A/N: I've watched HI since it came out when I was seven and I've always wondered, what if Mark had been born a girl? What would she be like? How would Brad and Randy treat her? Would she be like her mom? Her dad? Her brothers? Anyways, the more I wondered that, the more tempted I was to write a story about the Taylor girl that never was. So here it is – the story of Lizzie Lynn Taylor – the lost Taylor.
I uploaded this story a long time ago and wanted to put it back up because I loved it so much. Feedback is always appreciated and if you have any ideas or suggestions of what you'd like to see in this story, please just PM them and I promise to use them. Thank you!
Hi. My name is Elizabeth Lynn Taylor. Yes, Taylor. Yes, I am related to Tim the "Tool-man" Taylor if you were wondering. Despite what you may think, life as a Taylor girl is anything but easy. I have two older brothers that are nothing but pains in the butt, a dad who thinks he's going to be the next best thing since that Binford guy and a mom who is trying desperately to keep the five of us from killing each other. Her task must be pretty hard. After all, we are the Taylors. Many people think they know the Taylors' story but they don't. They know a fragment of our true story and that's it – a fragment. I bet you guys didn't know that our life is much different than what is portrayed in Home Improvement. Actually, our life is extremely different from that and almost nearly the polar opposite. You see, there is no Mark Taylor, there's me – Elizabeth Lynn Taylor – Lizzie Lynn to the people I'm closest to. The writers thought it would be more amusing to portray me as a nerdy little boy. Ha! I'm the complete opposite of that. I guess you could say I fell in somewhere between Tim Taylor's love of cars, Brad Taylor's love of sports, Randy Taylor's love for school, and Jill Taylor's love of chick flicks and musicals. In this following story, you'll learn the truth about the Taylor family and what it is like to be the only girl. I'm Lizzie Lynn Taylor and this is my story – the true story.
"Ew," I say as I stand back and look myself over in the full-length mirror. The girl staring back at me is anything but attractive. She is dressed in acid-washed blue jeans, a t-shirt from the Gap, Addidas tennis shoes, and her hair is swept up into a ponytail. I groan once more as I tilt my head left and right trying to figure out how to ditch the "junior high" look and find, in its place, the "high school" look. I wasn't having much luck in finding it. I'd seen the girls Brad would bring home and I looked nothing like them. They had class, beauty, and style. Psh, who was I kidding? I'd never have any of that. Besides, they all wore makeup and dressed to the nines. My parents clearly told me time and time again that I could not wear makeup until I turned sixteen. Stupid parents and their stupid rules!
"Lizzie Lynn!" I roll my eyes at my mother's call, "It's time for breakfast. Hurry up or you'll miss you're bus!"
Heaven forbid! I grab my Jansport backpack off the floor and hurry down the stairs. Mom met me in the kitchen with a day-dreamy look in her eyes. Oh great, another one of those "my baby is growing up so quickly" lectures. Someone shoot me and put me out of my misery!
"Lizzie," Mom sighs as she puts down the dishtowel she had been drying her hands on, "I can't believe this is your first day of high school. How exciting is that?"
"I know," I say nicely.
"I remember your first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday…"
"Mom," I smile and roll my eyes, "Please."
"I'm sorry, honey but you know this is a big deal. You know, when I was in high school, I met my first best friend and I had my first boyfriend and I made honor roll…so many good memories were made those four years."
"Mom," I sigh, "I already had a best friend…that is before she moved away," I dart my eyes away from hers and glance at my brand new shoes Mom had insisted on buying me.
"Honey," she sighs, "I know it's hard, loosing a best friend – especially one like Danielle."
"I just don't understand why she had to move."
"Her dad got transferred, honey, she had to move for his job's sake."
"She could have lived here."
"Where? You know there is hardly room for the five of us here," Mom smiles warmly, "Besides, you'll meet tons of new friends. I'm sure Brad and Randy can introduce you…"
"No way!" I look up and see Brad and Randy running down the stairs. Great!
"Mom, she is not hanging out with us or our friends!" Brad said as he grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl on the counter.
"Yeah," Randy said as he pushed me not at all gently out of his way.
"Boys!" Mom snapped, "Leave your sister alone. This is her first day of high school and she doesn't need you making her feel even more self-conscious than she already is," Gee, thanks Mom, "So I want you two to look out for her, okay? Make sure she's okay and if she asks where the bathroom is, tell her." Oh. My. God.
"Mom!" Brad and Randy both cry as they roll their eyes, "Why should we have to baby-sit her?"
"Whatever," Mom holds up both hands in defeat, "But if her day isn't absolutely wonderful, you two are the ones I'll turn to first…"
"So if she like drops her lunch tray or gets made fun of, it's our fault?" Randy asks.
"Yes…no…well, just watch out for her, okay?"
"Mom," I put in my two cents for the first time since the guys came downstairs, "I'm thirteen. I think I can look out for myself, don't you think?"
"No, I don't," Mom shakes her head, "You are thirteen. Thirteen is just a baby…" Oh Lord!
"Yeah, a big baby!" Brad scoffs, "A big baby who can't even take care of herself at school!"
"I can too take care of myself at school!" I argue.
"Yeah, right," Randy rolls his eyes and grabs the milk from the refrigerator.
"Randy!" Mom shouts, "Okay, that's it. The bus will be here in two minutes. Grab something and go!" She softens when she says, "Lizzie, Lizzie Lynn, sweetie, have a good day at school, okay?"
"Alright," I nod and follow the boys outside to the curb.
We stood there in silence for a few moments while I waited for the bus. I wasn't bothered by what they had said in the kitchen – okay, maybe I was a little bothered by it, but that's just the way they are. They are always saying things like that to me so I'm mostly used to it – mostly.
"So Lizzie what are you going to do without your best friend there, huh?" Randy asks. Ouch. Okay, so maybe I was used to the teasing and the picking and the prodding and the constant being made fun of but no matter how much I was used to all of that, nothing prepared me for that comment.
"Excuse me?" I say, trying desperately to hold my emotions together.
"I said what are you going to do without Danielle there, huh? Hey, I got a suggestion. Eat lunch in the library. That's where all the geeks and the nerds and the rejects eat. Hey, you'll fit right in there!" I send him a sideways glance filled with anger as I cross my arms over my chest.
"Yeah. Besides, Danielle was the only person that'd probably ever want to be friends with you and she's gone so I guess you're screwed," Brad shrugged, carelessly and Randy high-fived him.
What the hell? I crossed my arms over my chest tighter and turned my face away from them. I didn't need to have them see the tears that lined my eyes as they threatened to cruelly seep out. The bus, luckily for me, pulled up to the stop at that moment and we got on. I brushed past them and took a seat in the front. Crossing my arms, I glared at them as they walked past me. As I turned out to face out the window, I heard Randy say, "Whoa, she's mad." Yeah, no shit Sherlock.
When the bus pulled up to the front of the school, I got off and followed everyone else towards the cafeteria where the school had set up tables by alphabetical order. The students were to stand in their appropriate line and get their schedule, their locker number, and their locker combination. I went and stood in the line marked T. Brad and Randy weren't far behind me. When it was my turn, I went up to the table and smiled sweetly at the woman handing out the papers.
"Elizabeth Taylor," I said.
"Are you related to Brad or Randy Taylor?"
"Yes," I added under my breath, "Unfortunately."
"Oh God," The woman made the sign of the cross which made me wonder before she began shuffling through the papers, "Here you are…Elizabeth Taylor!" The woman handed me the stack of papers and I walked over to a deserted area in the back of the cafeteria to look over my schedule.
"What classes do you have?" I looked up and saw Randy standing beside me. What did he want?
"What do you want?" I asked, annoyed.
"I want to know what classes you have, stupid," He smiled at me letting me know he didn't mean anything by the "stupid" comment.
"Math, English, History, Home Ec., Science, and PE."
"Davidson, Thompson, Campbell, Lucas, Brown, and Pratt."
"Okay, Davidson is hard. He expects everyone to do what he considers their best. You got to give him nothing less than 110%, okay?" I nod, "Thompson, she's sweet. The kind of old lady type teacher who can't bear to yell at anyone. Campbell is decent. Lucas, I don't know about her. I never took Home Ec. Dad would kill me," we both smile, "Brown and Pratt are okay too. Pratt is the typical PE coach so you're lucky you got Brad's athletic ability."
"Why are you telling me all this?" I ask plainly.
"Because, it's your first day. Last year I was freaking out about all this stuff and Brad wasn't any help. Besides, I figured we kind of got off to a wrong start this morning. I didn't mean what I said. When do I ever? Anyways, if you need anything, come find me."
"Thanks Randy," I smile up at him.
"Sure thing. Just make sure you steer clear of me when I'm around my friends," he sends me his signature smirk before heading off to the direction of his first period class. I smile and pick up my backpack from where I'd dropped it on the floor and head to Mr. Davidson's math class. At least in this monstrosity of a high school I had one ally. Maybe today wouldn't be so bad.
"Here!" I called as I raised my hand.
"Taylor…are you related to Brad and Randy Taylor?" Mrs. Campbell asked. I had to blink to keep from rolling my eyes. I had been asked that question in my other two classes when the teacher was calling roll and it was starting to become quite an annoyance. When I'd reply, "yes," they would either roll their eyes, cross themselves, or say a whispered, "Sweet Jesus, help me!"
"Yes ma'am," I smiled sweetly, "They are my brothers."
"Oh Lord," Mrs. Campbell rolled her eyes, "I thought I was done with the Taylors last year. Don't get me wrong, Elizabeth, I am sure you are nothing like them."
"Don't worry, Mrs. Campbell, I'm not."
"Good. Good. Oh!" she snapped her fingers in the air, "I just remembered! I do believe this is your brother Randy's," the heavy-set woman handed me a slingshot that she had retrieved from her desk.
"Yes," I nodded, "That's his," how could I forget that horrible contraption which Dad thought would be a good way for Randy to "productively let some steam off." Ha! If productively letting steam off means hiding up in the tree house and ambushing your little sister with that thing then that is just what he did!
"Would you please give it to him? I forgot to return it to him at the end of last year as I had promised him."
"Oh of course," I smiled as I put the weapon inside my backpack as I added to myself, "not."
The day went by quickly and before I knew it I was back on the bus heading home. I stared out the window when I felt someone sit down beside me.
"Hey," I smiled at Randy.
"How was your first day?"
"It was okay. I was asked in each class if I was related to you or Brad and when I said yes I got yelled at about stuff you two did, I was asked if I was as horrible as the two of you, and a few even made the sign of the cross."
"Randy, I don't believe being remembered as the spawn of Satan by each of your old teachers is a good thing."
"It is to me! Anyways, did you meet anyone?"
"No. I tried talking to this one girl in my Home Ec. class but she just stared at me like 'why the heck are you talking to me?"
"I'm sorry," Randy shrugged sheepishly, "Maybe tomorrow will be better."
"Yeah, I hope. You know, you and Brad have it so easy."
"Psh, yeah right."
"You do!" I argued, "I mean you both are popular, he's good at sports, you're good at school, you both have the confidence level of a rock star and…"
"Whoa, sis, take it easy," Randy laughed as he held up his hands, "It's not like that at all. Besides, you're good at school and sports…"
"Yeah but I'm far from popular. You've seen the girls Brad brings home…"
"They are gorgeous, skinny, pretty…"
"Lizzie," Randy snapped, "Stop, okay. Geeze, where's this coming from?"
"It's coming from the fact that I've just been exposed to high school for the first time and seeing all these girls. I mean I don't fit in with any of them. Today, in PE Coach had us play dodge ball and they made fun of me for socking Jimmy Kimball in the nose."
"Jimmy Kimball? He's the quarterback of the football team!" Randy's eyes widened.
"No, not good job. Randy, you don't get it, how could you? You and Brad seriously have it so easy. I don't think I'll ever make friends there."
"Sure ya will," Randy said cheerfully.
"Yeah right. Who'd want to be friends with me?"
"Look, kid, you're funny, you get that from me, you're smart, you get that from me, you are good at sports, you get that from Brad, hell, you can peg the quarterback in the nose while playing doge ball. Personally, I think people are missing out by not wanting to be friends with you. Give it time."
"There is no way in hell I'm eating in the library tomorrow for lunch."
"Whoa, sis, you ate lunch in the library?"
"Yeah…go ahead, call me a geek, a nerd, a loser, whatever…" I turned and faced out the window. Randy had given me enough trouble about eating lunch in the library earlier that day. God only knew what he'd do once he finally found out that's where I had actually eaten.
"Alright, geek, nerd, loser, whatever," Randy nudged me in the ribs with his elbow, "Come on, I wouldn't make fun of you when you've had a bad day. You know that. Look, tomorrow if you still don't have a place to eat, come find me."
"You'll let me eat with you?"
"I didn't say that," Randy kidded, "But yeah, I mean you know the guys. I'm sure they wouldn't mind."
"Thanks, Randy," I smiled at him, "Maybe you aren't such a loser…"
"Hey, what's that?" Randy asked, pulling the slingshot from my backpack. It wasn't until then that I'd noticed it was sticking partway out. Great!
"Dude, this is my slingshot. Let me guess, Campbell gave it to you to give to me?"
"Seems to me like you weren't exactly planning on giving it back to me."
"Now why would I do something like that?" I asked, innocently. Randy snapped the leathery elastic belt on my leg.
"Thanks, sis, now I've been looking for this."
"Stop!" I scooted away from him as he popped it on me again, laughing, "Randy!"
"Huh?" He asked, popping me again.
"I take back what I said, you are the biggest loser in the world!"
"Thank you, thank you very much," Randy said, curling his lip like Elvis.
"God, you're infuriating."
"I only live to serve," Randy said. He picked up his backpack, stood up, bowed to me, and headed towards the back of the bus where Brad was busy talking with some of the guys from the soccer team.
"Lizzie!" Mom cried as I walked through the door, "How was your first day of high school?"
"It was fine Mom," I smiled trying to reassure her – or at least get her to calm down.
"I want to hear everything!"
"Well, I didn't meet anyone new but Randy said he would let me eat lunch with him tomorrow if I still couldn't find some people to sit with. Other than that it was good. I mean my teachers seem fairly nice even if they referred to Brad and Randy as devil children."
"Oh God," Mom rolled her eyes but I could tell she was trying to keep from laughing, "Brad, Randy, what about you two? How was school?"
"Alright," Brad shrugged and tossed his backpack to the floor. It landed with a thud making me jump. Jeeze, what was his problem?
"Brad, everything okay?" Mom asked.
"Yeah, it's fine," He shrugged before hurrying upstairs.
"What's his problem?" I asked Randy.
"Who knows? He didn't tell me anything," Randy shrugged and grabbed some juice from the refrigerator.
"Thanks," I said as he tossed one to me, "Mom, I'm going to go up and start on my homework."
"Aw, you have homework. Your first homework of high school…"
"Mom!" I rolled my eyes, "It's just homework."
"Right," Mom smiled, "I'll call you guys when dinner's ready."
"Alright," Randy and I said as we hurried upstairs.
"We should talk to Brad."
"You're kidding, right?" Randy asked as he followed me into my bedroom, "He'll bite our heads off."
"But nothing. I happen to like my head right where it is."
"We need to talk to him and see what's wrong."
"You talk to him, then."
"Fine, if you're not going to do anything then I will."
"Good," Randy sat down on my bed, "I'll be in here, where it's safe."
I rolled my eyes and headed across the hall to Brad and Randy's room. The door was shut and loud music was playing. I sighed and lifted my fist to the door and knocked. No answer. I tried again.
"Go away!" was the response I received.
"Brad, talk to me," I shouted over the music.
"Go away, Elizabeth!" Ugh, I hated it when he called me Elizabeth. Like I said earlier, only the people that are closest to me call me Lizzie Lynn. I'm hardly ever called Elizabeth except by some teachers, my parents when they're mad at me, and of course Brad and Randy when they talk down to me. I winched when Brad called me that.
"Bradley Jordan Taylor!" I pounded my fist against the door, "Open up!"
"Fine," Brad swung the door open and put his hand on the doorframe, blocking my entrance, "What?" he demanded nothing less than harshly.
"Talk to me."
"I don't have to talk to you about nothing."
"Anything," I muttered under my breath, already I knew it was a mistake. Brad hated being talked down to or corrected by Randy or me. Last time Randy had corrected Brad, he'd gotten a bloody nose out of it. I glanced down at my shoes, note bearing to look Brad in the eye.
"What was that?" He snapped.
"What did you just say?" Brad asked mincingly.
"I just said that…that it was anything not nothing," I still couldn't look at him.
"So you barge in here, demand to talk to me despite me telling you to go away and now you correct my English? Look, Elizabeth, just go away!"
"Not until you talk to me," this time I did look at him. I looked him straight in the eye – like Mom does to Dad whenever she wants him to do as she says – as if daring him to argue with me.
"Alright, fine!" Brad threw his hands up in the air, "Come in, but don't touch anything."
I walked into Brad and Randy's room. It was even messier than mine! Clothes were strewn about all over the floor. A pair of underwear hung from the post of the bunk bed that the two boys shared. I rolled my eyes at it and walked over to the top bunk – Brad's bunk, and sat on top of it. He didn't mind. Actually, he ignored me, turning his music up louder and facing his computer. I clutched his pillow to my chest and sighed.
"What do you want, Elizabeth?" He shouted the 'Elizabeth' part making me winch again. I hated that more than anything, more than being punched or kicked or hit or picked upon.
"Look, Bradley," I knew he hated being called Bradley about as much as I hated being called Elizabeth, "Talk to me. What's up?"
"I thought I told you and Randy not to call me that…ever!"
"Yeah, and I told you and Randy never to call me Elizabeth."
"Look, I'm sorry, Lizzie, but I really don't want to talk right now."
"Apparently but I want to know what's going on and Randy was too scared to come in here and talk to you so it's just you and me. Come on, Brad, you were in a bad mood this morning and you're in a worse mood now."
"Hey, I'm sorry about what I said to you this morning. Randy told me what I said really bugged you. He said he apologized and I guess I owe you one too…"
"I don't even care about what you said this morning," I lied, "I care about what's going on. What's up, Brad?"
"Do you really want to know?"
"Would I be setting foot in this dump if I didn't?" I waved a hand around the room and he smirked making me smile.
"True. Alright, scoot over," Brad joined me on his bunk. He situated himself across from me, "Today I talked to my coach about joining the soccer team but he told me that because of my grades last year, the only way I'd be able to set foot on the field is if I bring my grades up to at least Cs before soccer season starts."
"Well you can do that!"
"No, Lizard, I can't," Lizard was his pet name for me. Only he was allowed to call me that – not even Randy was allowed to. Brad had nicknamed me that when I was younger. He used to always call me Lizard, now he rarely says it except when we have our talks together, like now.
"Yeah you can…"
"No, it's not that simple," Brad ran a hand threw his blonde hair, "Look; school comes easily for you and Randy. It's not easy for me at all. I work my butt off every night to be lucky to get D on a test or something. I can't get my grades up to all Cs!"
"I think you can."
"I think you can. All you need is some help."
"Yeah, do you realize how much Randy would never let me forget it if I asked him to tutor me?"
"That's why Randy isn't going to tutor you."
"Then who will?"
"You? Lizzie, I'm in eleventh grade, you're in ninth."
"I know but I bet I could at least show you some tips on how I study for stuff. It isn't that hard if you have good study habits. Besides, I can help you make flashcards and stuff."
"You're serious about this?"
"Of course. Look, Brad, you love soccer more than anything. I know how much it means to you to be able to play. Besides, if you don't play, how can I brag to everyone that the awesome guy that just scored a goal from all the way across the field is my big brother, huh?" Brad grinned.
"You…you brag about me?"
"Well don't let it get to your head. It's filled with enough hot air, any more will cause it to explode."
"Shut up," he said, but he smiled when he said it, "So you're really going to help me in school?"
"You're welcome," I said as I hopped off the bunk.
"I'm sorry about what I said this morning and today. You know I don't mean to say things like that to you," Brad says as he punches me lightly on the arm.
"I know," I nod, and I do know. The thing about Brad and Randy is they pick on you, they torture you, they make your life miserable but they are my brothers and they are there for me. Forever and always, that was our motto when we were younger and still was to this day. Forever and always.
"Those Who Danced Were Called Insane by Those Who Couldn't Hear the Music."