dancing in the dark
[ chapter 4 ]

“Are you guys coming with us?” Morgan smiled at Zac as she peeked in the van. She crawled into the very back seat and leaned against the window as Taylor crawled in next to her.

“Nah...” Zac said as Jessie continued,

“We’re going to go to Laser Quest for awhile and Ike’s gonna come and pick us up later.”

“So Isaac has to stay home and babysit?” Morgan laughed.

“It’s his duty,” Zac said in a crazy voice as everyone laughed and Walker began driving down the road.

After dropping off Zac, Jessica and Avie at Laser Quest, Taylor’s parents and the two teenagers set out on an hour long car ride to the part of Lake Erie in Ohio. The car ride was very quiet, and Morgan cautiously peaked glances at Taylor as she faced him in the back seat, sitting indian style. She pulled her long sleeved shirt from around her waist and pulled it over her head; chilled by her and Taylor’s earlier kiss. Taylor situated himself with his back against the opposite window and his legs bent in front of him, and he faced Morgan.

“I guess I kind of ruined our mood, huh?” Taylor said softly, leaning his head against the window.

“No, no. I’m the one that brought it up in the first place,” Morgan said, and looked out the back window for a moment. “I think that its okay that it happened, though.”

“Are you sure?” Taylor asked.

Morgan nodded. “I won’t hold it against you, Taylor.” she smiled.

“Aww,” Taylor said, and they smiled weakly at each other.

After another hour of sporadic conversation between Taylor and Morgan, they reached Lake Erie where they were going to go tubing down a section of the lake. Both Morgan and Taylor felt rather uncomfortable around each other, but pretended like nothing had happened for the sake of their friendship and to have a good time. When they reached the booth to rent the inner tubes, Taylor’s parents left them to float down the river alone as they went into the city to shop. As soon as Taylor’s parents drove off, he and Morgan got into line and Taylor said,

“Finally, they’re gone.”

Morgan flipped her sunglasses over her nose and smiled. Suddenly she felt very nervous. “Did you really mean what you said in the car awhile ago...how you’re okay that it happened?” she finally asked.

“Yeah, sure...” Taylor said. Then: “I mean, I guess...”

“Well I didn’t know how I felt before I got here since I haven’t seen you in so long. I didn’t know if you had changed or if our relationship had or what...” Morgan paused and lowered her voice. “Or just how things would be when we finally saw each other again.” They both immediately looked behind them as a group of teenagers added on to the line.

Taylor read Morgan’s mind and replied, “I guess this isn’t the best time or place to talk about all of that though...”

Morgan smiled, and Taylor paid for their inner tubes and they walked over to a large truck filled with flourscenent pink inner tubes. they both pulled one out of the heap, and wandered over to under a tree. They took off their shoes and socks and put them in teh pockets on the sides of the inner tubes, and Morgan peeled off her long sleeved shirt that was sticking to her hot skin. They silently walked to the beginning of the water trail and began floating down the lake.

“Gosh, epopel bring huge coolers and fun noodles when they do this?” Morgan asked and floated around in a circle.

“Yup, I guess so,” Taylor laughed, still nervous. “There’s actually not that many people here right now since its still early, which is a good thing. Its usually really crowded, especially since its summer.”

“I bet,” Morgan replied. “This is so peaceful.”

After a few minutes of floating the current gradually increasd and Taylor began floating away from Morgan.

“Hey, Taylor!” Morgan laughed, and stretched her arm to reach a handle of his inner tube. He stretched out his own arm instead and they grabbed hands as they floated back together. Neither released their grasp, and continued floating hand in hand.

“When we came here for my birthday there were like, ten of us and we were constantly going astray from one another,” Taylor said as he and Morgan’s arms stretched in and out. “So we all held hands or onto each others inner tubes and so there was this huge long line of tubes coming down this little lake. It was pretty fun.”

Morgan laughed and said, “It sounds like your life hasn’t been totally boring and depressing then, when you guys are on break from your music, of course. I’m sure you guys would have more fun in Tulsa, but Parma seems like a cool town, too.”

“I guess its not as bad as I make it out to be, but the people here are different. You met Jordie and Tyler today, unfortunately. That’s how a lot of my friends are, our friends are.” Taylor sighed and continued, “But I respect them for respecting us. They’d heard about us before but didn’t really judge us from the beginning. They all got to know us, which was good. But still...I miss my old friends.”

“Well I’m glad that you guys have found a lot of people around here to hang out with. I’ll always be here for you though, I’m not like that.” Morgan replied.

“No, you're not.” Taylor said, and then, “But you’re not here.” Taylor smiled and gazed at Morgan and then looked quickly away. “I’m sorry Morgan,” and laughed. “I don’t know how to act around you right now. I don’t know if I’m just supposed to pretend like nothing happened or if I’m supposed to start calling you my girlfriend or what. That kiss kind of messed everything up. Especially since I haven’t seen you in so long.”

Unsure of what to say, Morgan simple nodded. Then: “I don’t think we need to go quite that far. That would be kind of cumbersome.” Morgan stressed the last word and smiled at Taylor. He laughed, acknowledging her usage of another vocabulary word. “See! I want things to be like this. I want to be able to joke around with you and not feel stupid. And I want to be able to tell you anything, and I now I’ll alwayts be able to and I know you’ll always be honest with me. You always have been.” Morgan said as their float ended and they carefully got out of their tubes and moved to the side to put on their shoes.

“I know thats how its always been and how it always will be, though.” Taylor said.

They put on their shoes and waited for another bus to come back and take them up to the start and Morgan nodded “Right.” As the bus was pulling up, Taylor said,

“I’m glad we got to talk some. There’s something else I have to tell you when we get home though, okay?”

Morgan looked concerned.

“Don’t worry, its nothing bad or anything,” Taylor grinned.

“Okay, okay,” Morgan said and boarded the bus in front of Taylor.

“I hope not anyway,” he sid under his breath. To his dismay, he soon found out that he wouldn’t have to wait until they got home to tell Morgan about his girlfriend, Marisa.

After the short bus ride to the top of the hill, Morgan and Taylor hopped out into the rich, sunny day. Taylor threw his damp tee shirt over his shoulder and Morgan put her sunglasses on and tied her long sleeved shirt around her waist.