capitulo diecinueve:

Liz was getting more hysterical each second that Taylor was silent. Finally he opened his mouth licked his lips and looked up at her. "No, no it wasn't like that. We just kissed."

Liz arched one eyebrown and glared at him at the same time. "How could you do this?" She spoke in a harsh whisper. "I loved you so much. I'm carrying your child. I tried so hard to make you happy Tay and I could have," she held up her hand when he came close. "Was it only a matter of time Tay?"

"Oh come on, please don't be like this," Taylor couldn't help but try to explain himself. "I love you and I always will. I haven't forgotten about the baby, I didn't sleep with Graven, and you do make me happy."

"You know what? I don't believe you. Things seemed too perfect the way they were. You..." she paused as tears came flooding out. "You were too perfect to be true and it was only a matter of time before you figured out that Graven was perfect. You guys are a great match. You're both lying, cheating bastards who deserve each other!"

"Liz please," Taylor felt dizzy as he was hit with a late buzz from the weed he'd smoked. "You have to believe me. I didn't have sex with Graven. Ask her. GRAVEN!" He yelled out. "Grave come down here a second will you?"

She appeared and Taylor sucked in his breath and looked away reminding himself that he was in serious trouble for this already and that he was extremely angry at her. "What the hell are you saying? Tell Liz this isn't true!"

Graven just cried. "I can't, I can't, I can't." She rocked silently back and forward. "I can't, I can't, I can't, I can't."

Taylor thought he'd change his tactics. "Gravie please just say it wasn't true. You remember what happened at the park just now don't you?"

Liz spoke up. "Don't talk to her like she's stupid Taylor."

"I'm not," Taylor protested. "It isn't true. What is true is that we kissed but nothing else." He was growing desperate and wanted to pick Graven up off the floor and shake her. "I'm so sorry about that Liz but that's all it was. I promise."

"You've already made me enough promises to last me a lifetime. I can't believe you because I know what she is and now it's obvious to me what you are..."

"What the hell? Why do you have this inferiority complex Lizzie?" Graven jumped up angrily. "Why are you constantly comparing yourself to me?"

"You're a slut." Liz said the words, not regretting them.

The silence that followed was a thick and painful one. Graven turned around quickly and walked out of the room. Taylor followed her, feeling anger in his heart but loyalty in his head. Mentally he began to scan Graven's room in search of knives, letter-openers or other sharp objects. There was no telling what she'd do when she was so upset."That's told me everything," Liz spat out.

Taylor turned around sadly to her. "I love you."

The phone rang and Liz, still fuming, answered it. "Hello?"


Liz recognized her older sister's voice right away "Megan!"

Megan laughed. "It's me calling from England. How are you?"

"I'm pregnant Megs," for the time being she decided not to mention the latest trauma in her life.

"I know. Taylor's parents called me. That's his name right? Taylor?"

"Uh huh," Liz was afraid she might start bawling again so she answered slowly. "Are you disappointed?"

"You bet. But you're my little sister and I'm not disappointed at you. I'm disappointed at your lack of judgement but never of you."

"Thanks Meg. What do you think mom and dad would have said?"

"They wouldn't have said anything... they've would've killed you." Megan smiled in an attempt to cheer up her obviously down sister. "They would have said the same think I said. They were proud of you Liz."

"Are you coming down anytime soon?"

"For a few days yes," Megan said. "I have another shoot coming up but I want to be with you."

"Oh," Liz didn't hide her disappointment. "At least I'll see you soon."

"Yep. The day after tomorrow as a matter of fact, but I'll call you later to tell you what flight I'll be on."

"Okay," Liz agreed.

"Talk to you soon then sis."

"Megan, wait!"


"I love you."

"Ditto," Megan said and hung up.

Liz replaced the receiver and sat on the couch, unmoving and staring ahead of her, deep in thought.

She was interrupted much too soon by Mackenzie whom Liz had once dubbled 'Lil Tay, who was looking up at her and holding a video in his hand. "Mom just rented this at Mammoth," he said referring to a video store downtowm. "Will you watch it with me?"

"Ok," Liz said glancing down at the title. Mulan. She hardly gave it a thought other than the fact that that movie always made her cry and that she was relieved that she'd have an excuse for her tears. "Pop it in," she told him. And for the next fifteen minutes she went back into her thoughts.

I can't blame Taylor completely... Graven is gorgeous. I often wonder why he's with me and not with her in the first place. But damn it, where the hell does he get off?! He could have done this before anything happened between us and then I wouldn't have lost anything to him. But I did... I've never done anything horribly bad in my life so why can't I have things go right for me for a change? Why can't I have super model looks? Life... sucks. Something made her look up.

Look at me, you may think you see who I really am
But you'll never know me
Every day, it's as if I play a part
Now I see if I wear a mask I can fool the world
But I cannot fool my heart
Who is that girl I see?
Staring straight back at me
When will my reflection show who I am inside?

Hiding out,In a world where I have to hide my heart
and what I believe in
But somehow, I will show the world
What's inside my heart and be loved
For who I am
Who is that girl I see?
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don't know?
Must I pretend that I'm someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show who I am inside?

There's a heart that must be free to fly
That burns with a need to know the reason why
Why must we all conceal
What we think, how we feel?
Must there be a secret me
I'm forced to hide?
I won't pretend that I'm someone else for all time
When will my reflection show who I am inside?
When will my reflection show who I am inside?

Liz buried her head in a pillow next to her and let tears flow endlessly. How is it that a cartoon knows exactly how I feel?

Graven sat alone in the middle of her floor after kicking Taylor out. Her eyes couldn't seem to leave the same spot that they had been in since he left - she couldn't even seem to blink, it took too much effort.

So we didn't have sex... but kissing me was still a big deal, right? I mean, so Liz thinks we went a little farther then we did. Good, she needs a little speck of non-perfection in her otherwise perfect world. She paused for a moment remembering how, in reality, Liz's life wasn't great either. Her parents, too, had died, and she didn't know anyone - she was forced to go live with people she'd only heard of, and that had to be hard... Graven tried to shake all the thoughts out of her head. Why were even her thoughts - her own thoughts - arguing with each other?

She flipped on the old radio that was on her dresser. She remembered her and Taylor playing with it as kids, pretending it was a police radio. For split second she smiled at the memory then silently listened to the song that was being played.

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
Or what is yet to be

The wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
The dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhoodof every government

--signs for all to see.
I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

She wiped the tears away from her face and changed the station.

Taylor paced back and fourth endlessly. Why would his best friend do such a thing to him? And why would his girlfriend, the one in this relationship that was supposed to have trust, not believe him? Nothing makes sense anymore. I love Liz more than I've ever loved anyone like that in my life, and I wish she could see that. Then Graven, I love her more than I've ever loved another friend - why is she doing this?! And I don't know why I kissed her. God, why did I do that? I was fuckin' high, that's why... I need a break from everything.

He walked over to his dresser and grabbed his discman, softly bringing to headset to his ears, he pressed lay and decided to listen to the CD that already inhabited the player. A Little South of Sanity, Disc 2, Aerosmith's latest live album.

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn't that the way
Everybody's got the dues in life to pay

I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it's everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life
Is books written pages
Live and love from fools and from sages
You know it's true
All these things come back to you

Sing with me
Sing for the years
Sing for the laughter
Sing for the tears
Sing with me just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on

Sing with me
Sing for the years
Sing for the laughter
Sing for the tears
Sing with me just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away...

He hugged his knees to his chest. This cannot go on...

Liz couldn't believe Taylor had walked out on her. She wondered to herself why she felt guilty even though it wasn't she who was in the wrong. She was planning on going upstairs and bitching at whichever person she found first but she changed her mind. Tears fell off her cheeks rapidly. They were tears of anger because she wanted to fight back, they were tears of frustration because there was nothing left to say to Taylor to make him love her, and they were tears of betrayal. Somehow or other, at some point in their lives Taylor and Graven are going to realize that they can't live off of one another and that they can't screw everyone just so they can. She patted her tummy. She'd never liked it, in fact it was her least favourite body part. But now she did because there was a little baby living in there, growing in there and needing her to be there. And deep in her heart Liz knew that she needed Taylor to be there.

Liz went upstairs feeling more alone than she'd ever felt. Here she was completely rejected and forgotten by everything that she'd ever believed in. She'd believed that God had had a purpose for her, that she had some great destiny laid out before her. Now all she felt was that walls were closing in, time running out and she was pregnant with the baby of someone who wanted to hurt her.

Graven dropped to her knees, then folded her legs so that she was sitting crosslegged on the carpeted floor. A lonely tear, the last tear fell to the floor. It made a dark spot on the carpet and she absent-mindedly smeared it with her index finger. Life was never meant to be fair, she thought. But it wasn't meant to be so painful either. Another tear fell and she became angry with herself. Why couldn't she stop crying? She was crying for herself and she was crying because she'd betrayed her childhood friend, and she was crying because she'd ruined her other friend's life. Graven hadn't felt like she wanted to die for awhile, but now those old feelings came back brought on by pain and humiliation. But this time it would be different.

Isaac hated being at home lately. He would often get in his car and drive around just to escape. Things had obviously been dramatically different since the accident but there had been a slow shift in things also, over time. Liz getting pregnant, Graven trying to commit suicide. Taylor stuck in the middle all the time... tension all the time. Isaac admired his brother, he felt that Taylor had been as in-control as possible. He knew that it hadn't been easy and he hated to see his brother suffer so much but he felt that Taylor had handled everything very well. Maybe it was time to talk to Taylor though. Maybe he was taking on too much. He opened the door to Taylor's room and his heart stopped. His first thought was that Taylor was dying. He shook away the ridiculous thought but not the fear. Taylor looked like hell. He'd been crying and Isaac could see, clear as day, that things would never be the same. And that in some ways Taylor was dying.

Authors' Note:
"Reflection" from the movie soundtrack of Disney's Mulan. "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen. "Dream On" by Aerosmith.

*capitulo veinte coming soon!
*what do you think so far?