A few more weeks passed by as Taylor, Jason, and Alice worked hard to get Taylor to walk normally again. Finally it was the day he wasn't going to use the brace on his hip anymore. Taylor felt excited and scared at the same time. He came into the physical therapy room and caught Jason tenderly kissing Alice.
"Oh... sorry!" Taylor said feeling embarrassed catching them by surprise and turned grabbing the handle.
"No Taylor! It's okay." Alice yelled smiling at Taylor running up to him.
"I should have knocked first! Really I'm sorry." Taylor apologized looking down at the floor shyly.
"Hey Taylor? Haven't you seen two people kiss before?" Jason asked teasingly.
"Very funny Jason!" Taylor answered chuckling feeling at little more at ease.
"Well today is the day. No brace. Just you and the bars." Jason said motioning for Taylor to come over to him.
Taylor headed over to the parallel bars where Jason was standing. He handed Jason his crutches and took his position at the end of the bars and grabbed onto them. Alice and Jason stood on opposite sides watching him. Taylor swallowed hard and took a step which was easy since it was his right leg. Very cautiously he brought his left leg forward and stepped down feeling the stiffness in his hip and frowned slightly as he brought his weight down. He smiled slightly noticing that he felt no intense pain go through him.
"How does it feel?" Jason asked.
"Not to bad." Taylor said smiling up at Jason and then looking at Alice who nodded her head in approval. Taylor took another step as his father came into the room smiling at his son seeing him walking smoothly through the bars.
"Think I can make it to the end?" Taylor asked Alice.
"Up to you Taylor. Just take it slow. Try to reach your dad at the other end." Alice challenged him as Taylor looked up and saw his father smiling at him.
"Here I come Dad!" Taylor smiled as Walker laughed feeling so proud of his son for coming through all this and working so hard.
"Well I will give you an incentive. I have some important news to tell you and the only way you are going to hear it is if you make it all the way to me." Walker chuckled seeing Taylor becoming curious.
"Walk all the way to me first!" Walker stated smiling.
"Thats no fair." Taylor mumbled as he was determined now to get to the other end seeing his father standing there with a grin on his face.
Taylor started to pant a little as the steps were exhausting him.
"Take it easy Tay. Just take your time." Jason advised as Alice and him moved with Taylor at every step he took.
Taylor looked up and saw that all he had to do was take about five more steps and he would be by his father. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he kept moving slowly looking down at his feet again. Walker grabbed Taylor at the last step and hugged him tightly as Taylor smiled hugging him back. He was breathing hard and felt exhausted but great knowing he made it all the way across.
"I did it! I did it!" Taylor yelled joyfully.
"Ya sure did kiddo! That was great!" Jason shouted impressed by Taylor walking without his brace for the first time and made it all the way from one end of the bars to the other.
"Now what is this news that is so important dad?" Taylor asked looking straight into his father's eyes.
"Well in about two weeks you and your brothers are going to go to LA and begin recording your new album with Ric Osek!" Walker announced happily to him.
"Yeah?! Oh that's great! But...but will I be ready by then?" Taylor asked looking up at Jason and then turning to look at Alice.
"Well Tay I don't see why not. I think in two weeks we can get you walking without crutches with what you showed us today. You were amazing!" Alice smiled rubbing Taylor's shoulder.
"You mean you will be going back home to Colorado then?" Taylor asked.
"Yes you know this was only temporary until you totally recovered." Alice explained noticing Taylor looked sadly down at his feet.
"Yeah I know. But I was almost thinking of you and Sherri like you were apart of the family." Taylor smiled weakly.
"Well I hope we will always seem that way to you." Alice added taking hold of Taylor's hand and gently squeezed it. Taylor squeezed her hand back and swallowed hard trying to get rid of the lump he felt in his throat.
Later that afternoon Taylor was taking a nap on the couch when he woke up hearing a loud crashing noise out in the hall. He sat up hearing his mother telling Zac to be careful and grinned shaking his head. Suddenly Zac and Ike came into the living room dragging a huge bag over to him. Taylor turned and sat up wondering what they were doing.
"What's that?" Taylor asked pointing at the bag.
"Letters! Tons of letters for you Tay!" Ike chuckled.
"Why did you bring it in here?" Taylor asked as Zac plopped down on the couch next to him letting out a deep breath.
"They are get well cards from the fans! You're just SO LOVED!" Zac yelled in a silly voice hugging his brother teasingly around the neck and pretended he was crying.
"Oh cut it out you moron!" Taylor exclaimed laughing and pushing his brother away as Zac kept giggling. He reached down and picked up a card and opened it reading the message that was written inside and a smile formed across his face.
"Wow! This is so cool!" Taylor gushed happily and picked up another one.
"I was thinking we should write something in MOE thanking everyone who sent them to you." Ike suggested smiling at Taylor who was engrossed with the cards.
"Umm... yeah. I will do that. This is so awesome." Taylor said blinking back the tears that formed in his eyes.
"Hey! Now don't start sobbing on us!" Zac said rolling his eyes.
"I'm not!" Taylor sniffed throwing a nasty look toward his little brother.
"Uh huh!" Zac said smirking at Taylor.
"Oh stop picking on him Zac!" Ike smiled nudging Zac gently on the arm.
Taylor smiled at Zac and then at Ike wanting to change the subject.
"Are you guys excited about recording in LA?" Taylor asked.
"Yeah can't wait!" Ike said excitedly and wondered why Taylor suddenly looked sad.
"Yep me too." Zac added in.
"Tay? What's wrong?" Ike asked.
"Nothing. Nothing is wrong." Taylor rasped forcing a smile on his face.
"Tay? I know something is in that thick head of yours. Just spill it!" Ike declared demanding that Taylor tell him the truth instead of burying his feelings.
"I am just going to miss Jason. I hate to see him go. Okay?" Taylor admitted feeling a little perturbed.
"Well I can understand that Tay. I have feelings for the man too. I mean look.... he saved my brothers life and nothing I could do or say will ever repay him for that!" Ike exclaimed casting his eyes down.
"Thanks Ike." Taylor said in a gentle voice as he looked over at his brother lovingly.
"Hey no problem." Ike smiled cracking a grin and nudged Taylor on the arm.
"I just don't know how I am going to take it when he leaves in the next couple of weeks."
"Hey it isn't like you are never going to see him again!" Zac assured him in a understanding voice.
"I know. I guess I shouldn't think about it so much." Taylor stated.
"Anyhow... you always have us!" Zac shouted in a devilish voice.
"Oh God! Nooooo!" Taylor laughed as Ike and Zac laughed with him.
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