|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Six
17 - Albertanian???? - Beth
"Grandma tell me about you and my grandfather?" The blonde headed teenager asked her grandmother as they sat on the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean watching the sunset. The young girl was named Brittany after her grandmother but her grandmother liked to be called by her nickname Brimmie. She had been told that her grandmother had lived on the island for a great number of years. She had come to live here after her husband had past away long before Brittany was even born. Brittany's mother was raised here on the island, Brittany's mother Diana had left the island when she was young and only returned for short visits with her mother and always brought Brimmie along. The island was located a few miles off the shore of Hawaii. It was the perfect tropical island getaway. Only Brimmie shared it with her daughter and granddaughter, no one else was allowed to venture there.
The islanders from Hawaii never went there for it was now part of the local folklore about Brimmie and the forbidden island. The islanders didn't know if Brimmie was just a hermit or a witch or what. When she came to the main island nobody stopped to talk to her she had no friends that they knew of in fact they knew very little about the woman even though she had moved there many years ago. Brimmie came into Honolulu once a month for supplies and pick up her mail and to see her lawyer. She stayed only for the day and returned to her island before dark, she never stayed on the big island.
Brittany and her mother Diana had come to the island a week ago and would be returning to Oklahoma tomorrow. Diana's father Taylor Hanson lived with his brothers and sisters and parents in Tulsa. Brittany's grandfather Taylor had never married her grandmother Brimmie, but she didn't know the story behind it. Her mother Diana never talked about the non-existent relationship between the grandparents. Brittany was determined to get the true story from her grandmother before she left the island.
Sitting on the cliff the elderly grandmother turned to her granddaughter and looked in the signature blue eyes and realized that it was time for the child to know the truth. "Brittany you just turned fifteen it's time you knew the truth before too long you'll learn it anyway when your time comes." The grand mother smiled a sad little smile knowing that the child had no idea what the future held for her.
Brittany didn't know what her grandmother was talking about and she got a bad feeling in her stomach that maybe after all she didn't really want to know, but it was too late, she had already asked for the truth. Brittany smiled back at her grandmother and looked into the tired eyes.
"It all seems so long ago. I was just a girl, younger than you, when I had met the Hansons'. They had just moved back from South America when my parents and Diana and Walker had become friends. So I eventually became friends' with the boys. I was the same age as Isaac your great Uncle so we were the closest. I loved hanging out with the guys and your great Aunt Jessica was just a little girl and I loved playing Mommy with her. We were typical kids and they were always into music. At times it seemed as though they were years ahead of me. Very intelligent, kind and sincere young boys and lots of fun to be with, they were loyal and thoughtful friends. Everyone thought that Isaac and I would end up together. And for a while I did too, we were so close." The old woman began to spin her tale.
"I was just about twelve when I first began to realize that the Hansons were different. Diana's mother your great great-grandmother was in the hospital and was going to die. The entire family was there and I had come along for emotional support for the boys and for Jessica and Avery who was just a baby. I remember when the doctors had come out of the hospital room and announced that she had past away. Everyone was teary eyed. I held Isaac as he cried trying to comfort him as much as possible. The entire family was so closely knit, I imagine they still are."
"I thought the usual would happen a funeral and all that stuff but that wasn't the case. Walker told everybody to go home and he would take care of everything, I was accidentally left behind for I had been in the bathroom. Naturally I went to find Walker, I went into the hospital room where his mother-in-law's body was supposed to be and I found the room empty. I searched all over for them and never found them. The hospital wasn't far from home so I decided to walk home. I took a short cut that went through an abandoned warehouse district. I remember seeing one that was totally lit up with lights, so being the curious kid that I was I decided to check it out. What I saw well.....it was out of this world. Walker and Diana and two other men that I didn't recognize were standing around a stretcher and on it laid Diana's mother. What happened next was beyond belief. They wheeled the stretcher outside behind the building and there they stood waiting I watched them waiting standing in the middle of an empty field. When a bright light came shining down from the sky I was blinded for a few seconds and when I was able to see again the light was gone and Walker and Diana were walking away like nothing ever happened."
"I ran home as fast as I could, I was so frightened, and when I got home and told my parents they told me it was a delayed shock reaction to what had happened and they put me to bed and told me that in the morning everything would be alright. I believed them. I wanted to believe them and my little mind did just that pushed it all away. The next day I went and saw the Hansons and they acted like any other family would that had lost a loved one. It only reassured me that I had been in shock. So I forgot about it and over the years I became even closer to Isaac, Taylor and Zac. When they became so famous I thought that I would lose them, but they didn't turn their backs on me or any of our friends. They would occasionally take us on tour or send for us to spend time with them when they were recording or traveling. They tried to share their lives with me and our circle of friends."
"Time quickly passed for us and our teen years only made us closer. When the boys went on their first tour of the U.S.; called the Albertane Tour, right afterwards they disappeared for about three weeks. Friends back in Tulsa were told they were vacationing in Hawaii, but it was odd that they had not contacted anybody in Tulsa or sent for any of us. We were hurt at first but figured it was just a family vacation because of the strain of touring. When they came back home for a few days before leaving again to record the whole family seemed.....somehow...different. I couldn't pinpoint it. But my relationship with Isaac changed, he became distant but we did remain friends."
"It was at that time that Taylor and I found each other. He seemed to have gone through something that totally changed him. And I was somehow drawn to him because of it. We began to date casually at first and then when he turned eighteen he proposed. I was ecstatic, I knew he was THE ONE. He was everything I wanted in a man; kind, tender, loving, loyal, thoughtful, intelligent, and funny. But there was a deeper side to him, when he wanted to be alone for hours on end he'd write or compose and become introspective. Taylor tended to over analyze things. He had a temper as well but he was always remorseful and forgiving."
Brimmie continued to stare into the fading sun as it set upon the horizon. It was like she was reliving it all again the memories were so vivid for her. Silent tears would occasionally escape her eyes and her voice would crack with the emotions the memories provoked. But she continued on for Brittany's sake.
"I eventually went to college and became a nurse and went to work in a local hospital the same one where Diana's mother had died. One night when I was working the intensive care unit Taylor's grandfather was admitted as a patient. He too was dying. Again the whole family converged at the hospital. Only this time things would be different and would change everything for me."
"The events that happened all those years ago were being played out once again. Mr. Clarke Hanson, Taylor's grandfather died, I was the nurse assigned to him. So I was the one who had to prepare the body for the mortuary to pick him up. Only there would be no visit from a mortuary that night or any other night. I had left the floor for a few minutes for some supplies and when I returned to the room the body was gone. To say the least I was shocked to see it gone, and after inquiring to the other staff members no one had seen anybody come and remove the body."
"I began a search for the body, I knew it couldn't just disappear in thin air and sure enough I found it. I found the body with Taylor and his father Walker they were removing the body from the hospital through the boiler room. I had no idea why they would want to steal the body. It was then that Taylor and his father told me about where they came from and what they were. Walker retold about the night his wife's mother died and how they had sent her body home. And how now they would send home Walker's father to their home. Their home being the planet Albertane in a galaxy light years away."
"I remember actually laughing at them thinking they were pulling another one of their famous practical jokes but looking into their eyes I knew that both men were serious. They explained that their planet had been over populated and their ancestors had come to earth the nearest planet compatible to their life forms. But they did return every so often for repair work for they had not worked out all of the flaws of surviving on this planet. And when the elders died in actuality they became dormant and would have to return to the home planet and stay for a while and return as somebody else. The life span of Albertanians is so much longer than humans."
"What did you do grandma? Did you let them go?" Brittany asked wide- eyed. She did not know why she believed her grandmother but something inside her knew her grandmother was telling the truth an awful truth but the truth none the less.
"What could I do? I was in total disbelief, it was too much for me. I turned my back and walked away. I assume that they took the body to the same field and had him returned to Albertane. It was so ironic how the fans never knew the story behind Albertane, and the parody that Zac wrote, Man from Milwaukee. I avoided Taylor for several days after that night, I needed time to think and comprehend what it all meant for me. When Taylor finally forced me to see him I knew that I could never marry him. Our life together would be a farce, when I would be old and sitting in a rock n chair with gray hair and hardly any teeth in my head, Taylor would still look very young. People would see us as grandmother and grandson, that's how slowly Albertanians age."
"And Taylor explained to me that our children would be part Albertanian and would have to be transported to another world for medical attention for the genetic compatability still made them susceptible to our atmosphere. I remember Taylor's face from that talk, he was so impassioned he just knew that we would be happy and that everything would work out between us. When I told him that we were through he began to cry he said that I hadn't had time to adjust to the all of the revelations and that in time I would come around. He just knew that I would eventually come back to him."
"That next morning I left Tulsa and I never returned. I just couldn't be around the Hansons' knowing what I did had changed how I looked at them, I still loved them but this wasn't something that I could live with. A month later I found out I was pregnant with your mother. That's when I met my husband Jonathan and he brought me here. I had never told him about the Hansons' or their secret. Jonathan never understood why I wanted to be hidden away from the world. I wanted to live a normal quiet life and raise my child without interference. I had prayed that Diana would never need to leave this island."
"But when Diana was just three years old, Jonathan died from Cancer. She had called him daddy and I let her believe that it was so. It wasn't until she turned sixteen that she became very ill and I had to take her into Honolulu to the hospital. But they couldn't help her as each day past she became weaker and weaker and her fever raged on, I knew that if I didn't contact Taylor she would die. So I gathered up my courage and called Taylor and told him about Diana. At first he was shocked to even hear from me, he never knew what had happened to me, he had tried to find me but to no avail. Then he was so ecstatic to know that we had had a child together and that I had named his daughter after his mother Diana."
"Taylor and I both knew that when he came to Hawaii that he would have to take Diana with him. I had to let her go in order to save her life. She was gone almost a month and when she returned she knew the truth about me and her father. She stayed on with me for about six months but I couldn't stand to see her it broke my heart, she reminded me so much of her father and the fact that now she was truly Albertanian. So she left with my blessing to go and live with your grandfather."
"And now you know the story why we never married and now you also know that you are Albertanian as well. You have very little Human blood in you seeing that your mother married your father who is a full Albertanian. So it won't be long and you'll be making your first trip back to the home planet. And now my child it's dark let us get back to the main house and get some rest. Tomorrow morning you will be heading back to Tulsa."
Brittany helped her elderly grandmother up from her sitting position and guided her back to the house through the darkness. When they got back to the house Brittany helped Brimmie into bed and kissed her grandmother goodnight. Back in Brittany's bed her mother Diana came in and as soon as she saw her daughter she knew that Brimmie had told her daughter about the past and about her identity. "Well my child what do you think of all that you have been told?" Diana asked her daughter.
"Actually mom it just so overwhelming. A part of me can't believe it and another part of me feels somehow whole knowing finally who I really am. It's just going to take a little while for it to all sink in." Brittany yawned and her mother tucked her in.
The next morning Diana and Brittany awoke early and prepared to leave. They discussed how the grandmother Brimmie still hadn't come downstairs for she was usually up at the crack of dawn. The mother and daughter went upstairs to Brimmie's room. And there they found the old woman in her bed, at first they thought she was just asleep, but Diana knew instinctively that Brimmie was gone. It was apparent that she had passed away in her sleep.
The two women stayed on to see to Brimmie's finale arrangements. Brimmie's lawyer Mr. Jones saw to it that her last wishes were carried out just as she had wanted. Brimmie was buried on her island and the island was turned over to the state as a wildlife refuge. Never to be inhabited by man. Even in death Brimmie didn't want to take any chances of her final resting place being touched by Albertanians.
Diana and Brittany felt a great loss with the passing of Brimmie. Taylor and his brothers wanted to come to the funeral but were not allowed to by the lawyer Mr. Jones. Taylor and his brothers didn't understand why really, until Brittany explained it to them.
Brimmie wanted to die a natural death just like she had lived a natural life. Brimmie never wanted to live forever or what would have been forever for a human being compared to an Albertanian. All Brimmie ever wanted was to live a natural life, to marry and raise her children and to see her grandchildren and to grow old gracefully with the man she loved. Taylor finally understood, maybe a part of him had become human enough to understand Brimmie's all too human emotions.