I was still laying there when Tay came in
to get me.
“Hey…you hungry? We were thinking
about getting some Burger King or
something.” He asked me.
“Uh, yeah, actually. I’m practically
starving to death. Get me a, number
6 with mayonnaise only, k?” I sat up as
I spoke. My speech always seemed to
be a little impaired whenever I first woke
up, so I wondered if he had understood me.
“Well, actually…we were thinking maybe
you could come with us. You know, just
you me and Ike. We haven’t done anything
like that in a while. You wanna come?
I think it would do you some good.” He
offered, and he looked like he really
wanted me to come, so I agreed. I walked
into my shoes and we got off the bus,
Ike following. Kate ran out of the bus doors.
“Wait, Zac!” she yelled. I put my head in
my hands. What could she possibly
“Zac, wait up!!” she was running
after me. “Wait!!!” For a moment I
almost took off running myself, away
from her. But I couldn’t really stray from
Tay and Ike. We weren’t even with a
bodyguard right now, so we were at
some high amount of a risk, I guess.
Whatever risk that might be. Maybe
being trampled and kissed to death
by thousands of teenage girls. Hey,
that might not be so bad. Kate had
finally caught up and was catching
her breath. She was about the slowest
runner I’d ever met in my life.
“Zac,” she breathed, “I just wanted to
say I…I love you.” I looked around.
Tay and Ike were looking at me, expecting
me to respond the same to her. Why
couldn’t I say something? Anything?
“Kate, I…I’m just not sure if we’re ready
for that kinda thing, you know? The whole…
love thing. I’m only 19. I just…I’m not ready
for that. I’m sorry.” Once again I could
see the tears running across her face.
Suddenly I thought of the song “Two Tears”,
for whatever strange reason. She took off
running back towards the bus and
slammed the door behind her. Ouch.
“Zac…I –” Ike started, but I cut him off.
“I know what you’re gonna say! That
I’m a dad now, and I have to be responsible,
and if I’m not ready for love by now, I’ve
got a serious problem.” I could feel the
soft, warm tears fill up in my eyes and
blur my vision.
“No, Zac, that’s not what we were
gonna say. We just want you to know
that we’re here for you man. We know
this is hard but, we can make it work.
Come on, let’s just forget about this for
now and get some food. I don’t know
about you, but I’m hungry.” Tay babbled,
and starting walking along with Ike.
I had no choice but to follow. The truth
was, I definitely thought I could be ready
to love someone. But I just didn’t love
Kate. Not like that. I caught up to Tay
and Ike. No one said a word until we
got to Burger King. I opened the door.
“Ladies first,” I laughed. They seemed
relieved that I was more relaxed now.
I think I was more relieved than they
were, though. My mind had been going
crazy all day long. I followed them in
and, to our surprise, there was no line.
“Alright men, hoods up.” Ike chuckled.
The thing was, we never knew where there
was gonna be a mob of fans, and right
now we had no body guard, so we wore
hooded sweatshirts for exactly that
reason; so that we could put our hoods
and be unnoticed. It’s considered
pretty dangerous to go out by ourselves.
Why? I have no clue.
“Welcome to Burger King, and how may
I help you today sir?” the girl behind the
counter asked. Maybe I was seeing things
but she looked almost exactly like Kate,
except she was about 2 feet shorter. Ike
looked at me and I knew he was thinking
the same thing about the cashier. We
looked at Tay and he nodded, laughing.
“Okay…let’s see, we’ll have a number 6,
mayonnaise only, and…a number 1,
cheese and ketchup only, and…Ike?
What do you want?” I couldn’t move.
He’d said Ike’s name, and suddenly I
remembered why this girl looked so
much like Kate. I’d met her before, at
a meet-n-greet. She was one of those
fans that just get obsessed. I mean those
ones who dedicate their whole life to
a band. Shit.
“Oh my god, did you say Ike?” the
cashier asked. My heart was pounding.
Shit. Not here! Not when I was just getting
“That is SO funny!!” the cashier said,
giggling. “That’s just like Isaac Hanson!
You know, the oldest brother of Hanson?
The ones who sang MMMBop? From
Oklahoma? Oh my gosh, I have to tell
Heather about this! That is so cool! Have
you ever been mistaken for him?” She
rambled on and on.
“Listen, that’s really cool and everything,
we’re fans too, but can we please just
get our food?” Tay cut in.
“Yeah, definitely. What was it you
wanted, Ike?” she giggled again.
“Just a number 2 will be fine. Everything
on it.” Ike said stiffly. That was too close.
Tay was gonna have to be more careful
about that. We got lucky this time. Not that
normal fans are dangerous or anything,
but we prefer not to be seen in public
because of all the commotion it causes.
Sometimes we just want to eat like normal
people, you know? The cashier gave us
our cups and we went to fill them up. Dr.
Pepper, of course. I sat down at an empty
table while we waited for our food.
Ike slid in across from me, and Tay right
next to me.
“That was a little too close Tay,” I said,
looking at him. He looked down and laughed.
“Yeah, but it was a little funny. Do
you guys ever remember getting
that way about famous people?” he
replied. We all laughed, shaking our heads.
“Well, I know one thing. I’ll never be like
that as long as I live. But if I do, smack me!”
Ike added in. We laughed some more.
“Well, well, someone’s feeling much better,
huh?” Tay smiled.
“Yeah,” I nodded. “You were right.
This did me some good.”
“NUMBER 136!” someone called out.
“That’s us, I’ll go get it,” Tay offered.
He got up to go grab our tray of food,
then sat right back down.
“You know, Zac,” he said through a
mouthful of fries, “Being a dad ain’t
so bad. It’s pretty cool, actually.” He
swallowed and looked at me.
“Yeah, I know. It’s just, it was so unexpected
and… I was planning on breaking up with
Kate this week.” I explained.
“Yeah what’s with that, anyway?” Tay
“Well…it’s just not there for me anymore.
To tell you the truth, she’s kind of getting
on my nerves lately.” I laughed.
“Oh, so we weren’t the only ones,” Ike joked,
punching me playfully in the arm. We all
got a laugh out of that one.
“I don’t know, man…that’s rough but,
you know you can’t leave her now,”
Taylor said seriously.
“No, really?” I opened up my food.
Ah, food. It doesn’t get pregnant, and
it doesn’t say ‘I love you’.
“Sorry,” Tay breathed.
“No, don’t be…I just don’t want to talk
about it, that’s all. Would you mind if
we talked about something else?”
“Nope,” Ike answered.
“Well what’s been with you today, Mr.
Mysterious? You’ve been acting all
different today.” Taylor looked at Ike.
I didn’t think Taylor had even noticed
that, but I had since I’d waken up.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ike
mumbled. He was the worst liar in the
“Come on, you’ve been moping around
all day long, what’s the deal?” I blurted
out. He sighed and looked down at his food.
“I didn’t really want to tell anyone,” he
“Well too bad, you’re telling us now,”
Taylor laughed. Isaac smiled. He hadn’t
done much of that today.
“You can trust us, man,” I reassured.
“Well, you remember I went to the doctor
last weekend? He said there’s a chance
that I’m developing…leukemia.” As soon as
the words fell out of his mouth, I jumped up.
“Leukemia?! Isaac, that’s serious! How could
you not tell us about this?!” Tay yelled, outraged.
Man, this day just kept getting better and better.
Ike had his head in his hands again. Then he
took his hands away and smiled.
“Just kidding?” he chuckled. Tay and I
both smacked him.
“That is not funny!” I shouted.
“God, you scared the hell out of us!”
Taylor sat back down, his face flushed
“Sorry, guys, I couldn’t resist,” Ike said,
still laughing to himself. At first I had no idea
why he would have done that. But then
it hit me, he was trying to cover up what
was really going on.
“Well, I’m done.” Ike announced as he
got up to throw away his trash. I did
the same, with Taylor following. We
strutted out as the cashier waved
good bye, giggling still. It was bright
outside, and the walk to the bus
seemed longer this time, even
without the uncomfortable silence.