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.