One Tree Hill: Proving a Point
Disclaimer: I do not own One Tree Hill or any of its characters.
Sam didn't look up once during the rest of her lesson. She quickly threw her book into her bag and hurried out of the classroom but by the time she reached the door, a stern voice stopped her.
"Sam, stay behind."
Turning around slowly, Sam walked over to Haley's desk.
"Sam, what's going on?" asked Haley. When Sam remained silent, she sighed and held up the essay that Sam had handed in. "At first glance, this essay is a C-grade. This isn't like you, Sam. Your writing has always been amazing and I thoroughly enjoy reading your work. I don't understand how the standard of your writing has slipped so much in such a short time."
"I was having an off-day," she shrugged, trying to brush off Haley's suspicions.
"Was the topic too hard?" Haley pressed on in a softer tone.
Glaring at her teacher, Sam snapped, "I'm fifteen, Haley, not five. It wasn't hard, okay? I just didn't put enough effort into it. Can't you cut me some slack? I've already got four A-pluses in my homework assignments this semester. You can't expect me to get A-pluses for every essay."
"First of all, in school, you call me Mrs Scott, not Haley," she said in a hard voice. Her expression had turned strict but Sam didn't back down. "Sam, I am not berating you for your grade but this essay does not sound like anything you've written before. The structure and wording is completely different from your previous work. As your teacher, it is my job to help you work to the best of your abilities and I know you can do better than this. If you like, I will give you the opportunity to hand in another essay so you can raise your grade."
"Fine, I'll redo the essay," Sam muttered. She stormed to the door, ignoring Haley's response, and slammed it shut. She felt bad for how she had just acted but she would suffer the consequences tonight when she has to face both Haley and Brooke.
Sensing someone watching her, she spun around to find Jo leaning against the wall once again. "Why are you always spying on me?" Sam glowered at her, still angry after her talk with Haley. "Don't worry, you're not in trouble," she added sarcastically.
"What happened?" Jo questioned.
Sighing, Sam started down the hall to her next lesson and explained, "Let's just say there's a huge difference between the way you and I write." Turning a corner, she added with a little more sincerity, "You got a C by the way. Congratulations."
Breaking away from the crowd of students, Sam started to walk into her Geometry class but she felt someone tug at her elbow and stopped.
"I just wanted to say I'm sorry for suggesting that we trade essays. I was being selfish," Jo admitted. "I have two older sisters and they were both brilliant in high school so I always feel like my parents are disappointed in my grades. I saw an opportunity to get a better grade and I just wanted to impress my parents for once. I did feel bad though so I tried really hard with the essay."
Hearing this, Sam couldn't help softening her attitude towards Jo. "Look, don't worry about it. I understand how you feel. Well, at least I've proved Mrs Scott grades fairly." She decided not to mention the second chance Haley had offered her.
"I should get to lesson," Jo mumbled. "I'll see you later."
Jo turned and walked down the hallway while Sam entered the classroom. She sat down in her normal seat at the back of the classroom, hoping that the day would pass by as slowly as possible. She was dreading having to face an angry Brooke tonight and she was definitely not looking forward to it.
After school that day, Sam had wandered around Tree Hill for almost an hour and a half before she realised that she couldn't put this off any longer. She had been shouted at plenty of times in the past so she was pretty much prepared for this.
Quietly slipping the key into the lock, she opened the door carefully, trying her best to keep the noise level down to a minimum.
"Sit down," Brooke ordered firmly.
The voice made Sam jump and she glanced around reluctantly to see Haley standing next to a furious looking Brooke. Sam shut the door slowly and dragged herself to the couch. To her surprise, it was Haley who spoke first and not Brooke.
"Well, I figured out why you got a C on your essay," Haley said in the same hard tone she had used earlier. She was holding an essay in each hand; Sam instantly recognised the one she had typed out and the one she had handed in. "I don't get why you would trade essays with Josephine Thomas. I understand why she may want you to do her homework but why would you agree to this? Did you honestly not believe that you would get caught?"
There was a long silence until Brooke broke it in an icy tone. "Sam, you are already grounded for a whole week and for each minute you choose to remain silent, I will be adding another week onto your punishment."
"I was just proving a point," Sam muttered under her breath but it was loud enough for them to hear. "And you could be a little more grateful," Sam added, shooting Haley an annoyed look even though she knew it would get her into more trouble.
"Samantha!" Brooke chastised her immediately. "You're grounded for two weeks now."
"I think we're going to need more of an explanation than that," Haley told Sam in a surprisingly calm tone. She was struggling to understand the abrupt change in her behaviour.
Sinking into the couch, Sam stayed quiet. She wasn't friends with Jo but she did feel sorry for her, and she wouldn't put it past Haley to find out the truth without any help.
"Sam," Brooke prompted in a warning tone.
Her eyes were fixed on the floor, hiding her guilt. She could hear the disappointment breaking through the anger in Brooke's voice.
"Jo thought I was only getting A-pluses in English Lit because Haley was friends with you and I wanted to show her that she was wrong so we decided to switch our essays," Sam mumbled in a low voice. "I know it was a stupid thing to do but at least we've proved your innocence."
Haley exhaled softly and said, "Sam, you must have known she was deliberately provoking you into agreeing to do her essay for her. You get A-pluses because your work is brilliant. I'm disappointed in you, Sam, because you should have known better. I appreciate the fact that you were defending me as well as yourself but I cannot condone what you have done."
"What's the big deal?" protested Sam. "We can redo the assignment if you want, or you can switch the essays back, or you can just pretend that this never happened."
"Sam," sighed Haley. "I cannot let this slide." She glanced at Brooke apologetically and continued, "I'm afraid I will have to inform the Principal of this. I'm sorry Sam. This is a really serious situation and it is not something I can – or should – hide from the school."
Brooke's anger swiftly subsided as she threw Haley a pleading look. "Couldn't you –" She immediately stopped and glared at Sam. "Go to your room," she ordered. "I will discuss this with you later." When she heard the door slam shut, Brooke turned to Haley again. "Haley, please don't tell the Principal. I know I'm being really selfish but Sam's done so well lately."
"Brooke, this is putting me in a really awkward position," Haley sighed. "It was suspected favouritism of Sam which caused this to happen in the first place so I don't think it will help the situation if the school finds out I hid this from them."
"I know, and I feel really bad for asking you to do this, but you could get them to redo the essay and set them extra assignments as punishment," Brooke suggested. "I will ground her for life and you can ask Sam to babysit Jamie whenever you want... for free," she added hopefully.
Haley felt torn between her loyalty to her best friend and to her job. "Do you remember when we were seniors and you stole the Calculus exam?" asked Haley. Brooke grimaced at the memory and didn't say anything. "The school fired me as a tutor while Rachel took the blame for cheating and ended up expelled."
"I confessed in the end," Brooke said defensively.
"You confessed on the day of graduation," Haley reminded her. "I know Sam is a good kid but if she does something wrong then she needs to face the consequences. As a mom, you want the best for your children but you also need to teach them to accept responsibility for their actions."
There was nothing Brooke could say to counter Haley's argument. "Fine," she eventually relented. "Do you think you can get the Principal to give Sam a lighter punishment though?"
"Brooke!" Haley shot her a disbelieving look.
"I should probably go and talk to her," Brooke murmured, striding towards Sam's room and knocking on the door. "Sam, can I come in?" There was no reply. "Sam, I'm coming in whether you allow me to or not." The only response Brooke received was silence. "Sam?"
Opening the door, Brooke was furious to find an empty room and an open window. "Why bother making doors when the future generations are only going to use the windows?"
Haley had heard Brooke muttering angrily to herself and approached Sam's bedroom to see what had happened. Brooke was holding a piece of paper in her hand and when she noticed Haley standing in the doorway, she passed it to her in silence.
There was one word written on there in Sam's handwriting: Hypocrite.
"I guess she heard us," Haley said softly.
Author's Note: Haley made her decision by looking at the situation from a friend, a teacher and a mother's point of view. She chooses to tell the Principal because she wants Sam to learn from this. Thank you for reading, reviewing and supporting this story.
"One Tree Hill." Many of you know it, many of you fell in love with it. It was a fantastic show there's no doubt. I was only recently introduced to the magic of Tree Hill, N.C. and all of the amazing lessons that the show and characters were able to teach to us throughout its nine seasons on the air. There were many important character developments, plot twists, love stories, and life lessons shared by "One Tree Hill," but I think the central, and most rewarding lesson was the lessons we learned about love from the beautiful people of Tree Hill. Here are some of the things I learned about love from this wonderful show:
1. True Love Doesn't Give Up.
I think this might be the most important lesson shown throughout the entire show. Whether it was Peyton chasing after Lucas, Lucas searching for Keith's killer no matter where it led, or Mouth and Millie duking it out. Most importantly though: Nathan and Haley. They survived Chris Keller, a music career, a kidnapping, a psycho nanny, an adultery scandal, and multiple near-death experiences. These are just a FEW of their challenges. If you were to take one thing from this show, it was that true love never gives up. Love fights for what it has and does whatever it needs to do in order to keep that love alive.
2. Love Comes In All Shapes and Sizes.
One of the things I respected most about this show was that it really tried to relate current day problems into the show in order to express their opinions on them. The best example that comes to mind is Anna, the infamous Felix's sister. It was Anna who struggled with her sexuality; both accepting it herself and coming to terms with others accepting it. "One Tree Hill" did an absolutely beautiful job of exemplifying the acceptance one should take when it comes to love. Another example that comes to mind would be the character of Mouth McFadden. Mouth was the character that I'm sure everyone thought of as least unlikely to every hold down a significant other. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Mouth had the most relationships out of any character on the show. Love isn't all about physicality or what people see as natural. Love is unnatural and full of raw emotion. It's as unpredictable as it is beautiful, and I think "One Tree Hill" gave great examples of that.
3. Love Sacrifices.
Lucas left Peyton, Brooke left Julian, Haley left Nathan, Millie left Mouth (multiple times). No matter which couple you chose, there came a time where they said goodbye to each other. That goodbye probably tore you apart internally, because "One Tree Hill" has the tendency to make viewers fall in love with the relationships on the show, but the goodbye was not a final goodbye. The couples, those who were really, truly in love, found their respective paths back from said goodbye and into the arms of their true soulmate. (Sidenote: my favorite return was definitely when Lucas realized that he still loved Peyton. Both after the State championship AND during his wedding.) Julian gave up living in California, Lucas and Peyton moved, Nathan gave up his basketball career, and Brooke did all sorts of things with her fashion label. Bottom line was, there was no sacrifice too great for their love.
4. Love Can Hurt.
I don't really think any of us needed a television series to explain to us that love can hurt, but it did it nonetheless. Brooke was constantly heartbroken and that was probably my least favorite part of the show. She, by far, deserved to be unequivocally happy for the rest of her life and I was so upset that it was so difficult for her. Karen was left alone by Dan, Nathan felt betrayed and abandoned by Haley. Oftentimes, I'm sure you felt their pain with them, but that only solidified that love can (unfortunately) hurt. This doesn't mean it wasn't real love. This only means that the love wasn't shared and wasn't meant to be, similarly to the hurt I'm sure many of us have felt.
5. Love is Unexpected.
Haley James Scott never would have expected that she would fall in love with a jock; the star of the basketball team nonetheless. Not only this, but I don't think she (or anyone else) would have ever expected him to be such a stand up guy. Lucas was about to be married to a completely different woman, when it was (eventually) brought to his attention that he was still in love with Peyton. Quinn fell out of love with David and in love with Clay. Love just hits you when you least expect it, so be ready because it's always worth it.
6. Love For Your Family is Above All Else.
I like to believe that Haley and Nathan actually sat little Jamie Scott down and taught him this value, but whether they did or not, he was able to exemplify it to no end. Time and time again he would encourage his parents, give compliments and advice to his extended family (friends), and would explicitly show his great love and respect for his family. Nathan was able to forgive Dan (as was Keith). Brooke was even able to forgive her mother. Family comes first.
7. Fall in Love with Your Best Friend.
You take one look at the successful relationships in this show and you'll see one thing in common among all of them: they are all best friends. Brooke and Julian dress up and do role-play. Nathan and Haley run around kissing in the rain. Mouth and Millie took jobs together as reporters. They are all completely comfortable with each other, know almost everything about each other, and do all sorts of activities with each other. If you aren't in love with your best friend, you're definitely doing it wrong.
8. Love is Beautiful.
Be it Nathan and Haley, Lucas and Peyton, Clay and Quinn, Mouth and Millie, Skillz and Bevin, or Brooke and Julian; you fell in love with one of the couples in "One Tree Hill." There was no way not to. They way the look at each other, treat each other, sacrifice for each other, compromise for each other, live with each other, kiss each other, have fun with each other, and all of the other things you see in each episode. The relationships are absolutely beautiful and so incredibly amazing that you can't help but fall in love with falling in love.
9. You are Never to Young (Or Old) To Love.
This might be the most important lesson of the entire show. At the very least, it comes as a close second. Nathan and Haley got married and had their first child in high school. There was so much controversy surrounding this, which is definitely understandable. You won't see many high school couples with as much maturity as Nathan and Haley, but there definitely are some out there. Anyway, the main lesson to take from this is that you can fall in love at any age. It might not last if you're as old as Nathan and Haley were, in fact it probably won't, but you can love and be loved. It's a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing thing and everyone should take advantage of it. It'll only help you see true love a lot easier when it inevitably comes your way.
"One Tree Hill." Many of you know it, all of us love it. We can all look back and thank this show for many things: the sexy Brooke Davis, the beautiful romance of Nathan and Haley, Lucas' smirks, Mouth's humor, and Julian's high-fives. Especially, the incredible love exemplified through the characters and what it taught us.