Peyton Sawyer is the first love.

Peyton is teen perfection, the very picture of it, and she knows just how good it looks to the outside world. She's all tan skin and flat muscles, golden curls and big hazel eyes. She's a cheerleader with an edge, an appealing enigma. She's not nearly as hard to figure out as she thinks.

Peyton's not the head cheerleader. That would be her best friend, her first real friend. Brooke Davis, bubbly and bouncy and brunette. They were different as day and night, but as Brooke liked to say, the two of them together was like a damn beer commercial. It was Brooke who had saved her from a rapist, from drugs, from herself. It was Brooke who was there for her when her mother died. It was Brooke whose boyfriend she ran around with. And even after that, it was Brooke who forgave, Brooke who supported and protected and loved her. Brooke Davis is gorgeous and funny and has the most amazing heart. But it's not Brooke who all the boys obsess over. Mainly because most of them have already had her. Peyton feels guilty the moment she thinks it, but can never bring herself to take it back. Brooke is a wet dream, Brooke is a release, Brooke is a one night stand.

Peyton Sawyer is no one's one night stand.

Peyton is the dream girl. She's the tall cool one that can hand with any crowd and be as individual as she wants, because Peyton Sawyer is Queen of the Hive, as Haley once quipped.

Haley James isn't like any of the other people Peyton's ever met. Haley's like a ray of light. She's funny and charming and intelligent, and she can spar wits with the best of them. Haley is easy to talk to, has hair of a million shades, and seemed to never care what anyone thought about her. Haley could sing like an angel and work miracles as a tutor. It's Haley who Nathan loves now, but it wasn't always that way.

It was Peyton who had Nathan's heart first. Nathan Scott, the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. Nathan, who could have almost any girl in the school by a few months into freshman year, probably did have most of them. It was Nathan, with his piercing blue eyes and probably the hottest torso she had ever seen, that chose her. He had more flings than he had body parts to count them on, but he chose commitment to Peyton Sawyer, the ultimate high school cliché. They were the "perfect couple", picture perfect to be exact—just like her. They were the couple destined to be encased in a snow globe somewhere and just be admired by all. But it was Haley that Nathan changed for, Haley that Nathan's eyes lit up the moment she walked in the room, even when she was just his tutor. And that hurt.

Then along came Lucas. Of the same father as her previous boyfriend, but blonder and deeper and scrawnier. His arms weren't as muscular as Nathan's, but made her feel twice as safe. His eyes were ice blue and when she looked into them, she felt pinned to the spot. He could see down into the depths of her soul. For the second time in her entire life, she let a boy in. Lucas Scott was smart and tormented and gorgeous and probably the only person in the world with abandonment issues to rival her own. He was also meant to be with Brooke Davis. She knows that he can't help that the corner of his mouth twitches up at even the slightest mention of the brunette, and surprisingly, it doesn't hurt.

She knows she had him first.

When she thinks about it, Peyton Sawyer could have anyone first. It couldn't be taken in a conceited, arrogant way. Peyton was the girl that boys dreamed of having, the girl girls dreamt of being, the girl mothers were dying to have at their dinner table. None of them really knew Peyton, but none of that really matters. She's not like Haley—she knows she's sexy. She's not like Brooke—she doesn't need to be constantly reassured. Peyton Sawyer is a woman who could stand alone, because she had been doing it for the longest time. But there wasn't a boy in Tree Hill High that could honestly say he'd never dreamt of Peyton Sawyer, and there were only two who had actually had her. Nathan had her body first, and Lucas had her soul first.

They had both reached out, and they were the only ones to whom she had responded. But when they could finally touch her, the perfection of Peyton Sawyer seemed to fall away, the illusion that had fallen in love with twisting into smoke. Yet they stayed around, so infatuated with what they could see that they could ignore what they couldn't. That's no way to live, and she knew it, and she spent her time waiting for them to figure it out too. They both did… eventually.

She was both of their first loves, but neither of their true loves.

Sometimes Peyton Sawyer gets tired of being the picture of perfection. Sometimes Peyton gets tired of pretty pictures, period. And so she draws her own, morphing her universe to show the ugliness it truly possesses beneath the wealth and beauty. Peyton will hang them on her walls and publish them in magazines, and she can't help but smile when people praise them. Peyton has her art, and thinks maybe that can be her true love.

But every once in a while, she'll catch sight of Brooke laughing with Lucas, or Nathan holding Haley's hand. It hurts, but she reminds herself that she had them first. Sometimes that's not enough, and she wonders if she'll ever be enough. It's not enough to be someone's first pick if you aren't their final answer. It's not enough to be someone's first love if they find someone else to love a little bit more.

Peyton Sawyer has always been the first love. What she needs is true love.


Humm… I'm not exactly sure where that came from. I've been in a weird sort of funk ever since I finished Beyond Good and Evil, and I just wanted to try something different, and this sort of wrote itself. I'm not sure how it came out, but I'm very sorry if I tricked you into reading something that really sucked. But I am kind of anxious, so please let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading,

Xo Sam