Summary: Finally, after all this time he remembers. Not because he wants too, because he needs too.
"Daddy. Can you teach me how to tie my shoe?"
"Can you teach me how to make a jump shot, dad?"
It had been two years.
Two years since he'd looked at a picture.
Two years since he'd listen to the last voice message she'd left on his phone that he coincidently had forgot to delete.
Two years since he'd last really looked at both his son and daughter's face that each displayed something or another from their mother.
Two years since it happened.
Two years too long since he last remembered. Remembered her. Brooke Davis-Scott.
Another tear drop hit the already crumbled piece of shiny paper. It was a picture. A picture of her. He hadn't opened this box in nearly two years. He didn't want to open it now either, but he needed too. The box contained photos, videos, clothes, and everything else imaginable under the sun.
He sniffled a bit and held the picture closer to his chest. It was a picture of the four of them. Them. They hadn't been a 'them' in a while. Them consisted of Lucas, Brooke, Tyler, and Olivia. But now they were missing the Brooke. And without her they would never be a them again.
He ignored the continuous whines from his nine and six- year-old outside his locked bedroom door.
He could also hear his mother there too. Trying to calm them down telling them that their daddy just needed more time. As if two years wasn't enough time...
Usually Lucas would just mope around all day, keeping the box under one side of the bed. Her side. But today was different. He felt he needed to remember her, he couldn't live like this anymore. So he got up with all the strength he had and pulled the dusty box up from under the bed. After it had happened, anything lying around the room that was Brooke's or had anything remotely to do with her he stuffed into a big cardboard box. He pushed it under the bed and hadn't looked at it since. He didn't want to remember anything.
After he dusted the box off, he, for the first time since, carefully sat on her side of the bed.
He picked up one of his favorite pictures of her. A sad smile played on his lips. He can't help but remember how happy that day had been for them.
"You did great, pretty girl." Lucas beamed as he tucked a piece of his wife's chocolate hair behind her ear.
They recently both turned twenty-seven and today was the official start of their family.
"Ten little fingers, ten little toes. Seven pounds, ten ounces. You have a perfectly healthy little boy." The nurse smiled as she brought over a wailing baby wrapped in a baby blue blanket to the new parents.
"Awww." Brooke cooed over the tiny bundle that she now held carefully. "He looks just like you, Luke."
"Sure. If you think I have brown hair." Lucas sarcastically said as he brushed his hand over the light brown tufts of hair the baby had on his soft head.
"Okay, maybe not that but he has your blue eyes."
"Most babies are born with blue eyes." Lucas stated. "They'll probably turn brown later on."
"Whatever." Brooke said not taking her eyes off her precious baby boy. "Stop trying to ruin the moment."
"I'm sorry, baby. No matter if this baby looks like me or you he will turn out handsome either way."
"Thank you." Brooke murmured as she placed a soft kiss on the baby's forehead.
"Now onto a name..."
"Well, we didn't choose one for a boy."
"I told you it wouldn't be a girl. We should have found out earlier or at least chosen a girl's name and a boy's name."
"Well excuse me how was I supposed to know my motherly instincts would be wrong."
"It's not a problem, we'll just have to think of a name. Unless you still want the baby's name to be Taylor. It is actually a unisex name."
"No." Brooke whined. "I only like it for a girl."
"Okay...Well...hmmm...what about Tyler? It's close to Taylor I guess."
"Hm. Tyler..." The baby let out a gurgling sound. "I think he likes it."
"Then Tyler it is."
Lucas ran his hand over the delicate face that was pictured in the photograph. A tear drop fell on it and he took it as a sign to move onto the next memento in the box. It was a sweatshirt. His sweatshirt that she always seemed to wear.
"Lucas! Ready to go?" Brooke called from the staircase downstairs.
"Just a sec. I'm trying to find something."
"Well hurry up. You don't want your son to be late for his own birthday party." Lucas smiled as he heard his one-year-old son giggle from downstairs. It amazed him how he and Brooke were able to build such a great life after everything they'd been through. Years ago, children with Brooke seemed like a dream that just wouldn't come true with all the love triangles and everything else that had been going on. But now he looks at Tyler and he just can't see himself anywhere else.
"Brooke." Lucas sighed as he walked out of their bedroom and leaned over the banister. "Have you seen my sweatshirt?"
"You mean this one?" Brooke, with her free hand, signaled to the clothing item that was tucked beneath one of her arms.
"Yes, that is the one I've been looking for for the past twenty minutes. Why do you insist on taking my clothes?"
"It might be chilly out. I needed a sweatshirt."
"And what about me?"
"You'll deal with it."
"Now let's go." Brooke said as she placed Tyler in his stroller and zippered his jacket up to his chin.
Such a simple memory that could and probably does mean nothing to most people. But to Lucas, it means the world. Everything about his late wife means everything.
He rummaged through most of the box as he came across more pictures and clothes and even some home-made videos here and there. And then he came across a picture. It was of his daughter, Olivia, taken about a year and a half ago. Though the picture wasn't of his wife, everytime he'd glance at it he'd cringe because of what had happened that day. Many people say that though a picture is worth a thousand words it doesn't show the emotions that you had during that time. But that doesn't apply for Lucas, at least for this picture anyway.
"Is mommy almost here?" A brunette four-year-old girl asked Lucas as she tugged on the pink bow in her hair making it tighter.
"She'll be there, Olivia. But we might have to leave without her."
"But mommy said she wouldn't miss my dance recital for the world." The small girl pouted.
"And she won't. She might just have to meet us there, okay, babe?"
"Alright, now go tell Ty that we'll be leaving soon."
Lucas pulled his cell phone out quickly and pressed one on speed-dial. It kept ringing and ringing and there was no answer.
"Hey. You've reached Brooke. I'm not here at the moment so leave a message and I'll get back to you."
He sighed as he waited for the beep to come on.
"Brooke, it's me. Where are you? We might have to leave and you'll just meet us there. Alright, call me back. Love you." Lucas reluctantly pressed 'end'. Where the hell was she?
She would never ever disappoint her kids so this led Lucas to believe that something might've happened to her.
He then sighed in relief when he felt his phone vibrating from his pocket and saw that it was Brooke calling.
"Hey where are you?" He answered the phone.
"Um, I had an, um, errand to make." She replied frazzled.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just tired. Nothing to worry about."
"Okay, if you say so. Anyway, how 'bout you meet us there?"
"Yeah. That sounds great."
"Alright, see you then. I love you."
"Love you, too." Brooke said and closed her eyes as she placed her phone back into her purse.
She slowly made her way into the car. She was not prepared for the news she had just recieved. She figured she might've just had the flu or at the most maybe she was pregnant. But no, not this. She wiped her tears away, smudging her mascara in the process. She then put her car in drive and drove out of the doctor's office parking lot.
"You were great, sweetie."
"Thanks mommy." Olivia said as she took off her ballet shoes once they entered their house.
"I'm gonna go shoot some hoops, dad, you wanna come?" Tyler asked as he grabbed his basketball.
"Um, actually, I wanted to talk to your mother so I'll meet you out there. Olivia, why don't you go change?"
"So." Brooke said once it was just them two. "What did ya wanna talk about?"
"I wanna know what's wrong."
"What do you mean?"
"You haven't been yourself since you got home today."
"I'm fine, Lucas."
"Brooke, please don't lie to me. Please."
"Lucas. Nothing's wrong." Brooke turned on her heel.
She turned around and faced him and he saw tears run down her face.
"Baby, what happened?"
"I...I...I went to the um doctor today."
"Is everything okay?"
"No, Lucas. Everything's not okay."
"Wha- What is it?"
"I have cancer, Luke."
"No. Stop lying to me. You're...you're Brooke, you're perfect."
She just shook her head and wrapped her arms around his torso. Silent tears fell from his eyes. This couldn't be happening.
He could never forget that day. That was probably the worst day in his life. He reached back into the box and pulled out an envelope. Quickly he realized that his previous thought was wrong. The following memory was the worst day of his life.
"Baby, please don't leave me. Don't leave us."
"I'm dying, Lucas." She whispered. She was too weak to talk louder. She had tried various treatments since she'd found out about her illness. Sadly, they had caught it at a late stage and none of the treatments were effective.
"No, don't say that. Don't say that, Brooke."
"But it's true. And you know it. I'm sorry."
"There's nothing to be sorry about. Just please don't give up yet, please baby."
"I want you to have something." She reached over her hospital bed to a drawer. She pulled out an envelope and handed it to him.
"What is it?"
"Here. Open it."
"You told me to throw these out." He said studying the letter that was inside the envelope. It was the first letter she had written him from that summer while she was in California.
"I kept a few." She gave him a weak smile. He gave her a sad smile back as he brushed his hand over her hair that had gotten thinner since she'd started treatments.
"When I'm gone." He sighed as she paused a second. He hated when she spoke like that. "Don't go to Peyton."
He managed a weak laugh. Leave it to Brooke to say that when you're dying.
"Tell Ty and Olivia that I love them. So much."
He nodded numbly. Trying not to let his own tears fall as he watched hers fall down her makeup-less face. He studied her face. So weak and tired. And still, he thought she was the most beautiful girl in the universe.
He carefully wrapped his arms around her. And then he gave up as he let his tears fall onto her hair.
"God, Brooke. Please don't leave. Baby, please." He rocked them both back and forth as he continued to cry.
"I love you, Lucas."
And then, the slow moment from her chest that he had felt moments ago had suddenly stopped. And a beeping noise from the machine next to her began.
Nurses ran in. Once they saw the picture in front of them they stopped.
"Mr. Scott, I'm sorry."
"No...No." He continuously kissed her chocolate hair hoping this would somehow revive her.
She was gone.
Lucas stared off into space, tears running down his face, as he held the envelope in his hand. He looked around the room and stopped when his vision came to a mirror. He looked different. He sure knows he acts different since that day, too. He'd been hurting the people around him in the process. Including his kids. He hadn't even gone to his wife's funeral!
"Daddy's gonna be okay, right?" He heard his little girl ask his mother downstairs.
He had been a horrible father the past two years. His kids needed him; they had just lost their mother! But instead of comforting them he left that all to his mother and either spent his time at work or locked up in his room. He totally and completely wanted to forget about her. And for a while he succeeded, unfortunately, that also meant forgetting his role as father. He wasn't proud of who he had become. He knew Brooke wouldn't be either.
He carefully placed all the objects, except one, back into the cardboard box. The remaining object, a picture frame, was then placed beside his bed. It was a picture of the two of them at their wedding. He ran his thumb over her happy face. For once it felt good to remember. He didn't have to pretend he didn't remember. All this time he wanted to remember her smile, laugh, voice, the way her hair smelled after she shampooed it, and everything else. And now he could. He was ready.
He got off the bed and placed his hand on the door knob ready to face his two children that longed to be hugged by their father.
He needed to remember, and know he realizes why.
A/N - The End!
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