Three months later
Peyton had won. Who am I kidding? He had her from the beginning. Lexie could never truly love me when she already had Peyton in her life. We talked less frequently now, I learned that she was living with Peyton and Nate again and she started attending school again. I guess it was all for the best but I feel left out. She was my friend too.
I missed picking up Peyton for school every morning but I still drove Hailey to school. Peyton made me swear I’d do it. There was no reason to make me swear though. She was like my little sister and like Peyton I was protective of her too.
I think having her around is what made Peyton such a good guy. I remember when he called me and we drove Lexie to the hospital. It was driving him insane seeing her in the state she was but I knew it was because of Hailey.
See Hailey is very quiet but she’s also very intelligent and we know with how the world is she might be getting picked on at school. Understanding her has given Peyton and me a better respect for girls.
We don’t like the ones who are always throwing themselves at us because we know. We know if those girls were our sisters it would drive us crazy to see them act like that. We’d hate to know they were related to us.
Seeing Lexie in that state made him think about Hailey. It wasn’t like Hailey had anyone to watch out for her at school all we could do was frighten them when we dropped her off. Now Lexie, she never had someone like that she was an only child who had lost her mother at a young age and then faced many hardships.
It was sad that no one watches out for her. Peyton was ready to be that guy though I could tell from that day, he was ready to fight for her. Having Hailey helped him be such a good guy. I’ve never met the “rude to girls Peyton.” Seriously he was always a gentleman even to the girls who barely spoke to us due to Layla and her Barbie best friend.
Peyton’s coming around more lately I’m so happy. With mom and dad working all the time, Peyton was always watching me. Being with grandma was boring and it gets lonely in this big house plus Peyton’s the only one who really understands me. He came over with Lexie a few days ago.
“Hailey,” said an all too familiar voice. It was Peyton he was climbing up the tree house.
I started hanging up here alone it reminded me of Peyton and it was quiet. Mom would call me down for dinner of course but until then it was just me and books. I like to read, like a lot.
“Peyton!” I say running to hug him.
He’d finally made it up the tree and Lexie behind him. I don’t like her very much actually she’s why Peyton left. I understand that Peyton’s 19 almost 20 and he’s you know grown but I hoped he wouldn’t leave me so early.
He’s living with Nate now. I remember Nate he visited over the years from time to time. I remember he had a girlfriend too but I’m glad she’s not with him anymore. She was very annoying but now it was Lexie’s turn to go. I don’t want her changing Peyton’s life or mine.
“Hey Pey, can we talk?” I asked him. He was on the floor doing sit-ups I was on the bed watching him.
He got up and sat beside me
“Yeah babe what’s on your mind?” He said
“It’s about Hailey” I started
He nodded so I continued.
“It’s just that when we visited she didn’t seem too happy to have me there, did I do something wrong?” I asked.
“No babe nothing at all. I think she’s just not used to having me out of the house she probably thinks it’s your fault that I left but don’t worry you’re not to blame” he said
I felt bad having taken her older brother away she probably hated me for it. I sigh. He gets off the floor wraps his arm around me and kisses my cheek.
“She’ll come around love, don’t worry,” he said
But still, I thought maybe we should do something to show her that I’m not the enemy. I love Peyton and everything about him and with Peyton comes Hailey so I’d do anything to make her like me.
“Hey, can you tell me about her, please. I want to do something she’ll like, so she won’t see me as a bad guy” I said and Peyton smiled.
Peyton went on and on about Hailey I could tell they really were close. I felt worse about having taken him away from her now. But after Peyton finished I figured out a bit about her and knew how to talk to her.
Today is Saturday and Lexie is out of the house. Peyton said she went to spend some time with Hailey and I hope it turns out well.
I remember she didn’t really like it when I had a girlfriend but now Peyton has one and he’s out the house too. I think Hailey’s pretty smart for her age and probably realized my ex-girlfriend was bad news before I did. But I hope she gives Lexie a chance.
Peyton and I are going to do some racing on the dirt bikes. It’s been a while since we did anything together. After lunch, we went out back to get the bikes its cold out but cold weather isn’t enough to stop us.
“Hey, let’s stop for a while” yells out Peyton.
Psh, he only wants to stop because I’m winning this race but I’m tired so I stop. We walk with our bikes for a while. Peyton looks tired but I can tell something else is on his mind.
“Lex and Hailey are hanging out today. Lex was telling me how she’s worried about Hailey liking her. I’m kind of worried too she wasn’t too happy to see her but then again she is just a little kid what does she know,” he says taking a seat on a rock.
I laugh at this.
“Dude, do you hear yourself? We both know she’s like a tiny Megamind. But I’m sure she’ll grow to like Lexie and I mean well it must be hard for her. You know you did kind of leave her alone and it’s not like she really has any friends her age” I say.
“I just don’t think she likes the idea of us having girlfriends remember when you brought your girlfriend over?” he says trying to hold his laugh in.
I laugh and let him laugh with me.
“She practically told her to get out,” I say and then he stops laughing.
“You don’t think she’d?” he asks.
“What?” I ask wondering what he’s talking about.
“Do the same with Lexie?” he asks his eyes getting bigger.
“Lexie will figure it out don’t worry,” I say wondering if she would react the same to Lexie as she did to Nates ex-girlfriend.
“Let's head back, it looks like its gonna rain soon,” he says and we ride back to my place.
When I finally get to Peyton’s home his mom answers the door I owe this woman a lot for helping me out back then.
Naturally, she hugs me I hug back. She was so kind to let me stay in her home and nice enough to let Peyton live with Nate. Honestly, I think she thinks Nate needs company. I remember she mentioned him a lot in the few days I stayed with them after the incident.
“Hey sweetie, it’s nice to see you what can I help you with?” she asks
“Actually I’m here to see Hailey,” I say and she nods.
“Good idea,” she says winking at me.
I guess Haileys been talking more at home and about me.
“She's outside in the tree house, I cant get her to come down. Peyton was the only one she really allowed up there but see if you can try,” she says taking some flour out.
I nod. I guess she was planning on baking something. Anyway, I head outside to this tree house. It’s not too high up so I decide to climb. Right as I'm about to reach the top the door swings shut.
Well, that wasn’t very inviting, I think. I guess she saw me coming. I reach the top and knock on the door.
“Hailey, hey Hailey can you open the door, please?” I ask, no response.
“If you open up ill give you your surprise,” I say and wait a few seconds and the door opens.
“Where’s my surprise?” she asks me when I finally get up there.
“Here,” I say I pass her a book and she reads the title.
“The Westing Game. My present is a book? ” she asks me making me a feel a bit bad.
“Your brother said you like to read so I brought you one of my favorite books. I know you’ll like it,” I say.
She looks at it for a while “okay, now what do you want? ” she asks me.
Sheesh, this seven-year-old worked quickly. She’s wearing a blue princess dress with white gloves and she has some teacups set up on a table.
“For you to be happy” I reply.
“Then leave my brother,” she says.
Wow, she really gets right to the point.
“I can’t do that,” I say.
“And why not?” she asks sitting down to pour some tea.
It looks like hot chocolate actually but she didn’t remove her gloves.
I pull out a chair and sit with her.
“Because I love your brother and he loves me. I know you’re not too fond of the idea but it's just how things are," I say.
“Hmph!” she says and sips her tea.
Her gloves slip when she lifts her teacup and she quickly pulls them up.
“Let me see your hands, ” I say putting my teacup down.
“What for?” she asks.
“I'll teach you a game Peyton said to teach you” I lie.
She sticks her hands out and I yank her gloves off. Her hands are covered in bruises and she quickly hides them behind her.
“What happened to your hands? ” I ask and she stays shut.
“Tell me or ill tell Peyton” I warn.
“I might have punched a few trees,” she says.
“You what?A Look I know you’re unhappy but that’s no way of dealing with it,” I say.
“You stole my brother from me,” she says and slams her teacup.
“I didn’t take anything from you, you’re old enough now to know Hailey. Your brother won’t always be in the same home as you. He has to make a life of its own. You’re getting older, things are changing and don’t you want your brother to be happy?” I ask
“Not if it means ill be unhappy. I may lack apathy but I-” she starts and I cut her off.
“You lack apathy yes more than anything. Your brother told me about you and maybe he can’t see it because he’s your brother but I can. You’re manipulative, what did you think he’d see your hands and come back because he would feel bad? You feel more entitled to your happiness than your brothers” I say knowing she understood me perfectly.
“What are you trying to say!?” she asks.
“You’re a sociopath,” I say and with that, I left the tree house or at least tried too.
I started climbing down when tea cups started hitting me. She was throwing them at me but then I guess telling her she was a sociopath up there wasn’t such a good idea. What was I thinking she could’ve pushed me off and killed me.
I finally got to the ground and after many teacups thrown at me, I wasn’t too injured. I’m pretty sure there’s a piece stuck in my thigh. I’m just glad that’s the only place she really got me at.
Peyton was right she wasn’t good at throwing so sports with her must’ve been as bad as he said they were. I walked into the house and Peyton’s mom stopped and almost dropped the apple pie in her hand. It smelled so good right now but I had to attend to my injury.
She put the pie down on the counter and got me something to wrap around my thigh along with alcohol. I yanked the piece of teacup out and cleaned the wound. It wasn't too deep but it definitely required stitches. She couldn't throw but that one she got lucky on.
“What happened?” she asks me.
“Peyton told me about Hailey and I kind of figured out what she had or is. Your daughter is not okay, she hurt her hands hoping Peyton would hear or see and come back. Then when I was climbing down she started throwing tea cups at me” I say.
Peyton's mom sat on the floor.
"I know, I mean I knew she had the symptoms but I thought she was just anti-social and would grow out of it. She is manipulative. When she was younger she’d pit her father and I against each other. At first, it was little things then it got worse. When I called her out on it she stopped talking. Shed only talk to Peyton and Mason I thought she was going to be okay but since Peyton left ” she said.
I rubbed her back as she started crying. She wipes her tears and helps me up.
"So you know that Haylies a-" I start.
"Sociopath" she finishes.
“We have to get her help” I say and she nods.
“When her father gets home we’ll take her to get help, call Peyton so he can take you to the hospital,” she says and I remember that I’m wounded.