The Taylight Zone - Anthology Seven

13 - The Hanson Game Saga, Vol.4: Reviving Ophelia - Tammi

Authorís Note: Yes, I know you people love these and I alreadyknow that the TLZ already has a Disclaimer but I feel that all the readerísout there should be warned to be prepared for what they are to read. Thisstory more so takes place from Vivianís point of view and is more in a wayher story and how she felt about Hanson. And how things really happened.If any one has any questions please feel free to e-mail me at my new e-mailaddress. Please remember this story doesnít necessarily revolve aroundVivian, just her point of view of things- mostly Hanson and what has beenhappening to their characters in the last three stories. And pleaseremember this is still a Hanson story.

Enjoyreading the final installment of the Hanson Game Saga. Hopefully this laststory will answer any questions or inquires youíve had while reading thefirst three installmentsÖ

Thankyou,

Tammi

Part 1: The Day That Your Love Dies

Threeyoung men entered a church. The funeral was tommorow. So manypreperations had been made. They had even shown them the gravestone. Shewould be laid next to her parents.

Thesight of seeing the gravestone made their stomachs churn.

Loving daughter and friend..
An extraordinary girl with many words..
R.I.P.
Vivian Charlotte Dumas
September 14, 1981- November 30,2001

"Is thisfine?"

Theynodded. "Just fine."

"Allright then, Iíll leave you three to pay your respects."

How oddit was to see her laying in that shiny gray casket. Her eyes and lips sewnshut. How odd, uncanny, she looked so melancholy, yet peaceful. The threegave each other nervous glances. What happened next?

Myentire life Iíve been there by them through thick and thin, the good andthe bad, the ugly and the pretty. Almost as if I was joined to them at thehip. And in some ways I did feel as if I was stuck to them for life. Iwas there when their voices changed, but then again so did the entire world, or at least with Zachary and Jordan.

Ifelt as if they had chained me to them for all eternity. They had lockedthe shackles on my wrists, ankles and especially my heart the day I had metthem and forever I dragged along with them through life. Maybe theyhonestly believed that I would always be there for them, I would always bethere to listen to their problems, give them advice or whatever the reasonwas.

Iguess nobody ever told them that one day I would die too.

Part 2: Reminiscing on the Past a

Iremember the days I spent with them as a child. I had moved to Tulsa fromFrance the winter of 1992. Isaac, Taylor, and Zac and I were almost forcedto be friends in a particularly awkward way. Nevertheless Iím glad that wemet that dayÖ.

"And howold are you Vivian?"

Thelittle girl sat uncomfortably next to her mother on an overstuffed loveseat.

"Eleven." she said quietly.

Theblond lady who had invited them over for tea smiled brightly at her.

"Oh isthat so? Clarke here is eleven also."

Sheturned to stare at the gawky looking blond boy sitting across from her.

"ItísIsaac mom and Iím turning twelve in two weeks." he corrected her.

The lady,who had introduced herself as Diana Hanson looked unfazed by her sonísrather rude behavior.

"Yes, Iknow dear." and continued to chatter along with Mrs. Dumas.

Isaacrolled his eyes and slumped further down in the seat and crossed his lankyarms across his chest. His mother gave him a look and he sat up and smiledangelically at the two guests.

Next tohim were two younger boys named Jordan and Zachary who were nine and sevenyears of age who copied their brotherís move.

Vivianwas in the least happy to move at the beginning of the school year and tohave to meet three strange boys who lived in the house behind her two daysafter she moved in.

"Isaac,darling why donít you take Vivian and your brothers outside to get somefresh air, it is such a nice day." Diana suggested.

Isaacshrugged and bounded to his feet. "Yes maíam." He said politely.

The twoyounger boys followed their older brother in tow as Vivian reluctantlyfollowed them.

(What onearth is going to happen?)

Shewatched from up in the tree house as the three played some sort of a cardgame.

She tookthis time to study each boy. Jordan- excuse me, Taylor as he preferred tobe called for it was his middle name and sounded so much Ďcoolerí thanJordan, had short, shaggy blond hair which grew longer at the back of hisneck. He was possibly too skinny and his feet were rather big for a nineyear old and his head seemed abnormally large despite the small, scrawnysize of his body and his ears perhaps stuck out too much and were too big. But other than the flaws every human being holds, he was an adorablelittle boy with big blue eyes, pale skin with naturally flushed, rosy cheeks. His appearance was almost doll like.

(ADresden doll.)

Indeedhis appearance resembled much of Cory Doll in the book, Flowers in theAttic. She immediately decided his nickname would be Cory Doll.

Next wasZac as he preferred to be called who was a small seven year old with roundcheeks, large, round brown eyes, short blond hair brushed to one side and awide smile on his face. He was by far a spontaneous child with a bundle ofenergy.

AndIsaac, Isaac wasnít tall nor short but in the middle as she liked to callit. He wasnít adorably cute like his brothers, yet he wasnít the bitugly. He had the slightly waving, short blond hair, the brown eyes, a straight nose, and high cheek bones. A boy all the girls at her school inFrance would probably call Ďalmost devastatingly handsomeí, Ďan olderlooking boyí, or the one she detested the mostÖ. Ďoh so sexyí.

Vivianwrinkled her nose at the thought of the last one. So they were goodlooking kids. There was nothing wrong with that.

"Do youspeak English?" Taylorís voice interrupted her thoughts.

"Pardon?"

Taylorlooked at her intently. "Do-you-speak-English-or-can-you-not-understand-a-word-I-am-saying." Hesaid slowly and articulately.

Isaacrolled his eyes. "Of course she speaks English." He scoffed. Then heturned towards her. "You do donít you?" he asked uncertainly.

"Ofcourse I do." she said.

"Oh, doyou speak French too?"

Isaacelbowed Taylor. "Of course she does, sheís French!"

Taylorglared at his brother. "How do you know that?"

"Because,well, um well, you are French arenít you?" he asked.

Shealmost chuckled at the sight of the two arguing. Such brotherly love.

"Yes, Iam, both my parents are French but they grew up here in the USA and movedto France when I was born." She explained.

Threepairs of curious eyes bore into hers. "Really? Thatís cool." Zac saidenthusiastically.

Andthat was how I became friends with the Hanson boys. I told them a littlebit about me and how I grew up and they told me about Tulsa and the band.

"We haveour own group." Zac announced.

Such astrange thing to say for a child, what he meant by that she had no earthlyidea.

"What doyou mean? Just a group is kind of vague donít you agree?"

Zacstared at her with a look of confusion in his eyes. "Whatís vague mean?"

"Nothing,what Zac means is that we formed our own singing group, band, whatever youwant to call it." Taylor informed her.

"Oh."

Thatmeant that they could sing and sang very well. Zac stared into her eyesand frowned. "Your eyes are a weird color." He stated.

Isaacleaned over and smacked his brother upside the head. Vivian looked hurtand confused.

"What!They are a weird color! Arenít they Tay? Theyíre like your eyes only notso blue!" the boy cried out.

Vivianstifled a sigh. She went through this everywhere. At her old schooleverybody always made a commotion about what a strange color her eyes were.

Taylorscrutinized her face and squinted his eyes. "Heís right, theyíre likepurple, Iíve never seen anybody with purple eyes."

"Seetheyíre like a bluish purple color!" Zac said triumphantly.

Isaacshoved Taylor out of his way. "Let me see." He muttered and looked up ather face.

Themoment his eyes bore into mine I felt something jump in my stomach. Likesomeone had locked a chain over it. I felt like screaming but sat stillas this strange boy stared at me.

"Are theycolor contacts?" he finally asked.

She shookher head. "The color is called indigo, a bluish purple color." She saidsoftly.

Silence.

Then Zacbroke out into a smile. "Thatís neato, indigo, I like that."

Thetension had been broken. The boys had learned that someone they knew hadindigo colored eyes and they learned a new word and had made a new friend.

Iknew then that day the chains had been locked onto me and they threw awaythe key. And so from that day on we became friends, best friends,especially me and Ike or Christopher Doll. I called all the Hanson kidsDresden Dolls. And lovingly nicknamed all three of the older boysChristopher Dolls. They all seemed very much like the older brother in theseries written by my favorite author, V.C. Andrews. Funny, charismatic, blond, good looking, and smart. Just without all the problems the actual Christopher went through in the book. And without the very infamousseductress Catherine whom he called his Catherine Doll, or his ladyCath-er-ine. Little did I know how soon Lady Catherine would come andreplace me in all three of their lives.

Part 3: The Pains of Adolescence

Wegrew up side by side and soon they had a new baby brother and wereperforming everywhere. They were happy and contentÖ I was a different storyÖ.

"Freak!"

Sheshuffled along down the hallway and ignored the voice.

"Hey Gotharenít you going to use your Satanic powers on me?"

"Ohwhereís all your black poetry? Arenít you going to damn me to Hell?"

Hidingback tears she walked faster until she reached the front doors and ran outthe building.

"Oh justrun freak! Run and go cast one of your witchy spells why donít you!"

Everyday it was the same. Always the same. I had been living inTulsa for almost two years now. It was the last week of school, I was inthe seventh grade and things were getting worse and worse by the minute.In the beginning when I started the sixth grade people were charmed by theway I had moved here from France, spoke French, and my accent. That allchanged when people got to know me more and more. I was extremely shy andquiet and was not at all used to all the attention. I had skipped a gradeand was a year younger than most of the students in my grade. I read bookswhich were considered Ďbadí, Ďinappropriateí, and not at all my own agelevel. I didnít do things which were considered Ďnormalí. And I was justtoo serious, and too mature, and way to deep to fit into any crowd.Adolescence was really being a pain in the ass and the more I went deeperinto depression the more I wanted to go crazy and just scream. If itwerenít for them I would of really gone crazy.

"Oh freakshow, Miss Vivian is a freak show! Hey donít you belong in some asylum ina strait jacket? Go ahead you lunatic just ignore me! Youíre a freak!You nut case! Nut case! Hey you freak! Yo you weirdo donít ignore me!

Whywouldnít they stop bothering her? The boys at school seemed to find itimmensely entertaining and ego boosting to bully her.

"Aw isthe Goth gonna go cry to the counselor again?" taunted a way to familiarvoice.

That boy,Eric Philips who lived down the street from her. He loved taunting her.He had moved at the beginning of the year and had immediately become one ofthe most Ďpopularí kids. And he had also began to hang around Isaac Hanson.

Everydayon the bus he would bully her and then getting off the bus he would yellobscene things at her until she went running into the house.

As shewalked down the street she noticed a group of boys playing a game of streethockey at her end of the street. She watched from her driveway as Eric ranpast her house proceeding to give her the finger as he ran by and join theboys. As she was taking out the mail she heard a voice chanting, "Theregoes the freak show little Miss Manic Depressant! Miss MD! Go back tohell where you came from you little crow!"

A ring oflaughter rounded and the boys began to join in on his chanting.

Holdingback tears she walked up the driveway as the voices came nearer and nearer.

"Oh areyou going go run into your house crying? Are you? Címon Miss Vivian ĎIímfrom Franceí Dumas you think youíre all high and mighty because all theteachers love you and because your so damn Ďspecialí."

"Look atme Iím Vivian walking down the hallway with my nose in a book with my headhunched over."

Quicklyshe twirled around to see Eric imitating her, walking the down the hallwaydragging one foot along, pushing her eye glasses up her nose, her faceshoved in what seemed to be an invisible book. One-two-three-four-sevenboys! All laughing. Her eyes darted back and forth from each boy, someshe knew from school and that was when she saw two familiar brown eyes.And she felt the chains being pulled closer and closer to him.

Isaacstopped laughing when he saw the tears run down her face.

"Oh mygod, Vivian Iím sorry I didnít know it was_" he began to say as he steppedcloser to her.

Fury tookover and unthinkingly her leg shot out from beneath her and between hislegs.

"I hateyou!" she screamed and ran into the house.

Isaacgroaned and crumbled to the ground holding his groin.

"Oh manbeat up by the freak show, way to go Hanson!"

Isaacstood up and glared at Eric. Anger fumed through him despite the fact thathis best friend had just kicked him where the sun doesnít shine. "Thatfreak show which she is not, happens to be my best friend and if you evereven look at her I swear I will hurt you so bad you will be feeling it forthe rest of your life!" he spat into the boyís face.

Ericlooked amused. "Is that a threat?"

"No, itísa promise." He said icily through clenched teeth and with that he leftsix confused boys and a stunned Eric standing on the Dumasís driveway andwalked into the house after her.

Viviansat up in her room crying her eyes out. Her best friend, the least of allpeople had participated in the cruelty she went through everyday. Curledup in a ball in a corner Vivian stood up on shaky legs and walked over toher desk. Pulling out a pair of sharp scissors she brought them down toher wrist as the door opened.

"What areyou doing?" Through puffy, red, watery eyes she saw him standing there a shocked lookon his face.

"Nothing,go away." she muttered and looked down at her feet.

Isaacwalked over and pried the scissors from her hands.

"Iímsorry."

Nothing.

"I wonítlet him hurt you like that."

Slowlyshe made her way to her bed and sat down.

"Whydidnít you ever tell me?"

"Becauseyou wouldnít understand." she looked up at him a cold look in her eyes.

"Wellmaybe if you let me know what was happening I would understand!" he saidhotly.

"No, youlisten Christopher Doll you wouldnít understand, you just wouldnít!"sanding up she began to pace around the room, flailing her arms in theair.

Isaacstared at her a blank expression painting his face.

"You knowI hate being called that." he said bluntly.

Vivianlooked at him an insane look on her face.

"Youívenever been to public school before, itís different there, you just wouldnítknow what goes on there! You have no idea what I have to go through everyday!" she shrieked.

"But_"

"No butsIsaac! You just wouldnít! You go to school where your mother is yourteacher and your classmates are your brothersí! I go to school everydayand face Ďthatí." she pointed outside the window.

"I meanmaybe I am crazy, maybe I do need help!" she began to become hysterical.

Never hadIsaac seen her in this position before. He never knew. It hurt his heartto see his best friend in so much pain.

And hecouldnít do anything about it. Silently he stood up and hugged her.

"Shh,itís okay, everythingís going to be all right." he shushed her as the tworocked back and forth in each otherís embrace.

"Why doyou bother dealing with me?" she asked.

Isaacpulled back and smiled at her. "Because, face it kid youíre stuck with notjust me but youíre stuck with us forever."

Ithought that was an odd thing to say and not until I was much older did Irealize what that really meant. But when he said those words I felt thelocks tighten once more and felt myself coming closer and closer in his grip.

Andso is what started to become weekly sessions at a therapists that summer.My parents pulled me out of the public school and put me into a private allgirls school across town at the beginning of eighth grade. In themeanwhile The Hanson Brothers, or Hanson as they were now called had a newmanager Christopher Sabec and for awhile they flew to Nashville andChicago to record Boomerang. They wanted to let the world hear theirmusic. Then they soon picked up their instruments and began to drop thedance act. In the summer came the Blue Rose Cafť gig and a few monthslater after many rejection letters from various record companies theydecided to record a new demo album in Tulsa. And that was when Katherinestepped in the pictureÖ

Part 4: The Day I Lost My Best Friend

It was the Fall of 1995 and the guys had just started to record what would later become Mmmbop, or 3 Car Garage as it would be renamed nearly three years later. They recorded all fifteen tracks in Louis Drappís garage studio. I would often go and watch them record. And that would be just the beginning of us growing apart and I became the third wheel of every group. That was a time in my life which I called ĎOpheliaís Drowningí.

"I know a song that gets on everybodyís nerves! Everybodyís nerves, everybodyís nerves! I know a song that gets on everybodyís nerves and this is how it goes! I know a song that gets on everybodyís nerves! Everybodyís nerves, everybodyís nerves! I know a song that gets on everybodyís nerves and this is how it goes! I know a song that gets on everybodyís nerves! Everybodyís nerves, everybodyís nerves! I know a song that gets on everybodyís nerves and this is how it goes!"

"Zachary, would you like to live to see your tenth birthday?"

The blond boy stared at her with big eyes and shut his mouth.

Vivian nodded and smiled approvingly. "Thatís better."

Zac sat quietly on the front porch and twiddled his thumbs. "Hey Ian, whatcha reading?" he called her by his nickname for her. He had insisted that Vivian was too formal and cut off the Viv and called her Ian.

Vivian stiffened and gulped. "Oh nothing that would interest you." she said quickly and closed the book.

"Interest who?" Taylor asked as he and Isaac walked outside and sat next to them.

"Oh nothing_" she began to say as Zac cut in.

"I just asked her what book she was reading." He chirped.

Isaac smiled and snatched the book from her hands. "Oh what is? What on earth ĎReviving Opheliaí?" he cried in disbelief.

Vivian sighed. "Oh boy here we go." she muttered.

"What kind of book is that?" Taylor asked.

All three of them peered at the book with immense interest.

"Saving the selves of adolescent girls?" Taylor looked at her strangely.

"Why would you need a book like that Ian?" Zac asked innocently.

The three older children gave each other looks. Zac, so young, so innocent, he didnít know about things such as depression, harassment, bullying, sex, drugs, and alcohol. He lived in a world of happiness and contentment. A world every nine year old child lived in.

"Who is Ophelia?" Taylor asked.

"Ophelia as in Hamletís Ophelia?" a new voice sounded.

The boys looked up to see Mr. Drapp stand over them.

"Yeah the same Ophelia." Vivian gave him a wry smile.

"Hello there."

Everybody turned their heads to see a strange girl standing by the front porch.

Immediately Isaac began to look her up and down a smile on his face.

"Ah kids I would like for you to meet my new next door neighbor Katherine Preston. Katherine this is Isaac, Taylor, Zac, and Vivian." he introduced.

Vivian watched as Isaac shook her hand and stared at her. The two exchanged a look and she knew that she would be seeing a lot more of Katherine Preston around.

(Christopher Doll, meet your Catherine Doll.)

"You think she likes me?"

"Will you please stop saying that?"

"I wasnít even asking you."

"Well excuse me."

"Youíre excused."

"Oh funny Ike."

"Will you two cut it out and grow up?"

"Well do you think she likes me?"

"Twenty one."

"Huh?" Three heads turned to stare at Zac who was playing his Game Boy.

"Ikeís asked you that question twenty one times." he quipped.

"No, but seriously from a girlís point of view do you think she likes me?"

"Why are you asking me this?"

Vivian could feel the chains tightening around her as Isaac began to list of factors off his fingers. "Number one, youíre a girl, number two you go to the same school as her, number three youíre friends with her arenít you?"

"Well, I wouldnít exactly say that weíre friends but_"

"Oh would you ask her tommorow what she thinks of me?"

Deja vu hit her in the head as Isaac babbled on. How familiar this was beginning to soundÖ..

"Hey Vivian."

"Oh hi Kathy."

"Yeah um well you know I havenít seen Isaac around lately and well I was just wonderingÖ" she drifted off.

Vivian looked up from her notes. "Yes?"

Katherine blushed. "Well you see I wanted to know if he well you know, likes me."

Vivian swallowed hard. Of course any guy would fall for Katherine. She was beautiful. Shiny chestnut colored hair, hazel eyes, a slim, yet petite, voluptuous figure.

Ever since the moment Isaac met his Catherine Doll it was all, ĎI think she likes me, do you think she likes me?í, ĎSheís really pretty.í, ĎYou think sheíd like me?í, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Katherine this, blah blah blah Katherine that, yada yada yada yada I really like her, yakkaty yak yak yak Do you think she likes me? etc..etc..etcÖ.

"Yes." She blurted out without thinking.

Isaac looked happy.

"You really think so?"

She nodded. "Yes,"

"Oh Ikeyís got a crush!" Taylor and Zac squealed.

Isaac snapped out of his daze and glared at his brotherís. "You guys so sound gay."

"Yeah in a few years you two are going to be all lovey dovey and getting all mushy about a girl." Vivian added.

Taylor blushed.

"Maybe."

However Zacís reaction was completely opposite. He wrinkled his little nose and stuck his tongue out. "Yuck girls, I donít like girls! Girls are nasty. Except Mom and maybe Jess and Avery." He stated.

Vivian smiled and pinched his cheeks. "What about me Zaccy?" she cooed.

Zac smiled. "Oh, I guess youíre okay."

"Well will you?"

The moment of gushiness was burst by Mr. Isaac Hansonís need to know if some girl liked him. Vivian rolled her eyes and sighed. "Yes."

That was the beginning of the Isaac and Katherine fairy tale. He ended up inviting her to his fifteenth birthday party. I just remember that as the chains tightened around my wrists that even though we were growing apart day by day the chains were still shackled onto meÖ

"Youíre cheating!"

"No, Iím not you doofus."

"My gosh Taylor youíre losing to your ten year old brother!" somebody nearby chuckled.

"Thatís just because Iím the master of this game." Zac said or more so tried to say in a macho voice.

Vivian rolled her eyes and left the room. She had had enough of Taylor and Zacís bickering. Sighing she walked into the living room where loud music was playing. Anxious to turn away from all the tension she made her way through groups of people and outside to the backyard.

"Thatís so funny."

Soft laughter could be heard from the other side of the yard as Vivian stepped outside and onto the wet grass.

Roaming her eyes around the yard she stopped at the tree house where she could barely make out two silhouettes sitting next to each other.

Listening closer she could make out two oddly very familiar voices.

Looking up she saw as the two barely visible, yet very familiar figures lean in together and press their lips against each otherís.

Feeling like the worldís iron fist had just smashed her delicate heart she turned around and walked back into the house ignoring all the music, all the noise, all the chaos around her and drowned out the world.

She watched as the two figures walked back into the house and began to dance along to the music. He hadnít talked to her once that evening, or so much glance at her. Feeling sorrow towards herself and mournful that she felt as if she had just lost her best friend; Vivian stood in the shadows and let the tears fall freely as Vivian ceased to exist and Ophelia took over.

Part 5: Hanson: For the Record

Seven months later Isaac and Kathy were definitely a couple. Always hanging around each other holding hands and stealing kisses. She soon showed up at every performance and was always there. She began to give Taylor advice on girls, listened to Zacís babble, played dolls and dress up with Jessica and Avery, and even baby sat Mackie. It was like had been completely forgotten, almost as if they had ripped my face out of a picture and replaced it with hers. And yet whenever any of them had a problem, they came to me and talked to me. Almost as if they expected my good advice. As if I would always have a answer to solve their problems. Little did I know what does problems would turn out to beÖ

"We got the record deal!"

"No way!"

"YYYYEEESSS! We did it!" Zac jumped up and down and began to run around the run yelling.

"We did it we did it! V, we did it! Arenít you proud of us? Vivian, Vivian, Vivian are you okay?" Isaac looked concerned as he let go of her hand.

She forced a smile. "Iím fine." she said vapidly.

"Whatís going on?"

Isaac ran over and lifted Katherine up in the air and kissed her. "Mercury signed us!"

Katherineís mouth flew open in surprise. "Youíre kidding me." she accused.

Taylor shook his head. "Nope, look." He handed the letter to her.

For a few moments she examined the letter, than a smile broke out across her face.

"Iím so happy for you guys, your dream finally came true!" she said kissing him and kissing him.

Vivian felt sick in the stomach. "Congratulations you guys." she said in a dry voice. "Excuse me I need to go home now." she said and began to walk out the door. Neither of the four noticed her absence, feeling happy for her best friends yet down in the dumps she past by the adults talking in the kitchen.

"Oh Vivian, are you going home so soon?" Diana asked.

Vivian stepped into the kitchen and shrugged. "The guys seem really happy they got signed."

"Iím sure they are, oh I have to go video tape this." Walker muttered and clicked on his video camera.

"Congratulations Christopher youíre the one got them the record deal."

Christopher Sabec smiled. "Oh no I just got Steve Greenburg to come listen to them and then he got them signed, the boys did it all on their own."

Vivian only offered a weak smile. "I guess that means theyíll have to go to like California or somewhere to record the album."

"Actually youíre right, the boys are going to record the album in Los Angeles."

"Los Angeles?" Taylor repeated.

"Like Hollywood?" Zac widened his eyes.

"When are we leaving?" Isaac asked worriedly as he held Katherineís hand tighter.

"Oh sometime next month."

I could already hear Isaac babbling about the entire Ďhow to explain how to work a long distance relationshipí. However I saw relief in both of their eyes. They had one month left together and then they would be apart for six months. And heavenís knows how much could happen in six monthsÖ.

"Well this is it."

Vivian nodded and took off her eye glasses which were already splattered with tears. "I guess so."

"I canít believe youíre actually leaving." Katherine whispered as she tightened her embrace around him.

"Itíll be okay Kathy, weíll make it be okay." he whispered to her.

Vivian felt like gagging at the sight of the two teens hopelessly in love and acting all gushy and lovesick. They were only fifteen, what did they know of love? She no longer felt as if the chains were tightening, she now felt like a prisoner being watched over and never to be freed. She no longer felt as if they would pull the chains closer. She was now a prisoner of adolescence. Looking over at the two lovebirds she envied them. Kathy was happy with a loving boyfriend, Isaacís dream of making a major album was coming true and he had the best girlfriend in the world. Everybody around her was so happy. But why did she feel so lost and alone?

"Ike, itís time to go." Zac pulled on his older brotherís shirt.

Vivian, Taylor, and Zac, and the rest of the family watched in disgust, happiness, and sadness as Isaac and Katherine made their mushy good-byes.

"I love you my lady Kath-er-ine, I always will, and Iíll think of you always when Iím away from you."

At that moment the world just kind of froze in time. His lady Katherine. Lady Catherine, one of my Christopher Dolls had finally found their Catherine Doll. Of course I never did tell them the entire story of Flowers in the Attic. What had happened to Chris and Cathy and why their romance was so forbiddenÖ

"Goodbye Ian, I hope you have fun when school starts again!" Zac said mischievously as he hugged her.

Vivian playfully tousled his hair. "Oh I will."

Next she glanced over at Taylor. Jordan Taylor, the Cory Doll turned Christopher Doll with the innocent blue eyes he was growing up.

"Come on give me a hug." She rolled her eyes as she threw her arms around him.

"Iíll miss you." he said shyly.

"Iíll miss you too, Iíll miss all you guys, you three are my best friends." she could already feel the tears welling up in her eyes.

Her vision blurred as she felt herself being pulled into a tight embrace. Isaac hugged her tighter as he felt a tear roll down his cheek.

"Are you sure youíre going to be okay?" he asked quietly.

Vivian nodded. "Iíll be fine." she said uncertainly.

"Goodbye Isaac, Christopher Doll, I know that you will have a great time in LA" she whispered.

And that was it. Before she knew it they were leaving and she was left standing on the driveway alone with her.

"You never did tell him about Christopher and Cathy in Flowers in the Attic did you?" Katherine spoke as they watched the van vanish in the horizon.

Vivian shook her head. "No, why spoil it. Do you really want to be Isaacís sister?" she asked.

Katherine shook her head and shuddered at the idea. "No way, now that is just plain nasty, I donít care if royalty does it and they did it back a hundred years ago, itís still nasty." She declared.

Vivian smiled dryly. She knew that soon she and Miss Katherine Preston would be getting to know each other very well in the six months Hanson was gone. Cut off start new e-mail

Part 6: Ophelia and Lady Catherine

Soon after that me and Kathy somehow became good friends. We were in almost all the same classes at school and everywhere I looked she was there. I had been certain that I would hate her and I would despise for the rest of my life. But as they say, sometimes the people you know the least are the ones you need the mostÖ

"Why are you reading that book?"

Vivian quickly shut the book and hid it under her notebook.

"Why are you so curious?"

Katherine shrugged. "Itís just that, well ever since Iíve met you which has been well over a year ago youíve always been reading that book and well you always seem like youíre afraid to show anybody it."

Vivian was silent.

"Come on Vivian, weíre friends, friends can tell each other anything right?"

She felt herself tense up and she slowly pulled out the book. "Well here it is since youíre so interested."

Kathy scrutinized the book, looked through it, and studied the cover as if she wanted to memorize it.

"Saving the selves of adolescent girls, oh my god Vivian are you, do you, have you?"

"Have I ever tried to kill myself? Contemplated suicide? Suffer from depression? What do you think Kathy? I didnít go through therapy for three months when I was twelve just for kicks. I didnít go to the counselorís office every week just because I felt like it. And my parents didnít just start sending me to a psychiatrist last week because they felt like they could blow off fifty bucks a meeting just for the fun of it." she said harshly and snatched the book from the stunned girlís hands.

"Vivian, why didnít you ever tell me?" Katherine asked.

"Oh come on Kathy, donít tell me you havenít heard the rumors about me?"

"I donít understand."

"Oh so you havenít heard about me, little Miss Manic Depressant? I swear I move to a new school and I still hear stuff about me." she threw her hands up in the air and began to pace around the room nervously.

Kathy looked down at her hands. "You know if you let me you could always talk to me."

"But would you understand?" she glared at her, her eyes filled with hate, sadness, despair, and loneliness.

Katherine looked thoughtful. "Maybe I donít know if you give me a try I may not understand but Iím always willing to listen."

Vivian shrugged. "I donít know, maybe." She said harshly and stood up and picked up her books to leave.

"Vivian, you know Ikeís turning sixteen next week." she called.

Vivian stopped at Katherineís bedroom doorway and looked at her, a placid look on her face. "I know." she said monotonously.

"Well I was thinking of maybe sending him a birthday present."

She shrugged. "Whatever, itís your decision, he is yourboyfriend, not mine."

Katherine looked as if she had been slapped in the face. "But heís your best friend."

Vivian shrugged. "So, what does that matter?"

"Well do you want to study again after school?"

Vivian looked at her long and hard, the tears welling up in her eyes. "Um, could we study next Monday instead? I have therapy on Fridays." She looked down at the carpeted floor.

"Oh," Katherine looked shocked. "Okay Iíll see you in school tommorow then?"

"Goodbye Kath-er-ine." She said through gritted teeth.

Walking down the long hallway she could of sworn she heard a voice say,

"Goodbye Ophelia."

My parents said that I daydreamed too often. My teachers had been complaining that I didnít pay attention in class and often wondered off into my own dream world and shut out the real world. My physciatrist had told me because of my depression and my life was so miserable, to make up for that I refused to grasp on reality and how the world actually was and lived in my own dream world.

The school counselor described me as a girl, "Who refuses to look into the future and constantly lives in the past." And maybe that was true. I just couldnít bring myself to accept my life as it was now. I refused to accept the fact that my life was different from the way it was only a year ago because I let a girl come between me and my best friend and that changed everything. And that I really did become little Miss MDÖ..

Part 7: Youíre On the Verge of Going Crazy and Youíre Hearts in Pain

"Ugh couldnít you guys pick out a, well, how should I say it?"

"A different color other than bright safety orange?"

"Yes! Thank you Zac."

"Your welcome Kathy."

Fast forward five months later, it was April of 1997, the Mmmbop video had gone into MTVís Buzz Bin earlier that month and the boys had come back home. Taylor was now 14, Zac was 11, and Ike was 16. Taylorís voice was changing and the album was about to be released in two weeks. I was now what the girls at school called me the sophomoreís classís Ďbreathing, talking, walking, living zombieí. Or my personal favorite, ĎA crying anxiety filled freak.í Hanson was getting immensely popular and I saw them less and less every day. I feared for these three innocent boys and what they could be exposed to in this harsh cruel thing called society.

"Oh, whatís Man From Milwaukee?"

Zac smiled and pulled out the lyric sheet. "Itís a bonus track on the CD." He said proudly.

"Iím guessing Zac wrote most of this one." Kathy smiled as she read the lyrics.

"Oh well I wouldnít say thatÖ" he said shyly.

"Yeah right, no Zac wrote this when the van broke down on the way to LA in Albuquerque and by the time we finished the album the song was finished so we decided to put as a bonus track." Taylor said.

"Oh boy, I know theyíll come get me? Come get me someday? I know theyíll come get me and take me away? If not tommorow then maybe today? How on earth did you come up with this Animal?" Kathy poked his arm.

"WellÖ" Zac looked thoughtful. "It takes great talent and well, not that many people have that soÖ" he began.

"OH Zac!" they all cried in unison as pillows came flying towards his face.

"Yikes! Help me Ian!" Theyíre going to come after me!" the boy yelped as he attached himself to her legs.

The laughter stopped as all eyes shifted towards her.

Vivian sat hunched over at the far end of the couch, her hand cupping the side of her head as she listlessly stared out the window.

"Vivian?" Isaac asked.

"Vivian? Vivian?" he repeated as he waved his hand back and forth in front of her face.

Zac peeled himself from her legs and looked up at her. "Ian can you hear me, are your new contacts stuck in your brain?" he asked softly tugging on her shirt sleeve.

"Oh no. Vivian, Vivian, Vivian? VIVIAN? VIVIAN!" he screamed shaking her.

Finally she snapped out of her thoughts and her eyes fluttered. "What?" she asked her voice sounding thick as if she had just woken up from a deep sleep.

Isaac shook his head. "Nothing, itís just that well, are you feeling all right?"

Vivian looked at him a confused expression on her face. "I feel fine, I was just daydreaming, oh what time is it?" she asked quickly.

Taylor looked down at his bright yellow wrist watch. "Three thirty." he replied.

A look of worry crossed her face. "Oh, sorry I have to go now." she said and stood up to leave.

Isaac looked confused. "No, wait why are you leaving already? Itís not like you have school tommorow."

Vivian gave him a wry smile. "Itís Friday." She said before leaving.

"Whatís that supposed to mean?" he asked.

He turned to Kathy. "Whatís with Fridays?"

Katherineís eyes widened. "You donít know do you?" she asked as if she had just come to a realization.

"Know what?" Taylor asked.

Three pairs of curious eyes looked at her expecting answers. Three eyes who didnít have a clue what was going on.

"Why didnít you tell me?"

"Excuse me?"

"You think you could keep this a secret from us? From me?"

Vivian looked confused as she stepped around Isaac and opened up the cabinet in her bathroom. "What are you talking about?" she asked nonchalantly as she opened up a prescription bottle and took out two pills.

Isaac looked furious. "Iím talking about this!" he took the bottle away from her.

"Isaac, give that back, thatís prescription medicine!" she sounded frantic and worried.

He held the bottle high above her head. "What is this? Anti-depressants? Prozac? They put you on Prozac?" his voice getting shrill.

"Whatís it too you? Give that back." she hissed snatching the bottle out of his hands.

Isaac sighed and sat down at the edge of the bathtub. "Why didnít you tell me you were seeing a physciatrist?" he asked softly.

"It slipped from my mind."

"How could it just slip from your mind, god dammit Vivian Iím your best friend, you could of told me." he exclaimed.

Vivian turned around to face him, her eyes red and watery. "No, thatís where you are wrong Ike, we were

best friends. For all I care I never did have a best friend, just a sympathizer."

He looked stunned. Like someone had slapped him in the face. "How could you say that? Was that all I was to you? Was that all Tay and Zac were? Were we just three guys who sympathized you?"

She shrugged. "I donít know, you tell me." she said a strange faraway smile on her face.

Isaac was fuming with anger. They were like strangers now, his best friend had been replaced by a stranger. That was all they were to each other. Two strangers on a runaway trainÖ

He pulled something out of his pocket. A CD.

"You left so quickly yesterday that we didnít have time to give this too you." he said handing her the CD.

She eyed him strangely. "Middle of Nowhere?"

"Yeah, donít you sometimes feel that youíre stuck in the middle of nowhere?" he asked smiling coyly.

"Here I want you to listen to this one song." He said pulling her back into the bedroom.

The medicine was long forgotten now as she watched him slip the CD into her player.

The room was filled with a rich sound, almost eerie and mystical. He opened up the CD jacket to the one song that he knew best described her.

Isnít weird?

Isnít it strange?

Even though weíre just two strangers, on this runaway train..

Weíre both trying to find, a place in the sun, weíve lived in the shadows but doesnít everyone?

Isnít strange? How we all feel a little bit weird sometimes.

Isnít hard? Standing in the rainÖ Yeah youíre on the verge of going crazy and youíre heartís in pain..

No one can hear.. But youíre screaming so loud.. You feel like youíre all alone.. In this faceless crowdÖ

Isnít strange? How we all get a little bit weird sometimes?

Sitting on the side waiting for a sign hoping that my luck will change..

Reaching for a hand thatíll understand.. Someone who feels the same.

When you live in a cookie cutter world being different is a sinÖ

So you donít stand out.. But you donít fit in.. Weird. .

Sitting on the side waiting for a sign hoping that my luck will change..

Reaching for a hand thatíll understand.. Someone who feels the same.

When you live in a cookie cutter world if youíre different you canít win. .

So you donítí stand outÖ But you donít fitÖ

Isnít strange? How we all get a little bit weird?

StrangeÖ

How we all feel a little bitÖ Strange?

How we all get a little bit weirdÖ SometimesÖ

Just a little bit weird sometimesÖ.

For a moment neither of the two said anything. For just a moment they stood there staring at each other.

Finally the tears spilled down her cheeks and she fell into the embrace of his outstretched arms.

"Thank you." she whispered.

And just for a moment they stood there in silence except for the final notes of ĎWeirdí.

Part 8: Super Stardom

From that day onward me and Ike now had a better understanding of each other. There was now a bond between us that couldnít be broken. And finally I could feel the chains easing threatening to break loose. In the meanwhile it was now March 1998. The Grammyís had come and gone, once again proving that line of fat old critics knew nada about music. Or so what happened when I saw that Hanson had won not one of the three nominations they deserved.

Already a year had gone by and what a year it was been for the guys. They were shooting up to fame faster than a speeding bullet. But along with the thrills of being on TV, doing interviews, having your face plastered on the covers of magazines and on teenage girls walls, came the downward sides of fame. And along with that came what I feared would come for all of themÖ

"Oh goodness gracious great balls of fire Jordan Taylor what on earth are you wearing?"

Taylor looked oblivious to what everybody was fussing over. "What? A shirt, pants, um shoes?"

Vivian shook her head and pressed stop on the remote control. "Taylor, Taylor, Taylor! Okay for one thing, your shirt is too tight and you look like you have breasts." she said bluntly.

Taylorís mouth flew open in shock. "What I do not!" he said indignantly. .

"Actually, yes you do Taylor, I saw that camera man giving you those looks!" Zac proclaimed as he put down his magazine.

"And another thing, your legs are spread apart too much and, oh god what are you doing?"

Taylor blushed as she pressed rewind and played possibly the most embarrassing things he has done on national TV yet.

"My leg was itchy!" he cried.

Zac nodded uncertainly. "Yeah Tay, whatever your leg was itchy. Thatís what they all say!" he rolled his eyes.

Vivian chuckled. "I wouldnít be talking Zachary, all three of you have your legs spread at an eagleís wing."

Immediately the two boys blushed a deep crimson and closed their legs together.

"Well at least I wasnít wearing leather pants, unlike my dear older brother Isaac." Taylor pointed out.

Vivian narrowed her eyes and bit her lip thoughtfully. "Yeah youíre right, hey is that stubble I see on our dear Isaac?"

Zac leaned closer to the screen. "What stubble?"

"Canít you see it?"

"See what?" the two boys leaned closer to the screen to scrutinize Isaacís face.

"That gray stuff on his chin."

"Oh! So he is growing stubble, maybe thatís why thereís a razor in our bathroom now."

"No duh Einstein what do you think the razorís for?"

"Um Ikeís decided to become a transsexual and shave his legs because heís uncertain of his gender?"

"What?" Taylor and Vivian.

Zac threw his hands up in the air. "What Iím only joking."

Taylor and Vivian gave each other a look before shaking their heads in disbelief.

"What did Katherine say this time when Ike told Oprah he didnít have a girlfriend?" Zac asked.

"The same thing she always says."

"And whatís that?"

"Oh heíll tell them next

time."

Now this time Zac and Taylor were giving each other looks.

"Well anyway, where is Ike?"

The two immediately began to snicker. "Probably somewhere with Kathy." Taylor said elbowing Zac.

Zac nodded, his face turning bright red.

Vivian eyed them quizzically. "What is so funny? Wow itís so cold outside and itís already March."

"I bet Isaac and Katherine have no trouble keeping each other warm." Taylor blurted out.

The expression on her face froze in shock. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" she asked as calmly as possible.

"Oh come on Ian, youíre not that innocent are you?"

"And what exactly is that supposed to mean?

"Nothing, itís just that the past few days whenever Kathyís over at our house and our parents arenít home we keep hearing these over exaggerated moaning and groaning coming from our bedroom." Zac said.

Vivianís throat felt dry. "Are you implying that your dear seventeen year old brother and his girlfriend are participating in some sort of simulating intercourse?" she asked her voice growing shrill.

Taylor raised an eyebrow. "In English please."

"Okay, are you saying that he and Kathy are having sex possibly at this moment as we speak."

"Yes," the two replied in unison.

Her mouth dropped open. "I thought Isaac believed that is was sinful and unmoral to have sex before marriage." she said.

"Not unless itís with someone he honestly believes is the right one and is eventually going to marry anyway." Taylor quipped.

That right then how much adolescence probably was making us awkward enough to the point that we couldnít even talk to each other about certain things. There had been a point in time when Isaac and I could freely talk about anything that so much graced our minds. That had changed. As I looked at Taylor and Zac that day I just realized how much they had changed. Taylorís birthday had past and he was now fifteen, and Zac the little blond boy with an immense amount of energy was growing up right before the mediaís eyes. What I think most of us feared was already starting. Putting Hanson in the Hall of Fame of ĎFormer Teen Idolsí. First came the sex, then the drugs and alcohol, and perhaps getting arrested a few times. They would crash and burn and the world could never see Hanson more than as a pre pubescent teen pop group.

"Why did you guys lie in the first place?" she asked quietly.

"Um, well, we, wellÖ"

They looked at each other a perplexed look on both faces. "Iím not sure." Taylor said dully.

She nodded her head and went over to eject the tape out of her VCR. Labeled Hanson Appearances she put it back on her shelf.

"Well why do you tape our appearances? You live right behind us." Zac said in as-a-matter-of-fact tone.

Vivian shrugged. "I like to see all the weird and unusual things you say and do and then ten years from now when you guys are all married Iíll put out this tape and embarrass you in front of your spouses. And then when you have kids who are teenagers Iíll do the same thing too!" she smiled wickedly.

"But what if we burn the tape first?" Zac asked a sly smile on his face.

"Thatís why we make copies of tapes dear." she said putting a hand on his shoulder.

Zac looked at her and rolled his eyes. "Hmm then well I guess Iím going to have to steal that tape then burn it while you sleep." He smiled.

Now it was her turn to roll her eyes, and tousle his hair. "Hey, hey watch the hair!" he exclaimed pushing her hand away.

"Whatever dear, now honestly did you think that the media would kill you for having girlfriends?"

"Well, well the first time it just kind of slipped out and well we donít want to know what will happen if we do say we have girlfriends now, I mean it could really ruin our reputation you know?" Taylor said.

"But, guys I mean do you always want to be known as the pre pubescent trio of brothers who have long hair and donít have girlfriends? No wonder people think you guys are gay." she scoffed.

"But it is your decision you guys do whatever I donít care itís just that_" she started.

"What?"

"Well if I were dating one of you guys and you always told people you didnít have girlfriends, and we were like engaged or married I would seriously leave you." she said.

"To be honest from a femaleís point of view, no girl wants to deal with a boyfriend who always lies."

Finally I had had my say. I look back now and wonder how Katherine dealt with Ike. Taylor dated a few girls but he had never seriously been in a relationship. I think he had one girlfriend but she dumped him after awhile because of Ďdifferences, and he was never home anywayí. Or that was what he told me anyway. Zac dated on and off just for kicks. So they wouldnít necessarily lying about not having girlfriends. Itís not like they were asking, ĎDo you guys date?í. It was always, ĎDo you guys have girlfriends?í. I remember Taylor coming to me once angered because a girl he had been dating on and off for awhile had told him she never wanted to see him in her life again unless he cleaned up his act. Of course did had happened before but for a different reason. As for the two lovebirds. Their relationship was being held by a thin piece of string with a pair of sharp scissors threatening to cut the string in half.

"Ike, you promised!"

"Well but_"

"No, buts Isaac, I swear to god you_"

"I what? Go ahead say it, I dare you too!"

"Please try to understand itís not so much I mind that you donít tell the whole world that Iím your girlfriend, itís just that you seem to enjoy saying that you donít, like you hate me or something." she said in an exasperated tone.

"How could I hate you? Iím really sorry Kathy but you really have to understand.."

"I know, I know, I understand."

"Iím sorry."

"Iím sorry too."

Vivian watched in disgust as the two proceeded to share a long kiss and many more, disregarding the fact that she was still in the room. Shaking her head in disbelief she left the two lovebirds and walked into the boys bedroom.

"I swear your brother and his girlfriend are playing at very serious terms.." she started to say as she opened the door only to be met with a cloud of smoke. Already she could feel her contacts watering up. "Shoot." She muttered.

Taylor stood up abruptly a guilty look smeared across his face like a child being caught taking cookies when his mother told him not too.

"Why is there smoke in here?" she asked coughing.

Taylor ran a hand through his hair. "Um I was burning some candles." he said innocently.

Vivian nodded her head uncertainly. "Yeah, well anyway Isaac and Kathy are burning up some heat of there own downstairs."

He shook his head and sighed. "Again? Those two always seem to be getting at it every time theyíre together." he said as he opened the window in hopes to clear out the smoke.

As she watched the smoke drift out the window she thought she saw Taylor drop a cigarette stub out the window.

"Well, so are you guys ready to kick off the Albertane Tour?" she asked as they both flopped down on the bottom bunk.

"Ready as weíll ever be, Iím so glad we decided not to record a new album, at least not yet." he said.

"Itís just a pity the tour is so short. I mean your last date is what? Seattle?" she asked.

Taylor nodded. "Weíre going to record the live album there at the final show, Iím just thankful that weíre even going on tour at all, you know?" he said picking up the book he was supposed to be reading ĎAtlas Shruggedí.

"Oh so are you almost done with ĎAtlas Shruggedí?" she asked.

"No, and donít you dare tell me what happens Iím only on page 420." Taylor said.

"Oh youíre about to find out how this book got itís title." she said excitedly.

Taylor breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness, I was starting to wonder why the hell this thing is called ĎAtlas Shruggedí in the first place."

"Well Atlas was the god who held the world on his shoulders." she began.

"Oh no, Vivian youíre not going to get into this mythological stuff again are you?" he groaned.

Vivian glared at him. "As a matter of fact I am, well anyway as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted."

"Ha ha Vivian, shut up."

"No, you shut up,"

"Shut up Taylor."

"Shut up Vivian Charlotte Dumas."

"Shut up Taybear!"

"Shut up!"

"Why are we telling each other to shut up?"

"I donít know, why are we?"

"Who knows? Oh heck who is John Galt?"

"Who is John Galt?"

"Oh heís this_"

"No, stop! Youíre just going to spoil it!" he cried out.

She just smiled at him coyly. "Okay whatever Christopher Doll."

I think those three really regret being called Christopher Doll. But by the time the tour was over and the New Year had come along the Hanson family decided to move out of their house and move into a house at the other side of town. That was when I said farewell to the family of Dresden Dolls I had come to know and love as my own family. But that didnít mean they didnít often spend nights in the old house which the fans had so lovingly nicknamed ĎThe MOE Headquarters.í. To the boys it was a place to sneak a drink or a smoke or for a night of passion. Or to come crash the night after getting drunk at partiesÖ

"Ian?"

"Zachary Walker Hanson what on earth are you doing here at three in the morning?"

Zac just stood beneath her window looking extremely guilty.

It was now February 14 1999 and all I knew was that the Hanson boys had been living on the edge going to countless parties at night. Tonight was no exception.

"Zac what happened?" she asked softly.

Zac shuffled his feet in front of him. How much he looked like an innocent child.

"Um well Ike and Tay got well kind of drunk at the party and well I was wondering if you could help me get them into the house?" he asked.

Thoughts raced around in her head as she tried to register what Zac had just told her.

"Wait a minute, you didnít drive did you?"

"Vivian, which is safer? For me to drive although I am underage but I can drive, or for my two older brothers who are dead drunk?"

"Iíll be out there in one minute."

As quietly as she could Vivian snuck out of the house and into her backyard where Zac was waiting with two dead drunk older brothers.

"How much did they drink?" she asked as they dragged the two giggling idiots across the yard.

"A lot." he said as they entered the house.

"Oh geez V, why do you look so blurry?" Isaac giggled foolishly while clinging onto her nightgown.

"If you werenít so drunk and if you werenít my best friend I would smack you until you turned black and blue." She muttered as they propped up both boys onto the couches.

"Hey Vivian, want to know what Ophelia said!" Isaac said pulling on her nightgown.

"No," she replied and slapped his hand away from gripping on the pale yellow nightgown she was wearing.

Vivian and Zac sat side by side on the floor, Zac looking extremely tired and stressed.

"Whatís the matter Zac?" she asked gently.

Zac looked up at her with watery eyes, then burst into tears.

"I d-do-donít know! I mean I-I-I canít stand this anymore! Tay and Ike are always coming home drunk from parties and I always have to cover for them and well it just makes me feel really guilty because, because, our parents raised us to be like perfect gentlemen and the m-m-m-media and the f-f-f-fans portray us as three perfect angels and I-I-I-I just donít know what to do!" he wailed.

Understandingly she put a hand on his back and moved it up and down soothingly, like what a mother would do.

"And-and well we canít tell anyone that we have girlfriends, or we lie about it, and weíre always doing interviews and TV shows and Iím never home anymore, all my friends have ditched me and I-I-I just donít know what to do anymore!"

I understood perfectly. The boys were exhausted from two years of endless travel and promotion and television appearances and doing interviews never being home and missing out on what most children need in their teen yearsÖíA stable lifestyle and friendsí. That was something neither of the Hanson children really held. Perhaps it was different for Isaac and Taylor but Zac, being so young and so exposed to all this media blitz at such a young age. Itís really hard and no matter how glamorous it sounds, no matter how much fun it is to travel and see the world and meet celebrities, in the end I think all three of them wanted what possibly every adolescence wants. A Ďnormal childhoodí. Heavenís knows I always wanted one. Wake up one day and not get mobbed by fans everywhere you go, having fans drive by your house and take pictures and do other obscene things, not to wake up in a totally different time zone, and to travel without skipping from country to country, and jumping from coast to coast.

"Welcome to adolescence Zac, it can be a glorious thing, but most of the time itís just a huge pain in the ass and everybody goes through it, and most of us survive, Iím sure you will." she said putting an arm around his shoulder.

Zac looked up at her, his eyes red and puffy from crying. "And Iím sorry." he choked out.

"Sorry about what?"

"Iím sorry that I, well all of us always come to you with all these problems and I know you have problems of your own, I mean you have school and you-y-you have yo-your d-d-depression and other things." He blurted out. "And all we do is come to you to bitch and moan about how horrible our lives when we get to do things most people our age donít have a chance to do." he added.

Vivian was silent. How odd, how uncanny that after four years of knowing that somebody he knew suffered from depression, that one of his closest friends had tried to kill herself, woke in the morning wishing that her life would end, but even after knowing all of that never quite understanding it, he had never once acknowledged the fact that she did suffer from depression.

"Well, um I-I donít know what to say." She said quietly.

He sat in silence staring up at her with those innocent brown eyes. A childís eyes.

"Well you know Zac, life may seem gray and just really depressing but you know thereís always a splash of hope, a splash of yellow in every gray sky you know?" she added.

"But, god dammit I donít know, I mean look at us!" he cried in a aghast tone.

Zac pointed towards his two older drunken fools for brothersí. Taylor was currently moaning and talking to himself in his sleep while twisting violently back and forth. Isaacís body was half slung over the arm of the sofa, the other half dragging on the floor.

"Shh, Zac itís going to be okay." she said in a soothing voice.

Suddenly Zachary Hanson, the drummer of Hanson wasnít as mature or sarcastic as he was anymore. He didnít look nearly as Ďoldí as he used too. He was only a child now. Just merely a child. A child who knew too much of the world in his eyes. In a way Zac was losing himself to adolescence, the world doesnít seem as bright and cheery as it used too. Life isnít just going to school, hanging out with friends and having fun and with the occasional squabble with another person. In a world where everything is one big clichť itís hard to be heard. And as I patted Zac on the back and told him it would be okay I knew that deep down inside it wouldnít all turn out like the end of a movie. This was only the beginning of what would soon be turned into a saying, ĎPass the sex, alcohol, drugs, and letís get this show on the road and rock ní rollí.

*Song credits go to Hanson, Weird(no

Part 9: The Opheliaís in All of Us

At a certain point in my life it seemed as if nobody understood me . Not my mother, my father, my friends, nobody. It seemed like there was no hope for me. And I guess we all feel that way at a certain point in all of our lives. I often felt that I could scream and scream and no matter how much I screamed nobody would hear me. I guess weíre all that way at adolescence. Between childhood and adulthood is this huge gap where we start to find out who we are. And while we try to find who we are and deal with life around us, we often drive ourselves mad and end up destroying who we are. To cope with the pains of adolescence we seek solace in other things. Many times the things we seek solace in to deal with pressure and stress often lead to a road of destruction. And youíre life is twice as bad as it was before. You become an alcoholic, a drug addict, a teenage parents, or a mental case. Or you try to find your peace of mind through others who suffer from the same pains. They expect you to be some Ďmentor/adviser/support groupí rolled into one. Or at least that was how I felt. I believe that there is a small part of an Ophelia in all of us. Male or female. That part that just makes you want to go crazy. And we all become prisoners of adolescence, sometimes itís not so bad, sometimes itís downright ugly but the chains are always tightening and loosening and vice versa until itís all over. In short lifeís a gigantic roller coaster and thereís nothing you can do but hold on tight until the rideís over and the chains are ready to fall offÖ

"Take one red pill and one blue pill, breathe in and breathe out." Vivian muttered to herself as she popped the anti-depressants in her mouth. She had been taken off of anti-depressants and put back on and off again for a year now but everybody has their ups and downs. Her parents were constantly worried about her and once again the depression relapsed and she was sent back to a therapist. As much as she hated medication without them she would be crying all day.

Hanson was getting ready to promote a new album. And they would be heading towards New York in a month of so. And so would once again begin the Ďeat, sleep, play music, go on TV, do an interview, eat, and drop dead in the hotel room and sleepí cycle. A cycle which she couldnít see how one could adapt too.

Walking into her room she was met with a cloud of smoke which watered up her eyes and her contacts.

"Taylor?"

Taylor spun around quickly puffing away on a cigarette at the same time.

"Oh sorry, I forgot." He apologized and quickly squashed the cigarette butt with his palm and threw it out the window.

Disregarding the fact that he had just thrown a cigarette out her window and that he was in the room she put away her medication in her desk drawer.

"They put you on medication again?" he asked. Vivian looked up and glared at him. Every time they switched her medication, or put her back on it he always acted surprised. This tall, thin-yet muscular sixteen year old wearing a loose black T-shirt, shorts, and a baseball cap on backwards was asking her if they put her on medication again.

"Well donít act so surprised, itís not like they havenít done it a million times before."

Taylor scowled. "I know but still, I-I mean I didnít know you were still, well that, well you knowÖ." he said in an exasperated tone.

She knew he was hiding something from everybody. A secret no one knows. And she was very certain that she would find out very soon what that secret was.

"Taylor, I know you didnít just come here to ask if I was back on anti-depressants so just spit it out already." she sighed.

Taylor set his mouth in a thin line, a somewhat harsh look in his eyes. "Itís about the next promotional gig."

"What about it?"

"Well itís just that I donít want a repeat with what happened with Middle of Nowhere you know?"

"No, I donít know, could you emphasize a little?"

"Well Iím really fed up with all this Ďweíre such pure little virgin boysí crap."

"May I remind you, that you guys were the ones who set up that image?"

"No, we didnít it was all of those people at Mercury and_"

"Liar."

Taylor blinked. "Excuse me?"

Vivian shrugged. "Jordan, you guys set up this whole reputation yourselves, the only time David Silver or anybody from Mercury or whatever told you to lie and do all this other crap only exists in your head."

"But_"

"No buts Christopher, you three have brought yourself to believe that some big money time adult set up this whole Ďinnocent, wholesome, angelic, virgin, good Christian boyí reputation that you can even run it through your mind like a goddamn movie!" she began to pace back and forth.

"You think that some big time agent has set you up like puppets to do exactly what he tells you too but in all honesty, you three are just like playing a game and youíre the playing pieces and that game is bringing your whole life apart!"

"Well like I was saying, um I think that well Iím really fed up with acting like some dumb blond and well what should I do?" he asked.

Vivian glared at him. She was fed up with all this ĎVivian I need to come bitch and moan and complain to you about our lives and I need to know what to do to fix ití.

"What am I to you guys? I am not some living breathing life long adviser and support group! You know what Taylor, itís your life. You guys deal with your lives. Or hey how about this, why not talk it over with your parents or your management team? Or hey how about this? Why not seek professional help? I bet you three could really use some group counseling, or hey what about this one. Youíre really going to laugh at this one, why not talk about and resolve with your brothers? Wow! They are the other two-thirds of Hanson are they not?"

Taylor looked baffled and stunned. But that didnít stop her from pouring out all that she had been keeping inside for so long.

"My god did you ever think that once, even once I had problems of my own? I mean if I werenít listening to you guys complain insistently about your lives and all your problems you guys were treating me as if I was some frail little porcelain doll! Iím seventeen years old Taylor, I graduate in a few weeks and then Iím going to be going to college all the way in Massachusetts! Thatís halfway across the country Taylor, what are you going to do then when you have a problem? Iím not always going to be around to help you guys to give you guys advice to be your mentor! Iím not always going to be here to listen to Zacís problems and all his fears about life and growing up in the limelight. My gosh thatís what you and Isaac are for! Youíre his older brothers! I think you would understand his situation a hell of a lot better than I would."

Taylor stood there dumbfounded, his eyes glazed over as he began to process everything she was telling him.

"You know I do have other things to do other than listen to you bitch and moan about girls and lying and all this other crap. If you have a problem with your little fame problem why donít you fix it, donít come to me and expect me to put it all back together as good as new."

Taylor looked angered. "Fine,"

"What?"

"I said fine, I wonít ask you anymore."

"Fine,"

"Iím leaving."

"Then why arenít you moving?"

"Shut up."

"Go ahead leave, I dare you to, leave and never come back here, leave and forget all about me Taylor, I dare you to leave and leave all this behind and donít come back when you have another problem, so leave and forget all about me!" she screamed.

And he left. Jumped from the window and left.

I knew that I would see him again perhaps one more time before I never saw any of them again for a long time. That day seemed to be a huge ĎLetís go get some counseling from Vivianí day. And a little part of me really did go crazy.

"Vivian?"

"What do you want?" she asked icily.

"Are you feeling okay?"

"Yes, why the hell do you always ask me that?" she screamed into his face.

"Sorry, I didnít mean too, but anyway Vivian I really need to talk to someone about something thatís been bugging me lately and well I just really need to talk to somebody about it.."

"Whatever." she said dully.

Isaac looked relieved. He sat down on the bed next to her and pulled out a small box.

"Um Vivian, did you think that I didnít love her enough?" he blurted out.

Vivian looked at him. "What?"

He swallowed hard and opened up the box. "Oh my gosh you two were serious werenít you?" she gasped. Inside was a gold ring with a diamond embedded on top.

"I bought this sometime before my eighteenth birthday and well, I was going to propose sometime soon before she went off to college but, but, well something happened today." the tears were beginning to form in his eyes.

Never having been in this kind of situation before she tried to her hardest to stay calm. "What happened Ike?" she asked as coolly as she could.

"Um well you know me and Kathy weíve well weíve slept together before." he cut off his voice sounding all choked up.

"Yes?"

"She told me sheís pregnant and she dumped me!" he blurted out without thinking.

I wasnít surprised. Not in the least. I knew it was coming, or something to that extent but the baby partÖ. Never in a million years could I imagine thatÖ

"What?"

"Sheís pregnant and Iím the father and she doesnít want me in her life or the babyís."

"I really love her Vivian, I really do I thought that she was the one for me! What did I do wrong?"

Bits and pieces of her mind seemed to float about inside her head as she just sat there, a blank look on her face. What was happening? She felt so stressed out, so tiredÖ..

Bits and pieces of old conversations, bits and pieces of what told the truth. The voices that haunted her night and day.

"Vivian, I think Iím pregnant."

"What?"

"He didnít use a-a-a-a you know whatÖ"

"What?"

"He hasnít used one in forever and every time weíre together thatís all we do."

"Oh my god."

"Vivian? Vivian?"

"Ian are you okay?"

"V, are you sure youíre okay?"

"Vivian, Vivian, Vivian, Vivian,"

"Vivian, Vivian, VIVIAN!"

"Vivian?"

Vivian stared blankly at the boy in front of her. He was crying uncontrollably curled up in a ball sitting in the corner.

He was having another nervous breakdown. All three of them would have a nervous breakdowns occasionally. And they would come to her and she would have to face them again.

"Zac, honey you have to calm down." she finally said.

"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.

Isaacís older brother instincts finally kicked in and he walked over to his crying 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. When did she ever start to hug him? Oh goodness everything was so dizzy and confusing. She could feel her heartbeat increasing faster and faster and fasterÖ.

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 Americaí turned into your every day bickering, arguing, dysfunctional family. And Vivian was sick and tired of being in the middle of it.

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.

Anger flamed inside of her. Oh gosh why was she feeling so dizzy? How could he? How dare he? She should of known he took drugs. "Taylor, you know_" she 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 glaring at her as he handed the drug 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 business." Taylor spat back in his brotherís face.

"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.

(No way heís going to turn out like you.)

"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 cocaine?" she asked her voice shrill and harsh sounding. The world black out for a second and came back to her. She could feel her nerves tightening. Her heartbeat became slower and slower.

"Actually I do have some in my bagÖ." Taylor's voice wandered off.

"Oh come off it Viv, he's only being sarcastic." Zac said. Vivian 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 emphasizing on the word leave.

Vivian stared at him long and hard.

I knew right then and there that that would be the last time I would ever see any of them again. At least for a long time. And so as my nerves felt like a guitar strings strung too tight that at the slightest touch they would break. I would leave. And this time I would never come back.

"Okay, fine then Iíll leave." She said in a hard voice and left.

Stepping out of the house she walked down the street and realized that all she had to do was go in the backyard and open the gate that separated their old house to hers and she would be in her backyard.

Exasperated and stressed out she felt so oddly confused and dizzy. She felt like she was dying.

But what did dying feel like? She stepped to the side as her eyesight blurred and blacked out and she felt a hard impact and she felt herself black out and slip into a new world. The last thing she heard was..

"Oh my god!"

Part 10: Time to Let Go and Say Goodbye

For a long time I slipped into dream after dream, world after world, and saw so many things. Sometimes I would wake up and be left in darkness. Sometimes I didnít remember who or what I was. I was so confused. Voices told me that I had been in a terrible accident. An accident that blocked out parts of my memory. To save myself parts of my brain had shut down. Sometimes I couldnít speak, other times I couldnít see, or I didnít remember who I was. But those chains were still shackled onto me. That was something so vivid that I could remember. Time passed and I would wake up and then slip into unconsciousness where I would be haunted by their voices and images of the past and horrible nightmares. Never did I feel like I wanted to pull the life support and die. Other times I would black out and start to gag. I didnít know why. The chains, those hated chains of love, hate, life, and adolescence still clung to me. But I had let go so long ago. Why were they still with me? I knew the answer. They refused to let go. Please, I would beg my Christopher Dolls, forget about me and let me go! But one day I finally woke up. And I didnít drift back into another sleep, or trigger another seizure.

A strange yet familiar boy was talking to her. He was telling her about something.

"Oh did you know that they have a son? His nameís Michael heís about two years old."

I know that you fool. Who do you think they went to when they found out?

He kept babbling on and on about stuff she didnít know, yet she did. She had no earthly idea who he was. Or did she? Yet she knew everything he was talking about.

He left eventually. A lot of people came in to see her. Some doctors, some nurses, a lot of different people. But there were three people who she thought she knew. Three boys. So familiar looking, yet they were so much like strangers. The first couple of times they broke down crying in front of her. Why would they cry so much?

One day she found out who they were. Of course she knew who they were, she knew their faces and she knew that she called them Christopher Dolls but she didnít know their actual names.

She was watching TV. Something called MTV where they played music videos and stuff like that. She remembered MTV she remembers watching it quite often a long time ago, possibly in a different world.

"And here it is, the video that made the whole world know about Hanson, Mmmbop. We hope you feel better Isaac!" Carson Daly said cheerfully as the screen changed to a music video that she knew.

Oh how young they were. Isaac, Taylor, and Zac. She knew who they were. Or at least she thought she did. Everything came back at her like a rushing freight train.

I felt so guilty. They thought that I had died hating them. I didnít though. How could I hate them when I loved them so much. We were inseparable. Or so I thought. I had forgiven them in the two years I had been in this catatonic state. I was more than ready to let go and die. But if only they would let go. Please let go. Forgive yourselves and go on with your own life. I would sit there and stare ahead. I couldnít speak or do anything. I had forgotten what it was like to walk. My legs felt too rubbery and heavy to move anyway. My parents had passed on by now. Taylor told me that. He told me they were in a car crash shortly after I had been in an accident. Well then Christopher Doll, will you please let me go so I can join my parents now? But even as I sit here they talk to me as if I will get better and things will be back to normal again. The band will fix itself , Isaac and Kathy will get married and Michael will grow up knowing who his father is and I will just be Vivian. Little miss plain Jane with all the answers. No matter how much they will be happy I know that I will never fit into that world. I know that I can never go back to that world, that life. I can already feel the roller coaster ride ending slowly. But itís not the end of adolescence for me. That had stopped ages ago. It was the end of my lifetime. But if only they would let go and unlock the chains from me!

"Iím so sorry Vivian, youíre my best friend and I love you! You know I just realized until now today that I never told you how much I loved you, never ever. Oh god no wonder you hated me all those times. You thought that we hated you. I donít blame you if you hate me, if you can hear me that is. Doctor said that you have partial brain damage and you might die anyway. They told me that you have a weak heart and you suffer from seizures time to time. Oh gosh please donít die Vivian, I need you too much in this life!" Isaac bawled to her. He held her tightly.

I donít hate you Ike. Honest to God I donít. But please try to understand itís my time to go!

"What should I do V? Katherine hates me, she wonít even let me see my own son!"

She doesnít hate you. She probably loves you too much to hate you.

"What did I do to her? What should I do?"

I donít know, itís your life. She was your girlfriend. Heís your son. You figure it out.

"Oh god she must hate me."

Goodness gracious great balls of fire! Itís so obvious you two are still in love with each other. Call her and talk to her about it. Gee you men are so blind.

"Do you remember when you told us that story of Perseus and Andromeda? The one you learned in Latin class at school? I donít know why you call us Perseus and Andromeda, I am in no way a hero."

Iím sorry but what do you want me to do? You may not be a hero but I know youíll do virtually anything for your Lady Katherine.

"You know I was at the bookstore the other day and I found that book, ĎReviving Opheliaí. The one you would always read written by that therapist person. Do you remember that book Vivian? You know up until today I never realized why you would buy such a book. I just realized it the other day. Can you believe it? Itís been six years and I never brought myself to acknowledge the fact that you needed help!"

What do you think I read that book for? I had a problem Clarke. What did you think I was doing with those scissors that day when you found out about Eric and I kicked you?

"Oh please donít die! You canít leave! Youíre my best friend, best friends donít just up and leave one day!"

You werenít kidding when you told me that no matter what I was stuck with you forever, werenít you?

"Iím just sorry that I never told you how much you mean to me in my life. I never did show how much I appreciate you being there for me and all of us. You were almost like my angel sent from heaven. I know it sounds crazy to you but you were. I just donít know how you dealt with us all these years."

Neither did I. You mean a lot to me too Ike. More than youíll ever know.

One day I felt: This is the day. This is the day I leave this earth and I leave everything behind me and die. The Hanson boys donít need me anymore. Not like they ever did. Theyíre grown up now. They just canít let go of the fact that Iím dying and that Iíll leave them very soon. They claim that they hear me haunting them. My voice talking to them. Crazy talk. If itís anyoneís voice they hear itís their own. They brought themselves to believe that I will haunt them forever and so all these so-called Ďvoicesí they hear are only voices they made up in their heads. The morning I woke up I saw that Taylor and Zac had both come to visit me. Funny I just realized they had never come to see me together.

"You look so sick today? Are you feeling okay? Oh god what am I doing, you canít talk!"

No duh Einstein, gee two years have gone by and you havenít changed a bit.

"Itís just so strange to see you like that, Iím so used to seeing you walking and talking and yelling at us and calling us Christopher Doll."

Iím used to seeing you smoke puffing up a storm and jumping out my window.

"I never apologized for what happened that day, that day when me and you got into that fight? Iím sorry. I didnít know that I-well it was all of us-I didnít get myself to believe that you had problems of your own before I barged into your life with my problems.

Donít be so hard on yourself! Thatís in the past Taylor. You were foolish and young. Actually I think you still are foolish and young but Iíve forgiven you a long time ago!

"Tay, what are you doing here?"

Taylor turned around to see that Zac was in the room. "Why am I not allowed here?" he asked harshly.

Zac looked at Taylor for a few minutes before shaking his head.

"No, itís just that I havenít seen you in awhile and, well_" he drifted off.

Taylor looked at him a look of understanding in his eyes. "I know,"

And so for a few moments they stood there in awkward silence.

Both boyís heads shot up.

Whatís going on?

"Did you hear that?" Taylor asked.

Hear what? Oh goodness have you two brought yourself to believe that Iím haunting you? Please you two itís only in your heads! I canít think straight. Oh no.

Zacís eyes widened. "Whatís happening?" he asked in a panicky voice.

The color drained from both their faces and slowly they both turned around to where she was sitting.

Why are you staring at me? Oh god. Is this what dying feels like? I c-c-canít think straight. I canít breathe. I-I-I-I

She was sitting in her chair, blinking her eyes rapidly.

"Ohmygod get a doctor!"

Slowly she opened her mouth, her breath coming out in short gasps.

"Oh my god Vivian? Are you okay?" Zac clutched her arm as she slowly began to stand up.

Doctors and nurses filled the room and surrounded her blocking Zac out from her view.

The next few minutes went by in a blur. Looking back to this particular day all he can remember is a bunch of doctors crowding her so he couldnít see her and when they finally backed away all he could see was her lying on the floor, her eyes shut looking very much like a rag doll.

All he could remember was the sight of a gray sheet being pulled over yellow nightgown and the sound of his own voice..

"NO! SHEíS NOT DEAD!"

Goodbye my darling Zachary. Goodbye Taylor. And goodbye Isaac. Goodbye to all my Christopher Dolls. I know you will survive without meÖ..

And so thatís my story. I watch from the sides as they stand nervously around my coffin staring down at my pale face.

The chains are more ready then ever to come off now. I went from Vivian, best friend of the Hansons; to Ophelia: prisoner of adolescence. And I guess they did try to revive the Ophelia in me. Make me all better and let me live again. But I suppose it was for the best. It would of happened a whole lot sooner but I held out for as long as I could. I remember reading the book ĎReviving Opheliaí when I was only fourteen. A book about saving the selves of adolescent girls. But now that I think back, I never tried to save myself from adolescence. Everybody else did but I never did. I never tried to revive myself. Funny. Itís hard to say goodbye, after all weíve been through one would think that it would be easy to leave them behind on this earth. But itís enything but easy.

"What happens now?" Zac asked in a hoarse voice.

Taylor bit his lip nervously. "I donít know, say goodbye?"

Isaac quickly snapped up his head. "No!"

Taylor glared at his brother. "Ike, please sheís dead, her funeral is tommorow and soon weíre going to have to close that coffin and put her in the ground, for all I care she died the moment she stepped out of our house and got hit by that car_"

"NO! Gosh dammit canít you see how hard this is for me Tay? I just lost my best friend! I have no idea what she was to you, but she was my best friend! Best friends are always supposed to be there for you and they just donít up and die one day!"

Taylor clenched his fists. "She was my best friend too, but sheís gone. Sheís dead. It was her time to go! You think youíre the only one hurting? Youíre not the one she said she never wanted to see in her life again! Youíre not the one she died hating!" he said, his voice near to hysterics.

"Stop!"

The two older boys looked at Zac. Zachary Hanson, the cute, wild, rambunctious boy who never could get a word in. Zac who looked so troubled and frustrated.

"Neither of you can accept the fact that sheís gone, you know why? Because neither of you guys can accept yourselves and your lives the way they are and grow up!" he fumed.

"My god Ike you have a son! You have a kid! You had a kid when you were still a kid yourself!" he cried pacing back and forth in front of the grave.

"And you Taylor, you canít seem to get behind your own ego and accept the fact that you arenít as great as everybody makes you out to be. You know how it was like growing up having a brother who would do anything to stay the most cutest brother, the most popular, the greatest of them all? Canít you see? You have to accept the fact that you were the one who started using drugs, you were the one who went out and partied all night coming home dead drunk, gosh youíve relied on others for so long you canít even take care of yourself anymore!"

Finally. Itís about time youíve had your say. Did you hear that Taylor? Isaac? Zacís put the past behind him, so can you. Please I canít stick around with you forever! Just please accept the fact that Iím gone. Please just let me go! Itís time to grow up little boys! Time to grow up and face the harsh reality of whatís called life. Go and at least become friends with Kathy again. Donít let your son grow up not knowing who his father is. Taylor stop playing games with yourself and pick yourself up. Iím not going to be there to pick you up anymore and tell you what to do. You can do that yourself now. So please just let me go and go on with your life.

The two older boys looked stunned for a moment. Then they gazed down at the girl in the coffin. For a moment just for a moment it looked as if she was trying to say something. Just for a second it looked like she was saying ĎLet me goí.

Taylor sighed. "Iím sorry I acted like such an asshole, Iím sorry I told you to leave, but you did mean a lot to me in my life." he sighed deeply. "Watch me up there in heaven and make sure I donít make any dumb mistakes okay?" he said a smile now painting his face.

Zac smiled and patted Taylor on the back. "Goodbye Ian, I know youíre happier now, say hello to all the dead rock stars up there for me."

I can feel the chains coming off now. That was all I ever needed. For them to say goodbye. Please Isaac please just let go.

"Um could you guys let me have some time alone?" he asked quietly.

Understandingly Taylor and Zac walked out of the church together for their brother to say goodbye.

"I canít believe youíre dead. That sounds so weird to say that." he laughed vacantly.

Hey we all feel a little bit weird sometimes.

"I meant what I said in the hospital if you heard me. You were my angel. I guess it was just your time to go back to heaven."

Speaking of timeÖ

"Iíll never forget you, and Iíll miss you like crazy every day for the rest of my life. Try to remember me when youíre up in heaven okay? I know youíre probably listening to me right now thinking what a lunatic I am but hey weíre all just a little bit weird sometimes you know? Well goodbye. I love you I really mean that. Iíll never stop loving you, you were my best friend." he paused for a second, his eyes watering up and a lump caught stuck in his throat. "Okay I guess Iíll go now, hopefully Iíll see you again someday, goodbye my crestfallen angel, goodbye." he whispered and kissed her cheek. And with that he took one final glance at her coffin before running out of the church to meet up with Zac and Taylor and go home.

Iíll never forget you either Ike. Iíll never forget any of you and Iíll never stop loving either of you. And Iím certain youíll see me again someday. Sighing I see as they drive off into a cloud of dust and I walk onward, my pale yellow nightgown dragging along behind me as the chainís have come off now and Iím heading towards where the sun always shine and there is only happiness, love, and warmth. So goodbye isnít forever. So for just the time being Iíll say goodbyeÖ..

Reviving Ophelia is written by Mary Pipher Ph.D.

Flowers in the Attic is written by V.C. Andrews

Atlas Shrugged is written by Ayn Rand

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