“Unexpected clashes between past and present may arouse a surge of bewilderment,Erik Pevernagie
but time can be a redeemer and heal mental wreckage.
Time might prove to be a dependable ally and a reliable coach to find a new inspiring sequel for the future.”
Brindleton Bay The Elysium
After entering her home and nearly running into a young woman, Hailey forced a smile, before she quickly and nervously said
“Oh, hey there Bethany. Didn’t expect you to be over tonight. Ahem, this is my good old friend from high school … Hadley Bar… ahem … Heather Bar…. ahem…Stool. Yes, Heather Barstool, that is her. This girl! Yep, yep!”
Puzzled, Bethany stared and nodded at Hadley.
“Nice to meet you, Mrs. …. ahem …. Barstool. I gotta get going, just picked up some baby books Maddie is letting us borrow. See you around, Hailey …. and … you too, Mrs. … umm … Barstool.”
Bethany gave Hailey and Hadley a strange glance, before she hurried out the front door.
“Barstool? Heather? Are you serious, Cameron?! Did you forget my name or something? Barstool. What the heck, Hailz.” Hadley complained.
“Dude – I had already accidentally committed to the ‘Bar” part of ‘Barlow’, so I tried to save that best I could and ‘barstool’ was all that came to mind on such short notice. You just came back from the dead, LITERALLY, that’s not exactly easy to swallow for me either, I left alone to visit your grave and didn’t think I’d be returning home with my formerly dead best friend in tow! I also didn’t expect we’d run into Bethany here – and you have NO idea about any of this, I swear girl, or you would be kissing my feet right about now! Plus, I didn’t hear anything productive coming out of YOU, you complainer!” Hailey fired back.
“Your best is ‘barstool’? Girl, you suck under pressure! I am sure I could have done better than that if you had given me a chance. Barton, Barrington, the list is endless … anything less ridiculous than Barstool. You just jumped in guns blazing here, I couldn’t have gotten a word in edgewise before you turned me into furniture. And for the record, I had no say in coming back from my dirt-nap, Hailey. That was all you and that witch. So don’t even try to complain in my direction for me being here. Who was that anyway?” Hadley wondered.
“The witch? That was Leeora, Chase’s cousin. I told you all that.”
“No, not her. I am not senile, woman! That redhead that had you so bend out of shape. The girl who just left.”
“Funny you should ask. That was actually your daughter-in-law. Ask me again why I freaked out!” Hailey told her.
“My WHAT?!” Hadley’s eyes grew wide.
“Yeah, right? I know. Now you see why I freaked? Gets better. She is also the mother of your granddaughter, who was named in your honor, Hadley Barlow. You starting to smell what’s cooking here? Kinda hard to explain you at all, but even less so to the mother of your namesake! We had one Hadley Barlow too many in this mix, so I did the best I could while in shock myself.” Hailey said.
“Grand … wait what? I have a … how long was I … ugh.” Hadley stuttered.
“Almost 20 years. 18 and some change to be exact.” Hailey shrugged.
“ALMOST TWENTY YEARS!? THAT LONG!? But you look just like … oh, wait … I forgot, you are …”
“A Vampire, yeah. I don’t age anymore. Your kids did though, they are all grown up, and your youngest son is married, with child at 18 right out of high school. Congrats grandma. Isn’t that the Cole way? You must be so proud.”
“Hardee har har, Hailey. So, Connor and Keira would be adults too? Do you have grandkids?” Hadley wondered.
“Oh, hell no, woman, don’t you go turning me into some grandma yet! Actually, we have babies in this house again. Yeah, new parents again. Maddie and Colton had a son, little Jasper, Chasey and I hit the lottery with twins, Iris Marie and Briar Rose, they are just a few months younger than Jasper. They were planned though – well, ONE was planned, two was what we got. I can’t wait for you to meet them. And to see what a handsome young man my Connor has grown into.” giggled Hailey.
“Wow! I feel like I … well, was living under a rock was what I was gonna say, but I think the reality is even worse. Congrats on your babies, can’t wait to snuggle little Hailey/Chase’s again. I have so many questions, don’t even know where to begin. What about Gary? Senior, I mean?” Hadley’s smile gave way to a worried look.
“Ah yeah … well … he’s ahem … gone.”
“20 years, right. Wow. What about my little brother? Is Asher still with Iliana? What about my other kids, with Hudson?”
“Hadley, let’s go upstairs and talk, so nobody just walks in on us again until we’re ready to explain this …. somehow.”
The two reunited best friends talked while walking up the stairs.
“Hailey, my brother and my kids. I need to hear it.”
“Fine. So, yes, Asher is still married to Iliana, they have 3 kids now together, Asher’s fourth child, the oopsie teen pregnancy he got stuck raising on his own is married and made him a grandpa, your kids with Hudson are all grown now, I don’t think any are married, Hudson got married again and divorced. His parents are dead now, and he’s changed – for the better actually. I’ve only seen him a few times, I tried to keep in touch with your older kids but it kinda fizzled out. The only one I kept close with is your youngest with Gary, as the closest living relative Maddie got custody of him when Gary Senior died, Gary Junior was still a teen, so we kinda raised him since he is about the same age as Connor and Keira. It was actually Maddie’s daughter Keira who introduced Gary Jr. to his wife. Guess she wanted to pick her own auntie. Hahahaha.”
“That would be the girl I just met.”
“No, the girl Heather Barstool just met.” giggled Hailey.
“Oh man, what am I gonna do now? I bet I was officially buried, so I have no papers, no identity, nothing anymore. I can’t tell my family who I am, can I?”
“I wouldn’t, at least not right away. I mean, Asher and your kids are used to weird shit with Vampires around all their lives, but this is a bit extra-extra. I am thinking Maddie could give you one of her famous makeovers, I am sure Chase knows someone who would know a few Vampires who know how to set up a new identity for you and then you’ll get a completely fresh start. Can you handle that?”
“I am not so sure I have a choice. But honestly, I am glad to be back, as weird as this probably is. My life finally started taking a turn in the right direction, I was finally happy and – BAM! Over. No fair. Isn’t that what the witch said – it’s all been so blurry – but I swear she said something about that ‘dedeathify’ spell thing only working if the death was untimely and unjust, like murder of a younger person or – as in my case – death in childbirth. So, I guess if I just keeled over from old age it wouldn’t have worked, so, I am going to take this as this was meant to be. Well, if I have to become someone new – preferably NOT a Heather Barstool though – then so be it. As long as I have my bestetestest friend I can handle anything.”
“Sure you can have your bestie. Where is she, I’ll call her for you.” giggled Hailey, receiving a nudge from Hadley.
The girls hugged, giggling, it was all normal behavior for them ever since they once met in high school and formed a long-lasting friendship, which had weathered many a storm until Hadley’s untimely death while giving birth to her youngest son.
“Oh crap!” Hailey exclaimed, then shoved Hadley into the ensuite bathroom, quickly shutting the door behind her again, hearing a loud thud when Hadley presumably had stumbled into something right as Chase entered his and Hailey’s bedroom.
“What was that?” he wondered.
“Nothing! Did you need anything from me?!” Hailey gave him her best toothpaste ad smile.
“Hailey … who’s in our bathroom?!” Chase demanded.
“Nobody! Who would be in there? A ghost maybe. Oh shit, that’s actually so funny! Hahaha.” Hailey tried to cover up her nervous confusion about everything and had to laugh hysterically at something that wasn’t really funny to Chase but was now matched by another laughter echoing from inside the bathroom. Chase’s facial expression reflected impatience.
Mildly annoyed by his wife’s odd behavior, Chase pushed past her, and opened the door, then his eyes grew big.
“Oh hello! I am Hailey’s friend Heather Barstool!” Hadley tried.
“Hadley – seriously?! It’s Chase, he knows you.” Hailey told her, shaking her head.
“Yeah, he does. What I don’t know is what the fuck I am looking at here now. Anyone got any clues why someone who’d been dead for nearly 20 years is in our bathroom looking fresh as the morning dew?” Chase wondered.
“Oh, thanks Chase. So sweet of you to say. You look great yourself, have you been working out?” Hadley tried, until Hailey nudged her.
“Quit this. Trying to charm him off the topic does not work on him, I have decades worth of experience with failed attempts. We need to fess up, Hads. We’re busted.” Hailey told her friend.
“Indeed, you are, and you do. Explain. At the edge of my seat here, ladies.” Chase crossed his arms in front of his chest.
“Okay, so today I went to Hadley’s grave … and Leeora happened to walk by, I had a little bit of a meltdown, she consoled me, we got to talking and … ahem … did you know witches can resurrect the dead? Cos I didn’t until tonight and if you didn’t either – tadaaaaa – surprise. They can. Exhibit A right over here.” Hailey spoke fast for nervousness, Chase listened and frowned as he replied.
“Oh Patches, no! I was afraid you would say that. Not Leeora! Not witchcraft now too! Why in the world would you get Leeora and her witchy shit involved?! She’s my cousin, I know she probably meant well, wanted to help cos you’re my wife and she likes you, but I also know she has a mean temper, and often acts first and asks questions later, so I won’t be the one trying to fix this mess with her. Bringing back dead people just is next level insane. I know how much you missed Hadley, but Patches, you really didn’t think this one through at all, didcha? No offense Hadley, but we don’t know what you are like now, I mean, we’ve all seen ‘Pet Sematary’ by Stephen King, ya know, and you should be pretty much decomposed and all, yet you look like you did last I saw ya. I am really not certain what to make of this yet, and I also know I am not one to talk, considering I am not exactly the most natural thing to walk this earth and my kind has a lot of unsavory secrets. But even if everything is just as it was, she can’t just waltz back into her family’s life, Patches. You know mortals have a rough time wrapping their heads around us Vampires still, and it has been decades now since we became public knowledge. The mortals know nothing about all the other creepy shit that’s also out there, Witches, Werewolves, etc. and evidently dead resurrected. How do you think a risen dead will be received? Where is she supposed to go?”
“Funny you should ask, babe …” Hailey gave him that certain smile.
“Patches no! No no no no!”
“Chasey, pleeease .. she’s my bestestest friend in the whole wide world. And we have two empty rooms since Connor and Keira never moved back home. Please. PLEEEEEASE.”
“I thought Maddie was your best friend.”
“Okay fine. She is one of my two bestestetestest friends in the world.”
“And what about me? I thought we were best friends …”
“CHASE! Come on now!”
“Yeah, please Chaseyyyyyyy … I mean, you and I go way back too.” Hadley started in on him now too.
He closed his eyes and groaned, then said.
“Okay, but YOU will have to explain this to Colton and Maddie – TONIGHT – and get them BOTH to agree to her staying here. And then we’ll call over Connor and Keira – TONIGHT and break this weird shit to them. No way will we run the risk of the two coming over unannounced and getting the shock of their lifetime. And when we have them all together, we will figure out what to do about her identity and her family. We are still in touch with them, and I do not want to end up with one of those awkward moments of her brother running into her here and keeling over with a heart attack in front of our small children or something to that tune!”
“Thank you Chase! Would it be okay if I gave you a hug, unless you are too weirded out now.” Hadley said.
“Nah, hug would be okay, I mean, technically I am dead too, so who am I to judge here? Come here girl, good to see you again.” Chase said, opening his arms, Hadley hurried into the embrace and they hugged.
Hailey smiled triumphantly while watching her husband and Hadley hug, knowing this won the battle.
“Keira and Connor were little when she died. They won’t recognize her. Do we really need to tell them tonight?”
“Hailey – there are photos of you two all over this house. EVERYBODY who knows us, knows what Hadley looks like. Another problem for you to figure out.”
“Well … let’s hope you’re wrong, cos Bethany was here earlier and ran into her downstairs. We gave her a fake name, but she looked at us weird.”
“Well, you told her my name was Hadley Barstool! Nobody can help but look at you sideways if you come at them with that baloney.” Hadley said.
“No, I said Heather Barstool. Oh shit – Hadley – you know what just dawned on me?! I just realized this, we two idiots were standing right under one of those photos of you and me together when I served that steaming pile to her. No wonder she looked at us like that. That was like denying we took the cookies while getting caught with both our hands in the cookie jar. Oh boy.”
“You two are beyond help! THIS I did NOT miss, you two getting into the weirdest trouble all the time! I am getting Colton and Maddie into the dining room, and then I am calling Connor and Keira over. Figure out how to explain this and then come join us. NO EXCUSES!” Chase shook his head and left.
“Well, look at the bright side Hadley, since he’s making us talk to Colton and Maddie, we can ask her about a makeover for you, cos girl, I love ya, but you need a new look desperately.” Hailey grinned, nudging Hadley, who stuck her tongue out at her.
“Well, I’d like to see you rise from a grave after almost 20 years and see how fashionable YOU look, besides, that’s Mrs. Heather Barstool to you, woman!”
“You’ll never let me live that one down, will ya?” Hailey grinned at her friend.
“Oh, you betcha I won’t!”
Giggling, the girls went downstairs.
4 thoughts on “Chapter 410) The Barstool”
I’m glad I read your post about this yesterday so I was prepared! Lol. Meet Heather Barstool! Bahahahaha! Anyway, at least Chase didn’t completely lose his sh!t. Can’t wait to see her new identity. You do a great job with makeovers. ❤️
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Thank you, very sweet to say. I just couldn’t kill her off again, so here we go now trying to logically explain my experiment.
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Yes, I wondered if she was going to be the same or different somehow…
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Experiment Part 1: Success! I got so excited when you told me she’d be back. Hadley is one of my favorite characters, for obvious reasons 😉 She was so cute when she was a kid. Now she gets her second chance. And Hadley Barrington is 100 times better than Hadley Barstool. LOL!!! Guess bestie can’t think under pressure, huh? LMAO!
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