Wow, I can't believe I'm back! i've misse y'all so much, but anyways I got to read all your stories ;)
This chapter is kinda boring, but I promise you're gonna LOVE the next one... hope to write it for tomorrow! Well, don't wanna bother you with my chit chats, so... let me know what you think and hear you all soon! :)
Hayley felt her head spinning as she lazily opened her eyes, sun rays already hitting her face.
She closed them once again and turned to the other part of the bed, just to feel a paper on her face.
She looked at it tiredly and her eyes widened.
There laid the papers for the divorce, her pen on them, and Josh’s sign right on the line of “husband’s name”.
She sighed, passing the palm of her hand on her tired face.
She couldn’t tell why, but she didn’t feel that relieved, although it was just the thing she wanted, and the thing that had made her flight till Tennessee.
She slowly stood up, her clothes from the night before were still on, she didn’t remember that well all that had happened, she felt dizzy, in a puddle of mess, but one thing was clear in her mind.
She remembered too well how she acted toward her once friends, how she acted toward the last person who deserved that treatment, Taylor.
Hayley shook her head and walked to the kitchen, her parents’ voices not far away.
She stopped has she saw her dad in the old Confederate Uniform.
Her mother turned to her direction, feeling her presence in the room.
“Oh, we were wondering when we were gonna see you” she smiled toward her daughter, fixing Joey’s uniform.
Hayley looked at her dad, still jolted “Christ Almighty, Daddy. How am I gonna explain you in New York City?”
He took his hat from the arm chair, sighing “History's history. No use sweepin' it under the rug.”
He walked toward Cristi and grabbing sweetly her chain he kissed her cheek “Wish me good luck”
“Go get them Yankees” she smiled while he stepped out of the door.
Hayley stared at all speechless, for her this usage was totally insane, but her mother always told her that it was a tradition that they had to keep alive, at least on Joey’s opinion.
He took the false battle very seriously, and his role was kind of important since he was the general, a lot of tourists went to see the battle, but Hayley didn’t care at all from all the times she got to see it when she was younger.
She looked at her mother, rolling her eyes “People need a passport to come down here”
She took the milk from the fridge and sighed, it was going to be a very long day.
It was already later afternoon, Hayley found herself walking along the little platform near the lake with a light scarf around her neck, her arms crossed on her chest.
She stared at the yellow seaplane parked at the end of it, still trying to guess why Josh had it, and smiled as she noticed the dog staring up at her
“Hey, Brent, where is he?”
As soon as she was done with her question, the dog stood up and started running along the platform, Hayley turned to Josh’s truck feeling her heart beating faster.
He readily got off the car as his dog started playing with him, he had a rubber bone in his hand and Brent was trying to grab it.
He walked along the platform and puzzled for a moment as he noticed the figure in front of him.
“What's she doin' here, huh?” he asked to the dog.
“I thought you’d be gone” he said and walked next to her just to throw the rubber bone into the lake so that Brent could catch it.
Hayley sighed deeply as she turned to look at him “I put the money back in your account”
He glanced at her while the dog dived into the lake “Thanks, saves me from bouncin' a lot of checks.”
Hayley walked near the edge of the platform, Brent wasn’t up yet “Can he swim?”
“Doesn’t look like it” he smirked, Hayley was kind of shocked at this point.
He put his hands on his waist, staring at the house.
“I like what you did, though... to the house. Should help it sell quicker”
Hayley glanced at him perplexed “Are you moving?”
“Well...I been spendin' a lot of my time up around Madison, so...”
As soon as he had finished his sentence, Brent came up from the water, the rubber bone in his mouth.
“How deep is that water??”
“About 8 feet”
She crossed her arms on her chest, looking at the dog swimming toward them.
Josh stared at her and sighed deeply “Look, Hayles… I signed your papers”
Hayley turned to him, she could see a spark of sadness in his deep chocolate eyes
“Josh… I never meant to hurt you, or anybody else, for that matter. And I just came out here to say...” she breathed in “thank you.”
He nodded slowly “Well… you might want to find yourself a place out of the way”
Hayley rose her eyebrow as she saw him loosing the roped of the seaplane “You can’t just leave!”
He smirked at her, sopping for a second “Sure I can. You want to come?”
Hayley bit her lip “Where you goin'?”
Josh glanced at the view in front of him and breathed deeply as a smile rose on his lips
“Well... I want to show you somethin'”
Her lips turned into a smile and she looked at him.
She felt the urge to go with him, but something into her stomach started kicking that she couldn’t.
Her smile disappeared as soon as it came “I… can’t”
Josh nodded “Can’t or won’t?”
Hayley gulped as his chocolate eyes kept staring into hers “Both”
He chuckled “The girl I knew used to be fearless”
“The girl you knew didn't have a life” she readily replied, but Josh had already turned his back to her.
“Well, l...guess you better get on with it, then” he said. He called Brent and opened the seaplane door for him to jump in and in a blink of an eye he was already up in the air, and Hayley couldn’t do otherwise than looking at him getting away.
She walked to the post office and pasted the last postage stamp on the envelope with the divorce papers for her lawyer, Mr. Buford.
She walked to the counter to send it, the postman was too busy in posting letters to even turn to her.
“E-Excuse me, do you know Taylor Benjamin York's address?”
Hayley looked down and sighed “You don’t remember me, do you?”
The man chucked “Oh, I remember you just fine. You used to steal catfish from my pond”
Hayley bit her lower lip “Yes sir… I did that. I’m sorry”
“'Course, on the weekends, Taylor goes over to the Swann plantation -- visits with Colonel Murphy... it being tourist season and all”
Hayley smiled warmly at him “Thank you”
As Hayley knocked at the door, she couldn’t do otherwise than look around her.
The house was beautiful, with a perfect garden all around, all white and with high columns on the front porch. Simply breathtaking.
The door suddenly opened, showing a short housemaid “Yes?”
“Oh, hi! I’m Hayley Sw-“ Hayley bit her tongue “Hayley Williams, I’m here to see Taylor”
A loud noise of a cannon fired echoed from the backyard.
“If he's alive, he's out back… come on.”
Hayley stepped into the huge house and the housemaid walked her to the backyard “They're out here somewhere. Watch your step”
Hayley nodded and frowned at the view, a lot of anvils were onto the ground.
A head rose from the bushes “Hayley? Don’t move!”
Hayley puzzled and before she could realize it another anvil flew in the air, hitting the little gazebo and breaking its roof.
“Hot damn!” the old man cheered happily, putting his hat away. Taylor looked at him “Hold your fire, sir. I'll be right back!”
He walked toward Hayley “We weren't aimin' for ya, but I doubt I would have gone to your funeral”
Hayley sighed deeply, looking down “I guess I wouldn't blame you… forgotten how beautiful this place was” she breathed out, looking around and trying to change the topic, but Taylor kept it straight.
“Guess it doesn't take much to forget a lot of things”
Hayley turned to him “Tay, it's not like that”
He stared at her, snorting “You know what? I'll tell you what it's not like” he said, walking closer to her “It's not like Josh's the only one that you run out on”
“I'm so sorry I outed you… I guess I figured if I was pointing at you, then... nobody would see through me”
Taylor glanced at her, but before he could say anything his uncle called him “Benjamin, I can't find the fuse!”
Taylor chuckled and looked back at her “I should go before he kills himself” and with that he walked away, without even saying a bye.
Hayley sighed deeply and walked away, at least she had told him how sorry she truly was, but she couldn’t blame him, what she did at the pub was horrible, she was ashamed of herself.
As soon as the big door closed behind her back, a flash from a camera broke her thoughts, making her puzzle.
“Afternoon” the man greeted. Hayley froze, she actually knew that face, but she didn’t remember where she saw it.
“Can I help you?”
He started walking toward her, the camera in his hands “Barry Lowenstein, "New York Post."… boy, am I glad to see you! I'll tell you, it's, uh... definitely, uh, another world down here”
Hayley frowned “Did you see the “post”?”
“Yes, I did. I-I was hoping to get an interview with you and your family -- maybe, um, a few pictures if you don't mind?”
She gulped heavily, her hands started sweating. This wasn’t get on a good point.
“No. I mean, uh, yes, I do... mind. They're not here” she quickly replied, trying to look as calm as possible.
He walked next to her, staring at the house amazed.
“This is just as you described it. It must have been amazing, huh, growing up here?”
“Like a fantasy” Hayley said, forcing a smile on her lips.
“Would you mind if I take a quick look inside?”
She gulped once more, she didn’t know how to get off from this.
“Actually, I'm on my way out”
The guy nodded “I'll come back, then”
As he was about to walk back to his car, Hayley readily grabbed him “Okay, but just a peek”
She silently opened the door. He looked inside “This is it -- home sweet home!” she was about to close the door but he readily pushed it open to get in the house “Wow, how old is this place?”
Hayley sighed, frustrated.
“It was built by my, uh, great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Swann, in 1853” she said, grabbing his arm and trying to walk him outside, but he readily turned back once more.
“Oh, boy, I bet you slid down this banister a time or two” he said, glancing at the stairs and Hayley forced a nod. She walked near a door with a porthole.
“And over here we have the, um..” she glanced inside and froze ad she saw the maid grabbing some dishes “Kitchen! But who hasn't seen one of those?”
She pushed him away, trying to find a place where to hide, and when the door opened, Hayley couldn’t do otherwise than push him in what seemed the closet.
“This is my favorite room” she whispered, panting “It was part of the, um, Underground Railroad”
“Why are we whispering?” he asked, looking at her, and Hayley gulped.
“Hum… the whole place is haunted by ghosts of, um, the Civil War soldiers”
She carefully opened the door, and as she saw that no one was there, she walked out of the closet, the man following behind, but soon Taylor’s grandpa went from down the stair, saying something incomprensible, and he walked right in front of the two, without even notice them.
The man stared at him speechless, he was in his confederate uniform.
“Was that one of them?” he asked, but before Hayley could say anything, the other door opened, showing a surprised Taylor.
“Hayley? What are you doing in the closet?” he asked, an amused smile on his lips.
The man readily greeted him “Hi, Barry Lowenstein, "New York Post." Miss Swann is just showing me around the plantation”
Taylor glanced at Hayley, frowning, and she forced a smile “Uh, Mr. Lowenstein is writing a piece on the family, you know, since I'm marrying the mayor's son and all… I had no idea. Isn't that something?”
“Well, a plantation by any other name is just a farm. But it does roll off the tongue a little sweeter, doesn't it? Huh. Well, I do believe Miss Hayley forgot her manners” he shook the man’s hand “I’m Taylor... her cousin”
Hayley sighed in relief and let to Taylor a thanked glance, she couldn’t have asked for a better friend.
“See, when the Yankees marched through Tennessee, they tried to destroy our metal-formin' capabilities by placin' barrels of powder underneath the anvils” Taylor explained while walking up the stairs.
He was telling him why their families dressed up as in the Civil War and recreated the whole battle, Hayley not far behind.
“Of course, all that managed to do was blow 'em sky-high for a few seconds. So...in honor of that act of stupidity, we all -- we get together to re-create it for the tourists”
He said, proudly.
They arrived to the balcony that has its view right on the backyard.
“Hey, Grandpa!” Taylor called to the old man behind the bushes “This here's Barry! He's doin' an article on Hayley's weddin'!”
The man looked up “Never heard of her!”
Hayley and Taylor puzzled, but luckily the man started laughing, and they took advantage of that, doing the same like he had just made a joke.
Hayley sighed in relief as the reporter waved goodbye from his car.
Taylor turned to her, an amused smile on his lips “Well, aren't you just a big, fat liar!”
“Taylor!” he chuckled and she started chasing him, just like when they were kids, all the good memories appeared into her mind.
She didn’t feel like she was ready to leave, yet. But sadly she had to.