|The Taylight Zone - The Nowhere Road Anthology
02 - Broken Pieces - Bree
He tapped on the sidewalk impatiently. The day was going so slowly. He looked over at the small piece of criss-crossed, blue, raggedy, fabric in front of him. There were a few small, bright, coins lying on it. He popped his wrists, and neck, shaking out his hands. It was getting dark, and he would be going home soon. He sighed at the small amount of change in front of him. There wouldn't be much food tonight. Even less than usual. He rubbed at his eyes, as he watched the sun slowly fall from the sky. People passed, no change fell. No food. His stomach grumbled and ached, thinking of food. Always thinking of food. He watched as another person passed him by. They gave him a look of fear, disgust. He had seen that look so many times, it shouldn't affect him anymore. Of course, it does though. He shivered, and cast his eyes downward so he wouldn't have to see their looks anymore.
Don't you understand? I used to be like you... I used to be like you. I wasn't always this way.
He rubbed at his eyes, swiftly picked up the change, and made his way to the closest fast food. Once he had finished buying it, he walked straight back to the house.
He approached the alley. He turned into it. Their "house" was a small piece of the alley filled with rags and random things. Pieces of cardboard boxes, plastic baggies, etc. He saw movements beneath the filth-filled rags. Isaac was restless. He felt so bad for him. Isaac always had trouble sleeping. He went over to him cautiously, and sat down.
He saw Isaac's fingers pulling down the rags until he saw his face. It held a grey-tint. His eyes were dull. The hair around his face was greasy, dirty, ragged.
"Hi.." His voice was quiet, scratchy.
He handed him the bag of food. "This is for you."
Isaac cautiously opened it. As he peered inside, he asked, "Where's yours?"
He shrugged, and lied, "I ate mine before I got here. I couldn't wait... sorry."
His hand came out of the bag, as he unwrapped his sandwich. "Thanks, Zac."
He nodded, "You're welcome, Ike."
Zac studied his twenty-three year old brother as he ate the small amount of food they had. He looked so frail, tired, and young. Young and dependant. He never used to be like this... not since three years ago. Not even then. Just about six months ago is when this happened. When he became so dependant. He was so sick...
Zac was so afraid Isaac was dying. He stared at his brother as he finished the food. As soon as Isaac looked up, Zac looked away.
"Did you call Taylor again?"
He winced as Isaac said their brothers name. His eyes squinted, as he tried to keep his calm. "There's no use in calling him."
"But you have to keep trying."
He clenched his fists together, "Isaac, that dick isn't going to do anything for us. You know that."
They had been on the streets for three years. It was the asshole's fault. Why would he do anything for them now? He's always been an asshole.
He looked up at Isaac, and saw the sadness in his eyes. "Please, Zac..."
Zac bit his lip, then spoke. "He won't do it."
"Please..." The tears in his eyes were now evident, even though they hadn't fallen.
Zac sighed, "I'll try."
"Now?" His eyes looked hopeful, wide.
He was angry, "Do you want me to do it now?"
"Yes." There was the child-like voice, and look again.
"Fine." Zac stood up, and walked towards the closest phone booth.
Stupid, fucking asshole. He will not do anything for us.
He was so angry. So angry at Taylor. Zac made his way into the phone booth, pulled out their remaining money, thirty-five cents, and inserted it into the slot. His dirty, bony, fingers dialed in the number of Taylor's phone.
It rang once.
"Hello." An airy voice said. Snobbish.
He cleared his throat, "Taylor?"
"Yes? May I help you?"
"Taylor, this is Zac."
There was silence on the other end.
"Tay... Isaac really needs to see you."
"I don't know an Isaac or a Zac.I don't stand for prank callers."
"Taylor." Zac's voice was exasperated. "Just... please! You're our brother. He NEEDS to see you. He's sick, Tay. He loves you... please."
"The only brother I have is right here, and his name's Mackenzie. I don't know what you're talking about."
"Look, Tay, cut the bullshit. I think he's fucking dying. Okay? Dying. Isaac is dying. He hasn't seen you in three years. All he wants is to see you. That's all. Couldn't you do that for him?"
"Why would I care? I don't know an Isaac. I never have." His snooty voice rang in Zac's ears. Zac's voice lowered, as he suppressed a growl of rage.
"What the hell? I know you don't think we're your brothers, and honestly I don't give a flying fuck, but Isaac NEEDS you. For some reason he wants to see you. He thinks you still love him."
I hate you.
"I have other things I have to be doing. I think you'd better be going."
"Why won't you just talk to him?"
"I really have to be going now." His snobby voice said.
"FINE! Fuck you fucking asshole. I hope you rot in that stupid mansion of yours." Zac slammed down the phone. He kicked the phone booth, and walked out. Stupid fucking asshole. He hated him.
Taylor had turned into a self-absorbed prick three years ago. When he got the idea into his head he could do better than the group could. So, he when he decided to go solo, Isaac and Zac were very against it. Of course they would be, who would want to break up the band when they were doing so well? They always thought they would be a band together, forever. Brothers too. But that was so wrong. As soon as they began conflicting with Taylor's plans, he turned on them. His career as a solo-artist sky-rocketed into being one of the biggest acts in rock/pop. As soon as he went solo, Isaac and Zac were kicked out of the house. Their parents were gone, and everyone lived together at Taylor's mansion. Ike and Zac tried over and over again to get jobs, but no one would hire them. They had been living like this for three years. Isaac's condition slowly got worse. Zac didn't know what it was - but he knew if it wasn't taken care of, it would end his life. Zac had taken him to many free clinics, but nothing helped. The doctors didn't know what to do for him. Isaac knew what was happening, and all he wanted to do was see Taylor. He believed Taylor was still their sweet, caring brother.
Zac trudged back towards their home. His head cast down wards, and his eyes flaring. How could Taylor do that!? How could he not even care about Isaac?
"Any luck?" Isaac's hopeful voice asked, once Zac sat down.
"No. I told you he's a dick."
"Maybe we can try again tomorrow." Isaac said softly, before breaking into coughing fits, that ended in blood over the rags.
Zac's anger quickly melted into sadness for his brother's illness. "How about you get some sleep?" Zac suggested.
"Yeah... that sounds like a good idea." Isaac laid down again, "Oh.. and Zac?"
"Thanks for trying with Taylor."
"You're welcome, Ike."
He never thought this is where he would end up at eighteen. Not in his wildest dreams, or nightmares. Never in his life. He leaned against the building, and closed his eyes.
Zac opened his eyes slowly, wakening from dreams of being on stage with his brothers. "Mmm?" He squinted over at the person in front of him. Trying to clear the blur.
"You might... think this a silly question but... are you Zac Hanson?"
Instantly, his vision was cleared. He was shocked to have heard someone ask him that. No one ever recognized them. And if they did, it was to scoff and mock them. He slowly answered, cautiously. "Yes... why?"
The young woman, was very skinny, with pale skin and black hair. Green eyes, and delicate looking hands that hung by her side. She was wearing a red fitted shirt, with black bootleg pants, and dr. martens. He remembered how he used to wear dr. martens. So did Taylor... ugh that ass.
"Oh wow..." She knelt down in front of him. She looked to be around twenty. "What happened? I mean.. to the band.. to you.. why are you out here?"
He studied her, did she really want to know? Or was this just another trick to be made fun of? For some reason he felt he could trust her. "It... well, Taylor started it all." He began slowly.
Once finished talking, and seeing her reaction, which was surprised and sad, they sat there.
"What's your name?" He asked.
"Alison." She smiled softly at him. "Where's Isaac?" She questioned.
"He's... we live in the alley around the corner. He's, hopefully, sleeping there."
"Yeah..." He looked up, as someone smiled at them and a coin dropped from their fingers, into the ragged cloth.
They had planned on meeting the next day. Zac had just given Isaac all their food, and was going back to the phone booth. Isaac was persistent in getting their brother to come so he could talk to him. Zac sighed as he pressed in the numbers once again.
"Yes?" That stupid airy voice practically snorted into the phone.
"Isaac needs you, and he won't let me stop calling you till you see him."
"I can have you arrested for this, you know?"
"Arrested? For calling your own brother? I don't think so, asshole." Zac sneered.
"For harassment, and you aren't my brother. Would you stop claiming to be him?"
"Would you please just stop playing games? This is serious. I really don't need your shit right now. Who KNOWS how long Ike is gonna live, and still you sit there and deny us as family. He wants to see you!"
"Well, too fucking bad for him." The phone now held the dull tone signaling Taylor had hung up. Zac slammed down the phone, yelling, "You bastard!!" He fumed, as he made his way back to their place. Then, on second thought, turned away from the alley. He stormed down the sidewalks, shoving past people. He had to get out his rage, and he didn't want to be by Isaac when he was like this. Isaac still thought of Taylor as his little brother. Sweet, kind, caring. And it hurt him to see Zac angry at his "beautiful little brother". The last thing Zac wanted to do was hurt Isaac anymore.
He fell to the ground, rocking as heated tears falling down his cheeks. His anger melting away with the tears. Falling away. He still loved Taylor. No matter how much he said he hated him, or called him names. No matter how much Taylor pushed him away, and acted like an asshole. He still loved him. He was so sad that he had lost one of his best friends, and now was about to lose another. He pulled his arms around his knees, pulling them up to his chest. He sobbed into them.
"Hey." Alison said, the next day.
"Hi." Zac pulled on the edge of his shirt.
"I've got an idea. Want to hear it?" She grinned mischievously
He looked up at her from his sitting position, eyeing her carefully, "What is it?"
"I'm gonna take you and Isaac back to my place, get you both cleaned up and clothed. Then we'll go over to Taylor's, and he'll finally get his wish."
I frowned at her, "What makes you think he'll let us in?"
"He has to. If not, I'll kick his little snobby ass." She grinned again.
"Okay… if you think it'll work. Since I don't know what else to do." He shrugged.
Zac stepped out of the bathroom, clothed in borrowed clothing from Alison's little brother. They were too baggy, but he didn't mind. Grey and orange, soft fabric jeans with a orange "caffeine" shirt. Isaac was hunching over in a chair with his new clothes too. He was wearing baggy (for him anyway) black jeans and a blue shirt that hung off of him.
"You guys ready?"
Zac nodded and looked at Ike. Isaac said slowly, "Yes."
They all made their way to Alison's car.
Alison knocked on the door of the huge brick building. It was a few minutes before someone opened the door. It was a beautiful teenage blond-haired girl.
"Hi! May I help you?" She asked.
"Yes, we're here to see Taylor. Is he here?" Alison asked.
"Yeah, I'll get him."
"Jessica?" Zac finally managed to get out.
She peered around Alison to see him. Her face brightened instantly. "ZAC!!!!" She jumped onto him and wrapped her arms around him tightly.
"I missed you so much!!" Her voice was so happy.
"I've missed you too, Jessie."
Once she finally let him go, she did almost the same thing to Isaac - without jumping on him. When the "reunion" was finally finished, she invited them inside. She sat them on a couch in a very luxurious living room, while she went to find their brother.
A few minutes later he came out. He was wearing black leather pants with a tight red shirt. Once he saw them, he stopped.
He swiftly turned towards their sister, "You didn't say it was them." He growled out the last word.
"Taylor, they need to see you. So just stop it." She pushed him forwards farther into the room.
"Hi, I'm Alison." Alison got up and stuck out her hand to introduce herself to Taylor. Taylor looked at her, disgusted, then at her hand. He looked away. She dropped her hand, and went back to sit by Zac.
"What do you want from me?" Taylor finally asked after minutes of silence. He was standing, looking past them, almost through them.
Zac looked over at Isaac, he really didn't look well. He could barely keep his head up to look at Taylor. He was slumped down into the couch. "Isaac wants to talk to you."
"Yea? Well, go ahead. I don't have all day. I have a job, unlike you bums." He sneered.
Alison almost jumped out of her seat, but managed to stay sitting, "They wouldn't BE bums if you hadn't thrown them out!"
He was now truly looking at her, glaring at her. "What!? Why should I let them live off of ME after what they had tried to kill my career?"
Zac was now shaking with rage. "You're a fucking BASTARD! Do you know that? You're the one who killed "hanson", YOU'RE the one who broke up the family. We've been living on the freaking streets for THREE YEARS because of you. THREE YEARS, Taylor."
Alison put her hand on his shoulder, trying to calm him.
"Whatever. Look, what do you need to say Isaac?" His tone was cold.
Isaac looked up, his face pale and gaunt. He was shivering slightly. He had tears in his eyes. His voice was soft as he whispered, "I was wrong. You're not my brother any longer."
The rest of the children had somehow convinced Taylor to let them stay the night. Maybe he did actually care, at least for the rest of the family. Isaac, Zac, and Alison had separate rooms. But Zac had gotten restless sleeping on his own, in that huge room by himself, so he was now entering Isaac's room. He was surprised to see that Taylor was there. He was sitting beside Isaac's bed, watching him. Isaac looked to be asleep. Zac moved closer, but not enough so that Taylor would know he was in there.
Now he could see that there were tears in Taylor's eyes. He was gripping Isaac's hand. "I'm so sorry, Isaac… I am so sorry…" His voice broke. It was so soft, "Please forgive me for all I have caused you…" He began sobbing as he squeezed tighter onto Isaac's palm.
Zac stared at the scene in front of him. He felt an ache inside of him for Taylor. He WAS his brother. There he was… he still was that boy deep inside. Zac knew, that even though he had caused them pain, he forgave Taylor. He forgave him for everything. They were still brothers. They were still family.
"Please… forgive me… I am so sorry… I don't know why… all I could think about was how you rejected me when I brought up the idea of going on my own… and now I don't even know why I wanted that. No, that's not true… I wanted the fame, the girls, the money, all of it to myself. I was so so selfish. But oh how I wish I could go back in time and never even think of going on my own. I wish we were still a band… I wish we were still brothers… I am so sorry for breaking us apart. I'm sorry for acting the way I do. I just want it back, Isaac. I want you back… I want you better… I want Zac back… I want us together, always. I want us to be brothers again… I'm so sorry I ruined that." He broke down completely now, he was rocking softly, and sobbing loudly.
Zac could hear Isaac's words as they were softly whispered, even through Taylor's crying, "You're still my brother."
Taylor looked up and into the tearful eyes of their oldest brother. Isaac's frail hand squeezed Taylor's back. There was a smile on Isaac's lips.
Zac moved forward, he wrapped his arms around Taylor. Taylor looked up in surprise, then stood and held his younger brother close to him.
The brother's were together one last night. All three of them fell asleep on Isaac's bed, after a huge amount of crying, hugging, and talking.
Isaac died peacefully in the night, he was found the next morning with a smile still on his lips.