I don’t know how or why but for some reason I woke up. The clock read one AM. I couldn’t see anyone in the room with me and Clare, Zoë was still in bed. The baby monitor revealed that all was well in Anya’s room, I could hear her breathing peacefully through the speaker. I turned to Clare but she too was asleep. I didn’t know what had woken me but I knew it had to have been something.
A click at the window. A small noise.
I stood and walked towards the closed glass.
Another noise. It sounded like a clank against the glass. Not very loud, actually it was quite soft. Almost as though you had to have been listening for it.
I pulled up the shade. The moon shone brightly in the sky, it was a full moon tonight.
I looked down at the front lawn.
“Taylor! Finally!” A voice called up.
I blinked twice. I saw two figures standing on the grass starring up at the window.
I couldn’t see their faces.
I pulled up the glass and stuck my head out. “Who are you?” I called down, trying hard to yell as softly as I could. I looked back at Clare to see if I had woken her up but she just turned over in her sleep. I stuck my head back out the window.
“Taylor, it’s us!”
I blinked again. “Zac? Isaac?”
“Yeah!” Zac hissed. “Who else would be at your window at one in the morning throwing rocks?”
“So that’s what that was...”
“Yeah, Taylor, that’s what that was,” Zac said mimicking me.
“What are you doing here? What do you want? Are you TRYING to wake up the whole neighborhood?”
“We need to talk to you!” Isaac said.
“Can’t you use the phone?” I asked holding up my hand like it was a phone.
“No! We need to talk to you NOW!”
“Are you drunk or something?”
“Taylor, we drove here from Tulsa just to talk to you,” Zac explained. “Will you get down here please?”
“This is ridiculous,” I mumbled to myself as I ducked my head inside and pulled down the glass. I sat down on the bed and pulled on a pair of jeans. I reached for my sneakers. “Driving here from Tulsa in the middle of the night when you could use a phone. Just ridiculous.” I neglected to tie my shoe laces and walked quietly towards the door. I closed it gently behind me. One door done, one more to go. I walked slowly and carefully down the stairs avoiding every creak that I could. When I got to the bottom I stepped quietly through the hallway and out the front door. I didn’t close it all the way because I didn’t want to lock myself out. My brothers met me at the porch.
“Taylor, guess what?” Zac said the second I emerged from the house. “I did it.” He was smiling ear to ear.
“Did what?” I asked. “Did I miss something.” Isaac was standing off to my right and Zac to my left.
“I popped the question!”
“Yes! To Nicole!”
“You’re kidding!?!?” Zac shook his head proudly. “Congratulations!” I grabbed my brother in a hug. “Then what are you doing here?” I asked him as I pulled away from our embrace.
“Remember when you were going to get married Taylor, and me and you went to New York to see the Mets versus Yankees World Series?” Isaac asked.
“Yeah,” I nodded. “Good game.”
“Get to the point!” Zac insisted.
“Oh yeah, the point,” Ike said. “What was the point... oh yeah! Me, you, and Zac are going to drive cross country.”
“We’re going to-- what?!?”
“Drive cross country!” Zac repeated. “Us guys, us brothers, us friends.”
“But, I... I...” I pointed towards the door. “I have kids.”
Isaac put his arm around me and pointed to himself. “So do I little brother... so do I. But can’t you imagine sleeping out underneath the stars?” He gestured up towards the sky. “Seeing the Grand Canyon at the brink of Fall? Visiting Reno and seeing a cheep Elvis Impersonator? Watching--”
“OK, OK I get your point,” I interrupted. “But what am I supposed to tell Clare? That I ran away and joined the circus? When we would be leaving anyway?”
“Now,” Zac told me. “Right now, Taylor. So get your stuff, pack your bags, and get in that car.” He pointed at his Volkswagen.
“That thing is going to take us cross country?” I asked.
“Just get your stuff,” Isaac said. He patted my shoulder hard. “Ask questions later.”