One Tree Hill
I Shall Believe

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A Surreal Sort of Homecoming

Peyton finally makes it all the way into Luke's hospital room. She walks over and sits down after taking a good look at him. His cheek is cut up, but other than that, he looks fine -- he totally doesn't have that pale, puffy after-surgery skin, that's for sure. She says quietly, "Hey, it's me." Then she sits down and continues, "Can you hear me?" She puts both her hands around Luke's hand, on either side because his finger is attached to the monitor, and says, "Squeeze my hand if you can hear me, okay?" Nothing happens. "Never mind. Um, I just came by to tell you that I'm not going to be around very much, with Brooke here it's just kind of weird." She looks down at his hand and continues, "But I'm with you, Lucas, you know that. And I'll wait forever if I have to --" Karen interrupts her one-sided conversation, and when Peyton hears her come in, she jumps up and apologizes. Karen says, "Oh, no, you don't have to go, he's allowed visitors." Karen smiles. Peyton introduces herself. Karen says, "I know. Lucas has talked about you." Karen smiles again: "It's nice that people want to do something, but the last think I can think about right now is food." Peyton considers the basket for a minute. Then she says, "You'll be glad you have it in a couple days. I swear the cook at this hospital gets a bonus for making people sick." Karen says, "Sounds like you spent some time here." Blah dead mother, blah hospital, blah she died there, blah bonding, blah car accident, blah mother-Peyton connection blah.

Karen quickly changes the subject before it gets too heavy by saying, "You're a good friend to visit." Karen walks around Peyton and over to Luke while saying, "I was really expecting Haley to come around." Peyton explains, "She and Lucas got into some argument and she's really beating herself up over it." Karen's entered the ever-hopeful stage of her stress: "They'll patch it up." Pause. "Best friends can forgive each other anything." And the hits just keep on coming. How many hints do we need that the situation between Brooke, Peyton, and Lucas is going to mess with the friendship between the two girls? And you know what, Karen, they can't, and they don't, and friendships break up all the time, but whatever. Brooke walks in that very moment, holding a large bag of stuff. She sees Peyton and says, "Hey stranger! Check it out, I dropped so much cash at the gift shop I think they're going to name it after me." Wicked! Hospital gift shop stuff -- old-lady-knitted baby clothes and really bad inspirational tapes. Brooke pulls out a gift bag and says, "And, um, I got something for you too, Karen. Nothing makes me feel better when I'm blue than chocolate and I figure we couldn't be in a better place if we dipped into a sugar coma, so --" The deep troubled look on Karen's face indicates that Brooke, once again, has put her foot into her mouth. Brooke immediately apologizes, but that comment even made me uncomfortable -- I know, I know, it's serious. Brooke looks kind of uncomfortable for a second herself, and then she walks over to Luke, kisses his forehead, and says, "Hi baby." When she leans over, her very short skirt almost shows off all of her ass. The kiss, the Brooke, the mom, and just about everything else in the room makes Peyton totally uncomfortable, so she bails. Brooke says, "I've got him now, but I'll see you later?" Peyton nods, then she turns to Karen and says, "It was really nice to meet you." Karen says, "You too." And the guitars strum, playing on all of our heart strings. Yawn.

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One Tree Hill

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