Tree Hill at night. Peyton sits in her car at a green light. She doesn't drive through; she just waits for it to turn red. It feels ominous. Like somewhere some kids are about to tell ghost stories and remind each other not to go wandering in the woods by themselves. Peyton sits alone in her car with very loud, very angry music blaring. She revs the engine once, twice, three times. She grips the steering wheel. She waits calmly, like she's in a daze. The light stays green.
In Karen's Café, Lucas has the latest edition of Thud. The copies for the café must have just been delivered. He clips the string and pulls one out, flips through the pages, and lands on Peyton's comic strip. It's four panels, and each one is a picture of a traffic light. The first one's green; the second's yellow; the third red; and all three lights are red in the final one. The caption reads, "People Always Leave." No offence to Peyton's art or anything, but who cares? I used to write really bad fiction in university; none of the characters had names, there was no discernible plot, and all my metaphors were saturated with angst. I realize that art is her medium for expression for the most part, but what's up when no one understands your message -- what's the point if no one even remotely understands what you're trying to say. And what editor would print a comic strip that makes absolutely no sense to anyone except the artist? Anyway. Luke examines the strip as if it'll provide some clue to the locked part of Peyton's psyche. Right now, I couldn't care less if it ever opened up; someone please throw away the bloody key and save us from her hysterics during this episode.
Vroom. Vroom. A car drives up behind Peyton's Angstmobile. The driver honks and then yells, "Move it, lady." The light stays green. It's the longest light in the history of time.
Luke is still looking at the comic when the door to the café opens and in walks Haley. Only she doesn't stay. She sees he's there and runs right back out again. I guess they're still fighting. Luke runs out after her. He yells, "Haley!" She turns around. He continues, "How long are we going to do this?" She replies innocently, "Do what?" He answers, "Avoid each other?" She looks away and then says, "You tell me. You're the one who's upset." He barks, "And you're the one who lied to me." She doesn't know what to say. Luke takes a step forward as he asks her to explain why she was with Nathan. You know, considering all the crap he's put Luke through, it's a fair question. Haley bites her lip. Then she tells Luke that she can't tell him. He snits, "You know how I feel about him." He starts to walk away. Let's remember for a second that Peyton's supposedly sitting at a green light -- this entire time. I'm telling you, it's in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest traffic light ever to have been created by human hands. Haley shouts, "Lucas, fine!" He turns around. "Yes, I know how you feel about him, but there is something that you don't know. I promised him I'd tutor him if he left you alone." She whines, "I'm doing it for you, Luke." Then she turns around and walks away. See, Luke snits work both ways; you've got to learn to take in as much as you dish out.