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Chapter 34 of "Growing Up"

“I can’t believe I’m not going to see you for three whole months!!” Donna cried.

Taylor stroked her hair and sighed. He hated to leave Donna, but he and his brothers had to go on tour.

“Donna it will be okay, he said in a soothing voice. “The time will fly by. And besides we’ll be back in Tulsa in a month or so for a few days. We’ll be together then.”

“I know,” Donna said. “I’m just going to miss you so much. You and everyone else.”

“Well there’s always Wicket,” Taylor said with a smile.

Donna laughed and lightly punched Taylor’s shoulder.

“I feel so sorry for that dog,” she said.

“Why?” Taylor asked.

“Well you just got her a few weeks ago, and you’re already abandoning her,” Donna said. “And not to mention that fact that she has to put up with you as an owner.”

“Oh you’re going to get it now!” Taylor exclaimed as he began to tickle Donna’s sides.

Donna burst out laughing and tried to push Taylor away, but he was too strong.

“Okay Tay! STOP!! I’m sorry!!!” she said laughing.

Taylor chuckled and pulled Donna into a bear hug.

“I’m really going to miss you babe,” he said.

Donna pulled away, and looked at Taylor with laughing eyes.

“I’m going to miss you too....babe.”

She began to laugh again, and Taylor shook his head.

“I don’t know how I put up with you,” he said with a smile.

“I love you Tay,” Donna said.

“You’re lucky I love you too,” he replied, as the two leaned in and kissed.

“Okay guys! Break it up,” Zac said running by.

“Yeah we gotta haul ass if we’re going to catch this plane,” Isaac added, walking up to them.

Donna glanced over Taylor’s shoulder and saw the whole Hanson family coming out of the house.

She looked at Taylor and sighed.

“I guess this is it,” she said, pulling away from him.

“No good-bye?” Taylor asked.

“I’m going to say good-bye to everyone else first,” Donna explained. “And save the best for last.”

She hugged each of the family members in turn. When she came to Isaac, she hugged him extra tight.

“Ike promise you won’t tell anyone about Jake, okay?” she whispered.

Isaac sighed.

“I promise Donna,” he said. “But I still think you should tell your mother or the police what happened. Just because Jake is gone doesn’t mean it’s over.”

“I’ll think about it,” Donna said. She squeezed him once more, then walked over to Taylor.

She managed a small smile before the tears began to fall. Taylor pulled her into a hug.

“Please don’t cry Donna,” he said.

Donna sniffed, and wiped her eyes.

“Okay Taylor,” she said.

“Oh I have something for you,” Taylor said, reaching into his pocket. He pulled out a small white box and handed it to Donna. She opened it, and gasped.

“Taylor it’s beautiful,” she said, taking the necklace out of the box.

“Here,” Taylor said, reaching behind her. “Let me help.”

He fastened the clasp, and pointed to a small charm on one of his chokers.

“This is the key,” he explained, reaching for the heart that hung form Donna’s necklace. “that opens the heart,” he finished, indicating a tiny hole on the back of the heart.

“What’s inside?” Donna asked.

“Well have a look,” Taylor said. He leaned over and unlocked the heart.

“Oh Tay,” Donna said. “That is so sweet.” She smiled at the picture of her and Taylor that was inside the locket. “Thank you so much.”

“I love you Donna,” Taylor said.

“I love you too,” Donna replied, and the two shared one final kiss.

“Good-bye Tay,” she said, as he walked over to the van and got in. The van pulled out of the driveway, and just like that, he was gone.

Donna wiped a few stray tears that fell from her eyes and looked down at the picture once more, before turning around and walking back to her house.