If I lied you'd know it instantly

So I just had to look away

All the honesty I've ever lost

I can't begin to even curse

I never knew the taste of blood till now

It's clear I never should have known

Breathing fire was never this much fun

So there's a dark side in us all

- Snow Patrol

"You left him? By cell phone?"

Lucas looked stunned. Haley looked at her brother-in-law blankly. "Yes."

Lucas frowned. Well, this was one bloody fine mess. He couldn't believe Haley had just left Nathan like that.

"You left him." He repeated.

Brooke glared at her fiance. "Of course she left him, you numbskull. He was icheating/i on her. Anyone could see he wasn't good enough for her."

Lucas' temper flared up. His twin brother not good enough? "Well maybe if you'd tried to work things out..." He started.

Haley's blood was boiling. She had done nothing wrong. As far as she was concerned, she was the innocent party here. "Tried? It's a little difficult to itry/ito fix a marriage when the other person is off screwing his little skank!"

Lucas opened his mouth, but felt Brooke's nails digging into his arm. "I think you'd better leave, Lucas. It's clear that you, like your brother, don't value marriage the way it should be." Lucas gaped as Brooke pushed him out of the door. He turned around to protest, but stopped when he noticed her eyes were tearing up. "Here." She fumbled with something, shoving it into his hand. "You're not the guy I fell in love with." She shut the door gently.

Lucas stared down at his hand in shock. It was a white gold engagement ring.

Nathan opened the door, revealing a dishevelled Lucas standing there.


Lucas surveyed him. "You look like s hit."

Nathan chuckled dryly. "That makes two of us then."

Lucas pushed past him. "It's all your fault though."

Nathan shook his head confused. "What do you mean?"

Lucas tossed an object on the table, before burying his face in his hands. Nathan took a closer look to see the ring.

"What is that?"

"A ring dumbass."

"Is that…"

"Yeah. She left me because I suggested that Haley didn't try to work things out."

"Well you were wrong."

Lucas, by now, was angry. "I was just standing up for you man!"

Nathan shook his head at his brother. "I know, and I appreciate that Lucas. But this was my mistake, and now you've gone and lost the best thing in your life because of it. I know we were always alike… but I'd say we've beaten out everyone else."

"What do you mean?"

"Both of us have lost the best thing that ever happened to us." Nathan muttered as he looked out the window.

"So, who's the girl?"

Nathan looked up to meet Lucas' gaze. "I don't want to talk about her."

Haley lay, tossing and turning, on the queen sized bed in Brooke's guest room. She couldn't sleep. She wrapped the blankets around her tightly, trying to drown out the thoughts buzzing around in her head. What was he doing now? Was he with her? Were there more than one? Were they nameless? She couldn't stop the tears that welled up in her eyes, as she was finally alone to survey the wreckage that was her marriage. A sudden buzzing broke in her thoughts before she could really delve deep into the mess.


The screen flashed. She stared at her cell phone for a moment, deliberating. She could answer it. Answer it, demand answers, scream at him, curse him. Or… the thought was tempting… she could simply hang up. Cut him off. God knew he deserved it. But she was never one to stoop to other people's levels. She always took the high road, even if it left her hurt in the end.

Sighing, she reached for the phone.

"Hello?" Her voice was barely above a soft whisper. She couldn't raise her voice any higher, for fear of giving away too much emotion.

"Haley?" His voice was tired, cracking, much like the night he'd come to her after he'd collapsed from the drugs he'd been taking. There it was again, a flash of a better time, when she'd been his saving grace.

She bit her lip. "I thought I asked you not to call."

"I couldn't."

His voice was raw, full of emotion, as she hadn't heard in months. He'd been too busy for her. A scathing thought slipped through her mind… too busy with another.

"Just like you couldn't keep our marriage vows." There was no accusation. Simply a blunt, truthful statement. It cut Nathan deeper than any tear-filled recrimination could have.

"I'm sorry Hales."

"Don't call me that." Her voice was curt.

"I never meant to-"

"Don't tell me that Nathan. You knew d amn well what you were doing." Her voice had risen a little, pushed by the brimming irritation of his pathetic lack of understanding. "What do you want Nathan? Do you even know? Because all I want right now, is some peace. Some time away from you, and your lies. God, Nathan. I gave you everything I had… and I don't even know which parts of it were real."

"Haley." Even now, as he was pleading with her, the way his voice caressed her name made her shiver. It was now or never. She had to find out. But yet… it seemed so degrading to be asking.

"Were there more than one?"

"What?" He sounded startled.

"How many women did you cheat with? Were they nameless flings? Or was there just one? "

There was silence. She could hear his heavy, ragged breathing on the line.

She knew she'd hit the nail. But she had to hear him say it. "Nathan. I deserve to know if you were just sleeping around, because I wasn't good enough," – he winced at the crude words – "or if someone actually took you away from me."

Deep within, she was wishing, hoping, that they'd been nameless flings.

"There was only one."

And her heart shattered all over again. Someone… some girl, had managed to steal away the love of her life. Her soulmate. Even now, she had no doubt that Nathan was her soul mate. How was that possible?

"Who is she?" She asked weakly.

Nathan knew that this was killing her. Could imagine the large brown doe eyes filled with pain. "Don't do this to yourself Haley." He implored.

"Don't you dare say that again!" She shrieked, no longer able to control her emotions. "You did this Nathan. You. You ruined our marriage… my life! And you know, as well as I do, that I deserve some f ucking answers."


Haley closed her eyes. She felt sick. She actually knew who the girl was. "The new cheerleader?"


Haley scoffed. "You always liked blondes. Is she smart Nathan? Does she have brains? Neurons? Would she give up her dreams to follow yours, even if you busted a knee and couldn't play anymore? What does she give you that I didn't?" Haley was sobbing now, openly.


"Answer me Nathan! Because I want to know what it was that took you away from me. So the next time I won't make the same mistakes again."

Nathan's throat tightened. "Next time?"

Haley laughed. Nathan shuddered at the sound. He'd always loved her laugh… sweet, gentle. Now it sounded maniacal, harsh. "Of course, Nathan. You think I'm going to sit here and pine away for the man who threw me away? Answer me Nate. Are you in love with her?"

Brooke watched from the doorway, as her best friend dissolved into hysteria. Grimacing, as she felt her heart break for the broken girl sitting on the bed, Brooke walked over to Haley, wrapping one arm around her shoulder.

She pressed her lips against her best friend's hair, trying to calm her, her other hand gently wrenching the phone away from Haley's grip, as Haley collapsed against Brooke, weeping hopelessly.

"Nathan." Brooke's voice was tired. She had no time to be evil towards Nathan. And as much as she hated him for doing this, she knew that deep down, he loved Haley.

"Brooke." His voice was quiet, defeated. "Is … is she ok?"

"What do you think? For God's sake, Nathan, you had no right to call her in the middle of the night. I'm begging you, if you ever loved her, just leave her alone."

"I can't Brooke. I can't let her go."

"You already did." She said simply. "Don't call anymore. She's a mess, and she doesn't need you pushing her over the edge anymore than you already have. She'll come to you when she's ready."

"What if that never happens?" Nathan's voice was small, fearful, as Brooke had never heard it.

"You should've thought of that before. Goodbye Nathan." Brooke hung up, tossing the phone onto the nightstand. Sighing, she wrapped her arms around Haley's shuddering frame, too busy with her best friend's problem, to deal with her own broken heart.

I just wanna talk to you again,
Wanna get back to the place where I fit in.
Can't believe you're askin' what I'd always thought you knew:
How my life would be without you.

If this world should ever stop spinnin' 'round,
If the stars should fall to pieces and tumble to the ground,
If a thousand children's voices sang but I never heard the sound;
That's how empty life would be if you should leave me now.

Sometimes it's hard to find the words,
And it's too late to take them back once you've been heard.
When I hear you cry it tears me up inside,
'Cause then I realize

If the world should ever stop spinnin' 'round,
If the stars should fall to pieces and tumble to the ground,
If a thousand children's voices sang but I never heard the sound;
That's how empty life would be if you should leave me now.

Too many times I should have told you,
But my pride kept gettin' in the way.
Just the thought of living life without you
Was just too much, was just too much for me to take.