentally. He was sick and tired. Sick and tired of answering the same old questions, sick and tired of traveling, sick and tired of lying, sick and tired of playing the same old so-called game……
Liar, liar, liar, liar, liar! The voice in his head sang over and over in his head like a broken record. A lump formed in his throat as he dreaded to answer the question being asked.
"So who has girlfriends?" asked the host.
"Nobody has girlfriends." The words just leapt from his mouth. It was like he was programmed to say it. How many times had he even answered that question in the past four years? One million? It seemed like it.
"Yeah nobody dates." Taylor chimed in immediately after his brother. Same old questions, same old answers. He was so sick and tired of it. Do you enjoy lying to your fans? You guys are the puppets and they are the puppeteers. You guys are pathetic…. (We are pathetic. We don't even have the guts to tell the truth) He thought, as he watched Zac and Taylor throw in more of the usual reasons why they didn't have girlfriends. His gaze turned towards the audience. All screaming teenage girls. Screaming 'I love you' to them, screaming for no good reason. (Don't you get sick and tired of screaming about three guys you don't even know?)
"PLEASE STOP SCREAMING!" Isaac smiled at the memory. How he could remember that day; May 7, 1997 performing at Paramus Park Mall. That was as most people would say 'Their first touch of fame.' And exactly one day after Middle of Nowhere was released.
That day had been crazy. Absolutely crazy. Promising more days and events to come, more crazier then the last. So crazy. And as Taylor said 'You never know one day you might not get crowds like that, so you just have to appreciate all the craziness.' All the craziness…… Have to appreciate all the craziness. Have to appreciate all the craziness. Have to appreciate all the craziness. Have to appreciate all the craziness. All the craziness. All the craziness. All the craziness. Craziness, craziness, craziness, craziness, craziness, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy….. You have to appreciate all the craziness Ike. Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy……. (God help me)
"Yeah you're on the verge of going crazy, and your heart's in pain…" Taylor sang in his childish thirteen year old voice.
Isaac smiled as he entered the dressing room hearing the song playing over the radio. That song brought back so many memories. He remembered performing the song live at concerts, making the video for Weird with Gus Van Sant, being on Entertainment Tonight…..
Isaac cringed at that memory. That was one of the first times they had to lie about having girlfriends.
"Um no, nobody has a girlfriend." Isaac managed out.
"Uh I met this dog--" Zac said looking down at his feet.
"Zac, what is this animal thing going on here?" Taylor asked jokingly.
"Actually you know even if we did have girlfriends we probably wouldn't tell you." Isaac added quickly. (Yeah we don't have to tell you because we have to lie instead)
"Isaac?" Isaac quickly snapped out of his thoughts at the sound of his Zac's voice.
"Could you please turn off the radio, it's giving me a headache." Isaac stared blankly at the radio for a few seconds until it clicked in his head.
""Oh yeah sure." he said nonchalantly and turned it off.
"I'm just glad we get to go home tommorow." Taylor said, his voice full of relief. Ike sat up straight at the sound of home. "Home?" he asked eagerly.
"Yeah, we're gonna do one more press conferance and then sign some autographs and be on our way home to Tulsa!" Zac said happily.
There's no place like home
"Yeah home." Ike said wistfully a smile on his face as he turned the radio back on to hear the last drifting notes to Weird.
"Just a little bit weird sometimes…."
"Ike I don't understand."
"Understand what?" Isaac looked at his girlfriend. Katherine glared at Ike as she stood up.
"I don't understand you." she said.
"What?" Isaac snapped his head up from the song he was writing.
"You, I don't understand why you have to lie." She choked out. Isaac rolled his eyes. Katherine was never did understand why they had to lie about having girlfriends. He stood up and put his hands on her shoulders.
"Listen Kathy, I've told you a million times why we have to lie." He said. Kathy broke free from his grip and turned away from him. Isaac rolled his eyes. She was always over dramatic. Over sensitive. She never did get why they had to lie about having girlfriends.
"What? What do you want me to do?" he finally exploded.
"You want me to tell them I have a girlfriend? Fine but then don't come running to me went you start getting hate mail and stalkers--"
"STOP IT!" she screamed. Isaac shut his mouth and unclenched his fists. He took her hand and she turned around, teas streaming down her face.
"Listen, it's okay I would love to tell the world about us but now isn't the right time, you won't believe how many obsessed fans we have out there--" he began before he was cut off by his girlfriend.
"I know, I know you've told me a hundred times already!" she exclaimed. She turned her head away from him and sniffled quietly. Isaac sighed deeply and nervously paced around his room. How many times had he and Kathy had this fight? A million? Two million? She just never seemed to get it and lately she had been acting crabbier than usual.
"Listen Kath, I'm sorry okay? Let's not--"
"Ike, I have to tell you something." she blurted out. Isaac a bit pissed that she had interuppted him rolled his eyes and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"What is it?" he asked icily.
"Ike, well you see the thing is…" she drifted off.
"Just spit it out already!" he exclaimed.
"I can't, oh just it's just that.." she fumbled for the right words.
"What is this about why we have to lie about having girlfriends? Is it? Because if you want me to tell that's fine I'll do it but don't blame me if the media hounds us--"
"Ike, I'm pregnant and you're the father." Isaac froze. His eyes widened. He just stood their staring at her. Katherine stared at her boyfriend a frightened look in her eyes.
"Isaac, sweetie? Honey say something please?" she begged. Isaac opened his mouth to speak but shut it again, his eyes roamed over her face and went down to her stomach. Without thinking he yanked up her shirt and put his hand over her tummy.
"Oh my god." he whispered. Kathy only stood there unable to move as his hand grazed over her stomach. Isaac stood there bewildered. Her usually flat stomach was slightly bulging out.
"How, how far, how many months?" he asked stumbling over his words. Kathy swallowed and closed her eyes and opened them again. "Four months." she finally whispered hoarsely.
"What?" Isaac looked up at her.
"Ike, please I only found out a few weeks ago." she said. Isaac was fuming. He began his nervous pacing around the room again.
"Wait a minute, how do you know I'm the father!" he pointed an accusing finger at her.
"I can't believe you would even accuse me of cheating on you." Kathy sounded shocked. He blinked and shook his head. "I'm sorry, it's just that, this can't be happening to me, not here, not now!" he babbled.
"Isaac!" she said sharply. Isaac looked up at her now fear filled in his eyes. "I didn't just come here today to tell you that, that I'm going to have a baby." she said slowly. Fear crept through his body as he dreaded for what she was going to tell him next.
"It's obvious you don't love me anymore, like you did in the first place." She started to say.
"No, Katherine don't say it, please.." he shook his head furiously.
"No, Ike it's for the best, I want to break up." she finally spat out. The last five words stung as they played over and over again in his head. I want to break up, I want to break up, I want to break up, I want to break up, I'm pregant, I'm pregnant and your the father, father, father, father, father, father, father…..
"No!" he screamed and fell back on his bed clutching his pillow. Katherine just stood there and watched as the father of her unborn child let out all his anger. She finally walked over to the door and grabbed onto the door knob.
"I'm sorry it has to end this way but it's for your own good." she said quietly.
"How the hell is it for my own good? I'm going to be a father and you want to break up with me!" he cried, now the tears were streaming down his face.
"You've made it obvious in the past few months your reputation is a lot more important than our relationship, so I'm doing this for you goddamn reputation!" she spat out and turned to leave.
"No, Kathy please don't leave.." he called out to her.
"Don't worry Ike, I won't tell anyone you're the father." she said before leaving.
"Goodbye Ike." she finally said and left. Isaac could only stare now at the open door as her footsteps became quieter and quieter.
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye Ike, Bye bye Ikey, Bye Ike, Goodbye….
"No!" he leapt to his feet and raced out the door and down the hallway bumping into Taylor in the process.
"Hey Ike, what's up with Kathy? She just left here crying." he asked.
"Shut up Taylor." He said quickly and opened the front door and out to the driveway to see Kathy drive off and disappear around the corner.
"I love you." he whispered.
"Can you please sign this for me?" Isaac looked blankly at the girl in front of him holding out a poster of him and his brothers. It took him a moment to register what he had to do.
"Oh yeah sure, what's your name?" he asked.
"Katherine." She said. Isaac nodded but then his fingers froze at the sound of his ex-girlfriend's name. (Calm down!)
"Okay here you go." he said shaking the thought out of his head as he handed the poster back to the girl.
"Thanks so much your the greatest!" she gushed. Isaac gave the girl a wry smile and he watched her run off.
(More like I'm the worst.) It had been almost two years since the day he and Katherine broke up. Since then they haven't spoken to each other. Last time he saw her was before he left for the tour five months ago.
He had been walking through the park when he saw their son. A kid about maybe about a year old. She had called him Mikey. (Poor kid, he's never gonna know who his daddy is) He looked up at the walls. There were pictures everywhere. Huge blown up pictures of hima nd his brothers. Covering the walls. So many pictures. All the pictures of him staring down at him. Engulfing him in their stare. I'm in a mental room and I cannot find the door! Doesn't it give you the creeps to know your face is plastered everywhere on some fans walls?
The voices, they kept coming to him. All the voices from the past. The voices of all the people he's known in his life. They wouldn't go away. They refused to go away. Especially her<voice. She had been right, she always was one way or another. But her voice wouldn't leave his head.
His eyes darted frantically from picture to picture on the wall. It seemed as if they were laughing at him, accusing him.
He felt dizzy as faint voices echoed through his head. HAHAHAHA! No, I'm goofy stupid and you're goofy funny! We're both goofy stupid and it's funny sometimes! Supa dat supa! Ike you're so funny! HAHAHAHAHA! (shut up) Goofy funny, goofy funny, goofy, goofy, goofy! (Please shut up) Goofy, goofy, goofy stupid, goofy stupid, goofy, goofy, funny, funny! (Shut up) Hahahaha! Ike you stupid little puppet! Stupid puppet who can make people laugh! Hahaha! One day I'm gonna be laughing at you! (SHUT UP!)
"Isaac!" Avery ran to her oldest brother and gave him a hug as he walked into the house, Taylor and Zac following at his heels.
"Hey Avie." He said as he reached down to hug his sister.
"I missed you so much." She said.
"Hey I missed you too." he said. Isaac looked around at his family and smiled. (This is the way it should be, this is the way it always should of been like.) Everybody was happy. It was all hugging and kisses on cheeks and a bunch of 'I missed you' and 'Hellos'.
He tried to figure out when things started to go wrong. Why they went wrong. "I hate you Isaac." "No, I hate you Jessica." "I hate all of you!" "You're never around anymore!" "SHUT UP EVERYBODY!" "You don't care about us anymore!" "We do care we're just busy all the time." "You boys are working too hard." "Your never around your brothers and sisters anymore, they need you guys, they need their older brothers." "What's happened to you? You're not the same Ike I know!" "I'm fine mother!" "No you're not fine!" "It's not my fault!" "I HATE YOU!"
I hate you, I hate you,I hate you, I hate you…
All the time he had spent arguing with his family. Whether it be about not being home, or not keeping promises, they were always arguing.
But it was different in the beginning. It was all like a game. A game where everybody wins. But then things got different somewhere along the lines of that game, and they started losing.
It had started out with lies. Just little white lies. Then they became bigger lies, and more pressure. Then with the tour and everything happening in their life. Then they came back home. All three of them had been under a lot of stress. They had demanded a break. A long break yet Mercury Records refused for them to stop. They said it would 'hurt their reputation.'
That went on for a few months until they had given in and let them have a six month break. Then that summer they started doing a lot of stuff for MTV. He came back home to find out he was a father. Early the next year they were back in the studio recording the new album. This time since Isaac had been 19 there was no mom and dad or younger brother or sisters running all over the place. Just him and his brothers, their tutor, Ashley Greyson, and a couple hundred bodyguards, along with back-up muscians.
Then it started all over again. It was like his life was stuck in a snow globe and when all the snow ran out you would turn it over and shake it and the snow would fall again, over and over again and again. You know what your life reminds me of? What? A snow globe. What? You see it's like you guys do all this promotional stuff and concerts right? Yeah so what's your point? Well what happens when you stop like recording and promoting and stuff? We go home. Exactly, you see like the life you have away from home is the snow and when that ends you go back home and the snow stops, you catch my drift? Uh I guess. Then you have to shake it again to have all the snow fall again. Oh I get it now, I think. It's all rather simple you see-- Vivian? Yeah Ike? You're weird. Why thank you dear.
Vivian. His best friend. Her voice haunted him. It always had. She had been younger than Ike, but a little older than Taylor. She had been a friend of the boys for years. They had met back when Isaac was only 12. From the beggining you could tell she was different from most girls her age. She was the type of person who thought deeply over everything.
Then when Hanson got big and hit no. 1 she warned the guys about the dangers of stardom.
"You guys just remember you don't want to end up being the New Kids on the Block part 2." She had warned them after the Paramus incident.
"Geez Vivian, and we thought the press was bad with them comparing us to the Jackson 5 and the Partride Family! You have to compare us to NKOTB!" Taylor exclaimed. Vivian had just smiled at Taylor. "Honey your voice is squeaking." She pointed out. Isaac smiled. He could remember Taylor then turning the shade of a tomato right there up in their room back at their old house on his bunk.
"Seriously guys promise you won't let all this get to your head?" she said.
"We promise and if we do you can dress Zac up as a baby doll and treat him like a baby all you want." Taylor said.
"Hey!" Zac who had been left out of the conversation until up to that point stood up and pouted. "The day I dress up as some freakin' doll is the day pigs fly." he said. The other three chuckled and Vivian patted Zac on the head.
"Okay then you can treat him like a baby." Ike said.
"Like she already doesn't." Zac grumbled as Vivian hugged him tightly and pulled the small 11 year old boy into his lap and pinched his cheeks.
"You're so damn cute Zac I can't help it." she said and kissed him on the cheek.
Taylor and Isaac exchanged looks and rolled their eyes at each other. So typical of her to treat Zac like a baby. And knowing Zac, he probably enjoyed all the attention too.
"You know one things for sure though." She said softly.
"What's that?" Zac asked as he slid off her lap. Vivian just looked at them a strange smile on her face and a farway look in her eyes.
"You guys are gonna break a lot of hearts." she said softly. The three of them looked at each other their expressions reading the same thing. 'She's so weird.'
"Um Vivian you're kind of scaring me." Taylor said nervously. Vivian gave him a small smile. "Yep that's what you guys are, heartbreakers." she said.
"Yeah okay." Zac started to sit farther away from her on the bunk.
"You guys promise one more time you won't let them use you like some sort of puppets, okay?" she said firmly.
"Yes, god don't you think you're being over dramatic?" Ike asked.
"No, just promise me okay? Promise that you won't turn into a bunch of puppets, that you won't let all this go to your heads, that you won't make this change who you are." she said seriously.
"Pinky swear on it?" she said holding out her hand which was balled up all except her pinky which was extended out.
"Yeah, we swear," Isaac said and they hooked pinkies. "And we promise." He added after a moment.Vivian smiled as she hooked pinkies with all three of them.
"Now if you break your promise you need to break your pinky." she said.
"Don't worry we'll keep our promise." Taylor said.
"Okay then." she said satisfied and pulled Zac into her lap again.
"Or isn't it that you go to Hell?" Zac asked suddenly. Taylor laughed. "Then you definitely can't break that promise."
(I broke my promise, now I have to break my pinky.)
She was something that was for sure. She always left them speechless. She was right too. They would break a lot of hearts. Lord only knows how many hearts he had broken. His ex-girlfriend. All his friends. His family.
Sometimes when she would say something all they could do was just sit there and stare at her. She would leave you there stumbling for words; she would just leave you speechless.
But then one day she was gone. Gone with
the wind. She just left. And it was all their fault…..
He could remember vaugely after Katherine had left him that day he had walked up to his room and slammed his pinky into the door. On purpose. He had broken a promise, he had broken a pinky swear so he broke his pinky. Needless to say he spent two weeks with his finger in a small finger cast and couldn't play the guitar.
"Hey Ike will you play soccer with me?" Mackenzie asked as he walked into the den with a soccer ball under his arm.
"Sure hey why don't you get Tay and Zac and we could play against them?" he asked. Mackie shook his head. "They're not here." he said. Isaac frownded. "Where are they?" he asked looking over at his sisters who were sitting on the couch watching TV.
"They went on dates with their girlfriends." Avery said knowingly, emphasizing on the word 'girlfriends'. Jessica rolled her eyes at the childish behavior her ten year old sister was displaying.
"Yeah Taylor went out with that slut Erica." she snickered. Avery gasped in shock and Mackie and Zoe looked up to their older brother curiously.
"Ikey, what's a slut?" Mackie asked.
"Jessica Grace Hanson where on earth did you learn such language?" Isaac asked his voice full of shock and anger. She only glared at her brother and smiled wickedly at her brother.
"Don't you want to explain to your younger siblings what a slut is?" she asked sweetly.
"Jessica Grace Hanson you will not use that language in this house at any time especially in front of your younger siblings do you understand?" Isaac said furiously.
"Bite me Clarke." she spat back in his direction standing up facing me.
Isaac could feel the blood boil up inside of him and rush up to his face.
"Go to your room Jessica." he said through clenched teeth.
"You can't send me up to my room, who the hell do you think you are anyways? My father?" she said atrociously.
Isaac froze for a second, his mind spinning around as he took in his sister's hurtful words. My father? My father? My father? My father? (Stop) Father?Father?Father?Father?Father?Father? (STOP IT!) Who the hell do you think you are, my father? (AAAAHHHHH!)
He swallowed hard and closed his eyes and breathed hard before he faced his sister.
"Jessica, go up to your room before I call mom and dad." He said as calmly as he could.
Jessica stepped up to her older brother and looked into his eyes, her hand on her hips.
"I hate you." she hissed.
"What's going on in here?" Everybody in the room turned to face their parents standing in the doorway.
"Kids what's going on in here? Why are you yelling at each other?" Diana asked a concerned look on her face. Walker looked at the faces of each of his children. Zoe had started to cry, Mackie's lower lip was trembling as tears fromed in his eyes, and Avery was standing there, her hands cupped over her ears.
"What happened?" he asked sharply. "Jessica?" he turned to his oldest daughter.
"Why are you looking at me? It's his fault." she said angrily pointing to Ike.
Walker turned to his oldest son as Diana ran over and picked up Zoe.
"Isaac, what happened?" he asked. Isaac could only stare at his family. Stare at what once was a happy, close, loving family. It was like staring at a family photo that had been torn apart. With his face torn away from it all.
Why are you looking at me? It's all his fault…All his fault, all his fault, all his fault, all his fault. (It's not my fault) I hate you! (I'm sorry) Promise you won't let this go to your head. (I promised) Pinky swear? (Now I'm going to Hell) You promised me Isaac. (Why the hell are you haunting me?) You thought I was crazy… (GO AWAY!) You promised, you promised, you promised, you promised…. (STOP PLEASE!) You promised me Ike. You promised you would no matter what you won't let it go to your head. (I'm sorry) It's all your fault. (I'm sorry) You lied, you cheated, you let it go to your head, you let them win! You let them use you like a puppet. (SHUT UP!) Just remember Isaac, you always have to pay the consequences. (WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!?) Look at what you let it do to you and your brothers… (WHAT???) You let it use you and tear your family apart…. (I don't hate you Jess, I'm sorry) Look at what they did to you family…
Isaac looked back and forth from his family. From the confused looks on Zoe and Mackenzie, to the hurt and scared look on Avery, to the angry and manacing glare on Jessica, to his parents. His mind raced through all the arguments, all the tears he had shed fighting with his family, all the hate, all fighting.
Where's the right in? All of our fighting? The verse played through his mind as he looked at his family. He needed to get out, he couldn't think. He turned his head and headed for the door.
"Isaac--" his mother called. Isaac turned around and blinked tears coming out now. He looked at his entire family before he stared into Jessica's eyes.
He could see all the anger, all the guilt, all the pain, all the regret. (And it's all my fault) And he could think of only one thing to say.
"I'm sorry." he croaked out before he ran out the door. If he hadn't run out so fast he would of caught a glimpse of his mother, tears streaming down her face and Jessica as she ran towards the open door.
"Wait, Ike I'm sorry! Ike, I'm sorry I love you!" Ike ran as he heard those last few fading words. (I don't deserved to be loved)
He didn't know where he was going. He didn't want to stop either. But as he ran through the dark night he could hear only one voice now, one voice louder and clearer than the rest…. You broke your promise….You let them turn you into a puppet….You let it go straight to your head…… (STOP IT!)
Isaac ran faster and faster until he stopped in front of a house. He wondered why he had come here in the first place. Sighing he walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell.
"Who is it?" Katherine opened the door and jumped when she saw Ike standing in front of her.
"Isaac what are you doing here?" she hissed and stepped outside. Isaac gulped. "I came here to talk to you." he said slowly.
"Now isn't exactly the greatest time." she pointed out. Isaac swallowed hard. "I know but I just need to talk to someone…" his voice drifted off. Katherine sighed. "Fine then start talking." she said and led him over to the porch swing.
"When did you come back?" she asked.
"Yesterday." he said blankly.
"Oh." Isaac sighed, he wondered why he had even come here in the first place.
"Listen Katherine, I came here to apologize." he said. Katherine looked a bit shocked. "Why?" Isaac sighed. "I don't know, for everything, for lying to you, making your pregnant, leaving you a mom, I don't know." he shook his head. Silence could only be heard from her.
"You're a little late don't you think?" she finally said curtly. Isaac shot up from his seat. "Look I'm sorry okay? I didn't come here to hear you bitch at me!" he yelled into her face.
"Well then why did you come?" she demanded standing up. Isaac fumed as he clenched his fists together.
"I don't know, listen Katherine can't you ever forgive me?" he choked out. Katherine sighed and turned her face away from him.
"Please?" he whispered and cupped his fingers under her chin.
"I think you should leave now." she breathed into his face.
"What if I don't want to?" he asked as his face came closer to hers until he could feel her breath against his face.
"Then--" she began but was cut off as their lips touched each other.
"No Ike, I can't." she broke away from him. Isaac stared at her confused. "But--" he began. Katherine only stared at him coldly. "Please leave." Isaac's face fell. "But can't I--" he started.
"No, Ike just leave, get out of here and leave me and my son alone!" she cried.
"But Kathy, please just give me a chance--" he begged as she walked inside.
"Go away, you broke your promise, what's done is done, now get out of my face!" she screamed and slammed the door in his face.
Isaac stood there stunned. The impact of the door came only about half an inch away from his face. The anger boiled inside of him.
"It's not fair what you're doing to me Katherine!" he screamed pounding on the door.
"Go away." he could hear faintly. He was breathing so hard, his breath coming out in jagged gasps. He imagined her inside holding their son as she heard him beat the life out of her front door. The thought of that angered him. His anger boiled inside his body like water boiling inside a pot and when it over boils the water rushes out of the pot, like his anger.
"God dammit Kathy, he's my son too!" he yelled angrily pounding on the door. Feeling defeated he stopped and walked away. Brushing his long hair away from his face he walked down the street cursing to himself under his breath.
How did all this happen? Why did it happen? Katherine hated him, he got into yet another fight with Jessica and now he was walking down the streets of Tulsa wandering around talking to himself.
"Get a grip of yourself Ike." he told himself harshly as he blinked back tears.
"Stop it Ike, Hanson men don't cry." He almost laughed at that. A rather silly thing Zac had once said in an interview many years ago. Everybody sheds tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of anger, tears of regret….
He kept walking down the sidewalk in the hot summer night for what seemed like forever until he reached a familiar looking stone house. Taking a deep breath he walked around the house and reached the back door and pulled a key out of his pocket.
Opening the door he stepped inside his old house now known as the MOE fan club magazine headquarters. He walked through the kitchen looking at his familiar surroundings. He could still remember before it all happened, when they were still playing local gigs in and around town. Things had been so different back then….
Isaac stood taking in all the memories. He could still hear his mother calling them to breakfast. The mindless chatter of his younger siblings. He walked into the dining room where he and his brothers had signed the contract for Mercury Records.
"All right guys, just sign right here on the dotted line." Steve Greenburg handed them a sheet of paper. That had been only one of the many events that would take place in the dining room. It had been where they would have Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, where his parents had given him, Taylor, and Zac the TALK when they hit puberty. Where they would discuss upcoming events in their careers. But out of all the memories only one stood out the farthest in his mind. He was taken back about four years ago, it had been early 1998 they had been talking with some people from Mercury Records….
"Because you guys know what a field day the press would have knowing you guys had girlfriends? Not to mention the fans." Steve explained.
"Yeah but still, it's not fair to us or our girlfriends." Ike complained.
"Guys please try to understand, we're only doing this for the sake of your reputation." David Silver explained.
"But--" Zac started to protest.
"No, buts guys, listen you will do as we tell you to, remember boys you are the puppets and we are the puppeteers." Mr. Silver barked. With that Isaac, Taylor, and Zachary Hanson sank back in their chairs and gave each other worried glances….
You are the puppets, we are the puppeteers….
He had acually used those exact words. The same words Vivian had told them. He looked around almost expecting to see his mom reading stories to his younger siblings, to see his dad reading the newspaper, Taylor and Zac playing video games, before they had moved. Now everything was gone. They had a table with chairs around and file cabinets all around with Hanson posters on the walls, CD covers, framed pictures, and Hanson banners all on the wall.
But one picture stood out the most. It was a picture taken years ago back in South America. There stood him mom and dad in a tent holding a three year old Zac, and a then newborn Jessica. Next to them stood eight year old Isaac, and five year old Taylor. They had been so young, and so innocent back then.
But that innocence had been lost and never to be regained again. Somewhere along that pop music parade they had marched in so proudly things went wrong.
First they had to lie, not only about girlfriend but their whole life. When they were asked if they ever got sick and tired of touring and being in the media they had to say yes when in fact they were sick and tired of it all. Then came the questions about drugs, sex, and alcohol. Of course he couldn't tell the world that he had lost his virginity years ago to some girl who was now the mother of his son.
They couldn't tell anyone that they had been overdosed on drugs two years ago. Then when he had turned twenty and he got drunk at some party and gotten into a accident driving home by running into a pole. He had been unable to perform and was in the hospital for three months. The world was informed he had been driving home one night when a drunk driver crashed into him.
They couldn't ruin their little 'Squeaky-clean-good-Christian-virgin-boy' images. That would be the end of Hanson. The end of all the fans, all the media, all the attention, all the concerts, it would be 'bye bye' to all the madness.
To Isaac the idea didn't seem like such a bad idea. (Not a bad idea at all)
But he knew it was immpossible, the music was his life. He sometimes wished none of this had ever happened. He sometimes wished they had never signed that record deal to Mercury Records and made Middle of Nowhere. He wished sometimes that they were still just making music in and out of Tulsa like they used to. He just wished life was what it used to be. He wished they could stop playing the game.
Sighing he walked into the hallway and up the stairs up to his old bedroom. He smiled wistfully as he walked into the room. He could still remember when they shared bunkbeds and what a mess the room had been. Now the room was used as an office for the boys. He walked over to one wall which was covered with past issues of MOE magazine.
He could feel the tears
flooding his eyes, daring to spill. Holding back a sob he closed his eyes
and let the painful memories come back…..
He was at home, or more so the MOE headquarters and Zac was crying uncontrollably. The tears rolling down his face as he sobbed. Taylor, Vivian, and himself had been trying to calm him down for the past few minutes.
It was often that the boys had a nervous breakdown. There was nothing to stop them. There parents didn't know, and their manager didn't know. Nobody knew except Vivian.
"Zac, honey you have to calm down." she said as she held him.
"I-I-I-I c-c-c-aaannn'tt!" he wailed.
"Yes you can, just take a deep breath, there you go, will one of you get a glass of water please?" Vivian asked looking up from the sobbing boy. Isaac only could stand there and stare at his little brother.
"Hello? Isaac? Taylor? Are you two awake?" she asked. Taylor finally blinked and shook his head. "Oh yes, hold on." he said more to himself than to anybody in the room and went downstairs to the kitchen. His older brother instincts finally kicked in and he went over to his brother.
"Come on Zac, it's okay, come on remember? Hanson men don't cry." he said in a soothing voice. But that last comment only made him cry even more.
"I c-c-an't do this anymore!" he cried and burst into fresh tears.
"Shh, it's going to be okay." Vivian shushed him and held him closer to her.
Zac looked so small. He looked like he was three and not almost fourteen. He looked so tired, so drained, so confused. All the constant touring, promoting, screaming fans, endless hours of practice, and pressure had worn him out. It had worn all of them out. Over a period of only two and a half years they had changed into three complete strangers.
They would fight constantly. The only time they weren't fighting was when one of them was having a nervous breakdown. They couldn't even get along with their younger siblings or their parents. They fought with whomever they met. What once was as Entertainment Weekly called 'The only un-dysfunctional family in Amercia' turned into your every day bickering, arguing, dysfunctional family.
In fact that was the reason why Zac had started to cry. They had been arguing, again. Over some reason or another, this time Vivian argued with them as well, then Zac started to cry.
"Hey here Zac have some of this."
"Jordan Taylor Hanson is that what I think it is?!?!" Vivian exclaimed. Isaac snapped out of his thoughts and looked towards at Taylor who had came back. He noticed Zac had finally calmed down, his eyes were red and his cheeks were streaked with tears, and he was still sobbing quietly but the tears had stopped. It was until he noticed what was in Taylor's hand.
"What the hell is that Tay?" he demanded. Taylor rolled his eyes and took in another drag of what looked like pot, or dope, or some drug in a rolling paper.
"Chill Ike, it's just something that will make Zachary feel a little bit better." he said in a dull voice.
"Taylor, you know--" Vivian started to say.
"Oh knock it off Viv, a few drags won't hurt him, sure as hell hasn't done anything to me has it?" he asked as he held it out to Zac.
"Since when have you started to smoke dope?" Isaac asked shocked. Taylor looked up at his older brother his usually sparkling blue eyes, clouded over and a dull grayish blue looking. "Since it's none of your own damn buisness." he said.
"Go on Zac, a few puffs isn't going to kill you." he persuaded his little brother. Zac looked up at Taylor and reluctantly took the dope from him. The moment he had it in his mouth Vivian grabbed it from his mouth.
"No way you're going to get Zac to do drugs." She snapped at him.
"Oh come on you're too serious." He scoffed and snatched it from her hand and handed it back to Zac.
Zac took it and took a few drags. After awhile his breathing returned to normal and the color returned to his cheeks. Isaac watched curiously. "Hey Tay, you got any more of that stuff with you?" he finally asked.
"Clarke Isaac Hanson, don't tell me you want to smoke that stuff now!" she sounded shocked. Isaac looked at Vivian as Taylor handed the dope to him and he took a long drag.
"Watch me, besides I won't do so much I'll get addicted to it." he said calmly. Vivian fumed and stood up.
"I can't believe you guys!" she exclaimed throwing her hands up in the air.
"What's next? Shooting heroin? Snorting coccaine?" she asked her voice shrill and harsh sounding.
"Actually I do have some in my bag…." Taylor's voice wandered off.
"Oh come off it Viv, he's only being sarcastic." Zac said. Vivain turned to Isaac. Isaac only rolled his eyes. "Listen if it bothers you so much, why don't you just leave?" he calmly suggested. Vivian looked at each brother before finally sighing.
"I don't believe you guys, what happened to you?" she cried.
"Look if you're just going to stand there and rant at us all day just leave." Taylor said.
"Fine then I'll leave, but when you become addicts, and you lose all your fans, and the world finds out about your stupid game don't come running to me." she said and left.
"Oh and by the way guys, remember what goes around comes around." she said before she finally left. It was always so likely of her to over react. She had always been the type to be too sensitive.
"I swear she's so over dramatic." Taylor mumbled as he sat down next to Zac.
"I'll say." Zac agreed. Isaac nodded in agreement. His head was beggining to feel funny. All light headed and woozy feeling.
"What's she talking about? The fans love us!" Taylor exclaimed. "I swear one day she's going to walk out on us and get herself hit by a car or something!" he exclaimed.
No sooner had the words came out of his mouth was followed by a scream outside and a crash. The three boys jumped up and ran downstairs to outside. Outside somebody had been hit by a car while trying to cross the street.
"Oh God no!" Isaac heard Zac say. He waded through the small crowd of people standing around a familiar looking body. Blood spilling out everywhere in front of a car. (Oh God no)
"NO!" he said abruptly opening his eyes. It was all coming back to him now. The drugs, the pressure, all the mistakes in his life. His best friend had been run over by a car. Then what had happened? How come he couldn't remember. So are you enjoying losing the game? (No) Aww what happened to poor little Ikey? (Shut up) Hahahaha! (Stop laughing at me) You know lying to the world is bad enough but drugs in another thing (I don't do drugs) Of course not you're too smart for that, you always were (Why are you haunting me?) And what's worse you got your entire family to lie for you and your brothers too. (WE DON'T LIE!) Oh yes you just let them turn you into a puppet (I did not) Puppet boy, puppet boy, puppet boy, puppet boy! (SHUT UP!) Ah remember the last crowd you played? Remember Isaac? (Go away) Yeah that crowd was crazy for Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson, three boys who don't have girlfriends. (GO AWAY!) Three boys who won't let fame go to their heads (GO AWAY!) Three boys who would never lie to their fans (GO AWAY AND STOP HAUNTING ME!) Three boys who promised me they would never let fame go to their heads. (WE DIDN'T!) Oh yes you did. Oh yes you did Clarke dearest. (God I think I'm going crazy) So why don't you write a song about? Eh Ike? Just like you always do. (Crazy, crazy, I'm going crazy!!!) Can't you be more original? That's an Aerosmith song. (Yeah you're on the verge of going crazy and you're hearts in pain…!) Just remember, you always have to pay the consequences…. (It's all their fault.) No it's not Mercury's fault. You're the ones who agreed to lie and cheat, you're the ones who let them pressure you. (Hahaha! I have no feeling whatsoever!) You're the ones who let you're own egos go to your heads. (And now we're back with Cooking with Hanson!) Now you're the playing pieces, and the players. (Jumanji! I lllloooovvvvveeeee that movie!) You turned yourself into a puppet. (Ohhh Pinnochio!!!) Just remember, what goes around comes around. (LA LA LA LA LA!) You are crazy.
Isaac stared at the ceiling as he laid sprawled across the floor of his room. He was now inside the hospital. Bright lights everywhere. He had been in an accident. People were crying, people were talking. He felt dizzy. Now he was laying in bed. Katherine was asleep next to him. The world seemed to go around in circles, around and around and around.
He couldn't live life the way he could anymore. He was so hot. So dizzy. His head felt light and heavy at the same time. He couldn't take it anymore. Standing up on rubber like legs he made his way out the door and outside. He walked down the sidewalk back home. We got to change our point of view if we want the sky blue! He could still remember that song. He smiled. He was going crazy. Isaac knew he had to change his way in life. He couldn't continue playing the game and losing. He had to win. He couldn't continue lying, he couldn't continue fighting with his family.
Isaac looked up at the sky dizzily. Every star shining brightly in the vevelt blue sky. The stars so bright. His head was throbbing. He couldn't see straightly in front of him.
"Dammit," he mumbled stupidly as he bumped into a lamp post. Giggling nervously he bit his finger nails as he continued walking back home. It was like he was under a spell. As if he had just lost his mind.
Isaac stumbled into the front door of his home and headed for the stairs.
"Ike, where were you?" asked Diana worridely.
"Umm in the Middle of Nowhere!" he slurred out. His family exchanged worried glances. Taylor and Zac who had come back from their dates looked at their brother concerned.
"Ike, are you feeling okay?" Zac asked. Isaac turned to his younger brother. "Damn Zaccy, you know you never should of kissed Jenny McCarthy!" he said and tousled his brother's hair. Zac looked at his brother confused. His father stepped forward and grabbed a hold of his son. "Have you been drinking again?" he demanded.
"What the hell are you talking about dad, I don't drink, none of us do, remember? We're the good Tulsa, Oklahoma brother trio, as wholesome as wheat, Hanson!" he exclaimed throwing his hands up in the air.
"Ike, what's wrong with you?" Taylor asked. Isaac turned to face his younger brother. "You know drugs are bad for you Tay-Tay," he said as seriously as he could before he burst out into hysterical giggles.
"Um mom, I think we should call a doctor." Taylor suggested looking down at his older brother who was know on the ground giggling.
"Ike?" Isaac stopped laughing to see Jessica step forward.
"Aw Jess you're so pretty, why don't you go upstairs and play with your Barbies with Avie?" he asked kissing her on the forehead. Jessica stepped back a bit scared.
"What's wrong with you?" she whispered.
"Aw why does everybody think there's something wrong with me?" Isaac groaned and stood up again. And no sooner was he on his feet he collapsed onto the ground again.
"You know what?" he asked in a hushed tone. Silence only answered him. "I'm a cheating, lying, stupid puppet!" he growled pounding his fist on the ground.
"And it's all my fault." he whispered and collected himself and walked up the stairs.
"Isaac, come back down here!" Walker yelled.
"Oh Dad! I don't wanna do another interview for Top of the Pops!" he groaned looking back at his family. That was when realization hit. His vision cleared a bit and he looked down at his family. Everything was so different. His mouth turned dry. He looked down and saw his family staring back at him. He looked at Taylor, then Zac, Jessica, Avery who was sitting on the couch a frightened expression on her face, Mackenzie who shared the same expression, then Zoe, baby Zoe who was sleeping peacefully through all his mumble. (How old is Taylor now?) Aw Ike, who cares about your hair! (Tay's 18) Peace, love, and bulletproof marshmellows! (Zac's 15) Girls are weird… (Jessie's 13) Eww you like my brothers? (Avery's 10) Hey guys what is this? (Mackie's 7) Yeah 17 blond hair, blue eyes, and whoa! (Zoe's 3) Yeah I'm…. (I'm 20) Do you guys ever feel that you've wasted your childhoods? (AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!) The color drained from his face and his vision blurred again. Isaac looked away from his family and continued walking up the stairs again.
"Ike, no wait--" Zac began. Isaac's breathing soon became uneasy and his legs felt like rubber. He couldn't seem to lift them up and climb the next step. He lifted his foot and placed it on the step firmly but missed and slipped.
"AAAHHH!" Isaac flew down the staircase and landed with a dull thud onto the floor.
"Somebody call an ambulance!"
"Ike, snap out of it!"
"Ikey, wake up?"
"Jessica take your brother and sister up to their rooms!"
"Now Jessica." So many voices. Getting quieter and quieter. Then louder and louder. He could soon hear sirens and more voices and saw bright colorful lights. Lights were blinding him. He shut his eyes and tried to drown out the noise. The voices were fading now as he fell into a deep sleep…..
Isaac faced Taylor and Zac and nodded motioning for them to begin. The familiar chords of a song began as he stepped up to the michrophone and opened his mouth to sing.
"Lately we been talking about who we are, it seems we don't know anymore!" he sang. Soon a 13 year old Taylor and a 10 year old Zac joined in on the chorus their high pitched voices blending in with 15 year old Isaac's already deep voice.
"And I guess will never know! Exactly where this river's gonna flow and I guess will never understand, until we reach that promised land!" they sang in perfect harmony. Yep life was great for Isaac Hanson. Isaac looked out into the audience and spotted his best friend Vivian singing along to the lyrics. She smiled at him brightly, he smiled back at her.
He could see off to the side Christopher Sabec smiling at him giving him the thumbs up sign. He smiled brightly and just continued to sing. (Life is great, now if only we could get signed…..) He could see his father out in the audience video taping everything. Inside of his mind he rolled his eyes. His father insisted on video taping everything nowadays.
Near off the side of the stage he could see his sisters Jessie and Avie who were 7 and 5. They were clapping along to the songs their cheeks pink. Next to them was their mother holding his baby brother Mackie who was only just 2 years old. He smiled to himself. (Hmm I wonder if Mackie would ever play the drums when he's older? Hmm Zac better watch out! Mackie might steal his place!)
"And I guess will, never know, whoa oh!" Hanson sang out the last few notes. Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson looked at each other and smiled brightly. (I guess we will never know.)
Somewhere in Tulsa in the mental ward of a hospital a 19 year old girl laid in her bed in a coma. Where she had been asleep for nearly two years. Living in her own rose colored dream world. Living her own nightmare.
"So looks like you aren't going to be waking up soon are you?" the nurse walked in checking on the patient. She tucked the covers around the girl and picked up the clipboard."Ike?" she mumbled faintly in her sleep. The nurse shook her head.
"Isaac?" she mumbled again. The nurse patted the girls hand. "It's going to be okay dear." she said quietly. As she left she could hear the paitient humming the same old songs she hummed every day.
"Any progress?" the doctor asked.
"No, she still calls out that one guys name."
"Who? Isaac?" the doctor asked.
"Yeah, must of been her boyfriend or something." the nurse shrugged.
"Must of been, is she still humming tunes in her sleep?" he asked.