The Search for Something More
Chapter 34 – I and Love and You
Thank you for everyone's support on this story and I hate to say it that this is the end. I'm sorry it took this long to update but with the holidays and I got side tracked with a new show, a cartoon if you can believe it (Avatar: The Last Airbender, lol). The past week, that just took up my whole time as I watched hours and hours of that show lol. Anyways, I am really happy with how this story turned out and everything I wanted to put into this story I did and then some. I had such a blast writing this story, especially the chapter when Jamie "died" and him coming back to life. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for reading. Now, I will focus all my attention to "Keep Bleeding." So enjoy this last chapter and leave me some love.
Haley placed the single candle on the cake and let herself admire the creation she made. The cake was big, like really big and she was going to need Nathan to help bring it to the living room when the time comes. She could barely get the thing out from the oven herself. The cake was chocolate of course, mother and son's favorite, with white frosting and an assortment of items decorated on the cake. She could hardly believe her little boy was one year old. The day Jamie was born was forever etched in her memory, every heart breaking moment and the joy when they found out he was alive. Jamie was her's and Nathan's miracle and Haley wanted to make sure everything was perfect for today.
She looked back onto the party and noticed everyone having a good time. She hired some entertainment for the kids. There was a moon bounce that both kids and adults enjoyed. Nathan really enjoyed that one, especially when she joined him and his eyes never left her chest while she jumped up and down. Unfortunately for Nathan, other's noticed too and he quickly escorted her way. Haley could only laugh at Nathan's over protectiveness and jealousy. There was also a cartoonist doing characteratures for everyone. The one of Jamie was so cute, with his oversized cheeks and his big round eyes. Last but not least and the most popular was the balloonist they hired. Nathan was hesitant at first when she brought the idea up but he turned out to be the life of the party. The things that guy could create were amazing. He made various types of hats, crowns, flowers for the girls, as well as all sorts of different animals like giraffes and monkeys. He also made toy balloon guns and swords, which were very popular with the boys, her husband and best friend included. She nearly busted out laughing when Lucas got mad at Nathan because he kept whacking his toy sword against his head and then smacking it against Lucas' butt.
Haley smiled to herself, she was most definitely pleased with the day's festivities. Haley spoke to soon as she heard the doorbell and ring and opening the door, she found an unexpected guest. To her horror, in front of her, was a clown with white make up, oversized shoes and bright red lipstick. Hands down, he was the scariest thing she'd ever seen.
"Hi I'm bozo…" Haley slammed the door at his face and shrieked.
"Babe, what's up?" Nathan rushed to see what the excitement was about.
"Get him out of here."
"Him." Haley pointed to the door and Nathan looked through the peep hole.
"Hales, it's just a clown."
"Just a clown." She retorted. "Get him away, you know how I hate clowns."
"What's all the commotion?" Deb came up to them.
"Haley's afraid of the clown." Nathan replied.
"Oh we have a clown." Deb said excitedly as she opened the door.
"Deb don't!" Haley exclaimed but it was too late.
"Hi I'm Bozo the clown."
"Well, hello Bozo." Deb licked her lips as she looked the clown over. "Those are some pretty big shoes."
"Gross mom, can you get Jamie from Brooke. He needs to be changed." Nathan shook his head. Nathan loved having his mom around, especially with Jamie, she visited Tree Hill quite often but sometimes he questioned if his mom was really sober.
Deb playfully rolled her eyes. "Fine," then turning back to the clown, "I'll see you later." She winked.
"Look Bozo," Haley started to speak. "You must have the wrong house."
"This is Jamie Scott's first birthday party?" Bozo asked.
"Yes it is." Nathan replied, an amused smile on his face.
"Then I'm at the right house."
"I'm sorry but I didn't order a clown. There must be some mistake." Haley spoke up.
"No mistake, I was hired for this party."
"We didn't order a clown." Haley turned to Nathan. "You better have not ordered him!" She glared.
"I didn't do anything." Nathan put his hands up in mock surrender.
"This was ordered by a Lydia James." The clown looked at the work order. "It was pre-paid months ago."
"Mother." Haley mumbled to herself and Nathan couldn't help but laugh.
"This is so not funny!" She warned at him. "Oh if my mother wasn't already dead." She gritted up and looked up towards the sky, knowing her mom was having a laugh right now. Lydia loved clowns, as did most of her family but one particularly incident when Haley was six left her emotionally scarred for life.
"Hales, he is already paid for and this is a gift from your mom to Jamie." Nathan tried to reason.
"No, the fluffy rabbit she got him was a gift from my mom, this is a sick joke from beyond the grave." She replied back. "I don't care what you do, get rid of him. There is no way in hell I am going to let some clown in my house and in front of my son." She then put on a forced smile. "No offense." And with that she took off.
"Sorry, my wife hates clowns." Nathan shrugged.
"You'd be surprised by how many do."
"Look, sorry for you trouble but I don't think we'll be needing you." Nathan started walking with the clown towards his car, his very small car. Nathan looked on amused, that must've been the smallest car he'd ever seen and this guy was at least 5'10, 5'11. Nathan pulled out a few singles. "Sorry for the trouble." Nathan handed it to him and made sure he left. Haley would kill him if he didn't make sure that the clown was completely gone.
He was a little surprised. He didn't think Lydia would actually do it. She died about two months ago in early April and while her death was expected, it didn't make it any easier on anyone who knew and loved her, including Haley. After last Christmas, Lydia broke the news to everyone and then spent sometime traveling again to visit various family and friends for about a month before coming back home to Tree Hill. Haley was with her almost every day but by the end of winter, Lydia's condition worsened and she stayed in the hospital for about three weeks before she finally passed. Lydia was surrounded by friends and family and in the end she had no regrets. She was in good spirits during the whole time, thankful that she was able to make it this long. She did talk about missing Jamie's birthday and wished she could be around for it. She even joked about getting a clown but Nathan didn't think she would be serious. Lydia, as well as Jimmy, always had a weird sense of humor.
Still, he was glad with how Haley handled everything. She put on a brave face after Lydia's death but he knew it still hung heavily on her. He didn't push or pry but just be there for her when she needed him. After her death, he would find Haley randomly in tears. Something or someone would trigger a memory of her mother and the water works started. The last few weeks have been better, especially with Haley busy planning Jamie's birthday. Nathan was happy for the distraction it gave Haley, even though she tended to get a little OCD over certain things.
Haley was supposed to go back to school to finish her degree but Jamie's birth kept both of them busy. Haley was going to take a few classes this past semester but with her mother's cancer, it was once again postponed. The past year the two of them just focused on Jamie and on themselves and their friends and family but now that Lydia's has passed and Jamie was getting older, they both needed to decide what to do as their next step.
Turning back, he was going to head back towards the party.
Nathan turned back around.
"Was that a clown I just saw?"
"Doesn't Haley hate clowns?"
"Yes she does." Nathan replied. "It was a mix up and Haley practically threatened to kill me if I didn't' get rid of him."
Julian snorted. "That sounds like Haley alright."
"Anyways, did you head out?"
"Yeah, I realized I forgot something so I went back to get it." Julian reached into his messenger bag and pulled out an old beaten up baseball glove.
"I already put Jamie's gift inside but I wanted him to have this." Julian offered it to Nathan.
"Some beat up glove?" Nathan eyed the thing curiously. At this point, Nathan considered Julian a friend, not a close friend like Lucas or Clay, shoot even Peyton or Brooke but he sometimes questioned what goes on in his head.
"Well Haley told me how much Jamie loved the baseball I gave him."
"He likes basketball." Nathan retorted.
Julian rolled his eyes. "I know that but he can play other sports too.. besides didn't you play little league?"
Now it was Nathan's turn to roll his eyes.
"Anyways, my dad was a lifelong pirates fan and when I was a kid he gave me this glove and said it once belong to Roberto Clemente." Julian chuckled. "It must've killed him to know I was a horrible player. I thought maybe would like it one day." Julian handed it over to Nathan.
"You sure? This thing is probably worth a lot of money?"
"Yeah it'll be worth a lot more if Jamie goes pro."
"His hands need to fit inside it first."
Julian chuckled. "When I was in little league, I would be in right field chasing butterflies. Just take the glove. Trust me, the glove respects what I'm doing."
"I'm sure it does, but it probably didn't respect that you brought it here in a purse though."
"That's a manbag." Julian eyed Nathan.
"If that's your story."
"Just take the glove."
"I'm sure Jamie's going to love it." Nathan laughed. "Oh hey, I never got a chance to thank you about the documentary. Haley and I received so many letters from people, they all had such nice things to say, Haley really appreciated it, especially after mom died."
"No problem." Julian smiled and the two headed back inside. "It is a manbag by the way."
Nathan rolled his eyes and called Lucas and Clay who were nearby. "What would you call that?" Nathan pointed to Julian's bag.
"Messenger bag." Clay replied and Lucas nodded his head in agreement.
"I call it a man bag." Julian added.
"Yeah, you can call it that too." Lucas nodded as did Clay.
Nathan eyed them like he was crazy. "Of course, someone as gay as you two would call it that." Nathan then motioned Skills and Q to come over.
Clay and Lucas both rolled their eyes at Nathan.
"What's up Nate?" Q asked.
"What do you call that?" Nathan pointed to the bag.
Q laughed, "You mean that purse."
"See." Nathan smirked.
"Man bag!" Julian replied with emphasis.
Nathan, Q and Skills all looked at each other, "You mean man-purse." Skills added and all three started busted up laughing.
. . . . .
Nathan was on his way to the back when Clay stopped him.
"I thought I told you to feed the cake to Jamie." Nathan huffed out.
"You know how Jamie can get." Clay defended himself, handing the young boy over to his father. Jamie's mouth was covered in cake and frosting. "Anyways, did you get a chance to look over what Skills sent over?"
"I've been busy."
"Nate." Clay was about to speak but his cell phone started ringing. "We'll talk later." Clay walked away before Nathan could protest.
"Hey Luke." Nathan called over his brother. "Can you clean Jamie off?" Nathan handed Jamie over to Lucas. The boy's mouth was covered with cake.
"My mom called the stupid clown back and now Haley's freaking out." Nathan shook his head.
Lucas laughed and carried his young nephew over to the kitchen and placed him on the counter. Jamie just looked at him with a wide smile. Lucas took a wet towel and started cleaning Jamie's face off. Lucas couldn't believe Jamie was already one year old. He remembered delivering the heart breaking news of his death and then the joy of finding out he was alive. He remembered holding Jamie for the first time and noticing how small he was. From the moment he looked at his young nephew, he fell in love with him and vowed to always be there for him.
Looking back when he first found out Haley was pregnant, he wondered if he was too easy on Nathan. Nathan put Haley through the ringer and Nathan cut him out of his life but for some reason Lucas stood by him. Maybe it was the fact that they were brothers, or the determination Nathan had to make things right, but he was there for Nathan. He'll be the first to admit that Nathan isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. He's stubborn and thick headed and Lucas found himself setting Nathan straight on a number of occasions when things went awry. In the end, it worked out though. He knew Nathan and Haley would find their way again but Lucas hoped his "meddling" accelerated things and now look at them. They were the three happiest people he knew.
"I think you enjoyed that cake a little too much." Lucas commented as he finished cleaning Jamie's face off.
"I think you did too." Brooke came up from behind him and poked his stomach. "I saw you take two slices."
"Are you calling me fat?" Lucas joked.
"Well you have been looking a little plump."
Brooke laughed as she started to play with Jamie while Lucas held him in his arms.
"You're so good with him." Brooke replied. "He adores you."
Lucas felt a small blush but he tried to shrug it. "I don't know if adoration is the right word."
"Stop it, that little boy loves you."
"Right back at you, god mother." Lucas waved Jamie's hand around and pointed to Brooke.
"I wonder if I'll have my own little Jamie one day." Brooke lamented.
"Yeah, same here."
"I'm so jealous of Nathan and Haley." Brooke replied.
"Even after everything that happened this past year, the two of them are.." Lucas trailed off.
"Nauseating with their PDA." Brooke added.
Lucas laughed. "Yeah exactly."
"You think if they have another kid, they'll let me buy Jamie?"
Lucas laughed. "I don't know if he's up for sale."
"But you know, give me a shot and I can help you out in that department. I mean, where do you think Jamie gets his good looks from." Lucas held Jamie up so their faces were right next to each other.
"Nathan." Brooke deadpanned and Lucas squinted at her.
"Nah, I'm serious."
"Luke." Brooke said in a more serious tone.
"What?" Lucas replied. "Everytime I bring the idea of us up, you're quick to shoot it down."
"It's just not the right time."
"Well, when is?"
"Look, I'm still trying to get the business up, I keep traveling.."
"You mean between Tree Hill and New York?" Lucas interrupted. "Last time I checked, I live in Tree Hill and wait my publisher is up in New York."
Brooke looked away.
"Brooke, look at me." Lucas said softly. "We can have it all too. You just need to give me the chance to show you." Lucas lifted Jamie to him. The two really looked so much alike.
"No fair using the kid against me."
"Is it working?" Lucas smirked.
Brooke took a deep breath. She'd been dancing around this topic for a year now.
"Okay?" Lucas repeated.
"Yes Luke but let's.. let's take it slow."
Lucas smiled. "Yeah, anything you want."
Brooke looked into his blue eyes. He really looked so sexy with his fitted flannel shirt and holding Jamie. Haley was right, Brooke thought, a man that is good with kids is such a turn on. "Oh screw it." She leaned up and kissed Lucas.
"Eww, ewww!" Haley came waltzing in and taking Jamie from Lucas. "Not in front of the kid … and finally!" She called out.
. . . . .
Peyton was sitting down talking to with a group of people when she saw Haley with Jamie coming their way. Nathan followed suit.
"Okay, I was able to get the clown to leave." Nathan spoke up. "Although, I think I saw my mom go with him." He grimaced.
"That's just wrong." Peyton added.
"Yeah well I saw something almost as scary." Haley spoke up. "Brooke and Lucas sucking face in front of Jamie."
"Eww." Nathan replied, taking Jamie from Haley and hoping his little boy wasn't scarred for life.
"Well it's about time." Peyton smiled and stuck out her hand. "Pay up."
Nathan, Haley each handed Peyton a twenty dollar bill, as did Jake who sat down next to Peyton and put his arms around.
"But sucking face is probably no worse than what you two do." Peyton eyed Nathan and Haley curiously.
"When Jamie started walking I heard he walked in on his parents doing the horizontal mambo." Jake chuckled.
Peyton busted up laughing.
"Nathan!" Haley whacked his arm while she blushed, embarrassed.
"Hey do you think we got Jamie in the first place." Nathan shot back.
Haley whacked Nathan on the arm and just shook her head, her face turning bright red.
"Nathan, where are you?" Haley descended the stairs. She was dressed in her night gown and wore her off white silk robe. The party was over a few hours ago and it went off with out a hitch, except with the whole clown thing that Haley was blocking out of her mind. Now, it was night time and even though Haley was tired, she just wanted to spend the evening hanging out with her husband.
"In the living room." Nathan called out.
"What're you…" Haley's voice trailed off as she entered the living room which was filled long pillar white candles.
"Nathan." Haley said softly as she clutched her chest. "What's all this?"
Nathan set Jamie down on the couch. His little boy was worn out from the days event. He smiled as he set him down on the couch, he was in his pj's but still wore the Jersey his grandpa Dan had given him. It was Nathan's first Jersey and even though it was still a little too big on Jamie, Jamie still clung to it. It was one of his favorite presents he got all day. Dan wasn't invited to the party but still sent a gift. Dan's road to recovery was long but he was doing better and there was talk that he would be taking his spot back as Mayor in a couple of weeks. He'd seen Dan here and there over the past couple of months but Dan kept his distance, which Nathan was thankful for. He wasn't ready to let Dan back in his life but the times he did see him, he would let Dan see Jamie, sometimes if Nathan was in a good mood, he would let his dad hold him for a moment. It was all about baby steps with Dan.
"Happy Anniversary." Nathan smiled. He too was in his PJ bottoms and wore a plain white tee shirt.
"But it's not our anniversary."
"I know." Nathan added. "But we were so busy that we didn't get to celebrate."
At the time, Jamie was just recovering from the flu and so Nathan and Haley didn't do much for their anniversary and they were just happy that Jamie got better in time for his birthday.
"Besides, look what I found in the garage." Nathan pulled up a guitar from the floor. "I was hoping you'd play for me."
"I'd probably suck, I haven't played in a while."
"I don't care."
"I don't know."
"Come on, last time I saw you play, we conceived Jamie." Nathan smirked.
Haley playfully rolled her eyes.
"Consider it my anniversary present." Nathan pleaded.
"Okay." Haley smiled and took a seat across from Nathan. Taking the guitar, she began to strum a few chords and then started to sing. She played about three songs before setting the guitar down.
"And you called yourself rusty." Nathan leaned over and kissed her. "That was great.. and an even better anniversary gift. Thank you."
"If this whole English teacher thing doesn't work out, you should try being a music teacher .. or just be a musician."
"Yes, I can see me now, touring with artists like Sheryl Crow and Chris Keller."
"Chris Keller? Seriously?"
Haley laughed. "Well, I first need to finish this teacher thing."
"I know what you're going to say. I've been talking about going back and finishing my degree but nothings happened."
"Well, its understandable given everything."
"I think everything that happened with us and then with Jamie and then with my mom.. is it wrong for me to just not want to do anything right now?"
"No, it's not." Nathan took her hand and pulled her onto the couch with him. Jamie was still on the other side asleep.
"I just want to make sure that you're okay." Nathan wrapped his arms around her.
"I'm more than okay, I have amazing friends and family, and I have you and Jamie. I couldn't ask for anything more."
"I know the feeling." Nathan leaned down and the two shared a kiss.
"Actually, now that we're on the subject, did you talk to Clay?"
"I figured as much." Haley got up and went into the kitchen and pulled out a manila envelope from one of the drawers and then went back to the couch and joined Nathan.
"What's this?" He asked as he opened it.
"A friend of mine is a realtor in Charlotte, I asked her to send me some listings. I figured a condo 2-3 bedroom condo would work for us."
"You want to invest in property?" Nathan asked confused.
Haley laughed. "No, this is so we can have a place to stay in Charlotte."
"Why would we be in Charlotte?"
"We would have to be if you started playing with the Bobcats."
Nathan was silent.
"Clay told me about Seattle wanting you back but today he found out that Charlotte is really interested and they put in an offer."
"I.. I don't know what to say."
"Look, I admit that I've been dodging going back to school too but you also have been dodging basketball." Haley pointed out.
"It's like you said, I'm just happy where I am right now."
"Nathan." Haley sighed. "You're not fooling me. I know you miss the game, don't tell me you don't."
"Of course I miss it but I'd miss you and Jamie more if I do go back."
"Which is why Jamie and I can go to Charlotte with you." Haley sign-songed. "And Tree Hill isn't very far, we can go back home anytime we wanted."
"Nathan." Haley countered back. "I still see the guilt in your eyes, the way you need to be the perfect husband and father to make up for your past mistakes."
"But I want you to know something, you are already an amazing husband and an even better father. I know I said that you choose basketball over me but I was wrong. I know where your heart lies and I know you'll always put me and Jamie first but that doesn't mean you can't play ball as well. I know you love the game and I love watching you play the game, much like you love it when I was just playing music for you."
"Haley.. I don't know."
"Say you'll at least think about it."
Nathan held wrapped her arms around her and held her tight, then their gaze turned to their sleeping son.
"Do you remember when you told me you were pregnant?"
Haley nodded and turned her head to look at her husband.
"I remember staying with Q for his son's birthday. I remember seeing how happy Q and his family were. I thought to myself, that this is a man who has it all. I didn't think it could happen to me. I was coming back from my injury but I still felt empty and I still felt guilty for leaving you so quickly after you and I got together. I thought basketball was it for me but then you told me you were pregnant and suddenly, everything changed."
Haley gently caressed Nathan's cheek.
"Today, looking out and seeing all our family and friends and seeing how happy Jamie is, I feel like I have it all. Whether or not I play again, my life is already complete. Some people always search for something more, I don't have to. I have everything I need right here with me." Nathan looked at her and at their son.
"At the end of the day, that's all that matters right?" Nathan added.
Haley nodded in agreement, not trusting her mouth to form words at the moment. Tears formed in Haley's eyes and even though she didn't have both her parents anymore, she knew they would always be a part of her and the values they taught her would be passed down to her own son and future children. There would surely be challenges for them in the future but Nathan was right, they already had everything they needed in each other.
Taking a moment to gather herself, Haley pulled Jamie into her lap and then looked up at Nathan.
"Let's promise to never be too scared to follow our dreams." Haley said softly.
"I promise." Nathan replied.
"I love you Nathan Scott and I love our little family."
"And I." Nathan replied and kissing Jamie on the forehead.
"Love," then kissing his wife.