From Farm to Fame: Haylie- Chapter Five

I was never a deep sleeper, but having babies I slept even lighter. The slightest noise that they made woke me, even if it was just a noise they made because they figured out that they could do so and wanted to try it out. It was no surprise when I nearly hit the ceiling after Ericka starting crying with a tone that meant something was upsetting her, way more than a dirty diaper or hunger. I couldn't get out of bed fast enough to find out what was wrong, there was no speed any human could move at that was fast enough, it scared me to hear my baby in pain.

There was somebody standing over her crib, a woman I didn't know. I was ready to attack them when they started speaking. Quiet and gentle, like I would talk to my babies, like they cared. "Shhhh sweetie, it's okay. Let's not wake mommy okay." She was picking Ericka up and her cries got louder and more desperate, finally managing to make Maya cry too. I couldn't attack her with my baby in her arms, but my fear and desperation grew "Oh you look so much like her, yes you do. You're such a beautiful baby, yes you are"

I tried to stay calm and not yell or startle her, not while the life of my fragile innocent baby was in her hands, literally. I could tell as I spoke that I wasn't managing to keep my voice very calm however. "Mommy's already awake. Who are you, and what are you doing?"

She turned around, and I gasped. I did know her, though I didn't know how it was possible. "Mom?" Something was strange about her, it made me uncomfortable. Her eyes and skin glowed, and she looked like she had aged since the day she supposedly died. She didn't seem human.

"Yes sweetie, I'm sorry. I don't mean to scare you, and I'm not here to hurt them... I just had to see them... they're my grandbabies." She turned to put Ericka back in her crib, and I took advantage of the opportunity to pick her up myself, holding her as tight as I could without hurting her and trying to calm her down. I wanted to cry myself, but it wasn't the time.

I'd spent 15 years wishing mom was alive, suddenly knowing that she was but had lied about it I just wished she'd go away...I wished she was dead. All I could feel was anger, who lied about dying? "No, you don't get to act like a grandparent. You couldn't even act like a mother.  If you don't want to be a part of my life, you don't get to be part of theirs. Why do you even care about them when you obviously don't care about me? And how am I supposed to trust you? You lied about your death, that's just wrong. It's disgusting, you make me sick. I wish you were dead."

"Sweetie please..."

I interrupted her. "Don't call me sweetie. Just don't, don't act like you care. Just give it up."

She disappeared faster than I could blink, and felt relief for a moment thinking she'd given up, at least for the time being. I realized the real reason when I looked up and noticed Ian standing at my bedroom door looking concerned. "What's going on? Who are you yelling at?" Hey looked around the room, and I could tell he was wondering if I'd gone insane and been yelling at myself.

"It's nothing. Uh... do you mind babysitting for a bit? I need air or something. After I get them back to sleep of course." I tried to smile, but was sure he'd be able to tell it was faked... he knew me far too well. We had that weird twin thing where we could just feel it when the other one was out of sorts, but we were extremely close anyway... so I really had no way to hide anything from him.

"Yeah sure. Will you tell me what's wrong when you get back? I know it's not nothing. I'm not an idiot."

I sighed and shook my head, I wouldn't even know how to tell him. I didn't think I could, it was just too weird, and obviously she wanted to hide from him too. "You wouldn't believe me if I did."

He gave me a confused look. "I think you do need air or something, maybe some sleep. You should just let us worry about them for a day or two, just relax. I think you're too tired."

"So you think I've gone insane basically."

"That's not what I said."

"But it's what you meant."

"You were yelling, and nobodies here. Unless you were yelling at your babies, I don't think yelling at them that way is a good sign either."

"I really don't know how to explain it, but I swear I haven't gone insane."

"Well I hope that's true."

"It is."

I ran into dad coming home from the hospital as I was leaving, and was hit with the realization that he probably knew about mom all along. He was probably the reason she was around, the one who let her in the house. It made sense how he seemed to be affected by her death so little, it wasn't that he was strong it was that he had nothing to mourn. He lied too, he was just as pathetic, I hated him too.

I ignored him and kept going until I found a club and decided to go in. I wasn't really into the whole club thing, but I thought I might be able to distract myself for a bit. I didn't drink either, not more than the odd drink at dinner, even that was rare. I just headed for the pool table. I played alone but it wasn't very distracting, until I heard a voice behind me. Smooth but deep, almost alluring, I recognized it immediately. It was Bryon. "Mind if I join?"

 I wondered what he was doing in Starlight Shores, but didn't bother to ask. It was nice to see him, but my mind wasn't in the place for a real conversation with him. He was probably just being polite anyway, he probably didn't really want to see me at all. He probably hated me. He was just a nice person, who had a hard time being rude to anybody even if they deserved it, which I did."Yeah sure, go for it."

"Is everything okay? You seem upset about something." I looked up at him and I could see the concern in his face, I was surprised that he actually cared enough to be concerned.

I felt that sudden urge to tell him and seek comfort from him like I always had before, he was always a great listener and great at making everything seem okay, but it didn't really seem like the time or place to do so."I'm fine."

"You don't sound convinced about that."

"I am"

"You're not. I know it's been a few years, but I think I still know you well enough to know when you're upset."

He hadn't changed a bit, he wasn't going to give up, and I gave into the urge to tell him. Or broke down into that urge. I leaned over the table crying, and somewhat incoherently rambled through the whole story, right from Merissa's death when everything started to go wrong."Everything. Merissa died. My fiance died leaving me to figure out how I'm supposed to raise our babies when half the time I don't even know how I'm supposed to keep myself together. Somehow I've managed just fine, until my stupid mother showed up pretending to be a good grandmother when she's not even a good mother. I can't take anymore. I can't take having to worry about whether my babies are even safe or not, I can't take know I wasn't good enough for my mother so she faked her own death. I don't even know what to do. I can't stay at home, I can't even stand the sight of my father, or knowing that my mother is there somewhere somehow. I don't know where to go. I can't take anymore of this, it's too much. I just can't do this anymore."

I let him pull me in to a hug and continued to cry on his shoulder, though it felt slightly awkward it was still just as comforting as it had been in the past, it was awkward because of that. "Stay with me."

I pulled back in surprise and looked at him."what?"

"Relax, I don't mean... it won't be like that. I just want to help out my friend, I hate seeing my friends so miserable."

"Are we friends even? This is the first time we've spoken at all since we broke up, that doesn't seem like friends to me, and I know it's my own fault. It's just weird. How do you not hate me? What about the babies? I'm sure you don't want babies crying and keeping you up all night."

"I knew you well enough to know that something wasn't right, you weren't yourself. I just wish I could have been more helpful, but I can't hate you. It's my fault too, I shouldn't have let you go so easily. I'm sorry for that, you should be the one hating me for not supporting you better. This can just be a fresh start so we can be friends again. I don't mind the babies either... I can handle it to help you out." He smiled, I loved his smile. Those beautiful brown eyes that looked so happy already sparkled, and it never failed to make me smile too.

I had to take a moment and think logically, I couldn't just make a decision because of a smile, no matter how beautiful it was."I don't know. I really appreciate the offer, but I just don't know if I can do that either. I don't know if it'll be too awkward."

"Well think about it and let me know. It's okay if it's too uncomfortable for you, just do what's best for you."

"Thanks. I will think about it. I really do appreciate it either way." It would be really hard to decide, I didn't know if I could live with him think about what it was like when we dated. Part of me still loved him, but I'd loved Chase too. Chase was the one I was meant to spend my life with, and it seemed like it would feel weird to live with another man especially one that I did love... even if it no longer meant anything. I didn't love Bryon in the way that I was even remotely interested in being in a romantic relationship with him again, even if I was over Chase's death enough to try moving on, but I did still wish all the best for him and looked forward to being friends again.


From Farm to Fame: Haylie- Chapter Four

It seemed like it was forever before I was finally ready to move in with Chase, though I had frequently spend the night with him, I still needed time with him too and sometimes I just needed to be away from the gloomy depressing feeling at home. As time went on I started spending more nights with him than I did at home, but  I did still worry about moving out of home and wanted to make sure I spent some time there too. Everybody was finally starting to pick up the pieces of their lives, but was still struggling to do so. It was slightly surprising how difficult Merissa's death was, when we hardly knew her, but I think that was why. We all regretted not getting to know her better, and that chance was gone... forever. The only reason I did finally decide it was time was that I had found out I was pregnant, with twins. It was time for me to worry about the family I was starting, the one that would depend on me to care for them and guide them through life because they wouldn't yet be able to do so themselves.

I was excited, and slightly surprised that Chase was too. I'd always though convincing him to have children would be a difficult process, I knew he'd be a good father but I didn't think he ever thought he would be.  I did however know that nobody else was going to be excited by the news. Everybody hated Chase, especially dad and Ian, they were convinced he would just torture me like my mom had been tortured and that I needed to leave him. I hadn't even said a word to either of them about his past and why he was sent away to boarding school, so I wondered what had caused them to think such a thing. I was glad I wouldn't have to tell them quite yet, and wondered how long I could get away with it for.

To make starting our own little family even sweeter Chase took me down to the beach to propose. It was sweet, and simple."I've been wanting to do this for a long time, since we came back here. It just didn't seem right with your sister's death... but it does now with this wonderful start we're going to have to our family and the fact that you're finally moving in. I think it's the only thing we have left to do to bring everything together. Haylie, will you marry me?"

Of course I said, "yes." Okay.... I attempted to say it but I think it was inaudible through my cries of joy.

Life seemed to be moving in the right direction. It almost seemed perfect. I still had moments of sadness for Merissa's death, but I knew I'd have those forever, and I wished Mom would be around to see her grandchildren. It was as good as it was going to get considering. I couldn't change the past, I could only worry about the present and the future and they both looked pretty good.

We planned to renovate the house, while we had to get set up for the babies anyway. We were going to do it all ourselves to reduce the cost, though money wasn't much of an issue... dad made sure everybody was taken care of and we all had a decent amount of money set aside. I learned from him though that all that money was earned by being careful how it was spent. He too did any repairs and renovations himself, he said it didn't make sense to pay somebody to do something he could do himself and for free. I still felt bit nervous about doing it ourselves, just in case something went wrong. I had reason too I guess, and I wish I'd listened to that feeling rather than dad's advice. I came home from shopping one day to find Chase laying lifeless on the ground with everything around him charred and blacked in a layer of ash. I could just feel my heart shatter into a million pieces, I didn't even want to think of my life without him and I didn't know how I would manage it.

Dad immediately began jumping to conclusions when I showed up back at home crying hysterically. "I knew he'd hurt you, and just like I promised I'm going to kill him."

I just angered me that he would just jump to that conclusion. I was tired of him judging Chase, not that it would matter anymore."I'm sure you'd take great pleasure in that, but he's already dead. Sorry you didn't get the chance to do it yourself. At least he's dead though right, that's what you want. You hated him, though you never gave him a chance, so it's okay that he's dead and my whole life is shattered. I have to figure out how to raise two babies on my own... they won't even get to know him. They aren't even born yet and they've already had that taken away from them. It's okay though because you wanted him dead right?"Guess I couldn't hide it for very long after all. I hadn't meant to say anything about being pregnant but I was flooded with all kinds of emotions from being scared to hurt to angry. It just slipped out.

Dad looked like he didn't know what to say, it certainly wasn't news he was prepared for. He bounced back from it pretty quick though, and tried to console me and act as if I hadn't just freaked him out. He was so good at acting strong when he needed to, I wished I knew his secret for that. "Okay, I'm sorry. He just gave me a bad feeling, it seemed very likely that he would have done something to you. I don't like seeing you like this either, I worried about what he would do to you because I only want you kids to all have the best lives possible. I don't want to see you this upset about anything. Now don't you worry about those babies, you have plenty of help right here. They'll be okay, and you will too. I know it's hard to see right now, but everything will be okay."

"I'm sorry I yelled at you. This is just so hard, and scary."

"It's okay, I understand... it natural to have those feelings right now."

"Right... you've been through this before. How did you handle it when mom died?"

"I can't answer that for you. It won't do you any good. Everybody handles grief differently, you need to figure out how you do on your own. I'm here if you need anything though, I can help if you need it, I just can't tell you what to do." It was never any use asking him anything about mom's death, some times I wondered why he refused to say anything about it, but that time I knew he was right. I had to figure it out myself.

I don't really remember much of the next several months however, they just passed by me without any purpose or meaning. I wasn't doing a very good job of figuring out how I needed to grieve to move on. I don't really remember anything until I went into labour. I do remember seeing those precious little faces for the first time though. Two perfect little girls, Ericka who looked more like me, and Maya who looked more like Chase. They brought on a whole new set of emotions, ones that made it hurt to look at their precious little faces that made me think of him, and ones that made me feel joy and relief because I knew I still had a part of him. Either way I loved them more than anything, whatever hurt they brought me there was joy to balance it out and it was worth it.


From Farm to Fame: Haylie- Chapter Three

Boarding school was a wonderful experience, much to my surprise, I loved it. So much that even when I finally proved myself to dad and he offered to let me return home and to public school in Starlight Shores, I decided to stay completing the rest of my education there. I enjoyed the course work far more than what the public schools had to offer, it was more challenging and less boring, and it was easier to customize a schedule that I liked. It did however, make me wonder how anybody though of it as a punishment. Many students only went for a better education, not because they were sent away to be punished, they had the right idea. Why did nobody else?

It was also where I met Chase, who I planned to move in with after graduation was over and we got back to Starlight Shores. I was beyond excited to do so and was certain that it was only the beginning of what would be a perfect life together. We had thought about marriage or anything yet, but I knew that it would happen one day. He was trouble and I knew that, but never did I feel the need to stay away from him. I never even thought about it unless somebody else was telling me I needed to, but I always told them to mind their own business. It wasn't there place to judge something they didn't know. He'd beat people up, drank, smoked, did drugs, stole... all before his parent caved and sent him away at 13. Still I felt safe and comfortable with him, I loved him and I knew he loved me. I knew he'd never doing anything to hurt me in any way. I saw his good side and it didn't matter if nobody else did, I knew it was there and that was all that mattered.

I brought him with me to dinner with my family after we got back to Starlight Shores. They'd never actually met him, I'd only talked about him in phone conversations or when I came home for the summer. I'd left out why he was at boarding school, it would just make life a lot easier even if their opinions of him wouldn't change mine. I hadn't broken the news to them that I was moving in with him either. I would at dinner, I'd have too as I wasn't planning on staying any longer than that, everything that I had brought back with me was already dropped of at our house. I wasn't sure how the news would go over, but I didn't imagine it would be well. Still I was excited. It was my choice to make, not anybody else's, and I knew I was making the right one.

Every single bit of excitement was sucked out of me by the puffy crying faces that greeted me. It wasn't exactly the warm happy welcome I'd expected and it scared me to know what had happened. Something was wrong, very wrong. I felt sick to my stomach as I looked around the room, I had a horrible feeling that I knew what it was by doing so. I just didn't want to believe it, it didn't make any sense. It just couldn't be true. "What happened? Why do you all look so miserable? Where is Merissa?" Somebody, I don't even remember who glanced up, before looking back down and starting to cry again without saying anything. "Please tell me she's in her room or something... Please?!" I just felt numb when I realized that I couldn't deny the truth, they cries of my family said what they could find the words for.

I wasn't even sure when dad had come over to try and comfort me, but I was glad because I needed that when it finished sinking in and I started to cry. As the tears and shock eased up a bit, I started wondering what exactly had happened. Though I wasn't sure it was a good time to ask any questions, but I really couldn't help it. "What happened? How'd she..." I couldn't even say the word die, it was just too much. Too wrong.

I shouldn't have asked, I could tell immediately how upset dad was talking about it and I was slightly surprised he even kept it together long enough to do so. "She just didn't wake up. I don't know why though, I don't know what was wrong. I should have. I should have known something was wrong before it came to this. I shouldn't be a doctor or a father. I've failed as both."

"What?! That's not true, don't say that. You should how unexpectedly these things can happen... you can't monitor every second of everyday. I know if there was something you could have known you would have. Things happen that can't be changed, but you care enough to try and stop them anyway. That's what matters, it doesn't matter if you can stop them... the fact that you care is all that matters. I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am to you for everything you've done for me even though I'm not biologically yours... you treat me just like I am. You are so wonderful to all of us. I can't even imagine a better father than you."

"See it's you trying to make me feel better, it should be the other way around. I'm supposed to be looking after all of you right now, none of you should be looking after me."

"Somebody needs to look after you too, you're her father... her real father. You're closer related to her than I am, so if I have to be the one to look after you I don't care. We have each other, we can all lean on each other. Don't feel bad because you need to do so." He just shook his head and walked away, I felt so bad for him, he was obviously struggling. I wanted to follow him an make sure he was really okay, but figured it was more important to give him space for a bit.

I turned around to Chase and rested my head on his as I felt more tears in the corner of my eye and new it wouldn't be long before I was crying hysterically. He held me as tight as he could and didn't say a thing, which was all I really needed from him. It always amazed me how easily he knew how to deal with me and whatever my problems were, and could do just what I needed and not make it any worse even if it was meant to make it better... he just always made it better. Of course there was no way to make it better given the situation, but he didn't make worse. I did feel worse however when I realized I couldn't move in with him. Not then. I would, but when the time was right, which it wasn't. I needed to be with my family. I didn't know if he'd handle the news well, but he whispered in my ear like he had read my mind. "It's okay if you want to stay here for a while. I understand. Just do whatever you need to right now, and remember I'm always here for you. Anything you need just let me know." It still didn't make me feel any better, I didn't want things to go how they had no matter how understanding he was.