Author's note: ah,
the final chapter. Thank you all for being such loyal readers. I hope
you guys will check out my new story, Best Laid Plans, it's
an AU Naley story. I definitely think it has potential to be my best
story so far. Ch. 14: 40 Years Later
Ch. 14: 40 Years Later"How's Haley doing?" Brooke asked as she crept down the hall of her friends home, slowly.
"She seems okay… Nathan's in a better place, now, you know?" Peyton tried to smile but it was too hard. 64 was still pretty young to die, it seemed. "How's that husband of yours holding up? I know he and Nate had become attached at the hip after Nathan was diagnosed."
"He's not good. Lucas thinks he was supposed to die first with the HCM and all," Brooke sighed. "I still can't believe Nathan had lung cancer… He never smoked."
"I know," Peyton sighed. "At least now he and Jake can hang out until the rest of us get there…"
"Jake's car accident was 15 years ago… You still miss him everyday?" Brooke asked.
"Everyday, and it sucks because the kids are so much like him. Jenny, Johnny, Jamie, and Jessica… They're reproducing like rabbits too," Peyton laughed.
"I know what you mean. I feel too young to be a grandmother. Between Addison and Lacey, I already have 7 grandkids…"Brooke sighed.
"You guys are still here?" Haley asked as she walked into the living room.
"Of course we are honey. Early retirement was the best thing any of us ever did," Brooke smiled.
"Except Nathan," Haley spoke sadly.
"Coaching the Tree Hill Ravens the past 30 years was the best part of his life," Peyton tried to cheer Haley up.
"No, playing pro was the best part of his life," she sighed.
"How are your kids holding up?" Brooke asked.
"Dylan and Nate have been okay but Emma and Carly won't stop crying. They were daddy's girls, ya know? Nathan spoiled those girls rotten."
"Dude, I can't believe they made you a great grandmother so early," Peyton tried to lighten the conversation.
"Those 2 babies are the most precious, adorable things ever… They keep me going, through all of this," Haley smiled.
"Nathan got to hold them, didn't he?" Brooke asked.
"Yeah, he did. He was so proud of the twins," Haley smiled.
Lucas walked into the house.
"Those grandkids, Hales… They're meaner than Nathan used to be," Lucas spoke out of breath.
"They school you on the basketball court again?" Haley laughed.
"No!" Lucas grinned. The death of his brother shocked him more than anyone. Nathan was always so healthy and active.
"Can you guys believe Mouth made it to the funeral?" Brooke asked.
"Yeah, seriously. Mr. Big Shot vice president of the United States…" Peyton smiled.
"Haley, you don't look so good… Maybe you should lie down," Lucas encouraged.
"Yeah, I think I'm going to do that," she replied as she walked back to her bedroom.
"It's not fair," Lucas cried, "Of all people, why did God have to take Nathan. Haley has always needed him so much…"
"Shh, Luke. It'll be okay. Haley will be okay. We should all be thankful for all the wonderful years we've had together. Most people don't get that," Brooke whispered.
"But Haley and Nathan have always been Haley and Nathan… Now Nathan's gone. It's just not fair. None of us deserve this." Lucas cried on his wife's shoulder.
It was true that God had taken Nathan from them far too early from a disease that none of them would have ever imagined he would get. It wasn't fair. But Haley and Nathan had lived an amazing life together. Almost perfect, most people would say. And Haley would be okay. She had Nathan as her guardian angel now. He'd watch over her for the rest of her life until the day they'd meet again. He'd even keep an eye on his brother and friends while he was at it.
Author's Note: So, the ending was pretty short and out of the blue, I guess you could say, but I intentionally did it this way so that I can close the story for now while I focus on the other story I'm working on. When that story, Best Laid Plans, is complete, I can start a new story, which will be somewhat of a sequel to this one, filling in the 40 years I just skipped. I hope you guys aren't mad, it's just that for now I'm really excited about my new story and so far it seems so good! Thanks for reading and giving me all your input and support. It's meant a lot to me and I hope you'll continue reading my other stories!