When we returned to where Kate and Natalie still sat with Ezra,
time was seriously ticking. We decided it was now or never, and headed for the boarding platform. Natalie stopped at the information
booth briefly before leading us to a nearly deserted platform. There were, however, small groups of people here and there.
On a bench in the middle of the platform sat a worried looking woman, clutching a younger man's hand. I figured it was most
likely her son. Not far from those two stood a stout man in swimming trunks and a black wifebeater. Two identical children
were running freely around him, singing something that sounded strangely familiar. I thought of Caitlyn, wondering wether
she'd ever be able to laugh and play again. I tried to keep from thinking about it. Concentrating on the people in the station,
I continued to look around. In a corner opposite us stood four men, each dressed in casual tan or white pants and differently
colored button up shirts. As I stared at them for a moment, one looked up, tapping another on the shoulder. He pointed to
us, and all four of them began making their way towards us. For a split second, I wondered if if they were more men like Dennis,
wondered if Chaz had sent them to the platform incase we showed up. But before this thought could even finish running through
my mind, the man who had been pointing our way walked up and shook Ike's hand.
"Isaac Hanson?" he asked.
"Yes, that's me..." Ike replied with a puzzled look on his face.
"I'm Robert Finston, we're from the New York Police Department." the man explained. "You
called this morning with a kidnapping case?"
"Yes." Ike told him, nodding. The other men nodded to each other, mumbling something
I couldn't quite make out. My stomach churned as time drew nearer. The men explained the fact that it was important they not
be seen with us when Chaz arrived, as to not draw any suspicion. And so, they made their way back to the corner in which they
had been standing before. Kate stood next to me, clutching my hand tightly. I could feel the cold sweat in her hand. Or was
it coming from mine? I wasn't quite sure. No matter who it was, there was definitely tension in the air. There was no doubt
about that. I felt the lump in my pocket and remembered that I still had not given Kate her ring. I figured there was no time
like the present. Slipping the small box out of my pocket, I took a deep breath.
"Kate?" I whispered. She turned slowly,
her long, dark hair flowing dramatically over her shoulders as she did so. She raised her eyebrows, looking expectantly at
"What?" she muttered, smiling. Butterflies found their way through my stomach and seemed
to do acrobats.
"I thought I might do this the proper way..." I trailed off. Opening the small box, I
leaned down on one knee. I could see the diamond reflect in her eyes as they lit up. Her eyes sparkled with tears as
she looked back and forth from the ring to my own eyes. The corners of her mouth twitched slightly before an enormous smile
grew on her face.
"Zac...where did you get this?" she whispered in disbelief. Before waiting for an answer,
she threw her arms around me. I did the same, nearly dropping the ring. She felt warm held close to me. I had waited so long
for this day to come - if only it hadn't been the same day as this. I wondered if I should have waited a day or two. Shaking
this thought out of my head, I concentrated only on how happy Kate looked as she quickly wiped the tears from her eyes,
still smiling. I began to place the ring on her finger. To my, and her, disbelief, it fit perfectly. For a moment she stood
gazing into my eyes, before tearing the ring off of her finger.
"I can't wear it just yet." she explained, smiling. "Chaz will see it." She rolled her
eyes at this and smiled even more. I could see Ike watching longingly at the two of us. He glowed with happiness for me, that
I knew, but I could sense a hint of jealousy. Taylor had someone, and now, so did I. I imagined him thinking he would never
find someone for himself. But I knew better - Ike was the most romantic of us all, and if anyone deserved someone to
love, it was, without a doubt, him. But at the moment, I didn't feel up to dwelling on his problems. I could only focus on
how beautiful Kate suddenly looked, tears of joy still streaming past her cheeks. Just as I was thinking this, the ground
beneath my feet began to rumble as I heard the whistle of a train. Big, fast, and gleaming silver and blue, the train hurried
forward. I could just make out the word "Missouri" lit up on the front of the train as it arrived, squealing to a stop.