CHAPTER 18

‘Ike, another one of them umbrellas dropped,’ Zac fumbled with the one he was holding as he nearly tripped over the fallen one.
‘Eww, that one fell into a mud puddle. I think we can safely leave it. After all, we’ve only got 101 more,’ Ike rolled his eyes at the recollection of what ended them even more weighed down, literally than before it started pouring like a hose.
‘It's all your fault. Nobody told you to announce to the whole world Hanson was at the counting crows concert,’ Zac cemented the blame on Ike, his arms thoroughly in suffering from the 6 umbrellas left hanging on his left hand alone, not counting the ones hanging on his right and the trail of umbrellas fallen behind them in their quickened frenzy to reach home without being the laughing stock of the neighbourhood.

‘Well well boys, what have you been doing? Visiting an indoor plant watering convention?’ Susan laughed in their faces, insensitive to the poor boys now dripping and soaked clean through the fabric in alkaline rainwater.
‘Oh and I see they’ve been handing out free umbrellas too,’ and with that she burst out laughing, thigh slapping included and everything, still not making way for the boys to enter the house with all their bulkiness.
‘Just drop everything, they cant see us anymore’ Zac announced and plunked the 10 plus umbrellas from his sore reddened arms, and sighed a tremendous burden unload.
‘The show was cancelled cause of the downpour and Ike the wonder boy here had to ask the lady next to us if she had an umbrella to spare and by gracious fortune she happened to be a major Hanson fan and so did her whole platoon of friends she brought along with her. And better yet, all of them had spare umbrellas and generously offered them to us with no not being an option. I’m not even going to start with the part about our car breaking down.’ Zac narrated sarcastically and lunged onto the couch so forcefully out of tiredness that he hit it like he weighed a hundred tons, and laid there like a dead animal.

‘Where’s Taylor?’ Ike finally said when he had subdued the urge to go on grumbling about his self doubled-up misfortune. Susan looked down to herself as if she could rid everyone in the room by that one act and smirked to herself,’He ran away’.
‘Say what?’Ike strained his ears.
‘He’s out in the garden’ she covered up.

With that mention of Taylor, Ike dragged his eyes laggingly to Zac, who had lifted his head up with the only ounce of strength he had left to meet Ike's in a shared concept. They had discussed it during the pre show and now with Susan in the picture, with her beyond the average human sense of canniness, they could see their vision coming more to life than it ever could without her.

Taylor sat cross-legged under the shelter he had taken from the sudden rain hazard that almost ruined his favorite pair of sparkly blue denim jeans with silver studs. Good thing for him he hadn’t wandered far into the estate where the scraggly-forested territory would have left him stranded for hours in the middle of nowhere. It was true. Even though he had been living there for 4 years, he had yet to grasp the maze like forests that encircled the Hanson’s monstrosity of a house. He sat there wondering whether it was a bad idea to have left the house in such a hurry like that. It would have only done harm to him, especially considering the twist he was in now, sitting stranded in the courtyard without a thing to do or place to go. He hoped something or someone would be his saving grace and send him a direction.

‘Meow,’ came a sullen yet high-pitched cry from his side. Taylor cranked his head to the right only to notice a tiny black and white stripped kitten in pitiable disposition, its left leg caught into the rattan chair which it had no doubt been put in from its playful youngsterness. He quickly took 2 steps to it and untied the raffia from its tiny paws. It must have not been more than 2 weeks old. The mother cat must have left him here and went in search for food only to be lost in those woods he just narrowly avoided, he giggled slightly only to frown at his callousness.
‘You’re coming home with me,’ he insisted.
‘In fact, I think I’ve the perfect gift for Selina the next time I meet her. You’ll be well taken care of from now on,’ he promised as he felt the tiny pumping heart of the abandoned malnourished newborn thump through its skin against his palm.

‘So what you’re saying is, tomorrow after the show, you’ll be having a post show party as always’

‘And so Tay won’t suspect a thing,’ Zac interrupted.

‘Right, and you want me to take his mind of…something he’s pre-occupied with…. and make him fall in love with me?’ Susan reiterated.

‘Well, not exactly fall…’Zac continued, when Ike sharply poked him in the ribs.

‘Right, exactly. We want him to be around othe…I mean be around girls. Lot’s of them. And since you're his one and only ex, you have that edge, you know. So how about it? You in on it?’ Ike budged in.

‘Of course. That’s what I’m here for,’ Susan smiled widely, with a glow never so radiant than the one she possessed then. Getting back together with Taylor was the only thing she ever dreamed of and now that his brothers were on her side, it would make her task a whole lot easier.
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