If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name
"But, mommy…why do we have to throw all our toys away?"
Brooke Davis-Baker places her hands on her hips with raised eyebrows, turning to look at her five-year-old twins. They're out of their minds if they only think that these are the only toys they possess. "Not all of your toys," she insists with a slight laugh.
She looks around the attic she and her two boys stand in and takes in the sight of all the old toys that had once been occupied when the kids were toddlers. There is no way that these dusty and aged Fisher-Price toys will find any use in her house anymore. Her somewhat spoiled boys are now very much into their video games, MP3 players, and their new flip-cams Julian had bought them for Christmas to "get them introduced into the world of film."
"You don't need these baby toys, anyway," she states, picking up an old tiny playhouse that had once been one of their favorites. Instead of sitting collect dust, she'd donate them to the local hospital's pediatric ward to put them in good use.
"'Cause we're not babies anymore," the smaller of the twins, Jude, nods his head.
"We're five!" Davis agrees, holding up a whole hand just for emphasis.
"That's right," Brooke smiles. "And five-year-olds help their mommy clean the dusty old attic while daddy's at work. So come on, chop-chop!"
The boys groan, much rather wanting to play their video games than helping their mother sort out toys into different boxes.
"Davey, come here!" Jude calls from across the floor, staring intently into an opened cardboard box.
Davis dashes across the room, landing on his knees beside his twin brother. "Whoa!" he exclaims. "Mommy looks so young!"
Brooke drops what she had been doing and walks over to the two small ones. "What'd you boys get into?" she questions, curious herself.
"We found pictures, mommy," Jude reaches in and pulls out one of the albums he and Davis had been inspecting.
"Pictures, huh?" Brooke replies, receiving the photo album and flipping through the pages of her childhood.
"Daddy's not in any of these. But we see Uncle Nate and Aunt Haley…"
"Who's this, mommy?" Davis points to an unfamiliar face.
Brooke frowns, kneeling down beside her boys. Her boys wouldn't know who this particular person was, and it upset her.
"That was mommy's very best friend, Peyton," she answers them, staring closely at the old picture of the two girls from their early days of high school.
"I thought Aunt Haley was your best friend."
"She is…but me and Peyton were friends since we were little girls," she explains and she isn't sure whom to blame for such disappointment. Is it her fault that her young boys don't know who this woman is? The woman who, once upon a time, had such a large role in her life?
It's really late at night as Brooke takes a seat at the kitchen counter, cellphone between her two hands. She'd been debating this phone call all day since the twins had asked about Peyton. Would a phone call out of the blue be okay? Or had it simply been too long without contact? She finds it ironically painful how she's debating how awkward it will be to call the person she once called her best friend, her sister– this was the person she'd spill all her secrets to, laugh with, cry with…
Without another moment passing, Brooke decides to swallow her pride and be the bigger person as she allows her fingers to scroll through her phonebook finding the now unfamiliar number.
It isn't until she presses the phone against her ear that the following thought occurs: What if the phone number had changed as a result of them traveling around the world? The phone beings to ring and she realizes that there isn't any turning back now.
Why am I so nervous? She thinks to herself. It's just Peyton…
"Hello?" Her voice sounds slightly difference, but Brooke assumes that almost eight years without speaking can do that.
"Peyton," Brooke lets out a breath she hadn't even realized she'd been holding in. "It's Brooke."
There's a slight pause before any reaction can be heard. "Brooke, oh my god! It's been so long!"
Brooke lets out a nervous laugh, glancing around her kitchen. Her fridge, that had once been adorned with pictures from her years past with Peyton, is now instead filled up with her own children, their finger paintings and other artwork, and Nathan and Haley and their family. "Yeah, it really has…How…how is everything? How's Sawyer? She must be getting so big."
"Well after moving around for a while we finally settled in New Zealand with Karen, Andy, and Lily. And she is. Sawy just turned eight! Luke actually just went to pick her up from school so I finally have a few minutes to myself," she chuckles. "What about things with you? How are you and Julian? I heard you're a mother to twin boys, Brooke. That's great."
Brooke sighs quietly to herself. Has it really been that long? She thinks back to the last picture she'd ever gotten of Sawyer Brooke Scott. She realizes the girl couldn't have been more than two years of age. It had to have been sent right before she married Julian…right before the wedding that Peyton failed to show up to…right before things started to become more distant between the two "best friends."
"Yeah, they're great, Peyton. They're five-years-old and rowdy as ever but boys will be boys and I couldn't have asked for a better family," she grins as she speaks of them. She has always wondered what it would be like if she was raising her kids up alongside Peyton's. Would they have been the best of friends just like their parents had been?
"It's nice to hear you're so happy. I read online everything that happened with Clothes Over Bro's but it's great to hear you kept your head up and started a new company."
Brooke nods, as if Peyton is standing right before her. The months where she had been dealing with losing her company had been some of the toughest of her life. And Peyton wasn't there to help her get through them.
She tells Peyton of how, a few years ago, she moved back into her old childhood home. She remembers the times when Peyton would sneak into Brooke's back door, straight to her bedroom, after Brooke would call her in tears because her parents had had one of their usual horrific fights. Peyton would always come to the rescue, wrapping her best friend into her arms and crying with her. This was the same way Brooke would eventually cry and confront Peyton when her mother had died at the tender ripe age of eight. They were always saving each other during their worst times.
"Do you ever think about coming back to Tree Hill, Peyton?" Brooke blurts out, a little too ambitiously.
"Oh, I don't know, Brooke," she says it so nonchalantly. "I mean, Luke and I have that conversation every few months. We've been talking about it since we left. But we're…we're happy. Sawyer's happy. We travel all the time and we all love it. Sawyer has the world at her fingertips and she loves being exposed to it all…I don't know if we'd have that kind of happiness, that kind of spontaneity in Tree Hill."
But Tree Hill is home…, Brooke silently counters in her head. It's where your family is…always has been.
Tree Hill has its drama, but at the end of the day, it has enormous heart. It has family and it has warmth. And Brooke is sure that, that feeling can't be felt anywhere else.
"Don't you miss it, Peyt?" Brooke's voice has turned into a light and airy whisper. "Not just the place…but the people? You and me, before any of the craziness happened? Before we had our families, when we were young…we thought we could conquer the whole world…together." She thinks of them ruling the town; Baking cookies and nearly burning the house down, building snow forts in the back yard, learning new cheers for the Classic. They had survived it all together: Dead, absentee, and neglectful parents, boy drama, crazy psycho stalkers and near death experiences. They tackled it together head on. But, little did they know time was their only enemy – the only force strong enough to tear them apart.
She hears Peyton let out a sigh, as if actually contemplating the question presented before her. "I like to think we have, Brooke…Conquered the world," she clarifies. "We both have beautiful families, successful careers…I really think we have."
Just not together, Brooke thinks.
The brunette blinks back tears. These are rears of missing her best friend, tears of the past. "I guess you're right," she submits, not truly believing it herself and. The conversation basks in silence for a moment before Peyton's voice comes through the other end.
"Look, Brooke, I'm really sorry but I just heard the car pull up outside and Luke and Sawyer are back. It was so nice talking to you."
But Brooke has so much she wants to say…so much she wants to catch up on. She wants to tell Peyton how her boys got into a box of old pictures and were asking about her and that's why she decided to call after all these years. She wants to know what Sawyer is like. Is she moody and broody like her parents or had she escaped that trait? There is so much she wants to know. But Peyton has to go. She has to return to her life back in New Zealand, and Brooke looks at the clock above the kitchen stove and realizes she's got to get back to bed before the sun rises here in Tree Hill.
"Yeah, it really was," she finally replies, thinking of one last thing to say to make this conversation worth the frustration and pain. "Hey, P. Sawyer?" she calls out into the phone weakly, the nickname for her friend sending her into a time warp. "I miss you."
It's almost as if she can hear Peyton smile through the phone. It's lighter silence, if any could exist, as she hears a soft giggle crack through the phone. "Oh, I miss you too, B. Davis."
Brooke smiles to herself as she sets the phone down on the counter after hanging up while sense of nostalgia rushes through her body. The nicknames had been a small gesture, but maybe one that suggested not everything had changed.
A few weeks pass when Brooke receives a letter in the mail from an unrecognizable address. She runs her fingers over the return label…New Zealand. Tearing the envelope open, her fingertips trace over a short letter, instantly identifying Peyton's handwriting.
I tell Sawyer everyday how special her middle name is. She's grown an interest in fashion and says she wants to be just like her Aunt Brooke when she grows up. Who knew I'd be raising Brooke Davis 2.0? Luke says hi! Miss you lots and don't be a stranger!
Brooke smiles as she flips the card to find a glossy picture of a petite Sawyer Brooke Scott. She's a spitting image of Lucas and Peyton with bright blue eyes and tight golden ringlets, and the image can't help but warm her heart.
She walks into the kitchen where her boys sit eating their afternoon snack of cookies and milk. She picks a stray magnet from the fridge door and tacks the photo on with it.
The twins look up from dunking their cookies into their glasses. "Who's that?" they ask, eyeing the photo of a girl who's a few years older with blonde curls framing her face.
"That's your cousin Sawyer," she informs them delightfully, walking away once the picture is secured amongst the others.
Brooke stands back as she admires her two beautiful boys, and soon enough she hears Julian's car pull up into the driveway from a long, hard day at work.
Yes, she loves her life. And she doesn't regret a second of it.
The boys just shrug and accept the answer, asking no more questions. And for now, that's okay. Maybe they would never get to know Sawyer and maybe they would never even meet her. Brooke just hopes that each of her boys will get to experience a friendship like the one she was so very blessed to share with Peyton.
Will you take a moment
Promise me this
That you'll stand by me forever
But if God forbid fate should step in
And force us into a goodbye
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name
-Long Live, Taylor Swift
A/N – So I'm not really sure what this is or how it came out…I guess you can say I was struck with a bit of inspiration for this one shot. But I'm pretty sure this is something everyone, unfortunately, falls victim to – losing a really close friend, that is. One who you thought you would forever stay that close to. It's sad, but I guess that's just part of life. You grow further and further apart until you're practically strangers...
Anyway, the show never really touched on what ever happened between Brooke and Peyton and I just can't see them staying that close of friends after all those years. Especially since Peyton was never mentioned on the show once she left really (pretty sure the last we heard of her was 8x12 and that basically confirmed that the two weren't that close anymore).
I'd love to hear people's opinions on this and any and all reviews would be so much appreciated! :)