Haley Graham is my best friend. We've own each other since we were babies, after all, she lives two houses down from me. Me and Frank have been there through everything with her. We would have been at Worlds if we could have afforded to go. But we made up for not being at the competition by doing anything she could have wanted us to do. We held together what was left of her world. She stayed at my house for the weeks following the walk out. She most likely would have moved in with me and my mom if the court hadn't made her go with her dad. That's when all her troubles started.
When my mom told me she got sent to VGA, I knew she wished she would have been sent to prison. It would be like revisiting the Wolds fiasco all over again. Me and Frank made our plan to break her out, I kept was VGA really was from Frank and pretended to be surprised when he did. I had to. I needed to know she was okay. That she hadn't had a break down again. A few days ago, she called me crying. The girls downstairs were watching a special about what's-her-face and mentioning Haley walking out. I did what I always did when the past was brought up. I stayed up with her until she fell asleep. Even then I stayed on, in case she woke up. I called Frank shortly after I knew she was asleep and not waking up. Naturally, he was worried. After all, he's been in love with Haley for the past ten years. So, when Vick kicked us out, I almost panicked. I could see Frank having the same reaction. We ran around the side of the building and tried to look through the windows. They were too dirty to see anything through. It was only on the way home, when I got her text with a smiley face that I knew she was okay right now.
We showed up at the invitational to, hopefully, defuse some of the hate flying around. When she saw us, her face lit up. Did she really think we would miss this? Did she really think that we, her best friends, would miss her emergence into the world of gymnastics and let her take all that hate directed at her without being there to direct love to her? Then, that girl through the soda on her. We see that she was shaken, she wasn't about to let her coach know, but we knew her way too well. We joked around to try and cheer her up when we met her at the leotard stand. She didn't like it but she knew we were trying not to bring up past events and left to change while me and Frank went to get some Nachos. While watching her compete, I was, yet again, amazed by Haley Graham. She truly was a natural. I glanced over a Frank and couldn't help but laugh. He had this look of awe on his face. And it definitely wasn't just with her skills. You see, Haley had never, ever worn tight clothes after she quit and she had developed slightly more since then. I smirked at Frank before turning back to watching Haley kick butt. We went down to praise Haley, but stopped short seeing her talking to her mom. Everyone who knew Haley knew how she felt about her mom. Her mom was the reason Haley walked out. We watched from around the corner as her mom tried to put lipstick on her and then Haley walking away. As her mom walked toward us we ran back to our seats, we knew this event wouldn't be good for Haley. When she fell off the beam, me and Frank knew something was wrong. When she lifted her head, and we saw the tears streaming down it, Frank got his keys out. When she finished, we stood up. We knew she was leaving. As we drove home, we did everything we could to get her to smile, sometimes it worked.
When we pulled into my driveway, I groaned. Why did my mom have to leave her lights on? As I got out of the truck, I heard Frank asking Haley if she was going to be alright. When she responded, he said, "That's my girl." I couldn't help but roll my eyes. If only he made a move, then she would be his girl. When we got inside, I mentioned the lights to my mom. She threw her keys to me and told me to turn them off. I wasn't really worried about leaving Haley alone with my mom, but I knew my mom is practically Haley's and she needed a hug from the only woman in her life that she fully trusts. When I walked back in the house, they separated and I got the "I have a gun," speech from my mom until I got Haley some food. The reason I was in charge of food is because I know all of Haley's comfort foods. Shortly after, me, Frank, and Haley were in my room with Kraft Mac and Cheese, peanut butter, and Oreos with a mix of Haley's favorite songs playing in the background. She was sitting between Frank's legs and leaning against his chest. He had his arms wrapped around her and would whisper things to her, making her laugh. I smiled to myself, I knew they really liked each other. All they needed to do was tell each other. I decided to give them a few minutes alone. When I came back, they were lying on the mattress that was on the floor for her, Haley curled up against Frank fast asleep.
After the meeting with the meeting with the judge, we drove Haley back to VGA. Neither of us wanted her to go back to that place because a) we didn't want her to get hurt again, and b) it was way too far away from us. So she went into the gym and we hid the van so we could surprise Haley with an evening out of the gym. We pulled around after the ambulance left and, after some taunting, we convinced the other girls to go with us. While in the candy store, one of the girls asked Haley if Frank was her boyfriend. I smirked to myself when I heard her hesitate and then ran over to her after she asked about me. I looked over at Frank and Haley and smiled. Haley had the biggest smile on her face as Frank asked, "Can I escort the fair lady to the many colored M&Ms?" I laughed to myself when Haley responded with, "Why, yes you may, kind sir." and took his offered hand. I gave them their privacy and took Joanne to the Jelly Beans, which were on the other side of the store. When we got to the dress store, Haley handed me a dress to try on, saying that if she had to try one on, so did I. I thought I looked pretty good in it. That is, until, I saw Haley in hers. She looked gorgeous. It was red and strapless but it had black designs going around the bottom and sides of the dress. It was tight and she looked amazing in it. When I saw Frank's face, I decided to go talk to Joanne. I looked over at them and they were standing very close together. Frank told me later that he was taking her to prom. When we dropped the girls back off at the gym, I could tell Frank wanted nothing more than to kiss Haley. On the drive home, I made sure to give him crap about taking Haley to prom and for being to chicken to ask her out. I got a bruise that lasted a week on my arm for that. We had the girls' dresses and were going to pick the girls up the day before. I knew Frank was going to go all out on this and that I would be helping him.
We watched the competition and were shocked momentarily when Haley voluntarily took a strike. But then again, we really shouldn't have been. She's always been incredibly loyal to her friends. When she called us later, she told us about her plan. The next day, we really wished we could be there. They had chosen Haley to win the floor competition. We both sent her texts saying good luck and how proud we were of her. We knew she needed it. As she walked onto the performance floor, she knew she would rock. And she did. When I called her after the competition to talk to Joanne, Frank spent the whole time demanding that he talk to Haley. We've been proud of Haley numerous times before, but that took the cake. She finally took control of her own life. She floored it and she got her point across. She still made the national team and finally told the world why she walked out. Suddenly, she wasn't the most hated person in Gymnastics anymore, DeFranc was.
Me and Frank drove down the day before prom to pick our dates up. Joanne was staying with Haley at my house and I was staying with Frank at his. When we picked them up in the rented red convertible, we were both shocked by Haley's appearance. Joanne was not happy with the fact that I wasn't paying attention to her, but Haley Graham, the girl I've known since we were in diapers, was wearing make-up. She never wears make-up. EVER! It was natural, but it was still visible. She had her hair down and was wearing that red dress with black heels. I put the white corsage on Joanne and Frank slipped the black one on Haley. I smiled, it was unique. Just like the girl wearing it. Frank pulled a box out of his pocket. Opening it, Haley gasped. Inside was a pure diamond bracelet that his mom had gotten for him to give to Haley. He helped her put it on and Joanne demanded to know why I didn't get her a bracelet. I couldn't help but smile as they never moved more than two feet from each other the whole night.
A few months later, Frank gathered up the courage to ask Haley to be his girl, officially. They talked for roughly two hours on the phone before Frank asked her. She said yes and he said that he would take her out Saturday. The whole drive to VGA, I had to keep telling him to relax. Apparently, all the girls were telling Haley the same thing as they helped get her ready. When we got there, I got out with Frank. I was going to have to endure Joanne until Frank and Haley got back. Walking outside, Haley's appearance made Frank speechless. She was in a pair of tight jeans and a tights white top. He held out his hand to her and they left. I groaned silently as Joanne grabbed my hand and took me on the road they run. Three hours later, Frank and Haley came back and Frank kissed her good-bye. The ride home was filled with him talking about how wonderful Haley is. After that, they talked for three hours every night on the phone.
About six months later, Haley told Frank she had to go train with the Olympic team soon. Frank went out and got a ring. He drove down to the gum and pulled her out of training and proposed, right then and there. I only found out when Haley called me, squealing. Yeah, squealing. I was happy for them. They decided that I would give her away, since she didn't want her dad there. Apparently, they couldn't decide if I would be the Best Man or the Maid of Honor. The wedding would be held a week after she got home from the Olympics.
I watched as they exchanged vows and Frank kissed her. I smiled seeing how happy they were. And my mom cried. After all, it was her honorary daughter's wedding. They showed up at the reception, where they decided that I would give a speech and not the Best Man, my brother, or the Maid of Honor, Tasha, her team mate and best friend. As I gave my speech, I truly believed all the things I was saying about them lasting forever, because I knew they would. They were my best friends and they truly did deserve each other. I was happy for them. As I watched them share their first dance as a couple, I knew that no matter what, I would be there for them as they would for me. I also knew that their love could stand the test of time.