My life had never been really simple. There were always hard times which were then followed by even harder times. The only way to fully free myself of my hard past was to run away from it all. So that is what I did; at age 18 I ran as fast as I could away from that place, and this is my story

Chapter 1 ~ Harder To Breathe

From the moment we rekindled our friendship, I knew that Julian Baker and I had something special, something no one else could understand. And even though we were seniors in high school, I know what I felt. Peyton Sawyer, who was two years younger than me, and I had been best friends for the past year; as in all friendships we go through our fights and hard times, and eventually make up. This time seemed different. For the past eight months, both Peyton and I really liked Julian. We never really had fights over him, but I could tell there was some tension between us whenever he came up. The tension slowly rose, becoming unbearable. I got fed up of everything, so I called my new friend, Haley James Scott, whom I met at work. Haley was twelve years older than me, but that didn't affect our friendship, and was just recently married to the love of her life Nathan Scott.



"It's Brooke. I know it's late, but can we talk? I really need you right now."

"Sure, Brooke what's up?"

"Julian and Peyton are going out. And I don't know how to feel about it. I'm angry, upset, hurt, and happy. I just don't know what to do." I said all in one breath.

"Brooke calm down. Give me a minute to process all of this." Haley said while getting up out of bed and whispering to her husband that everything was ok and that she will be back soon. "So you're saying your best friend, Peyton, is going out with this boy Julian whom you have liked for a longer time?" Haley asked, once sitting on the couch in the other room.

"Mhm…loved not like," I said with the tears slowly coming down my face.

"Did she even ask you about how you would feel about the whole thing before any of this?"

"No, I just got a text message saying that they did 'things' before he left for vacation and now they are going out."

"What did she say after that?"

"Nothing really, we were just talking about Julian and how she is finally happy after everything with Jake."

"Did you tell her how you felt about this whole thing?"

"No, I didn't want to get into a fight over this."

"Brooke, I am so sorry. This isn't right. What are you going to do?"

"I don't know, I just want to get out of my house right now, everything here reminds me of them; my room, theirs pictures of all of us up, and even some of my clothes. My heart can't take this Haley, you know that. It is beating so fast right now, it hurts."

"Brooke listen to me, take a deep breath. I know this hurts right now and it may hurt right now to hear this, but you shouldn't be friends with either one of them anymore. You don't deserve to be treated like that."

"I know I don't deserve to be treated like that but what am I supposed to do?" I said, getting defensive. "I can't just cut Peyton out, she is like my sister. We have been through so much together. It would be way too hard to do."

"Fine, we'll figure that out in the morning when you met me at work and we are going to go out just the two of us and you are going to get your mind off of this."

"No we are not. You just got married less then a week ago and you should be spending this time with your husband. You guys didn't even go on a proper honeymoon, and I'm sure he wants to spend time with you."

"Trust me; he's not going to mind."

"And how do you know that? I haven't even met him."

"I know that because he loves me and will do anything for me, which means that if I have to go out to help my best friend, and then he will have to be fine with it."

"I still feel bad about this."

"I don't care, your coming. Meet me at work at 11."

"Ok. Its late… go back to your husband, he must be worried about you, and I'll be fine." This was a complete lie, and I hated lying to Haley but I felt so bad about waking her and Nathan up for something that they may consider too childish.

"Ok, but call me if you need something."

"I will, and thank you for listening to this. I really appreciate it, seriously."

"That's really sweet Brooke, and don't worry about it, that is what best friends are for. Goodnight."

"Night, and thanks again."

"No problem."

"And tell Nate that I am sorry for waking him up."

"Will do, see you tomorrow."

"You too."

And with that I hung up the phone. After that I took down all of the pictures of Peyton and me, and put them into a box with all of the other memories that were too painful to look at. I put that box under my bed, vowing never to look at it again. I then changed into my pajamas, crawled into bed, and for the first time in many months I cried myself to sleep.