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Chapter 17 of "Growing Up"

Taylor frantically walked around his room.

"Where IS it!" he exclaimed.

"Where is WHAT?" Isaac asked.

"My red shirt!" Taylor said. "I need it! I have to wear it!"

"Tay calm down man," Zac said, entering the room. "You're going mad crazy over a shirt."

"But it's my favorite shirt, and I can't find it!" Taylor said, as he bent down and peered under the bed.

"He has to look good for his girlfriend," Isaac explained.

"Well thank you all-knowing Ike," Taylor said sarcastically. "Now maybe you might want to consider helping me."

"I will," Zac volunteered, and he disappeared into the closet.

"I would help you," Isaac said. "But truthfully, I really don't want to." He grinned at Taylor. Taylor glared at Isaac.

"Found it!" Zac exclaimed triumphantly. He emerged from the closet, holding Tay's red shirt.

"Thanks Zac," he said, pulling the shirt over his head.

"Hello?" a voice called from downstairs.

"Come on up Donna!" Isaac called back. Donna and Lindsay appeared at the guys bedroom door a few seconds later.

"Hey guys!" Donna exclaimed as she walked into the room. Lindsay stood, rooted to the floor, outside the door. Isaac gave her a weird look.

"You can come in too," he said, walking over to her. Lindsay shook her head.

"Oh okay," she said smiling. "Thanks." Lindsay walked hurriedly over to where Donna had sat on Taylor's bed and sat beside her. Donna looked at her face and smiled. She could tell Lindsay was trying extremely hard to not freak out.

"You guys almost ready to go?" Donna asked.

"Yep!" Zac said. He grabbed his jacket from the floor and put it on. Isaac and Taylor also put on their jackets, and Taylor and Zac also put on wraparound sunglasses. Isaac grabbed the keys to his truck and held them up.

"Let's go!" he said. Taylor walked over to where Donna and Lindsay were sitting. He held out both hands. Donna took his left hand and allowed him to pull her up. Lindsay just stared at Taylor's outreached hand. Donna gave Lindsay a look and nudged her foot. Lindsay slowly took Taylor's hand, and he pulled her off the bed. He dropped her hand, but held onto Donna's. Everyone went down the stairs, and out the door.

"You can sit in front with me Lindsay," Isaac said, getting into the truck.

"Okay!" Lindsay exclaimed happily. She got in the truck, and Zac, Taylor, and Donna got into the backseat. Isaac started the engine, and backed out of the driveway.

"So Lindsay," he began. "How is everything back in New Jersey?" Lindsay and Isaac made small talk while Donna and Zac held a staring contest, with Taylor as the referee.

"You blinked Zac!" he exclaimed.

"No way man!" Zac said. "I didn't blink, Donna did!"

"Did not," Donna said.

"Right Tay?" Taylor nodded. "Sorry Zac, but you lose," he said with a grin.

"You're just taking her side 'cause she's your girlfriend," Zac said, crossing his arms across his chest.

"That's right," Taylor said, putting his arm around Donna and pulling her closer to him. Donna snuggled against Taylor and closed her eyes. A few minutes later, Isaac pulled into the mall parking lot.

"We're here!" he exclaimed.

"Thanks for clearing that up Ike," Zac said unbuckling his seatbelt and opening the door. Donna, Isaac, Lindsay, and Taylor did the same, and walked through the parking towards the mall entrance. The five entered the mall and began walking around.

"Where does everyone want to go?" Isaac asked.

"I'm starving," Zac announced. "Can we eat?" Isaac looked at the others and shrugged.

"I guess so," he said. "Let's go to the food court."

"Excuse me," a female voice said. Donna looked behind Isaac and saw two girls, probably around 11 or 12 standing there. Isaac turned to face the girls.

"Hi there!" he said brightly. "What can we do for you?"

"Could we...have your autographs?" the one girl managed to say.

"Sure!" Zac exclaimed. "Here," the girls each handed Isaac a piece of paper and a pen. Isaac quickly wrote a short message on each paper, and handed them over to Zac. Zac did the same and handed the papers and pen to Taylor. Taylor quickly scribbled his name on each paper and handed the papers and pen back to the girls.

"Thanks!" the one girl exclaimed happily.

"We really love your music," the other girl said. "We're your number 1 fans!"

"Thanks!" Isaac said.

"Well we really should get going. See you around!" Zac waved, and the two girls smiled and waved back wildly.

"Just once," Taylor said wrapping his arm around Donna's waist. "Just once I would like to go somewhere without having to give out my autograph."

"Come on Tay," Donna said. "It's all part of it. The fans ARE the ones that got you where you are today."

"True," Taylor said.

"Here we are," Isaac said when the group arrived at the food court. "Okay guys," he said, looking at Zac and Tay. "Put them on." Isaac, Taylor and Zac proceeded to put on their wraparound sunglasses.

"Let's go," Taylor said. They walked through the food court, trying to decide what to get to eat.

"What do you want?" Taylor asked Donna.

"Actually, I'm not really that hungry," Donna said. "I need to go get a certain person a birthday present," she said with a smiled. "Can me and Linds meet you back here in a little while?" Taylor nodded.

"Sure," he said. "Is an hour enough time?"

"Plenty," Donna replied.

"Okay cool," Taylor said. "See you in an hour."



Chapter 18: