"There it is, Ryan. That's the place where everything is all set," Sharpay said as she gazed a close distance over towards Troy's and Taylor's farm.
Ryan glanced at his sister with a quirked eyebrow. "I still don't get it Sharpay."
Sharpay sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. "What's not to get? All I do is go in there and convince Taylor to marry you, you two get hitched, the end."
"But what's the whole point of it?" Ryan asked. "I'm not ready for a commitment like that with someone I don't like."
"Ryan you're so naive," she replied. "With Taylor spoken for the men around here will have no choice but to come to me. All I'd have to do is pick a possible suitor." She pulled Ryan towards the area where she had already set everything up for a minor wedding. There was one table with a cake and plates, one with few types of other food, chairs for people to sit, a silk white carpet rolled down the invisible aisle, and a large pig with a sign around its neck that read "just hitched".
Ryan made a face at the scene. Sharpay barely went to any trouble with this. She just assumed she had everything planned. But the issue with that was, Ryan didn't want anything like that. He actually kind of liked the girls fawning over him...well, when they didn't get crazy, that is.
"See, I have everything set up," Sharpay continued. "Now just put on your little suit while I get out your lady."
Ryan turned to his sister. "Why even go through this Shar?" he asked. "What happened to that plan you made a couple of years ago?"
"Plans change, Ry. And I haven't been able to get to that place in years. So I might as well work with what I can. And besides, don't you want the second prettiest girl in town as your wife?" she asked, shrugging her shoulders.
"Second prettiest?" Ryan raised an eyebrow.
"Well of course. I mean, I've seen the looks boys give her. They give me the same looks. But they're serious with me," she replied.
"Sharpay I'd really think you'd have a better chance with the prince-" Ryan started.
She spun right towards her brother and grabbed him by the shirt collar. "Don't you dare mention that to me, Ryan. Now you listen to me and you listen good," she warned him. "What happened in that place stays in that place. No one has to know about it, and no one will know about it. Do I make myself clear?"
Ryan nodded rapidly. "Crystal."
"Perfect," Sharpay replied sweetly with her most generous smile. She let go of Ryan and straightened herself up. "Now as soon as I come out with Taylor just signal the band to start playing so you two can live happily ever after. I'll be done before you can say omelette de fromage." She waved her hand as she strutted towards the farm. Ignoring the sigh escaping Ryan's mouth as she disappeared by the front door, Sharpay knocked ever so gently. There was no way her plan could go wrong now.
At the moment Taylor had her eyes glued to the book. Yes, the very same book she received from the book shop. With Troy off on his convention that left Taylor with almost nothing but peace and quiet around so it only made sense to continue with her reading. She had become quite entranced with the story, actually, despite her already knowing a good portion of it by heart. She was nearing the end of chapter three, one that she had been reading for days due to its incredible length, but little did she know she wouldn't get much of a chance to finish. Her eyes were removed from the page upon hearing a knock at the door. She left the book opened on the table and pressed it down once so it wouldn't close on its own. Taylor made her way to the front door and raised an eyebrow as soon as she saw who had been waiting for her to answer.
"Sharpay?" she inquired upon opening the door.
"Oh good morning darling, I really hope I'm not disturbing you," Sharpay replied right away as she strutted in.
"Please, make yourself at home." Taylor muttered sarcastically even after Sharpay invited herself in. Taylor closed the door and followed Sharpay through the small corridor. "What brings you to these parts today?"
"Why what else but to make your dreams come true!" she exclaimed.
"Excuse me?" Taylor asked doubtfully, folding her arms.
"Let me rephrase. This is the day..." The blond cut herself off, glancing at herself in a mirror on the wall. She did her signature hair flip, which made any loose ends fall right back into place. Turning back to Taylor, she continued. "This is the day I make your dreams come true."
"What do you know about my dreams?" Taylor asked.
"More than you think, my dear," Sharpay answered as she kept her nice act going. "I must confess something. My baby brother has had a mad crush on you since we were seven."
"He's ten minutes younger than you." Taylor recalled.
"Uh-uh, uh-huh, you didn't let me finish," Sharpay sang, shaking her finger. "I have come here to make his and your dreams come true. He has all the girls in town fawning over him so naturally if he can't have his own sister he might as well have you. This will keep all the third-raters of of his back and he'll be able to live happily ever after with you." She sat down on the chair Taylor had occupied moments ago and pushed the book off the table so she could rest her arm on it. "Ryan has dreamed of this for so long. He tells me how he pictures it every day. He would have just arrived home from his well-paying job. His little wife would be cooking dinner over the burning wood of the fire place as he rests in his comfy chair. And the little ones will gather around listening to him tell stories about the good old days. And then, right before you two head off to bed together, you would give him the ever most relaxing foot message."
Taylor refrained herself from shuddering somehow. Normally she would have just snapped at Sharpay and tell the girl to be on her way. But she knew how doubtful this all was.
"Little ones?" she merely asked.
"I think he wants about eight or nine," Sharpay answered. "Handsome young boys like himself."
"That's ridiculous. There are no guarantees that any children will turn out to be a boy or girl," Taylor rolled her eyes. "Do you even hear yourself Sharpay?"
"I think I hear myself spilling out the dreams of my brother who is too shy to make his move," she replied innocently.
Taylor had to put her foot down now; she couldn't take any more of this. "Sharpay clearly you are having a hard time understanding the concept of impossibility. I don't know what kind of trick you're playing but you're not about to drag me into it."
Sharpay removed herself from the chair and slowly began ganging up on Taylor until she had her back to the wall. It appeared as though Sharpay was in control.
"Oh you know very well that all you're saying is a lie, Taylor. I see the way you look at him. I see the way he looks at you. A match made in heaven," she replied. "So what do you say, Taylor? Marry my baby brother?"
"You know, now that I think about it, it's such a tempting offer," Taylor said in her most generous voice. If she couldn't beat Sharpay at this, she might as well go with it. As she talked, Taylor moved her hand towards the doorknob. "I don't know how I could be so insecure to ever turn something like that down. But I'm afraid that I can't deny it anymore. There's only one answer I can give."
Sharpay had her award-winning smile on. She was sure she had everything in the palm of her hand. It was going better than she thought. However, Taylor had a different plan in store.
"Not a chance," was the girl's response as she opened the door with Sharpay leaning forward. Taylor could read Sharpay so easily. Every time Sharpay would move in like that, it was all some form of intimidation. Make direct eye contact and get so close that there'd be no escape until she had her way. But unfortunately for her, Taylor was much smarter. Just as she had opened the door, she leaned up right against it leaving Sharpay with nothing in front of her. The blond tumbled down the few stone steps of the farm and fell face-first into the grass. The moment she looked up, the door was locked and slammed shut.
"RYAN!" Sharpay yelled as she stormed to the 'wedding chapel'. As soon as she stepped foot towards it and she was in everyone's eyeshot, the music began playing and Sharpay was caught off guard. She tripped over a nearby stump and flipped forward. Her upper body came in contact with the large pig and it squealed in horror, unaware of what had just happened. The pig ran off, leaving Sharpay to stumble forward once more. Her face then came in contact with a minor pile of mud and her clothes were now covered in the remains of soot or dirt that she had run into before the last collapse.
Ryan walked over to his sister, gently clapping his hands together. "So...how did it go?"
Sharpay slowly lifted herself up from the ground and glared up at her brother, even with the awful music she now heard in the background. Who even hired that band, anyway?
"What do you think?" was her grouchy answer.
Luckily the ceremony had been nowhere near the farm's yard. The front was clear and all the back had were hills and the chicken coop. While Sharpay had her run-ins, Taylor had locked the door and went to retrieve her book. Wondering how things had been going outside made it near impossible for her to make it to the ending of the chapter. To be just cautious enough, Taylor waited a few minutes before poking her head outside as the sky began turning a faint shade of pink, signaling the approaching sunset.
"Is she gone?" Taylor asked the rooster perched by the front door. She sighed heavily and rolled her eyes, not giving the animal a chance to come up with a response even if he could talk. "Can you believe her? That woman was actually trying to con me into marrying her brother." She gathered a bucket of leftover food for the few pigs out back with the hens and went out to feed them. "I might as well marry Sharpay with the way she talked about something like that. Who is she kidding? She's a selfish, foolish..." Taylor couldn't even finish her thought with such annnoyance as she tossed the food out of the bucket and into the pig pen, the majority of it missing its designated food dish.
Can't you just see it?
Her brother's wife."
Taylor's face was agitated as she pictured everything, even standing still with her hands intertwined. Just like a little wife who was meant to be seen and not heard. The thought just disgusted her so. Taylor shook her head, assuring herself that it would never happen. She wandered away from the pig pen and onto one of the hills behind the farm.
"No sir, not me!
I guarantee it,
I want much more than this provincial life."
Taylor could see the scenery so clear on the hilltop. In the distance with the grassy greens there were mountains and a lake all with a sunset to make it even more beautiful than it first appeared. There wasn't a town or even little home for miles. There was more excitement out there, more adventure. It wouldn't just be the same thing everyday. It would all be a new experience, a way for her to get out there. At this point the only thing stopping her from going anywhere was her brother. But even Taylor knew that if she journeyed somewhere far away she'd return to visit him. One thing was for sure, she knew her own dreams better than anyone did.
"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere,
I want it more than I can tell."
She sat down on the grass and looked down at the blossoming flowers. With just one gentle blow, with or without the late afternoon breeze, the petals would fly off into the distance. At least they would have a route of travel, not forced to keep their roots in the ground for a lifetime so much like Taylor felt.
"And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they've got planned."
Blowing on the flower she had picked from the ground, she watched as the thin pale yellow petals flew into the distance, letting the wind carry them the rest of the way. For a moment Taylor was lost in her thoughts just watching them fly. But it wasn't too long after that, that a neigh could be heard. It was faint at first, but it shortly grew louder and was accompanied by the stomping of hooves against the soft ground. Taylor stood up as soon as she recognized the neigh and could see Jimmie rushing over. He seemed slightly out of control, as though something had spooked the living daylights out of him.
"Jimmie!" Taylor gasped, rushing to calm the pony down. "Easy there boy, steady," she said as calmly as she could, grabbing onto the reigns. She watched as Jimmie slowly moved his legs down so his hooves could softly come in contact with the ground. He seemed much calmer now, but something wasn't right. The convention should still be going on. He should have arrived back in the early afternoon, perhaps late at night after making pit stops somewhere. But no, that wasn't quite it. Something was missing. Her eyes falling on the horse's empty back, Taylor let out a gasp. She came to the sudden realization that her brother was missing. Troy was not there. Nothing of him was. As a matter of fact, not even a fly had been resting on it.
"Troy..." Taylor's breath was caught in her throat. Troy had promised he'd be back. But Jimmie had arrived without him. Why on earth would that happen? More importantly, where was Troy and why wasn't he with his companion? "Jimmie, where's Troy?" Taylor asked seconds later. Her worried tone spooked the horse slightly and he almost jumped onto his hind legs and shaking his front ones in the air. However, Taylor wouldn't see to it. She grabbed his reigns firmly and stared the Shetland right in the eyes. Her words were short and simple. Even if Jimmie were a few weeks old he'd be able to understand them. And clearly, Taylor was going to make sure that she got right to the point. The sooner she did the sooner she would find out where Troy was and be reunited with him.
"Where's Troy, Jimmie? Take me to him."