"Before I went into a coma did you tell me that you wrote a letter to my family? I think I remember you telling me that." Taylor asked shyly.
"Yes. Your younger brother, I think his name is Zac, took it from Snow."
"What did it say?" Taylor asked, giving Jason a pleading look.
"Well I wrote about how I found you and how injured you were and how I took care of you. I also told them to try not to find us, because they never will. That at the end of the week I would bring you back to them. And at the end I stated that you were a great kid!" Jason smiled with Taylor smiling back.
"Oh. Jason? Why don't you want to be found? I...I mean why do you live out here all alone?" Taylor asked, feeling his heart beating faster. He hoped Jason wouldn't be mad at the question. But he was so curious about this man who saved him and took care of him.
"I told you why Taylor. People don't like me. They take one look at my burnt face and assume that I am some kind of monster. It hurt me very much. I just couldn't take it anymore. I always loved the mountains. So I decided to live here. I have been very happy living alon....."
"But you can't tell me everyone was cruel to you. Not everyone is like that. I thought right away that something bad must have happened to you!"
"Well.... maybe, but you are an exception. I hated little kids pointing at me saying, "Look! Mommy what's wrong with him!" Then adults would almost run and make funny faces. Some people told me to go away or people would shake their heads in pity. I just couldn't take that anymore." Jason explained sadly.
"I can't say that I totally understand. But then I am not in your shoes."
Jason gave Taylor a surprised look. He couldn't help but chuckle.
"I didn't mean to be funny, Jason." Taylor stated feeling confused.
"Taylor? That is what I mean when I say you are different then most people. You don't try to know how I feel."
"Well...I...I don't. But I know I couldn't stand to be totally alone though. To be all by myself. I like the company of others. Don't you have any family? If you don't mind my asking such a personal question."
"No. My parents died. I have no aunts or uncles, not even grand parents. My mother died when I was twelve and my Dad when I was twenty. They were both orphans. The only family I had before the fire was my wonderful Mary and my son, David who was born in 1983. They were everything to me! They were my world!"
"I was born in 1983. When did this fire happen? How did it start?" Taylor asked curiously darting his eyes from side to side as he looked intently into Jason's eyes for a answer.
"The fire that burnt down my house and killed my wife and child happened in 1983. It was the worst night of my life. I...I still have nightmares about it! I couldn't save them! That is how my face got burnt so bad. I fell into a coma for two years before I woke up from it. I never even went to my wife and son's funeral. My life was almost like a fairy tale, up till then. I had it all. A career being a top surgeon. A beautiful wife, who was the world to me. Please Taylor.... I don't want to talk about this anymore! Okay?" Jason said with tears in his eyes.
"I...I'm sorry. I didn't mean too bring back bad memories. I just wanted to understand who you were. Where you came from."
"I know I owed you an explanation about myself. But... now I want to ask you some questions!" Jason smiled.
"Shoot!" Taylor smiled back.
"When I was coming back here after I made Snow deliver the letter, I took the long way and ran into the media, that was camped and blocked off down the road from your family's campsite. I didn't understand why they were there until I heard a news reporter talking to a television camera. She was talking about you. Saying you were from some musical group called Hanson. Are you a star or something Taylor?"
"Ummm... yes. My brothers and I are a pretty big musical group."
"How big Taylor?" Jason asked with a serious look on his face.
"Well.... world wide you would say. Our record called Middle of Nowhere sold more than 11 million copies!" Taylor said proudly.
Jason sat on his chair with a shocked expression on his face. He didn't like this at all.
"What's wrong Jason?" Taylor asked as he noticed Jason suddenly became quiet and had a sick look on his face.
"I just don't like the situation I am in right now. If you are as popular as you say you are... I think I am in big trouble! Taylor you are a great kid and I do not regret helping you. I could never have just left you to die! I am just scared how the media is going to react when they find out that the letter is from me."
"Wh...why? You saved my life! They will understand that. I will make them know that!" Taylor attested seriously.
"But I stated in the letter to leave us alone. What happens if they think I kidnapped you and that is why I said to leave us alone? It worries me. I just want to live my life in peace." Jason said with tears in his eyes as he gazed at Taylor.
"Jason at first I couldn't understand myself why you wouldn't take me to my family, but as I get to know you, I understand now. It is fear. But I... I can assure you my family will like you. I know they will. I want you to be my friend. I will always be yours! I...I can never repay you for all you did for me!" Taylor choked back a sob as his voice started to shake with tears forming in his eyes.
"Please Taylor don't say that!"
"But...but it's true!" Taylor asserted as he wiped a tear off his face with the back of his hand.
Jason started to weep. He couldn't help but feel love towards this kid. He brought about feelings that he thought he would never feel again. Taylor reached out his hand and touched Jason's hand that was resting on his knee.
"Taylor you are what I hoped my son would have been like." He said as he took control of his emotions.
"How many brothers and sisters do you have?" Jason asked trying to change the drift of the conversation.
"Well I have three brothers and three sisters." Taylor answered blinking back his tears.
"Wow...such a big family! How do you fit in?"
"I am the second oldest of the family. My older brother Ike and my younger brother Zac and I form our group called Hanson. We always loved music. It is who we are." Taylor explained forming a big smile on his face.
"Do you write your own music?"
"Oh yes! My brothers and I wrote a lot of songs and we play our own instruments too. I play the keyboards. My brother Ike plays the guitar and Zac plays the drums."
"You and your brothers must be very talented to have sold that many records. Could I ask you to sing one of your songs?"
"Well... I...I don't know. I mean I don't know if I am up to it."
"Try. I would love to hear you sing. Who sings lead in your band?"
"Well we all take turns on who sings lead." Taylor stated and thought maybe he could sing a little bit of the song Weird.
"I..I will try to sing a little bit of the song we wrote called Weird." Taylor said as he smiled up at Jason. "I think I could sing better if I was sitting up a little."
Jason got up and reached down for the sofa cushions that lay on the floor and lifted up the mattress and placed them behind it.
"Is that comfortable Taylor?"
"Yeah. It feels good."
Jason sat back down on his chair.
"Okay here goes....," Taylor cleared his throat and took a deep breath.
"Isn't it weird. Isn't it strange.
Even though we're just two strangers on this runaway train.
We're both trying to find a place in the sun.
We've lived in the shadows, but doesn't everyone.
Isn't it strange how we all feel a little bit weird sometimes
Yeahhh ohh ohh
Isn't it hard. Standing in the rain.
Yeah .. on the verge of going crazy and your heart's in pain.
No one can hear but you're screaming so loud.
You feel like your all alone in a faceless crowd.
Isn't it strange how we get a little bit weird sometimes.
Sitting on the side. Waiting for a sign. Hoping that my luck
Reaching for a hand that'll understand, someone who
feels the same.
When you live in a cookie cutter world being different
is a sin.
So you don't stand out. And you don't fit in. Weird.
Sitting on the side. Waiting for a sign. Hoping that my
luck will change.
Reaching for a hand that'll understand, someone who
feels the same.
When you live in a cookie cutter world if you're different
you can't win.
So you don't stand out. And you don't fit in.
Isn't it strange how we all feel a little bit weird
Strange, how we all get a little bit.
Strange, how we all get a little bit weird sometimes.
Ohhhh just a little bit Weird sometimes."
Taylor put his all into singing the song. At the end he took a deep breath. He felt a little dizzy. Jason sat amazed with a huge smile forming across his face.
"Taylor that was... that was beautiful! You and your brothers wrote that?!"
Taylor nodded as he smiled at Jason blushing a little from the compliment.
"Yeah. I feel strange singing without my brothers. It would have sounded better with them singing along. Wow.... that took a lot out of me." Taylor exclaimed as beads of sweat formed on his forehead.
"That song has so much meaning. You sang it just fine. Maybe I should lay you back down. You look a little pale. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel sick." Jason said with concern.
"I... I'm okay Jason. Really!" Taylor assured him taking some more deep breaths.
"I just have to get my breath back. I guess I am still to weak." Taylor stated as he smiled at Jason who still looked a little worried.
Jason felt Taylor's forehead. His head felt cool and he gently pushed back a strand of hair away from Taylor's face as he smiled at him. He took the cushions out and slowly brought down the mattress. Taylor's color was coming back into his face again.
"Maybe you should rest now. Take it easy. I will do some reading while you sleep and then I will wake you up to eat some dinner. Okay?"
"Yeah. I am tired." Taylor said with his eyes half shut.
"What are you going to make for dinner?" Taylor asked.
"I was thinking of making some vegetable and beef stew. How does that sound?"
"Sounds great." Taylor smiled as he yawned and closed his eyes. He fell asleep quickly. Singing exhausted him. Jason stared at the kid and gently stroked Taylor's blond hair behind his ear. He petted the side of Taylor's face lovingly.
"I knew he was special." Jason thought with a smile on his face.
"Thank you God for letting him enter my life." He prayed out loud. The song touched his heart very deeply. It is what he felt about himself. He was the "stranger" for years. A peace came over him. He hadn't felt so happy in years.
Jason slowly got up and headed for the kitchen table. He pulled out his medical books and found the papers of his new medical procedure he was still working on. He sat down and lost himself in his report.
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