"How could she even get your number?! What is she stalking
us now? If she even thinks for one second that I'm backing down after one little phone call..." Ike screamed. I could almost
see steam blowing out of his ears. He'd been raging for almost a half an hour now.
"Ike!" I yelled above him, "Just shut up, listen to me!" The
room fell completely silent. Ike looked at me and I hesitated.
"Listen, Ike. Right now...we can't worry about this. We need
to get to the hospital. We have to be there for Taylor..." I started, and Ike threw on his coat, walked out and slammed the
door in my face. I opened the door and followed him into the elevator. Once it reached the lobby he bolted for the door, as
I struggled to keep up.
"Ike," I mumbled, "I know this seems like nothing can be fixed...but
it can...I told you earlier, I'm there for you! Will you slow down?!" He wheeled around and stared at me. I stared back into
all the anger that had gathered into his eyes. His face slowly softened and he started walking more slowly. Neither of us
said a word until we reached the hospital. In the waiting room, I spotted Natalie sitting alone with Ezra. Flopping down in
the chair next to her, I sighed.
"Nat..." I began, "There's something going on...something
I think you should know about, too..." The thing was, I wouldn't have been telling Natalie about Ike's business if Heather
hadn't been one of Nat's close friends. As I spilled the news, I watched Natalie's face grow pale.
"How do you know?" she begged. I looked at her, puzzled.
"That she's...on heroine..." she choked. I hugged her and
felt wet tears fall on my shirt.
"Nat...I need to know if you'll do something for us now,"
I muttered, "We need you to be a witness in court..."
She looked at the floor and nodded.
"I will...but I think you should know...Taylor's undergoing
surgery in an hour." Nat announced. I almost fell onto the floor. Now Tay was having surgery?!
"Well," she continued, "The doctor said it just might cure
him...what they're going to do is take some of the extra tissue out of his throat...he'll be soar for a few days, unable to
sing, actually. But we got the best doctor in the house: Dr. Gradhorn." Just then Ike walked over and joined us, tossing me
a Dr. Pepper and Nat a bag of Cheeto's.
"Dr. Gradhorn to room 316! Dr. Gradhorn, emergency in room
316!" a voice called over the intercom. I glanced at Natalie just as she burst into tears once more.
"That's Taylor's room!" she managed to get out.