lexi cole
near wild heaven
never surrender - skillet

Friday, October 14th: Ava and Marcus are hosting a party at Electric. Everything has been a little crazy lately, so come to just let loose. Forget about all of the troubles of the week.
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“Thank you so much for watching the kids tonight, Layla. We really appreciate it.” I told her as I handed her a baby, and the other two ran off for their ‘fun night with Auntie Lay’, as David had told them this morning. We were finally on the same page, and I felt comfortable leaving them with her. All the jealousy and anger, it was all gone now. “We’ll be back around midnight, so don’t wait up.”

She nodded, “Have fun. I’ll just watch a movie or something after the kids go to bed.” Ali squirmed around in her lap, wanting to get down and play. Layla set her down, and smiled. “I still can’t get over how fast they’re growing up.”

“You and me both,” I said just as David walked down the stairs. “Ready?” When he nodded, we kissed the kids, thanked Layla again, and were out the door. “Tonight ought to be fun.”

“Yeah, just as long as Al isn’t there.” He muttered under his breath, and we both laughed. Then, he sighed. “I wish things were okay between all of us. I hate that we’re not talking with them.”

I looked over at David. I didn’t know he had been feeling the exact same way I had been. “Me too, David. But there isn’t really anything we can do. She’s the one that left everything behind. It’s not like we’re going to welcome her in open arms.”

“I’m surprised some people have made up with her. It’s like Tree Hill has turned into sides. You’re either on Team Lexi or Team Alaska.” I laughed at his words, but they were so true. It wasn’t like I was going to be bad at someone for being friends with Alaska, but at the same time, I couldn’t understand how they forgave her.

I was her best friend, and not even I could find it in my heart to forgive her. At times like these, I asked myself why. Why /couldn’t/ I just forgive her? It would be so much easier if we all just forgave each other.

“You’re getting lost in your thoughts again, Lexi.” I was pulled back to reality by the sound of David’s voice. “What are you thinking about?”

I hesitated for a minute as we pulled up to Electric and got out of the car. “Do you think I’m wrong not to forgive Al? Are we being cruel?”

He draped his arm around my shoulders as we were ushered in the doors. I waved to Ava and Marcus, who were busy welcoming guests in. I made a mental note to go talk to Av about what she was doing with the whole Al situation.

“I don’t think so, no.” He told me as we sat down at a table. We ordered drinks when a waitress came over. “She’s the one that was so drastic. She messed everything up. You did nothing wrong, Lex.”

Suddenly, a brunette girl with a rather pregnant belly bounded up to our table. “Hi guys!”

I grinned, “Hi Ana,” David waved his hellos, sipping on his beer. He stood to go find Darren or Thomas or some other guy to talk to. Girly chit-chat was definitely not his thing. “Is, uh, Alaska here?”

She giggled, “Getting straight to the point, huh? But, uh, yeah, she is. The last time I saw her she was talking with Ava. Well, it was more like pleading. I guess a lot of people still haven’t forgiven her.”

“Have you?”

Ana shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s hard to decide. I guess so. I mean, she is one of my best friends. It’s kind of hard to forget that, you know? We’ve all been through so much together… I can’t imagine just leaving her in the dust after everything.”

“But isn’t that kind of what she did to us?” I asked her, sipping on my drink too. I noticed how she eyed it carefully, and I suppressed in a smile. “She left me in the dust. With two newborns, on top of it.”

“I don’t know, Lex. It’s not an easy situation. Just do what feels right. If you want to forgive her, great. If not, well it’s your choice.” Ana told me, standing to go probably find Darren. Pregnant girls in clubs were not a very good idea. 

“When did you get so wise, Ana?” I asked her, and we both giggled. 

“It must be the baby,” She told me before walking away. I spotted Quinn sitting by herself at the bar. I walked up to her, and sat down next to me. 

“Hey stranger,” I told her, smiling. “Where’s Noah?”

“On call,” Quinn said. I could see it on her face and hear it in her voice how stressed she was lately. Tree Hill had changed a lot of people, and Quinn was a perfect example of how it wasn’t for the better. “Where’s David?”

“Over there,” I pointed to a group of the guys – David, Marcus, Thomas, Darren, Jay and a few others. “How are you, honestly?”

“I’m holding up,” Quinn shrugged, and set her glass on the counter. Then, very surprisingly, she stood. “Look, I think I’m going to head out. I’m really tired. It was nice to see you, Lex.”

I frowned, hugging her. “If you need anything at all, Q, I’m just a call away.” She nodded and left, and I was left feeling worse than I had come here. Quinn, Lo, Al, they were all losing it. Even Layla wasn’t the same anymore. 

Sometimes I thought I wasn’t either. Life had all changed us. It threw rocks and waves at us, fighting us for everything we had left. It picked us up on the way, too, but we were scared to fall again. We looked warily at the ground, wondering how bad the damage would be the next time we fell.

That was no way to live life. Whatever happened to the careless nineteen year olds, fresh to Tree Hill, well, those girls were gone now. We were entirely different people. Even for me. I could barely remember my party days. David, having kids, it all changed me. But in this case, it was really for the better. 

* * *
Comment 'life caught up with us' if you read! SORRY SORRY SORRY that this is super late. I'm now almost two weeks behind. Wahh. @curious-and-young, @keziahh, @foreverandalways-jami, @turn-around-bright-eyes, @have-a-little-faith-in-me, @little-miss-rae, @luxecouture, @peaceloveglitter story up!!
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