For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
“Goodness, Blake, the ‘Tipsy and Truffles’?! Can you even afford this place? It’s not even my birthday or our anniversary…” Hailey was visibly excited, flattered and charmed.
“Tonight we are celebrating. It’s a special night for us. I have something huge to say to you. Needs the right setting. Only the best for you, beautiful.”
Hailey gave him a certain type of look, smiling excitedly.
They were seated, ordered.
Blake was charming, and obviously nervous himself, excited.
Hailey just beamed.
They enjoyed the food, talked about this and that.
While waiting for the dessert he finally took her hand.
She beamed more than before.
“Hailey Marie Loughlin, I have something really big, something I have waited for so very long to be able to say to you. Now I am struggling to find the right words. I love you so much, baby, and always will, until the end of my days.” Blake’s face reflected excitement, he was apparently roosting on something life-changing.
“Oh my God, this is it, isn’t it?! Oh my goodness, am I even ready for it? I cannot believe this moment is finally here, I have dreamed about this very moment in time for so long. So many times that I lost count. I think I’ll die of anxiety if you do not get it out fast!” she said through her big smile, her eyes sparkling with anticipation.
“All right, ready or not, here goes: you remember the demo we recorded? My Christmas gift? The guy at the studio knows someone who knows someone who knows someone influential and he asked me if he could have one of the tapes to give to them. They loved it. I didn’t want to get your hopes up so I didn’t tell you – or anyone – until now, but they bit! You are the very first to hear! Hailey, I signed the contract today! I am officially a professional musician as of today! Can you believe it?! They’re putting my music on several radio stations, some of it live, dates are already scheduled and I am going on a small introductory tour opening for a big pop band.” Blake looked like he won the lottery and cured cancer at the same time.
Hailey’s smile had frozen instead, before it faded.
“What?” she whispered with disbelief in her words, thinking she misunderstood.
“Yeah, I know, I cannot believe it either! The moment is finally here! I made it! Finally.”
Blake was so excited he didn’t even noticed Hailey’s smile was now completely gone.
“That’s what this is about?” she asked perplexed.
“Yeah! Big news deserve the right setting! And I am finally getting paid for what I love to do and the one thing I am really good at.” Blake beamed.
“Wow.” her words sounded of defeat.
“I know, right?!” Blake was oblivious to her change and still elated himself.
Hailey began to sniffle, fighting tears, then jumped up and ran out of the restaurant.
“Hailz, you okay? Where are you going? Wait up!” Blake attempted to go after her, but was stopped at the door.
“You have to pay for the meal first, Sir!” the host informed him mechanically.
“I’ll be right back, I need to …”
“Sir! I have to insist!”
All Blake could do was watch Hailey get on the elevator, their eyes met briefly and he saw tears. What the … ?!
By the time he had paid she was nowhere to be found, so he got his car and drove out the her home in Windenburg. She must have taken a cab. Just … why? Was she sick?
He drove as fast as possible out to Windenburg and near ran up the dirt road to her home.
Before he could even knock, he saw a box with his things, items he kept at Hailey’s home when he stayed over, sitting outside.
This was not good. Only … why?
She opened, it was obvious she had cried as she stepped outside shutting the door behind herself rather than inviting him inside as usual. Now she was standing before him outside, looking down at the ground.
“Hailey, what happened? Are you okay?” he sounded confused and worried, but when he reached out to touch her cheek, she pulled away. Some instinct warned him to not try again.
“Leave. Take your stuff and leave.” her words were clipped.
“What? Why? I thought this evening was great … was it something I said …?” Blake couldn’t make sense of it.
“Yeah. It was something you said. And something you didn’t say. And it was something you did. And did again. I give up, Blake. I got no fight left in me. Not all this all over again. I am tapping out. At least this way there will one day be a silver lining at the end of all the heartbreak. Not constant rinse, repeat.” Hailey’s voice sounded tired and resigned.
“What are you even talking about Hailz?!” Blake tried hard not to panic.
“Are you really this self-absorbed and ignorant?! I thought this evening was about us for a change. About our future, together. Turns out you are once more celebrating YOU and YOUR dreams, another solo mission, leaving me in the dust. Again. And once more without even talking to me first, without including me in the decision you signed your life – no, our future together – away. No thank you! You have fun being Drake 2.0. Without me this time. I’ll save you the time and break-up phone call: we are through. Done. Over.” She looked resigned.
“Hailey wait! This is not like before. I get to sing and perform. There won’t be any other women. Just us. And I am coming home between gigs. Or better: come with me! This is different. This is for us. An income. A future. For us, baby.” Blake pleaded.
“No Blake, it’s not. And you aren’t. And I am not. You know what idiot me thought was going to happen tonight? You’ll get a chuckle out of this, I am sure. When you told me to dress up and then took me to one of the fanciest, most expensive places near or far, I thought you were going to propose to me. There, laugh it up. I thought you were going to make things real for us, when you wanted to celebrate Blake again. I was just audience. Sidelines for me again.”
“Hailz … I am sorry you thought that. But you know I don’t do marriage… I always said …” Blake attempted to diffuse the heat in the worst possible way.
“Yeah, but people change. People do things they never thought possible – for love. I thought you would change your mind about that once you realize I am here to stay. Or was. I never thought I’d run after some guy, who I am clearly not a priority too. I never thought as a young girl I’d have to almost force my innocence on you, since you just wouldn’t make the move, but I could just not fathom any other boy to be the one to experience that with. Never thought after all that you would then make a mockery of me by publicly whoring around with other women. Never thought I’d give a guy a second chance who broke up with me over the phone. Never thought I’d go live on a remote island, far away from all I have ever known, far from my family, which is very important to me, to avoid being confronted with what you had become, because I loved you so much it hurt too bad. All those tears I shed for you and because of you. Then finally you come back, you still prefer to live alone instead of in this home I tried to make for us – which was obvious to everyone but you. You said you needed to find yourself. OK, I could almost understand that, at least I tried. But then you have the forehead and go and do THIS. Leaving me behind to wait for you again without so much as a choice. No, I am done waiting for you, Blake. This – we – is over.” she turned and went inside.
Blake was paralyzed until the slamming of the door shook him enough to frantically try to get her to speak to him more.
Blake tried to change her mind, but finally realized there was no use, all he was doing was make it worse.
Defeated he was left in the shambles of what he thought would be the most important night of his life.
Several days later, Blake was sitting in the living room of the Beach House with his grandfather KC, where he just finished telling him all about what happened between him and Hailey.
“I don’t know what to do, grandpa. You have to help me fix this!” Blake said with urgency.
“I ‘have to’ big fistfuls of nothing, kiddo! And I am not gonna. Why did you dumbass sign yet another contract without one of us there to look it over? That is what we all agreed on as we were getting you out of the other mess. We have an attorney in the family. And one aspiring to be, if you didn’t want to take your uncle Nick, you should have talked to Ally. Or your dad. He is used to looking at contracts. Or even me. I may not be as smart as the rest of them, but I sure as hell would not have let you just sign something again!” KC was livid.
“I know, I just got excited. I went there thinking they just wanted to talk to me, jerk me around again. When they told me I finally had my chance with music, and presented me with a contract, I got carried away. But this one isn’t bad. Just basically says I cannot sign with anyone else and that I have to record a certain number of songs and do a certain amount of live shows. That’s all. But Hailey … grandpa, can you talk to her for me? I have been by her house a million times since she isn’t taking my calls and doesn’t respond to messages anymore. I just came from there again and tonight her dad chased me off her property with a shotgun – all the way to my car! Please, grandpa, help me! Just this one time again.” Blake said, his tone pressing and begging.
“So I can get shot by her father? Nah, pass, been there, done that, ain’t doin’ that again, especially with ole Heath now pretty useless as a bullet shield these days. I see their point too. You done gone screwing that pooch. And why haven’t you proposed yet anyway? Even your father already popped the question to Grace and I would get if he didn’t want to take that plunge again after two failed marriages. But you and Hailey, no, that delay is beyond me. Always has been. I am not the most romantic movie on the shelf, but even I thought that by now you two would be looking for wedding dresses or even nursery furniture, not playing ‘catch me if you can’ again with this relationship of yours.”
“I don’t want to get married, let alone a kid. I always said that. Is nobody listening to me? Why is this such a surprise to everybody. No marriage, no kids. I never said anything other!”
“You were a spoiled and angry brat when you spouted all that. Nobody took that serious and back then that attitude was definitely the right way to go. The last thing you needed on top of all your old problems would have been a wife and kids. Now you are a young man who’s got his life together, with a good woman who worships the ground you stand on. I have told you nothing but how valuable that is. Nah, Blake, this is on you.” KC said firmly.
“Excuse me?! You were the one who told me to break up with her in Del Sol Valley! No wait, you literally forced me to break up with her! You!” Blake snapped a KC.
“Give me some more of that attitude and you’ll not only get no help but also a solid whoopin’, kid! I did say that, yes, when you both were TEENS! And I was right then. But you are no longer kids, you two. You are both old enough to next level this soap opera without grandpa holding your hands! When you set out to be some famous douche bag I tried to protect her from all that BS that happened because of you chasing your – and some other – tail. Look at what all this has done to her. I couldn’t know how much that little girl loved you, how persistent she would be and that she would go through all that for you and stick by your side. But I did think you would realize without me pre-chewing and spoon-feeding it all to you what that is worth! Some men go all their lives looking for that kind of devotion, dedication and love. No, you screwed this up beyond recognition. The only reason I could see her ever giving you another chance would be if you figured out a way to get out of the contract and then beeline to buy a fucking ring, take her to the most romantic place you can dream up and then get on one knee, kid! And all that soon!” KC’s voice increased in volume.
“Grandpa … she doesn’t even want to see me. Even if I wanted to, how am I to propose to her if I cannot even talk to her? She always has her father or Lyle over there now, or she is staying over at the farm. Which is why I was hoping you could …” Blake tried but KC interrupted him.
“Sorry kid, I love you, you know I do, but I will not help you win her back. You made your bed. I won’t deliver the sparrow to the cat. If you want this fixed, you have to find your own way. And if you are really that dead set on not getting married, I do not see the point of trying to patch this, cos a blind man with a cane can see that is what she wants and needs. A husband and a child. Or children. You don’t, so what’s the point? That’s just setting all that up for more heartbreak and failure.” KC shook his head.
“Grandpa, I am leaving on that tour in two days … how am I supposed to fix things with her before then, if I cannot even get to her?! If I just leave, she will think I do not care. But I do. Very much. I am stuck here. Please help me, just one last time. PLEASE!”
“Well, looks to me like you’ll be a single performer, in more ways than one. Sorry boy, but I am firm here. my decision stands. You want her back, you find your own way or hope for a miracle, but that won’t come in the form of redneck grandpa this time.” KC remained firm.
-to be continued-