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Chapter 1 - "Juice and Cookies"

July, 1989

“TAY! I give up! You can come out now!!”

Rayne walked around her house to the backyard, searching in vain for her friend.


Rayne screamed and turned around. She found Taylor in front of her, a big smile on his face. Rayne gave him a look and punched his shoulder.

“I TOLD you not to do that!” she exclaimed.

“OW!” Taylor said, rubbing his shoulder. “That hurt!”

“Good,” Rayne said. “You deserved it.”

The two six year olds walked across the front yard and sat down on Rayne’s front stoop. Rayne’s mother, Amy, appeared at the front door, holding the newest addition to the Fields family, Joseph Patrick, who was 3 months old.

“What are you kids up to?” she asked, stepping onto the front porch.

“Nothing Mommy,” Rayne said. “We’re bored. Will you take us to the park?”

“Oh not today sweetheart,” Amy said. “Maybe tomorrow, okay?”

“All right,” Rayne said in a disappointed voice.

“You guys want some juice?” Amy asked.

“Sure,” Taylor and Rayne said in unison, and stood up.

“Maybe I can find some cookies for you too,” Amy said, a smile playing on her lips.

“YEAH!” Taylor said.

“C’mon Tay,” Rayne said, grabbing his hand and pulling him inside.

Rayne and Taylor sat at the kitchen table, tall glasses of juice in front of them, and a plate of oatmeal cookies in the center of the table. Rayne reached over and took a cookie.

“Thanks for the cookies and juice Mommy,” she said before stuffing the cookie in her mouth.

“You’re welcome,” Amy replied. “Sweetie, please try to take smaller bites.”

Rayne simply nodded and took another cookie.

“So Taylor,” Amy said, sitting at the table. “Where is your brother today?”

“He’s got school this morning,” Taylor replied.

“Ike’s got school?” Rayne asked.

Taylor nodded and took a gulp of juice. My mom teaches him.”

Rayne gave him a confused look. “What do you mean?” she asked.

“Mrs. Hanson is going to home school her children,” Amy explained. “Taylor will be starting next year.”

Taylor made a face at this thought. “It’s gonna be bad,” he stated.

“Well I’m glad I don’t have to do it,” Rayne said.

“Actually Ray, I was talking to Taylor’s mom, and your father and I think it would be best if you were also homeschooled. The public schools in Tulsa don’t really appeal to us.”

“But how are you and dad going to home school me if you’re at work all day?”

“Well, Taylor’s mom offered to teach you along with Isaac and Taylor,” Amy said.

“Really?” Rayne said. “That would be fun.” She turned to Taylor. “We would be going to school together,” she said happily.

Taylor nodded and returned the smile.

“Well as soon as you two turn seven, you’ll start going, so enjoy these last few schooless months.”

Rayne stood up and grabbed a few cookies. Taylor finished his juice and also stood up.

“Thanks again Mommy,” she said.

“May I take some cookies for Ike?” Taylor asked politely.

“Of course sweetheart,” Amy said with a smile. “That’s nice of you to think of your brother.”

Taylor took four cookies off the plate and followed Rayne as she headed toward the back door.

“We’ll be in our yard or Tay’s!” Rayne called as she and Taylor ran out of the house.

Chapter 2 : First Kiss