Chapter Three: Like Fallin' When You're Trying to Fly

I guess it's gonna have to hurt
I guess I'm gonna have to cry
And let go of things I've loved
To get to the other side

The first thing Brooke noticed when she came to was that there was a crushing sensation resting on her chest. The other was that the room was entirely dark and making focusing on anything incredibly difficult. She wasn't sure how long she had been out, but judging by the darkness blanketed around her, she'd have to guess that it had been awhile. In no time though her senses also pick up on something new, someone was shuffling around the room and Brooke's best guess is that had been what pulled her out of her sleep.

"Jake?" She whispered careful not to wake the sleeping child on her chest, "is that you?" When there was no response though, she continued to whisper, "please make that be you Jake because if you're a stealthy burglar...well I've already had a hell of a week and can't handle anymore drama. Jake?"

There's a crash followed closely by a, "Jesus Christ Brooke!" And Brooke could only guess that she'd startled Jake when her whispers had gotten louder. And in no time Brooke had to blink against the bright overhead living room light. "What are you guys doing out here?"

"What time is it?"

"Nine-thirty. Again, what are you guys doing out here? You know that Jenny does have her own bed, right? And I graciously let you sleep in my bed seeing as how you're injured?" Jake teased with a smile tugging at the corner of his lips.

"Well I'll have you know, I fed and watered your daughter, and we laid down to watch some princess movie and we fell asleep."

"You fed and watered my daughter? What is she a horse?"

"At the moment she feels like it. Will you please come get her off of me! By the way I think she can eat her weight in macaroni and cheese. She's a little thing but girl can eat."

"Is that what you guys had for dinner?" Jake turns to glance over his shoulder at the disaster that was his previously clean kitchen.

"Yeah but not that organic crap you have the cabinets. If you're going to stoop and feed your kid kid food then you need to make it the real stuff. If you want to feed her healthy stuff, then don't buy macaroni and cheese. So we walked to the grocery store and bought the fake kraft stuff...now kid removal please?" Brooke struggled to sit up once Jake had removed the sleeping child from her.

"I'll be right back," Jenny immediately snuggled into her father's arms when he lifted her off of Brooke and headed toward Jenny's back bedroom.

Brooke struggled to her feet once Jake had disappeared, the accident had been a week ago but she was still sore, especially if she'd been sitting still for too long. She'd woken in the hospital confused as to where she was and what had exactly happened but a nurse had come by at that time and explained it all. She suffered from some minor head trauma and had a broken arm but all in all she'd been lucky, it could have been much worse. Then the nurse had announced that she had a visitor and that's when Brooke's heart had sunk. She'd made it through the revelation that she had a broken arm and had injured her poor car but had gotten upset with just the thought that Luke had found her. Yeah, that was definitely the basis for an unhealthy relationship.

But it hadn't been Lucas at all. Jake Jagielski had walked through the door and Brooke couldn't have been more shocked if the Dali Lama had walked through the door handing out dirty magazines. In an interesting twist of what? Fate? Irony? Brooke wasn't sure but whatever it was that was interestingly twisted it had been Niki, Jake's Niki, who'd slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of her. It had been Niki that had dialed 911 and then eventually Jake. And that, well that had changed everything. Brooke didn't even get the chance to worry about what she was going to do without a car in a city where she knew no one. Jake immediately offered her his pull out couch for as long as she needed it and a week later they were settling into routine.

"You need to figure out what you are doing with this thing," even this speech was becoming routine. Every night when Lucas called around nine o'clock Jake would come out wielding Brooke's cell phone and the lecture would start. "He keeps calling, you have to pick up this phone and tell him you are okay. Because I really can't take this song playing over and over again for the next...five weeks or however long you decide to stay."

"Fine," Brooke took several determined steps toward Jake but her nerve faltered halfway towards him. She had successfully avoided all of Luke's calls since she left Chapel Hill and she'd thought of a million things to say to him, to explain to him...and yet her mind was blank. "I...I can't...you do it."

"Brooke." In just the week that Brooke had spent with Jake, his week with Jenny, Brooke had learned that tone. It was the daddy tone that said that he wasn't about to clean up Jenny's (or in this case Brooke's) mess.

"Fine," Brooke took a deep breath and grabbed the phone out of Jake's hand. With a shaking hand she flipped open the phone, honestly she was afraid that if she heard Luke's voice on the other end she would give in and ask him to pick her up at the airport. He was her addiction. Bad for her both physically and emotionally and yet cold turkey was the only way to let go of him. In a swift movement Brooke flipped the phone open and in one long breath stated, "I'm in Savannah with Jake. Stop calling." And with that she flipped the phone shut again, he'd heard her voice. He knew where she was. That was all she owed him. But that thought felt wrong, they'd been such huge parts of each other and all she owed him was seven words? Well hell, seven was the number of completion right?

Clearly not as the phone almost instantly began ringing again. Why was he making this so god damn hard? With a frustrated yelp Brooke wrenched the phone open again and then pushed it harder backwards and with little effort the thin, expensive, high tech phone snaps in half hanging on by only their wires.

"Brooke..." Jake's voice was concerned but sympathy was not an emotion that Brooke was prepared to deal with because if he was sympathetic she'll cry. And if she cried, it really means it was over between her and Luke and that everything that week had really happened. And that everything she knew about her life was over. And that was definitely not something Brooke was ready to deal with.

With a shake of her head Brooke walked out of the apartment and down the stairs and eventually to the side of the road where the trash was waiting to be picked up in the morning. Without a second thought Brooke pulled open the lid and dumped her trash inside. That was supposed to make her feel empowered it was supposed to make her feel better like she was making the right decision. All it did was break the damn that was holding back the tears she'd been holding in for a week – hell maybe longer.

She had to have looked ridiculous as she slumped to the curb next to the trash can. With her knees pulled to her chest and her face buried she had to have looked so many degrees of pathetic but those thoughts didn't run through her head. Instead she wished that she didn't love Lucas. The realization that you're in an unhealthy relationship doesn't mean that you immediately stop loving that person any less. If that was the case this would be easy, she would have stopped loving Lucas a long time ago. They would have stopped intentionally hurting each other so long ago. Lucas Scott would always be her first love and there was no getting around that.

"Hey," Jakes voice caused Brooke to stiffen, they had never really talked about why Brooke had left Chapel Hill. He knew that Brooke hadn't come looking for him or anything. He knew that Brooke and Luke were over and Brooke had been quick to assure him that it wasn't Peyton related. But as for the reasoning behind the end of Brucas? All Brooke had returned with was that they were fed up.

"Jake I'm fine," and in an instant Brooke was transformed to fine. Because that's who she was, the queen of the mask. She could play a smile when she wanted to cover up anything, there was no hint of tears in her voice and the darkness easily masked the tears on her face. "Just tired, you're daughter is exhausting."

"Thanks for watching her for me, there was an emergency at work and..." Jake trailed off when he dropped down beside Brooke. Awkwardly he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, the action itself wasn't awkward it was just that, well, they'd known each other through most of high school but they'd never really been friends. But Brooke couldn't say that the embrace wasn't welcomed and she leaned into it, her head resting on his chest. "It's going to get better Brooke."

Brooke sighed, she knew that it had to her world didn't revolve around Lucas Scott. It was just, well, what now? She had no school. No job. Hell, running away had only earned her a broken arm and and a car that would spend the next two weeks in the shop. So running away wasn't the answer. And going back was the last thing Brooke would consider. So what were her options then?

"You can stay here for as long as you need to, that pull out hasn't been used since I bought it. When I was at work I looked around...There's a couple help wanted signs around town. It's a good temporary thing, at least until you figure out what you want to do or where you want to go. You don't have to have all of the answers right now."

Brooke sat up straighter and moved away from Jake. He was right she didn't need to have her entire life plotted out right now she just needed to figure out tomorrow and tomorrow she'd figure out the day after.

I know there's a blue horizon
Somewhere up ahead, just waiting for me
Getting there means leaving things behind
Sometimes life's so bittersweet

A.N. Yeah I know it's been awhile. And yes I know that I suck for it being so long. And I don't really have an excuse but I will just tell you that you should count yourselves lucky that I opted to finish. Okay that sounded concieted. Anyway. I hope you enjoyed! Review please, it makes me feel more inclined to update!