Hi! I'm sorry for doing two stories at once, but it's 3:30 in the morning and I just had this idea for a story and it's driving me nuts and just building inside of me so I gotta get it down. This is gonna be a love story. A real love story.
She wanders through the Barnes & Nobles down the block from her apartment. Every now and then, she picks up a random book, flipping through it to see if it interests her. But nothing can hold her interest today. Her mind is wandering back to days of Tree Hill High School. The smell of the locker room before cheerleading practice fills her nose.
She walks at the head of the cheerleaders. Eight other girls follow behind her, giggling and chatting, but Brooke is silent. She walks foward, swinging her hips in a way she knows will draw attention from the basketball team. But she only wants one boys attention. The cheerleaders get into a line to practice cheers, waiting for their captain. Brooke locks her hazel eyes with the blue eyes of the co-captain of the basketball team. Lucas winks at his girlfriend and she smiles slyly back at him. She feels her stomach knot at the sight of this boy that she's so in love with.
She sighs to herself as she continues to wander through the endless book-filled aisles. Suddenly, a table catches her eye. Books of the same accord, all with black covers, are stacked high. One sits on a stand showing off its cover. A sign above reads, "From Best Selling Author, Lucas Scott... NEW." The lettering is bold and red, but Brooke only sees ten letters in a row. A name familiar to her. Lucas Scott.
She slowly walks over to the gleaming hardwood table. Once she reaches it, she can't help but hover over it. She reaches out and runs her fingers over the shiny black cover. The letters pop up under her fingers. Unhappy Ending by Lucas Scott. She lifts the book and touches every surface, every inch, every edge. After ten minutes of inspecting it, she realized she didn't even know what it was about.
She opened it slowly to the inside cover. The smell of paper emerged from between the binding, reminding her of Lucas.
They stood in the quiet library between two jam-packed shelves of books. He was deep in thought, brooding as she would call it, as he flipped through an old book. She stared up at him affectionately.
"Here we go. This is the writer I was talking about," Lucas said in a tone of accomplishment. They had been in the dusty old library for an hour and Lucas had been unable to find this specific book, until now.
"Somerset Mughom?" Brooke read the author's name slowly, incorrectly however.
Lucas corrects her saying its "Maugham." He flips to the back of the novel. "Human Bondage," he reads.
"Bondage!" she says excitedly.
Lucas sighs playfully. "Yeah, it's not like that."
She pouts dissapointedly, but quickly she perks back up. "So, you're good. Are we done here?!" Brooke asks him anxiously. She cozys up to him in adoration, hoping to get her way and leave the library that she had rarely visited before.
"Well I just thought that this was a better opportunity for us to spend some time, you know, hang out with each other."
"And it is," she assures him, standing on her tippy toes. "But can we maybe do it someplace that smells a little less..." she sticks her nose between the opened pages and inhales, "...funky?"
The blue eyed boy laughs and sticks his own nose in the book. "That's the smell of old books," he smiles down at her.
She sighed as she turned to the first page of the book. A dedication.
"For the girl who I fell in love with years ago, who I never stopped loving."
She gulped reading his first words. Had he replaced her? Had he moved on when she was still paralyzed at the sight of his name to this day? Had he found a new girl while she went through boys incapable of making a relationship last?
She turned the page to the first page of the first chapter.
"She was everything to me. She still is.
I didn't know her well my first two years of high school. I just watched and admired her from afar. She was beauti--..."
Brooke slammed the book shut. He wrote a book about Peyton, she thought to herself. The girl he was in love with was Peyton. She remembered Peyton telling her that when Lucas was a freshman until he was a sophomore, he used to watch her and scribble her name all over his notebook hoping one day he'd have a chance with her.
He wrote a book about Peyton. She felt the tears burn her eyes, but she refused to let them go. Not here. Not now. Every fiber in her body wanted to tear up the books in front of her. How could he just let her go so easily? Brooke couldn't hold a relationship with anyone for these five years after her and Lucas ended things before college and lost touch, but he could replace her, with her former best friend, again, with such great ease?
He wrote a book about Peyton, for god's sake! She wanted to scream, toss the neatly stacked books everywhere. But she stood still, book gripped tightly in her hand, tears threatening to fall.
She couldn't rip the book up here, but she could do it at home.
She walked up to the register and silently put her book on the counter. The cashier offered a hello and she responded with a forced smile unable to form words. Her throat tightened as she whispered a thank you. Throwing the change in the plastic Barnes & Nobles bag, she rushed to her car. With each step, the sound of change clinking together threatened to drive her insane.
She walked down the New York City street fast paced as usual, but this time, she was doing it out of anger, not because the rest of the city was bustling at this speed. Her heart raced as she finally reached her building. She gulped back tears once again as she repeatedly slammed the 'up' button on the lobby's elevator.
"C'mon, c'mon... Please," she begged the elevator under her breath. With a ping it finally arrived. She shoved herself into the empty elevator hoping that no one would come in. The door slid closed slowly, finally shutting completely. One she was alone, tears began to flow from her eyes. How could this hurt so badly? It had been five years. Five years without a phone call, without a letter, without any contact. What did she expect? He was gorgeous, and perfect, and his cheek felt perfect against hers... so why couldn't it feel even better against another girls? Did she expect him to be single forever and for him to be waiting for her?
She took a deep breath as she arrived at her pent house apartment, courtesy of her two year editing job at Vanity Fair. She unlocked the door still gripping the white plastic bag tightly.
"I love you," she blurted interupting his speech forgiving her.
"I love you, too... pretty girl," he said softly as he cupped her cheek in his hand.
Was that all a lie? She threw her purse onto the nearest marble counter. She shook the plastic bag out over the counter. Coins clinked on the marble surface and bounced to the floor. The reciept floated gracefully out of the bag. The book came down with a thud landing with the back black cover facing her.
And there he was. A small, yearbook sized photo of Lucas stared back at her. Although it was black and white, she felt his blue eyes pierce through her. A mix of anger and sadness rose inside her.
"How could you do this to me again!?" she yelled.
She read the back of the book.
"'A memoir of an unrequited love that keeps you begging for more when the pages run out...' - The New York Times
'Unhappy Ending shows that true love truly never dies... even when it is lost...' - The New York Post"
She skipped the next few reviews, sure that they were all the same "amazing book" rambling bullshit. How could this book be amazing? Didn't he think there was a possibility she'd come across it?
A few more lines down was the summary.
"She was everything to me. She still is. And I'm not sure she even knows it. She was beautiful and had the world in the palm of her hands. She left to chase her dreams and I left to chase mine. I thought we'd keep in touch, I thought we had something real those years in high school. But she had me fooled, or maybe I had fooled myself. We were both young and maybe we didn't know what we were doing. I told her she'd change the world, and she is as we speak. Although I don't know for sure, I know she's accomplished. I'm sure she found her dream and I found most of mine... The part missing, to this very day, is her. I wonder if she even realizes. And now all I'm left with is memories on paper of a love that never found its happy ending."
Brooke stood confused. If Peyton was the love of his life blah-blah-yadda-yadda-yadda like she though, then why did this description sound like he was describing her, Brooke Penelope Davis?
"Brooke Davis is gonna change the world one day, and I'm not sure she even knows it," Brooke read from a novel Lucas had written about his four years of high school. This was just a piece of the chapter that was completely dedicated to her. She looked up from the bound book and smiled shyly. This was it, this was the end.
"You're gonna do great out there. The world doesn't stand a chance," Lucas assured her.
"I don't want to leave you," Brooke said as they stood in front of the window. She looked out to see all of their friends strewn all over the lawn enjoying their last high school party. But this room, this room was theirs.
"So why can't we try and make the distance work, Brooke?!" Lucas said frustrated.
"Because... I don't want to hold you back. What if you meet this amazing girl at UNC, and you can't see it because I'm two thousand miles away in New York!?"
"That's where you
don't understand... You're
that amazing girl for me, Brooke," Lucas said sincerely.
"If it's meant to be we'll find our way to each other again, Luke." She choked back tears, refusing to breakdown. She smiled at Lucas. Her Lucas. Her broody. Her boyfriend. Her boy.
She couldn't help it. She opened back to the first chapter and began reading...