Put Up Your Kingdom For Sale

Chapter 20 - Hiding behind sunglasses

Taylor sat in his living room, staring at the television even though it wasn’t even on.
“Hon?” Phyllis called, coming down with Cat and Jordan in her arms. They were a year old now and were the pride and joy of Taylor and Phyllis’.
“Oh, hey.” Taylor smiled as he looked up at his wife. Phyllis handed Taylor Cat and he put her on his lap. Cat had blonde hair, like Taylor with blue eyes. She looked a lot like both of them and when ever she smiled, Taylor melted. Jordan looked exactly like Taylor for the exception of the fact that he had the same color eyes as Phyllis, green. Phyllis sat down on the couch next to Taylor and put Jordan in her lap.
“Are you going to the studio today?” Phyllis asked as she looked at Jordan and started to wipe his face.
“You always get so dirty…” Phyllis said to her son as she fussed over him.
“Phyl, he’s clean.” Taylor laughed.
“So…” Phyllis said, turning back to Taylor.
“Yeah. Why don’t you bring the kids over. Maybe Jordan could drum for Ike and I.” Taylor said and stopped, thinking of Zac. Zac had only come to the studio when he felt like it. Most of the time, no one knew where he was or what he was doing. Ever since Eve had left him and never returned, he seemed to crawl inside himself. He didn’t want to face the outside world. Taylor felt horrible about it. He felt bad about how he had treated his brother over the time Zac was with Eve. He knew that she would hurt him. He just knew. Zac was so over rout after the day of the wedding, no one heard from him for three weeks until the execs called him up to talk to him about the next album.
“Tay? Tay?” Phyllis called as she moved in closer.
“Oh…sorry, you said something?” Taylor said, shaking his head a little.
“Has Zac showed up at all I said.” Phyllis asked.
“No, he wasn’t there last time. We ended up just working on some lyrics with out him.” Taylor said. He sat Cat on the other end of the couch and stood up.
“Well, I have to go. Ike wants to talk to me about something. Bring the kids around lunch time.” Taylor smiled. He bent down and kissed Phyllis on the lips. He bent down in front of her and looked in Jordan’s face.
“See ya.” He smiled and kissed his son on the forehead. He turned to Cat and kissed her on the cheek.
“Bye bye sweetie.” He smiled. He smiled back up to Phyllis and headed out the door.

“Taylor, I think we should change that verse…” Ike said, pointing it out on the lyrics sheet they had made up.
“I don’t think we should do anything until Zac says that he agrees.” Taylor said, looking up in Ike’s eyes.
“Tay…he hasn’t been around to agree.” Ike answered.
“Ike…” Taylor started to protest.
“Let’s not get into this right now…” Ike said. He stopped and looked down at his hands.
“How did the doctor’s appointment go?” Taylor asked, putting his hand gently on Ike’s shoulder.
“No.” Ike said plainly.
“Still?” Taylor questioned.
“Nope. We’ve been trying and trying but still…she’s still not pregnant. We’ve tried everything.” Ike said in a dissappointed tone.
“I’m sorry Ike. I know it’s really hard on you guys. You two really want a baby…” Taylor began.
“The doctor said to start thinking about other options. You know, adoption…” Ike began.
“That would be a good idea.” Taylor said, trying to make Ike feel a little better about it.
“You and Phyl are so lucky. Not only did she get pregnant but she got pregnant with 2 babies.” Ike said shaking his head.
“I know…” Taylor said, looking up as the door opened.

“ZAC!” Taylor said, shocked out of his wits. Zac walked in slowly, slamming the door closed behind him. He had started looking so unusual. He kept his long hair pulled back messy in a pony tail. It looked like he hadn’t of bathed in about two weeks. Even though it was right in the middle of summer, he had a long sleeved, black turtle neck on and a pair of old, disheveled blue jeans along with a pair of old sandles. The whole look was topped off by a pair of extremely dark sunglasses that had become an essential part of his wardrobe. He never took them off, no matter what. He always looked like he had slept in his clothes and was always tired. He didn’t say anything. He just walked past his brothers and plopped down in a chair.
“Zac.” Taylor said, looking at his brother.
“What?” Zac said harshly.
“How’s it going?”
“Why do you want to know?” He said, gritting his teeth.
“I’m just, we’re just a little concerned, that’s all.” Taylor said, shrinking away.
“Whatever. Where are my sticks?” Zac said, getting up again, searching around aimlessly for his drumsticks.
“Right where you left them.” Ike said.
“And where would that be Ike!” Zac said, raising his voice.
“Zac, you know damn well where they are!” Ike said, starting to yell. Taylor looked at him with pleading eyes.
“Listen Ike, I don’t need to hear your shit! I don’t have to be here!” Zac yelled.
“Zac…calm down. I’ll get them for you.” Taylor said, getting up from his chair. He walked into the other room and to the drumset and grabbed the sticks from off the top of the bass drum.
“Here.” Taylor said handing them to him. Zac grabbed them violently from his hands and got up.
“Uh…Zac…before we go in and play…we were wondering what you thought about changing this verse.” Taylor said, jumping up and handing Zac the lyrics. Zac looked at them carefully and handed them back.
“Why would you change it! I wrote that verse!” He said angrily.
“Zac…we all wrote it.” Taylor stammered.
“Like hell you did! I wrote it and you know it! You don’t want me to be apart of anything anymore!” Zac yelled.
“No…no…Zac…that’s not it. We wanted your opinion…we’ll keep it if you want…” Taylor stammered.
“Whatever! Let’s just get this over with. I have things to do.” Zac said and headed into the recording box. Taylor looked back over at Ike and looked down at his hands awkwardly.
“Come on!” Ike said angrily as he pushed his way past Taylor and into the room. Taylor stood there and shook his head.

Lunch time came and Zac already started packing his things to leave.
“Zac…don’t leave yet. Phyl’s bringing the kids over. Don’t you want to see them?” Taylor said, grabbing Zac by the arm as he opened the door to leave.
“I don’t think so. They shouldn’t really be around me.” Zac said under his breath.
“Wh-why?” Taylor stammered in total confusion.
“I just don’t think…” Zac began until the door fully opened and Phyllis walked in with Cat in her arms and Amanda and Kodiak came in, Jordan in Kodiak’s arms.
“Zac!” Phyllis said excitedly.
“Here, Cat, go see uncle Zac.” Phyllis said, putting the little girl in Zac’s arms. Zac stepped back, not knowing what to do as he held her in his arms.
“Zac, the kids really like you.” Taylor smiled.
“I…I…” Zac stammered. Cat reached up and grabbed the sunglasses off Zac’s face and threw them to the floor. Zac tried to hide his face but couldn’t. He handed Cat back to Phyllis and grabbed his sunglasses off the floor and quickly put them back on.
“ZAC!” Taylor said, spinning him around, pulling the sunglasses off his face. Zac tried looking away to hide his face but Taylor moved his face in his direction.
“What’s wrong with you? Your eyes are all blood shot and you have dark circles under them?” Taylor said concerned as he held Zac by the arm.
“N-Nothing.” Zac stammered as he tried to pull away from him.
“What are you trying to hide?!” Taylor said, raising his voice. Taylor looked down at the arm he was holding and grabbed Zac’s sleeve.
“DON’T!” Zac yelled as Taylor pulled the sleeve up. All along Zac’s arms were bruises. The veins we raised and purple and the presence of puncture wounds all along Zac’s arm gave his arm the appearance of having blood taken often.
“WHAT THE…” Taylor yelled as he turned the arm over in his hand. Zac yanked his hand away and pulled his sleeve down. Ike stepped in front of the door as Taylor put his arms on Zac’s shoulders. Kodiak quickly handed Jordan over to Amanda.
“What have you been doing to yourself?” Taylor said, looking straight in Zac’s face.
“NONE OF YOUR BUISNESS!” Zac yelled. Taylor looked over at the girls and they quickly left the room. Kodiak stepped in back of Zac, preventing him from leaving.
“TELL ME!” Taylor yelled.
“LEAVE ME ALONE!’ Zac yelled. He turned around and pushed both Kodiak and Ike out of the way. He opened the door, turned and stared at Taylor for but a second and booked.

Taylor slumped down in the chair and looked down at the floor. Phyllis and Amanda slowly made their way in. Taylor couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe that Zac would do something like that to himself. He let the rears fall down his face, thinking about how he couldn’t have seen it. Phyllis handed Cat to Ike and kneeled down in front of Taylor.
“Tay, what happened?” Phyllis said, putting her hands on his knees and looking in his face.
“He…” Taylor started to stammer.
“I think that he’s doing drugs. He has puncture wounds all along his arms.” Taylor sobbed. Phyllis wrapped her arms around him and he cried on her shoulder.
“Why didn’t I see it?” He cried.
“It’s not your fault Tay…” Ike said, trying to calm Taylor down.
“I drove him to this. I was so horrible to him…” Taylor said, meeting Ike’s eyes. Taylor looked over at his children and stood up. He grabbed Cat from Ike and Jordan from Amanda and sat back down, putting the kids in his lap. He kissed them and held onto them.
“Tay…” Phyllis said. She felt so bad for Taylor. He felt so guilty.

Zac got back to the mansion and stepped in the front door. He was so tired from everything. The stress of having his family find out was taking his toll. All he thought about lately was Eve. How he had loved her so much and had given up everything for her, including his family for her and she just left him. Just picked up and left, taking not only his heart but much of Zac’s money that he had put in a joint account for both of them. He did everything for her. He paid for every part of the wedding and the romantic honeymoon he had planned afterwards. He was thinking about even finding a summer home for them so they could just get away. But that was all over. His dream world of being with her forever was smashed to bits. Why did she leave? Why did she even come into his life? Did she even love him? Why…
Zac took off his sunglasses and threw them to the side of the room, allowing them to fall to the floor. He closed the door behind himself and climbed the stairs to the bathroom. He looked in the mirror and suddenly gasped at his own reflection. He didn’t even recognize himself. He looked like a totally different person…like he wasn’t complete in away. She made him complete. She made him whole. She was his life. She was his love. She was his whole world… He stopped, grabbed a washcloth from off the vanity and turned on the cold water. He washed his face and threw the wash cloth to the floor. He walked into the bedroom that they had shared and sat down in the floor near the bed. He looked around and turned towards the bed and pulled something out from underneath it. He pulled out an old shoebox and pulled off the top. He looked in and found what he wanted. What he need. His only resource. The only thing he could truly rely on. He pulled up his sleeve and grabbed the elastic rubber band from the shoebox and tied it with his teeth and his free hand around his upper arm. He grabbed the syringe, looked at it in his hands and did what he had to do. He pulled it out, after getting his fix and threw it back in the box. He pulled off the rubber band and threw it to the floor. He got up slowly and laid on the bed as the effects of the drugs started to take affect.

Zac woke up and looked around the room wearily. He looked at the clock next to the bed, noticing that it was 1 in the morning. He had passed out. He got up off the bed and stumbled over the shoebox he had left out. He kicked it out of the way and made his way down the stairs. He walked around and decided that enough was enough. He stopped as he noticed the dark hallway. Even though he was still out of it, he still had his curiosity. He made his way down the corridor and noticed the door. He put his hand around the knob of the door and noticed that it opened easily. He flicked on the light and looked. Zac stepped back in shock. All he could see was his own eyes, staring back at him. He gasped slightly and walked in the room, looking all around, up at the ceiling and the walls.
“Oh…my god.” He said. He couldn’t believe it. All the time, after Eve had left, he thought that she didn’t love him. That she just used him… He sank to the floor and sobbed. He couldn’t take it anymore…he couldn’t take knowing the fact that it was over. He quickly got up and ran to the door and back out of the corridor, making his way upstairs toward his room. He ran to the closet and started throwing things all around until he found what he was looking for. A huge box that was filled with just pictures of himself and Eve…when they were together.

Taylor woke up suddenly in the middle of the night, shaking, breathing hard in a cold sweat. He was having nightmare. He dreampt that he had gone to the mansion, even though he had never seen it before and ran in. He searched all around, hearing Zac’s mournful cries, all around. He searched and searched but couldn’t seem to find him. Finally, the screams stopped. Taylor found a door and ran to it, slamming his body hard against it. The screams began. Not cries but screams of pure agony. He cried for Zac. He pounded his fists against the door until they were bloody but he couldn’t break the door down. He then woke up. Phyllis suddenly woke up next to him as he sat up in bed.
“Hon…” she said sleepily. She put her arm around his back as he started to cry. She embraced him until he stopped his racking sobs.
“Tay…Tay…it’s all right…it’s all right…” She said, trying to console him as he cried harder.
“I…I…have to go to Zac!” He yelled. He looked at her and his eyes were wild looking.
“But…Tay…” She said, trying to protest as he jumped out of the bed. He ran into the closet and grabbed a pair of jeans and put them on. He grabbed a white cotton, button down shirt, and slipped it on over his bare back, not bothering to close it. Phyllis jumped out of the bed as Taylor sped down the stairs.
“TAY!” She yelled. Taylor just ignored her and ran out of the door, no shoes, no jacket, just him and his momentum. He ran to the car and realized he had forgotten his keys. He ran back in the house, seeing Phyllis standing there with Jordan in her hands. Taylor grabbed his keys and looked at her for an instance.
“Let me go with you…” She said, pleading with him as she shifted Jordan over onto her other hip.
“No, stay here with the kids.” He instructed. He ran over to her, kissed her on the lips and ran back out.

In the car and grabbed his cell phone and called Ike and Kodiak. They said they would meet him there as soon as possible. Taylor hung up the phone and glanced down at the little digital numbers on his radio clock. It was 2 in the morning. He didn’t have any time to waste.

He pulled in the driveway of the mansion and noticed Ike and Kodiak pull in not even a minute after him. He jumped out of the car and looked at Ike.
“Tay! We can’t just go barging into his place…” Ike said, trying to get Taylor to think straight.
“I HAVE TO SEE HIM!” Taylor yelled. He pushed past Ike and ran to the front door. He noticed it was locked and looked back at Kodiak and Ike.
“Hold on.” Kodiak said as he went into his wallet and pulled out a credit card. He put his hand on the door knob and stuck the card in the slot just above the lock. The door clicked open and they ran in.
“I’ll look upstairs!” Kodiak yelled as he made his way up to the second level of the house.
“I’ll look to the left.” Ike announced. Taylor nodded and he looked all around. He stopped, remembering Phyllis saying something about a secret room. He looked around intently and saw the hallway. He ran down the hallway as fast as he could and stopped at the door. It was the door in his dream. He noticed it was locked and decided enough was enough. He slammed his body hard against the door. It burst open and he looked inside in shock.
“OH GOD!” He screamed on top of his lungs as he collapsed to the floor.

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