It had been a month and a half. 42 days to be exact. 42 gruesome, horrible days that Brooke Davis had felt empty and alone. 42 days since it's been just her and her foster daughter, Samantha Walker. 42 days, since the love of her life, although no one knew that she loved him yet, not even her, left to L.A. 42 days that she wished would end.
But she couldn't blame Julian, of course. It was her own damn fault that she was suffering right now, that she was alone. He had told her he loved her, and what did she say back, both times? I like you. I care about you, a lot. Now, as she remembered her words, shuddering at both of those sentences she had uttered back in her kitchen about two months back. At the time, they seemed like the right thing to say. But now? Ugh, they seemed like two very low blows. She hadn't said it back. And two weeks after he told he loved her, and a week after Luke's movie had been cancelled, he told her he had to go to L.A. and wanted her to come with him. Again, she hid behind Sam. "Sam has school, she has her friends here." When she knew in her mind that Sam would easily leave for Brooke, she wanted Brooke happy, with Julian. And if moving to L.A. would do that then she'd agree. She'd probably even like it; have more chances to get into the writing or film industry there. And Julian knew that Sam would want that too. Again, he accused her of hiding behind her foster daughter, and again she disagreed. He left that night.
Now, May 11th, she was sitting in the only church in Tree Hill, just staring at herself in the mirror, wondering how and why she had become this, this monster. How she could break so many hearts. She didn't really care about her own breaking anymore. She deserved it. But Julian? No. Julian didn't deserve it.
"Brooke?" Brooke jumped, pulled out of her reverie. Today was supposed to be a happy day. The day everyone was waiting for, the day everyone knew would eventually make it's appearance. Two of her best friends, Lucas Scott and Peyton Sawyer, would be getting married today. And Brooke was thinking of herself, again.
She turned to the door, and there stood Haley, and Peyton a few feet behind her. Then they noticed the silent tears rolling down their best friend's cheeks. "Oh Brooke! What's wrong honey?" Peyton ran to her best friend, along with Haley, but despite the long dress that would normally enable someone from running fast, Peyton was at Brooke's side first.
Brooke sighed. "It's nothing guys, really." Or nothing that really matters, especially today, Brooke thought to herself. "Now come on, P. Sawyer, you'll ruin your dress." Brooke smiled at the nickname she had given her friend.
"You confuse me, B. Davis. One minute you're crying, next you're smiling like you just won the lottery."
"I just realized that might just be the last time I ever call you P. Sawyer. Very, very soon, you'll be P. Scott." And Brooke said this like she had just won the lottery.
Brooke stood up, running her hands along her now crumpled strapless dark blue dress that went down to her knees. Brooke had designed it for herself, for the position of maid of honour. The three of them walked out the door, and linked arms, walking to the big oak doors, where Haley would walk down, then Brooke and soon Peyton, where Lucas would become her husband.
Brooke knew it would be an emotional time for everyone, but she didn't think that everyone would be in tears by the end, which they were. As Lucas and Peyton said the vows that they were only meant to say to each other, in the end, and as the priest pronounced them husband and wife, there was a standing ovation, and Lucas and Peyton were passed around, given good wishes and congratulations. Brooke couldn't exactly see straight, as her eyes were filled with so much tears of happiness. Her best friends were finally getting their happy ending. When will you get yours? A voice in the back of her head questioned. She pushed that thought aside; this was no time to deal with that now. As she looked around the church, trying to see where Peyton and Luke were now, she thought she saw a face that had the grin that she had been missing for 42 days, but she looked away. She didn't think it could've been him. And that thought was also pushed to the back of her mind to deal with later, as Peyton was soon in front of her, and she was giving her best friend one of the biggest hugs of her life.
The church slowly emptied, everyone leaving to go to the Town Hall for the reception. Lucas, Peyton, Brooke, Haley and Nathan were the last ones out. Jamie had left with Sam, Mia and Chase, so the old gang could have a moment to themselves.
They were finally happy, most of them anyway. Four fifths. Eighty percent. That's pretty good right? Not for Brooke. Haley and Nathan were obviously happy, and now so were Peyton and Luke. But what about Brooke? Was she always going to be that third wheel, just the person who's on the verge of happiness, by being surrounded by happy people? It looked that way.
Brooke rode with Nathan and Haley, so Peyton and Lucas could take the limo Lucas had borrowed, and not have to watch them in utter bliss as they kissed each other the whole time. At least with Nathan and Haley, Nathan had to keep his eyes on the road.
The three of them arrived just a few minutes before the happy couple did. Soon everyone was dancing. Everyone except Brooke. She went to sit at the wall, and just watch her friends twirl around. As she watched them, she remembered one chat she had with Julian, about a week before he said those three words that turned up ending their relationship..
Brooke: Hey Stoner, you still awake?
Julian: Awe, you remember by nickname.
Brooke: Of course, how could I not?
Julian: I remember that ridiculous little dance you did.
Brooke: Oh be quiet, like you could do any better.
Julian: Actually, I probably could. *insert famous grin here*
Julian: *laughs* I used to take dancing lessons. My mom enrolled me. So I'm probably the best dancer in tree hill. *smirks*
END OF FLASHBACK
"Earth to Brooke! You gonna to drop out on us? I expected more from you B. Davis." Brooke looked up to see Peyton smiling at her, joking around, of course.
"What?" Brooke asked, confused, as Peyton grabbed her arm and started pulling her toward the stage, where Haley was already standing. "Oh no! You're not going to do what I think you're going to do are you? You're not going to make me sing!?" Brooke exclaimed, shrieking the last part.
"You promised you would," Peyton explained, obviously not going to let Brooke weasel her way out of this one.
"Fine.. But only because this is your day!" Brooke sighed, giving in. "What song are we singin' today, Peyt?"
"One of Haley's, of course. Since you're my maid of honour, she needs to get something in return. What better than for the three of us to sing one of her songs at my wedding?"
"I can't think of anything better. Is Mia going to be singing with us? Since we all know she's amazing."
"Nope, she'll just be playing piano. She's going to be singing later though, all on here own. This song is just you, me and Haley," Peyton replied, smiling.
"Sounds absolutely perfect. Now can I have my arm back if I promise not to run away?" Brooke pleaded, teasing.
"I think so." Peyton smiled, releasing her grip on her best friend's arm.
The two of them walked up on stage, and took their places beside Haley; Peyton on the left and Brooke on the right.
"This song is dedicated to the man in each of our lives whom we love with all our hearts." Peyton declared to the audience.
After she said it, though, she soon realized what kind of affect that comment could've had on her best friend. She turned to Brooke, just to see her smiling back at her. She must not of noticed, or maybe Sam was right, and Brooke does love him. Oh no.. She doesn't know he's supposed to be coming here today. If she doesn't love him, and it'll just end up hurting both of them even more, then it'll be all my fault. I never should've tried to play matchmaker.
Peyton turned to look at her, maybe she had noticed the affect the comment could've had on her. But this was Peyton's day; Brooke wasn't going to ruin it with her drama. So she plastered a huge smile on her face, to try to hide the pain she felt inside. The comment really got to her. Did she love him? She was leaning toward yes. But she didn't have that much time to come up with a straight answer, as Mia began playing the first chords of Haley's song.
ah ah ah ah ah ah
Haley began with her intro, and Brooke knew it was Peyton and her time to join into the song as well.
ah ah ah ah ah ah
They began singing the song together; and good god, it had been what seemed like forever to Brooke since the three of them had actually just belted it out together like this. Brooke just sang carefree through the first verse, until about halfway through it, where she began to relate to it, and it really made her think.
Haven't been ignored
That was taken
Can be restored
She sighed internally. She only wished it was simple. Ugh! She had to stop thinking about that. She was at her best friend's reception, on stage, singing and she was thinking about her .. ex? She didn't really know what to call him at this moment. But for Christ's sake! She had to stop that.
Can you feel this
My heart beating
Out of my chest
Can you feel this
Under my breath
Through the chorus, Brooke let herself go again, not thinking of the man who started with J again. Even though the chorus reminded her of him very, very much. But she didn't let her mind release that thought to the rest of her brain.
It's gotta be just right
Soul and spirit
Chord and lyric
What if I told you
That innocence is yours
And the beauty you have now
Is brighter than before
Both Haley and Peyton saw him walk into the reception at the same time. They had both saw him at the wedding, and had of course not said anything to Brooke about it. Haley had no idea why he was there, or why he was here now, at the reception. Peyton, on the other hand, did. She remembered back to the conversation she had with him at Tric about a week ago ..
*Peyton walked into Tric and saw someone sitting at the bar*
Peyton: The bar doesn't open for a few hours, you know?
*He turned around, and she saw the red around his eyes, how she could tell that he was holding in tears, and it seemed like he had been for too, too long, and he just couldn't anymore*
Peyton: Julian? What are you doing here?
Julian: Peyton, I miss her. I love her. I want her back. But I'm not sure if she feels the same or if she's still lying to herself. What do I do?
Peyton: Come to my wedding, and the reception after. Let her just see you, and if she does infact feel the same way as you do for her, then the rest will come easily.
END OF FLASHBACK
She was happy to see he actually came, and it showed her how much he actually cared for Brooke and how much he wanted her, and Sam, back in his life. When Brooke first told her that Julian had told her he loved her, she wasn't sure if his intentions and actions were true. But, now, she was certain. She was certain that the man that had just walked into the Town Hall was the man for her best friend.
She looked to Haley, wondering if she had saw him too. She knew she had at the wedding; she told her about it. Peyton just said she would tell her about it later. As she looked at Haley now, Haley was staring at her too, then they both looked at Julian, and looked back at each other. They could tell in each other's eyes that they wanted to know if Brooke had seen him yet. As they both looked at her now, and saw her eyes closed, dancing, just a bit, to the second verse, they knew she hadn't.
Brooke's carefree manner was noticable in the second chorus, her eyes closed, moving her arms in that Molly Ringwald way, and as she thought of him again, against her best wishes, she had the urge to open her eyes. When she did, she saw him. He was at the back of the hall, just staring at her. She continued, starting to sing the chorus, but not with nearly as much emphasis as before. It still had the equal amount of heart, but it was softer. It was like she was singing it just for him; as if they were the only ones in the room.
Can you feel this
My heart beating
Out of my chest
Can you feel this
Under my breath
Through the whole chorus, she just stared into those wonderfully brown eyes of his, acknowledging how much she had missed staring at them for 42 days; for them not being the last things she saw before she went to sleep and the first thing she saw when she woke up. For 42 long days, she had lived without those eyes, that face .. that grin. That grin that made an appearance on his face as she breathed the words 'under my breath.' The breathtaking grin, which, as she had said long ago, really should be illegal. And it also was breathtaking, because right as it stretched across his face, Brooke was speechless; breathless. She couldn't even sing anymore. She just stood there and stared with her mouth hanging open. She probably looked utterly ridiculous, but She didn't care. As her heart pounded in her chest, she felt like the world just stood still for that one moment, but it really wasn't. Time was still passing, and Haley and Peyton were still singing, now just the two of them, and she was sad at the fact the world really wasn't standing still, even if it just was for little ole' her. She really wished she could stare into his wonderful eyes, and look at that absolutly charming grin for pretty much .. ever.
ah ah ah ah ah ah
ah ah ah ah ah ah
Peyton and Haley found themselves now singing alone, and they realized their best friend must've caught a glimpse of the guy, who they were sure had to be the love of her life, standing at the back. As the two of them now sang the bridge without the help of their friend, they couldn't help but notice the smile creep onto her face that got bigger and bigger as she looked into Julian's eyes. Yep, they both thought, they were right. Brooke was in love with him. They hadn't seen her smile like that since .. Chase? No. Owen? Definitely not. Lucas? As they thought about it, they realized even he hadn't made her smile this huge, he hadn't even come close. As they finally finished off with the bridge Peyton noticed Brooke was stuck, she needed some encouragement, or something to go down the steps of the stage and go to him. Peyton squeezed her shoulder, hoping that she was giving her all the encouragement she needed. In truth, she was.
As Brooke felt Peyton squeeze her shoulder, she felt like all her joints had suddenly loosened up. Since she had seen him grin that grin of his, she wanted to walk to him, but she couldn't seem to make her joints move. It was like they were frozen; they wouldn't cooperate. But just that simple touch from Peyton, telling her it was alright, telling her to go to him, without really saying anything at all, was all the encouragement she needed to go and see him, and finally tell him how she truly felt.
Brooke walked rather slowly, for her. Since she didn't really have experience with being this deep in a relationship, and feeling this connected or this happy, all she had to go on were the movies. She noticed that the reuniting was always done extremly slow. They always walked to meet each other in the middle, moving their feet at a slower pace. Brooke didn't know if it was just slow motion done by film effects or not, but she didn't want to walk fast either, she wanted the pure .. the pure .. perfection of this moment to not be tainted by her rushing, to maybe try and get it over with. With each 'Let go, let go and believe' that Haley and Peyton sang, she seemed to take two or three steps, as did Julian. She could feel herself getting closer, and was holding back the urge, that was getting stronger by the second, to just run up and jump into his arms and kiss him like she's never kissed him before; basically attack him. She giggled internally at the thought of it, but decided on sticking to her original plan. Before any kissing would happen, or might happen, she reminded herself, some very words needed to be said by her.
As Haley belted out the last 'Let go,' Brooke actually did let go. Let go of her walls, of her insecurities, and even, in quite literal terms, her balance as she fell into Julian's arms, as she was finally close enough to do just that.
He puts his arms around her, pulling her close to him, and to her, it was the greatest thing she had felt in a long time. She just wanted to keep her head glued to his chest, and just let all the tears of their seperation let themselves out, but as she reminded herself time and time again, some very important words had to be said.
As her two best friends began very softly singing the chorus, Brooke said what would be the most important and defining words of her life.
"Julian, I am so sorry. Sorry for what I put you through. Sorry that I didn't let you in sooner. But I've missed you so much. More than you can comprehend. And you being away from me for those long fourty-two days, made me realize something that I have lying to everyone, including myself about," She paused, looking into his eyes for the first time since she was in close range of him. She wanted to watch his reaction at the next words that would come out of her mouth. "Julian Baker.. I love you. I'm in love with you. I've loved you ever since you saw me doing that stupid Molly Ringwald dance. I'm certain that no one loves anyone else more than I love you." She rushed the words, and when she finished, she exhaled in relief, glad to finally have them out in the open.
A huge grin spread across his face, larger than she had ever seen before. He opened his mouth, to object to the last part, she guessed, but his lips were suddenly busy.
And as the song ended, something else began. Brooke's happiness. She knew that now that she had Julian, and now that they knew they both felt the same for each other, that her life had now truly started. She had Julian, and had Sam, she had her friends. She had the best life she could ever imagine, and it was just beginning.
She never understood the strong passion that Nathan and Haley had or that Peyton and Lucas did. But now? Now she did. Now that her fourty-two days of sorrow were over, she could really feel this.