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Chapter 24 of "Growing Up"

Donna quickly put her damp hair in a braid, and secured it with an rubber band. She changed into a pair of tan cords, a long sleeved green shirt, and Doc Martens. She pulled on her corduroy jacket, and put her bookbag on. Donna picked her suitcase up off the floor, put her sunglasses on, and exited her room. She walked down the stairs to the first floor.

"Mom?" she called. There was no answer. "At work, surprise surprise," Donna said.

She opened the front door and stepped outside into the chilly December air. Donna shut the front door and walked next door. She opened the Hanson's front door, and found Isaac, Taylor, Zac, and Jess sitting in the living room, surrounded by luggage. Diana ran by, dropping a suitcase by the couch as she went by.

"Hey guys," Donna said, as she placed her suitcase and bookbag on the floor. She took off her sunglasses and put them in her pocket.

"Hi Donna!" everyone greeted her. Donna walked over to the couch and sat beside Taylor. "So you guys are all ready?" she asked. Isaac, Taylor, and Zac nodded. "That's a first," Donna commented.

"No kidding," Jess said with a laugh. Walker walked into the living room.

"Hey dad," Isaac said.

"Hi guys," Walker said. "You're all ready to go?" Everyone nodded. "Okay," Walker said. "Is everyone here?"

"Everyone except Kelly," Zac said.

"Well, we'll be ready to go in about 2 minutes," Walker said. He went back into the kitchen.

"Who's Kelly?" Donna asked.

"Zac's girlfriend," Jess said teasingly.

"She's not my girlfriend," Zac said stubbornly. "If you guys get to bring dates, then I'm not going to be the only single person. So I'm bringing Kelly," he explained.

"Oh okay," Donna said. Just then, the doorbell rang. Isaac stood up and pulled the front door open. A pretty girl who looked about Zac's age was standing there, holding a suitcase.

"Hi Kelly," Isaac said. "Come on in."

"Thanks," Kelly said. Donna looked over at her and smiled. Kelly had short dirty blonde hair, big blue eyes, and appeared about as tall as Zac.

"I'm Isaac," Ike said. "And these other people are Taylor, Jess, and Donna. And you know Zac."

"Hi everyone," Kelly said. She sat down on the floor beside Zac.

"So how do you two know each other?" Taylor asked.

"I'm friends with her twin brother," Zac said.

Walker re-entered the living room and looked around. His eyes landed on Kelly.

"I'm assuming you are the famous Kelly," he said with a smile. Kelly nodded.

"Famous?" Jess asked.

"Zac talks about her all the time!" Walker said.

"No I don't!" Zac protested.

"Hey Zac!" Taylor said. "I think you're blushing!" Everyone laughed. Diana, Jessica, Avery, and Mackenzie entered the living room.

"Is everyone here?" Diana asked.

"Yes," Walker replied. "Is everyone ready?" Everyone nodded. "Okay then. Let's go! No one leaves this house empty-handed!" Donna stood up, put her sunglasses back on, and walked over to the pile of suitcases and bookbags. She picked up her own suitcase and bookbag, and picked up another suitcase with her free hand. Donna followed everyone else out to the Hanson's van. Diana quickly counted heads, and shook her head.

"We're not all going to fit in the van alone," she said, turning to her husband.

"I can take some people in my truck," Isaac offered.

"Go get the keys," Walker instructed. Isaac dropped the suitcase he had been holding, and ran back into the house.

"Okay," Diana said. "The four older ones can go in the truck. That's Ike, Tay, Donna, and Jess. Okay?" Taylor, Donna, and Jess nodded. "And the rest of us will go in the van," Diana added.

"Got them!" Isaac called as he ran out the front door, holding a set of keys in his hand.

"All right everyone," Walker said. "Put the luggage in the van, and get to your vehicles!"

Donna walked over to the van, and placed the two suitcases she had been holding in the back. She walked over to Isaac's truck, and got into the backseat. Jess was already sitting in the passenger seat. Taylor opened the door a few seconds later, and got in beside Donna.

"Come on Ike!" he called before slamming the truck door shut. Isaac pulled open the truck door and hopped into the driver's seat. He started the engine, and followed the van out of the driveway. Jess reached over and turned on the radio. She turned up the volume, and the sound of "One Headlight" filled the truck. Donna leaned back and stared out the window.



Chapter 25: