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Chapter 4: Her Footsteps.

Karen and Peyton pulled up in front of the medium-sized white house with black trim. The street was lit up with street-lamps. But it did nothing to shed light on the house. Karen glanced over at Peyton who was in the passenger seat, "Are you ready for this?"

"As ready as I will ever be. According to my dad, there is electricity."

"You talked to your dad about coming up here?"

"Yeah, he said he couldn't understand why I would wanted to do this, but he said if it helped me, then it was worth it."

"I agree with the first part. But I actually understand your need to this too."

"Thanks. Alright let's go."

Karen and Peyton both opened their car doors and got out of the car. They slowly walked up the pathway to the house. They walked up the steps. Karen stopped and said, "Peyton, I think you need a few moments alone in there without me. Let it just be you and your mom."

"Alright, I'll come back and get you when I am ready."

"I'll be here on the porch."

"I won't be long."

"Take all the time you need."

"Thanks," said Peyton as she inserted the key into the hole. She turned the knob and pushed open the door. She flipped on the lights and what she saw took her breathe away. According to her dad nothing had been changed since her grandparents died, so everything would be the same as it was when her mom lived there. But she could tell the photos hanging up were new.

Photos of her mom hung on the wall. A white baby grand piano in the corner of the living room, with a bouquet of roses atop the piano. There was a beautiful white sofa with matching love seat and two white recliners.

As Peyton moved further into the room she noticed a fireplace. In front of it laid a white faux fur rug. It was so warm and inviting, even though the fireplace wasn't lit. She closed her eyes, scenes floating in her head, A young girl, age 5 running and playing during Christmas time. That same little girl, age 8, playing with her first pet, a golden retriever puppy named Shadow.

She walked into the kitchen and noticed how everything seemed in place. It still had the hint of cinnamon in the air, her mom's favorite. And again in her mind, she could see, that same little girl, this time age 12, working side by side with her mother making cookies.

Peyton turned to walk out of the kitchen, and she glanced around and noticed photos on the mantle on the fireplace. She made a mental note to look at them before she left. She glanced to her right, and saw the stairs, and after a deep breathe, she began the walk up them.

When she got to the top, she turned to her right and walked down the hall, turning into the first room she came to. It had posters of rock stars from the 60's in it, and she instantly knew she was standing in her mom's old room.

In her mind, yet again, she could see, the same little girl, age 14 this time, laying on her bed crying cause she had gotten her hurt broken by some boy at school.

Peyton slightly turned in the doorway, and saw in her mind, A woman about the age of 38, coming in the room, and sitting down on the bed next to the crying girl, placing her left hand on the girl's back and gently rubbing, she said, "Honey, I am so sorry you are hurting right now, but you will live, he isn't the only boy out there. There will be others."

"No there won't mom, he was it, he was the one I wanted for all time. I will die alone!" wept the girl uncontrollably.

Peyton smiled at that comment, as the images went away, "Shows what you knew mom," she said out loud. She walked over to the bed and sat down and laid back, placing her head on the pillow. It still smelled like her mom, with a strong scent of Jasmine. Her mom's favorite perfume.

She sat back up, and glanced around the room, and for one last time, she closed her eyes, and one more time she saw the little girl, now a young lady the age of 21, wearing a gorgeous white gown and a veil. She looked so happy, the boy from her past who broke her heart, a long faded memory, for today she was to get married to Larry Sawyer.

Peyton opened her eyes, only to find tears filling up in them, and running down her cheek. In the course of a half-hour, she had mentally relived her mother's life in this house. She had walked a little bit in her mother's footsteps, and felt stronger because of it.

She stood and glanced around one last time and walked out of the room wiping her eyes. She walked down the stairs and headed for the door. She opened it to find Karen sitting on the porch swing, "Karen."

"Oh, your back." she said with a smile as she stood and walked over to Peyton, placing her hand on Peyton's shoulder.

"Yea, there is something I want to share with you."

"Alright, lead the way," she said as she followed Peyton into the house, where she found herself standing in a very beautiful living room, "Wow, this place is beautiful Peyton."

"Yeah it is. The fresh flowers, I think are from my dad. Maybe he understood more than he thought. Anyway, my mom used to play the piano, she was great too."

"I seem to remember Larry...your dad saying something about that."

Peyton walked over to the fireplace and took a photo off the mantle, "This is my mom," she said handing it to Karen.

"Oh my, she's gorgeous Peyton, know I know why your so beautiful, you take after her."

"Thanks. You know when I started looking around tonight, I imagined my mom growing up here, her first pet, first heartbreak, the day she came to get ready to marry my dad. I suddenly realized something, her life wasn't easy, her dad, my grandpa Bradley, had to get 3 jobs to buy my mother that piano. My grandmother Julia worked as a dressmaker by day, dishwasher at night, just to afford everything I take for granted."

"That's a big step. Your maturing."

"Yeah, do you know my mother was accepted to Juilliard?"

"No I didn't."

"Well she was, and she married my dad, and left for Juilliard, and never came back to this house again. She grew into a world class performer."

"Wow, I had no idea."

"Me either, till she told me when I was younger, that she gave it all up to be a mother, my mother."

"Mother's do things like that."

"Yeah I know. I wanted to be that for Jennie, but it didn't work out."

"Peyton, your going to be a great mother, when it's time."

"Thanks, and thanks for tonight. I feel a lot better."

"Well that's great."

"You know before I came here tonight, I felt alone, scared, and helpless. Like no one had ever been through as much pain as me."

"What changed?"

"Me." said Peyton as Karen hugged her tight. The tears started flowing, streaming down her face. The very tears that threatened to fall for the last month was now coming down like rain. Karen held Peyton until the tears subsided. Karen knew there was nothing she could say, right now what Peyton needed was to let it all out. Peyton still wrapped in Karen's loving arms, broke the silence, "Karen?"

"Yeah sweetheart," answered Karen as she loosened her hold on Peyton, and Peyton pulled back, wiping her face, "Thanks for tonight, thanks for being here."

"Your welcome, but I was only standing in for your mom."

"And you did a great job. I was wondering, have you ever thought of going to the house where your mother grew up?"

"Lucas didn't tell you?"

"Tell me what?"

"I live in the same house my mother grew up in. You know there is a piece of history in my kitchen you might, after tonight, understand."

"Really?"

"Yeah, there is a door frame, the one that goes into my kitchen, I'll show it to you next time your at my house. It is where my grandmother measured my mother, and my mother measured me at that same door frame, and I measure my son."

"Wow, that is so amazing, so you walk in her steps everyday."

"Yeah I do, and you walk in yours. Even when you are not here, in this house. You never know where you are going, may very well be the very place where your mother, has already been."

"Your right, and I will remember that. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel like everything is going to be alright."

"That's great Peyton."

"And you know what?"

"What?"

"I am going to be alright too!"

Peyton walks into her room, and notices her answering machine blinking, she presses the button to playback the messages. She had one from Brooke, apologizing for that night, not being there for her. One from Anna, apologizing yet again for hurting her. And one from Rick, asking her where she was at, "You call me remember? Where are you? Call me when you get this!"

Peyton sat on her bed, and remembered that before she left to got o Karen's, she had called Rick, she needed a fix. She reached for her phone, and dialed the number. "Hello?"

"Hey Rick, it's Peyton."

"Where have you been? I have been standing here for hours."

"I'm sorry, I changed my mind, I don't need the drugs anymore. And if you ever bring drugs into Tric again, I will call the cops." she blurted before she lost her nerve.

"I wonder what your boss would say if she found out about your drug use, blondie."

"She already knows, I told her tonight. I don't ever want to see you again, do you understand?"

"Your making a big mistake."

"No I already made it, this is me fixing the mistake. Goodbye Rick."

"Yeah whatever."

Peyton hung up the phone, and laid back in her bed. For the first time in months, she felt like she finally had control in her life. And that was more important to her than anything else. She was going to be alright.

THE END!

How was it, this was my favorite chapter, because I went a lot deeper into emotions than ever before in my writing. I hope you liked it, and I have more OTH stories, if your interested, here on So feel free to check them out.

I also have another fanfic started here on Haley and Nathan central, dealing with someone trying to break them up, and you wouldn't believe who,lol. (And no it isn't Dan or Deb,lol)Read it if you have time, please.