capitulo ocho:

Isaac and Zac stepped off the elevator, glancing behind them to make sure that Graven was still with them. She was. "Graven," Isaac gently prodded. "Come on."

Zac saw Taylor and Liz hugging in the now empty room and he knew that the worst had happened. Liz's mom was gone.

Graven saw this too and the loss she felt at the moment almost split her in half. What good were Zac's flowers now?

Zac played with the pink cellophane that enveloped the yellow roses he held in his arms. I can't believe this is happening. "Uh, Gravie?" he whispered.

"What?" Graven answered, too tired and too grief-striken to really care what Zac wanted.

"Maybe you should talk to Liz," he felt horrible for both girls, but Graven had the advantage of being with people she had known all her life. She was with people she loved and who loved her, but who did Liz have? No one really. We care about her, but how is she going to know that? "You guys might help eachother out you know. I'm not the world's most comforting person. I just make people laugh and in the long run that doesn't make anyone feel better."

Graven nodded. "You do make me feel better Zac, that's important," she put her hand on Zac's arm. "I'm going to go talk to her. Thanks for the pep talk."

"No problem," Zac answered.

"Liz?" Graven asked uncertainly as she approached her friend. "Are you okay?" What a dumb question.

Taylor let go of Liz and left the two girls alone. Graven shot him a grateful look. "How are you doing?"

"My mom and dad are dead Graven, how should I be doing?" Liz answered, although she didn't say it with anger. She asked it like a real question. As if she really needed to know how she should be feeling.

"I don't know," Graven answered looking at the floor. "This is new to me too."

"I'm sorry about your parents too Grave,"

"Thank you," Graven answered quietly.

"And Grave? If you need to talk or anything... let me know okay? Wherever I end up being."

"No offence Liz, but I think it would be best if we didn't talk for awhile."

"Why?" Liz demanded, surprised.

"I'm not doing so good Liz. I feel like I want to die myself. I don't have anybody, no family left. I'm going to need some time."

"Graven, do you blame me for the accident?" Liz asked.

"No, I don't. Please don't think that Lizzie. It was just that: an accident. Just a terrible accident. No one was to blame," Graven said. "I just need some time to grieve. I'm sorry."


"I think the Hansons want you to come home with us, but they need a court order. I can't help you Liz," Graven said unhappily. "I can't even help myself." She hugged her friend tightly. "They'll get a court order in less than a day."

"But what about you?" Liz wasn't sure what would happen to Graven and herself if she didn't want her around. "How will you avoid me if I'm at the Hanson's"

"I'm not avoiding you Lizzie. I told you. But I'll be staying at my house for awhile." She didn't know where that decision had come from. "I'll move in as soon as this desperation disappears. I just want to be left alone."

"I understand," Liz said although she didn't really.

Taylor and Isaac walked up from the corner. On the way, they grabbed the yellow roses from Zac.

"Hey!" he yelled at his brothers.

Taylor was wearing his Orgasm Donor hat. "Um, Liz? We got these for your mom. Before, I mean." He stammered.

"Thank you Taylor," Liz answered. He's so sweet. "Thanks Zac!" she called over knowing it was Zac who'd brought them up from the giftshop.

"These are for you Grave," Taylor said handing over the white lillies he and Isaac had just purchased downstairs. "I think we should go home now. Our dad's on his way to get us now and mom will stay to handle everything. Okay?"

"I'n not going home with you guys. I'm going to my house. I need to let Chuckles out and I need to get something to eat and then..."

"What do you mean you're not coming home with us?"

"I can't!" Graven looked to Liz for help.

"She's not doing so good Taylor. She wants to be home. I'll explain it later." Liz knew he would never understand though.

A day later, Liz had collected all of the things from her house. It was decided by the court that it would be best to stay with the Hansons - at least until another relative was available. It was extremely hard for Liz to say goodbye to her house, not to mention her memories.

Graven was now back at home - the court knew nothing about that. It's illegal to live by yourself in Oklahoma when you're 16, but Diana and Walker knew that she wanted everything this way, so they didn't breathe a word.

Liz walked into the huge victorian style home and set down her suitcases. Next came the rest of her family, all carrying more of her luggage.

"Wow," was all she could say. The place was enormous.

Walker smiled. "Taylor, would you please show Liz what room will be hers?"

"What room will be hers?"

Liz thought about that. What room? How many damn rooms does this place have?

"Uh, how about the one next to you? I think she'll like the loft."

For the first time in the last two days, Liz was a little happy. A loft? That's awesome...

"Oh yeah!" Tay smiled. "Plus, we have to save the one with the walk in closet and big screen tv for Grave - she's always loved that room."

With that, Taylor picked back up the suitcases he was carrying. "Follow me."

"You know?" Taylor smiled right before they entered the room. "Now all our rooms'll be filled up... we only had two extra."

"Cool." Liz tried to return the smile.

He opened the door and set down her things. She did the same as she walked in.

Taylor was extremely glad to see a smile on her face. "This this is great..."

As soon as she walked in - straight across from the door, she saw the loft up above the rest of the room. There were a couple chairs and bean bags up there along with a few floor pillows. Down on the floor there was a medium sized television across from the canopy bed. Next to the bed: a night stand with a small lamp on it. Next to that, a lazy boy. Scattered around the room were numerous dressers. As she looked up, the ceiling was painted like clouds. The side walls slowly faded from the same pattern to plain white as they reached the floor. The carpet was dark blue, and the rest of the furniture, except for the dressers which were wood, was mostly different shades of blue.

"Oh my god, Taylor, I love this room..."

"Great - make yourself comfortable. I'll be right back."

Liz sat on the bed and bounced up an down a little. This was really the life compared to her small house on the other side of Tulsa, but she sould trade it all back in a second if she could just have her par-

"Okay... Um, I got this for you while you and my parents were in the court room." He extended his arm which contained a small teddy bear and a rose. Written on a heart in the teddy bears arms was Welcome Home.

Liz felt hot tears sting the back of her eyes. This wasn't right... this wasn't home. But now, it would have to be. "Th-" Liz's voice cracked. she could barely talk. "Thank you so much, Taylor."

"You're welcome." He moved in and kissed her cheeck.

She immediately looked down at the ground, hoping he wouldn't see the nice shade of red that was now on her face.

Brrrring... Brrrring

The phone seemed to be calling Taylor's name. He ran full speed to it and lunged for the reciever when he was about 3 feet away. "Hello?!"


Finally. The voice he had been waiting for all day. "Graven! How are you? Are you okay? Are you settling in? Is everything alright? Can I bring you anything? How's Chuckles?!"

"Taylor baby, calm down!"

"I'm sorry... I just worry about you, Grave. I miss you already."

"I miss you, too. Everything is fine here, I just wanted to call and make sure that everything went alright this afternoon... you know - with Liz and all."

"Oh yeah... she really likes her room. We gave her the one next to me - we saved you the walk in closet one! With the huge TV..." He hoped that would put a smile on her face.

Figures, he'd give her the room next to him. "Yeah, okay, but everything went okay with it?"

Taylor was a little confused. She loved that room, and he was sure she'd be excited about it. "Yeah... listen, Graven. Please? And don't interrupt me?"


"You just had a huge crisis happen to you. I know that - everyone knows that. You don't have to worry about other people right now, okay? Be selfish. You never are, and now it's your turn. I know that you care a lot for Liz, but you have to worry about yourself first, because I know you, and you'll end up getting all bundled up in helping everyone else out that you won't have any time for yourself. You deserve that, Graven."

"Thank you Taylor. I really appreciate that."

"You're welcome."

Graven wanted to cry. She knew he was right, but she didn't know how to take care of herself. She didn't know where to start. And she couldn't stand to talk to Tay anymore - he would just depress her right now. "Well I have to get going."

Taylor frowned, but decided that now was not the time to argue. "Okay... well call me if you need anything - absolutely anything! If you just want to talk, I don't care call me at 3:00 in the morning, okay? Or if you just need a hug..."

"Thank you, I will. I hope you don't mind if I take advantage of that!" She said in an attempt to cheer him up.

"I don't... you know I don't."

"Okay well, thank you and say hi to the family and Liz."

"Will do."

"Bye, Taylor."

"Bye Graven." He sighed. "Remember - anything you need, I'm-" he began, but Graven had already hung up on the other line.

Graven hung up the phone. She looked around the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water.

She walked into the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. Her mascara was smeared under her eyes, and her hair was more than a mess. She attempted to fix the blue blouse that she was wearing but was unsuccessful.

Then, her eyes fell to a razor in the bathtub. She slowly walked over and picked it up. She brought it to her wrist, but quickly removed it from the viscinity. What am I doing? She thought as she turned off the lights and left the room.

*capitulo nueve
*what do you think so far?