To See Beyond The Surface

Chapter 18 - Family Reunion

Taylor woke slowly in the recovery room noticing someone staring at him. He blinked his eyes to adjust his blurred vision. His hip ached. He licked his dry lips and felt watery ice touch his lips slowly.
"Hi ya kid." Jason crooned gently wetting Taylor's lips with ice chips.
"Ja...Jason?" Taylor groaned weakly.
"Yes I'm here. Everything went smoothly. The operation was a success."
Taylor nodded his head as tears welled in his eyes.
"My... my leg is going to be alright?" Taylor asked gazing into Jason's eyes.
"Yes.... I found out what was cutting off the blood flow to the leg. The hip is now fixed properly too." Jason assured him lovingly petting the side of his face slowly.
"My family? Is my family here? I ...I want you to meet...."
"NO! No Taylor. I can't! I am going to say goodbye now. Remember I love you kid. I will miss you." Jason moaned sadly with tears welling in his eyes.
"Nooooo Jason, don't go! Please don't GO!" Taylor begged starting to sob as he grabbed onto Jason's shirt.
"I ...I have too. Please understand! I just can't! I...I..."
"Please? You saved my life! Please do it for me?" Taylor cried with tears rolling down the sides of his face.
"Maybe... maybe someday, but not now." Jason rasped as he pried Taylor's fingers off from the front of his shirt. He slowly got up and walked towards the door.
"JASON?! Please? Don't go!" Taylor begged with his eyes fearfully watching him open the door and weakly raised his arm out to him.
"I love you Taylor! I will always love you! I will never forget you!" Jason's voice cracked with emotion as he opened the door and went out.
"JAAAAASON! Nooooooo!" Taylor screamed as Jason kept walking down the hall, his heart breaking in two. Alice stood by the door blocking his way.
"How can you leave Jason!? Listen to him! He wants you! You did so much for him! You can't leave him like this!"
"Alice? Please get out of my way! I have to go!" Jason shouted sadly.
"JAAASON!" Taylor's voice resounded through the hallway.
Jason put his hands up to his ears trying to block Taylor's screams. Alice wouldn't move from her spot.
"I am not going to let you just walk out of here!" Alice declared stubbornly crossing her arms.
Suddenly he lifted her up and plopped her down gently on the side and raced through the swinging doors. She ran after him, but he ran to fast. She stood in the hall as tears welled in her eyes. She always loved Jason. She fell in love with him from the day they met. She always kept it a secret. It almost killed her when he fell in love with Mary, her good friend, but she always hoped the best for them. The day of the fire was the worst day of her life. She remembered the funeral and how she was by Jason's side for months hoping and praying he would come out of the coma. And now she lost him again as he ran from her. The boy, Taylor Hanson, was still calling out for him and she quickly turned and ran toward the room and opened the door.
Tears were running down his face as Alice entered. She could see the longing and pain in his eyes as she approached the bed.
"Ja... Jason?! Where is he?" Taylor asked pitifully in choking sobs.
"I... I'm sorry Taylor he has gone." Alice cooed gently, watching him squeeze his eyes shut tightly and drawing in a shaking breath of air.
"Why? Why did he have to go!?" Taylor sobbed as Alice reached down and caressed his forehead feeling sorry for him. She could see in his eyes how attached he was to Jason Monroe.
"Taylor? Your family is here. They want to see you." Alice smiled, thinking maybe this would get his mind off of him.
"My parents are here?" Taylor rasped and stopped crying as he blinked rapidly to stop the tears. He wiped the tears off his face with his hand.
"Please? Can I see them now?" Taylor asked excitedly, finally smiling up at Alice.
"I will go get them now. Okay?"
Taylor nodded his head and sniffed back hard. Even though he was saddened by Jason leaving him, joy filled up his heart. He missed his family very much and desperately wanted to see them.

Suddenly the door opened slowly and his mother was the first one in, followed by his father.
"MOM! DAD!" Taylor yelled reaching out his arms towards his mother. She ran to him and flew into his arms. He burst into tears of joy. She started to kiss him all over his face.
"Tay! My baby! Tay!" Diana yelled, joyfully still kissing him.
Walker was standing on the other side of the bed when he lifted Taylor's upper body into his arms and started to weep hugging him desperately. Taylor hung on tightly never wanting to let go. He sobbed into his father's shoulder as his body shook against Walker's racked in deep sobs. Finally he gently lowered him onto the bed. Taylor grabbed his father's hand. Walker kissed it and was speechless as the tears rolled down his smiling face.
"Where... is Ike, Zac, and the rest?" Taylor asked looking past his mother at the door.
"They will be coming soon sweetheart. They didn't want everyone in the room all at once. How do you feel?" Diana asked, caressing Taylor's forehead lovingly, watching her son cast his eyes up and down.
"I hurt a little. My hip hurts. I missed you so much. Jason left me, Mom. I... I wanted you to meet him." Taylor said sadly, with his lip quivering.
"I know... I know. I heard that he left. I wish we could have thanked him for all he did for you sweetheart." Diana crooned gently, seeing the lost look in her son's eyes.
"Maybe someday we will meet him. It is so good to see you. We were searching and searching for you till the letter was delivered by a wolf." Walker said finally finding his voice again.
"Snow? His name is Snow. That is Jason's wolf. He sent him to you."
"The name suits him." Walker smiled, remembering the white fur of the wolf.
"I heard you calling for me. His cabin is built under the ground. You were right above us." Taylor told his father.
"Then why didn't you call out?"
"Jason was afraid. I wanted too, but he is so afraid of everyone. Please don't hold it against him. He needs time to be with people again.... I guess." Taylor explained, sadly glancing at both his parents.
"Well I will let you see Ike and Zac next and then your little brother and sisters. I am sure they are dying to see you right now." Walker said smiling at his son.
Walker got up and left the room while Diana held onto Taylor's hand as he smiled at her.
"You look very skinny Tay. Didn't you eat anything?" Diana asked with concern.
"Yeah... but sometimes with the pain, I couldn't." Taylor answered tearfully as he cast his eyes downward.
"Oh... well now you will get better." Diana smiled at Taylor gently caressing the side of his face.

"WELL it's about time you came back HOME!" Zac yelled joyously, coming into the room and running up to Taylor.
"ZAC!" Taylor laughed and they both hugged each other tightly.
"OH GOD I missed you!" Zac shouted happily looking into his brother's blue eyes.
"I missed you too." Taylor said as a huge smile formed across his face. No words could describe his joy being reunited with his family again.
Zac gazed at his brother from top to bottom. He noticed both his legs were in casts including his left side. He hated seeing his brother like this. He looked very weak and helpless as tears welled in his eyes.
"Hey Zac? It isn't as bad as it looks." Taylor assured him reading the look on his brother's face.
"Doesn't look to good to me. I mean...I...."
"You should have seen me before... or maybe not. I don't think you could have handled it." Taylor smiled teasing his brother.
"Very funny! At least you're in a good mood." Zac said with a smile, but deep down he still felt concerned about him.
"Where.. where is Ike? I want to see Ike. Please Dad? I have to see Ike!" Taylor suddenly remembered how scared Ike was on that day of the accident.
"Ummm... Diana, Zac? Could I be alone with Taylor for a bit?" Walker asked with a serious look on his face.
"Sure." Diana muttered understanding why. Zac and Diana went out of the room.
Taylor looked at his dad with a questioning, concerned look.
"What Dad? What...."
"Tay? Ike is scared to see you." Walker crooned gently looking into son's eyes.
"Why?" Taylor asked sadly, crinkling up his eyesbrows not understanding.
"Ever since the accident he has been blaming himself for what happened to you. His guilt is overwhelming him. We tried to tell him not to feel that way." Walker explained bowing his head.
"No Dad! I LOVE Ike! It wasn't his fault! He tried to help me! We... we just couldn't hold on to each other! I... I just slipped away! There was nothing he could have done! He tried! I tried!" Taylor yelled starting to cry again feeling desperate as he looked at his father.
"It's okay son... calm down. Please don't get upset Tay." Walker cooed lovingly squeezing Taylor's arm.
"Please tell him I don't think it is his fault! I... I want to see him! Please?" Taylor rasped tearfully searching his father's eyes.
"Okay I will go and get him."
Walker got up and left the room with Taylor looking down at his hands. The tears started to flow down his face. He didn't want Ike to feel this way.

Ike sat in the waiting room sadly gazing out the window noticing the media was swarming around the hospital. He felt a hand touch his shoulder and turned to look into his father's eyes.
"Ike? Tay wants to see you." Walker said watching his son's eyes open wide with fear again.
"Dad? I...I can't! I want to but...."
"Ike? Listen to me! Taylor doesn't blame you. He told me that just now. So I want you to take a deep breath and follow me." Walker declared sternly.
"Dad!?" Ike pleaded licking his lips.
"Ike? Do as I say!" Walker ordered not taking no for an answer.
Ike nodded his head sadly and got up off the couch and followed his dad out of the room. His legs began to shake as they neared the room where his brother was in. His heart felt like it was going to beat out of his chest as sweat started to bead on his forehead. Finally he stood in front of the doorway just staring at the door. His father stood just beside him giving him a reassuring smile.
"Just go in Ike." Walker whispered gently, noticing his son was trembling all over.
"Dad...I ...I'm scared!" Ike moaned as tears started to flow down his face.
Walker grabbed him and hugged him tightly, rubbing his back.
"It's okay son. Tay loves you. Now just go in. Everything will be alright. I promise." Walker assured him in a soothing voice.
Ike nodded and took a deep shaking breath of air and opened the door slowly.

Taylor looked up when he heard the door opening. He saw Ike sadly enter the room with his eyes staring at the floor and his body was shaking.
"IKE?! Oh God Ike!" Taylor yelled as he burst into uncontrollable sobs.
Ike slowly looked up and saw his brother desperately reaching out to him with his arms. The fear he felt inside melted as he looked into his brother's loving blue eyes.
"TAY!" Ike yelled, bursting into tears and ran into his brother's outstretched arms. They desperately clung to each other as they both rocked together, while their bodies were racked with deep shaking sobs. Words at the moment were useless as the tears and pain overwhelmed them.

Walker opened the door slightly and peeked in noticing his two oldest sons were in each other's arms. He looked up toward heaven and mouthed the words, "Thank you."

Finally after awhile they both released the hug. Ike grabbed Taylor's shoulders.
"I'm sorry Tay! I... I should have held on!" Ike rasped breathlessly.
"No I should have held on!" Taylor exclaimed, placing his hands on Ike's arms that held onto him.
"But I let go of you! I let you fall!"
"NO! Our hands just slipped apart! You tried! We tried! It just didn't work!" Taylor said with his voice cracking with emotion.
"I..I..." Ike began sucking in a shaky breath.
"Ike? This stupid accident was no one's fault. Please don't blame yourself. I never thought to blame you. I just wanted you, needed you. All I did was think about you. I LOVE YOU IKE! MAN I love you!" Taylor cried, smiling through his tears.
Suddenly Isaac felt the weight of guilt and heartache lift from his soul with joy taking its place.
"I LOVE YOU TOO TAY! Oh God I have missed you!" Ike bellowed, smiling down at his brother with tear soaked eyes.

"Are you ready to see Makie and the girls?" Diana asked, popping her head in the doorway smiling at both her sons.
"Yeah!" Taylor said, still smiling at up at his brother, with Isaac smiling back. He ran his fingers over his right eye wiping the tears away and then wiped off his left eye with the back of hand.

Jason sat in his cabin and gazed at the bed that Taylor slept in for the past few days. Tears were flowing down his face. He slowly got up thinking maybe he would pull out his medical report to get his mind off the boy. As he stood by the dresser he suddenly noticed a necklace laying on the top. He lifted it and looked at the other jewelry laying there as well. It was Taylor's. The loneliness already overwhelmed him. The sound of the boy's voice still resounded in his head. He remembered how he called for him, begging him not to leave.
"Why? Why am I so afraid? Why couldn't I just meet his family?" He asked out loud to no one with agony in his voice.

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