“Breaking The Moon” is the sequel to “Dream Catchers” which introduces Haley Foster, a no frills college girl as the narrator. Haley meets and falls in love with alternative crooner Jordan Walsh. “Breaking The Moon” explores the couple’s relationship further as they face some life obstacles. I’ve also incorporated entries from Jordan’s journal before each chapter, which allows the reader to get into his head a bit. Enjoy Chapter 4!
Why do people expect me to propose to Haley as soon as she graduates college? Aunt Trish and Tasha both seem to bring up the topic to me every chance they get. The only time Christian talks to me civilly is to brag about his pending nuptials as if he freed the slaves or ended war.
The society that Haley and I were raised in thinks you should be settled down and married before the age of 25—I was going to be 24 this upcoming year. Maybe to someone like Christian, marriage was a major accomplishment; to me, it was a setup for failure.
Call me a cynic, but marriage was a legally binding piece of paper that suffocated a relationship. If my parents aren’t proof of that, I don’t know who is.
I tried to remember when there was a resemblance of love between Mom and Dad. Mom was devoted—warm and accommodating while he was cold and bossy. He left the parenting to her.
She wasn’t allowed to have a social life outside of him, and she wasn’t allowed to control any of the money. But King Chuck came and went as he pleased—sometimes disappearing for days, and somehow, Mom would get screamed at when he came home.
The only real evidence of love I heard about was on their wedding day. Mom said he cried—I couldn’t imagine that. I wondered if those were happy tears. Mom also said he couldn’t wait to share the rest of his life with her. Yet now they live two-hundred and twenty miles away from each other and never speak. I will not let marriage turn me into a resentful bastard who ignores his wife and kid.
…And this is my letter… Haley, I’ll miss you when you’re gone…
The car radio played the song, and I smiled with my eyes closed. The station changed and I opened my eyes to scowl at Jordan.
“You know I hate listening to Tortured on the radio,” he laughed.
He was so strange when it came to hearing himself on the radio or seeing himself on TV. He didn’t want to be seen as a luminary. He wanted to be a normal guy who plays guitar and writes songs. What he doesn’t get is there is a light that shines off of him and draws the world to him. Loving him is involuntary for me; like a magnetic force I don’t even want to block.
“How are you feeling?” he asked.
“Other than car sick, fine,” I turned slightly to try and figure out how far away from New York we were now.
“We’re almost there,” he said, and just then the car stalled. “Shit,” he groaned and started it up again.
“Uh, what’s up with that?”
“It’s fine—we’ll get there.”
“I hate this car,” I grumbled.
“Shh, she’ll hear you.”
“Loser,” I rolled my eyes.
“You’ve been hanging out with Seb too much,” Jordan laughed.
Sebastian called everyone a loser. If you liked a song he hated, you were a loser. If you got yourself coffee and not him, you were a loser. And if you knew too many questions on Jeopardy about Shakespeare, you were really a loser.
I know Jordan and his friends didn’t seem like intellectuals on the surface. I’m sure to the judgmental people of my hometown—Tortured was just a rebellious band of punks. I’m sure they’d be surprised we have Jeopardy marathons at Darren’s, and that he was a college graduate. Though Jordan, Sebastian and Danny dropped out of college, they were intelligent and motivated. Sebastian, in particularly, craved knowledge and was always testing the rest of us.
About twenty minutes later, we were in the parking garage and gathering our things to bring into the hotel. We always stayed at the same hotel near Times Square—not the one with the scary concierge, but the second one we stayed in that first summer. The one we shared our second kiss in, which counted more than our first for us. The first kiss was just awkward.
We settled into our hotel room and I excused myself to the bathroom. I felt a few cramps in my lower stomach and groaned. I thought about the date. It was the 30th and I figured I was having a bad bout of PMS. Being that I had to spend the next couple of days dealing with the Ashtons, this wasn’t a good thing.
“Haley,” Jordan called.
“What?” I asked.
“I want to show you something.”
“Jordan, I am not watching any type of History Channel war stuff,” I warned.
He loved watching war movies and documentaries, and would always call me into the room to see gory scenes. I hated the idea of war, though I understood why we did it. I hated fighting in general, which is why I always tried to keep the peace.
I opened the bathroom door and I laughed loudly. Sitting on the bed was Jordan…with his guitar…in just his boxers and my hot pink bra. He was emulating the photo I took of myself for him.
“Hold that pose,” I said, still laughing as I ran to get my camera.
I snapped the shot and Jordan began strumming a song on the guitar.
“I’m going to take a shower,” he announced, standing up.
He handed me my bra and I shook my head at him.
“I’m going to lay down for a bit,” I yawned.
“Don’t get too comfortable. We’re meeting the band in a couple of hours for dinner.”
That night, we went to Carney’s, the Irish pub we always hung out at in New York. Jordan and his friends were creatures of habit. Aside from Jeopardy marathons, his visits with the band consisted of the same things: rehearsals, some kind of athletic activity with Danny, most nights spent at Carney’s and ordering Thai takeout for lunch after rehearsal.
That night, Sebastian and Darren were both flirting with two blondes at the bar while I sipped a Shirley Temple and watched Jordan and Danny play pool.
I was never a big drinker, and Shirley Temples were so delicious that most of the time I opt for them rather than some fruity cocktail. The guys teased me all the time about it.
“So, where’s Cami tonight?” I asked as Danny took a shot at the nine ball.
He shrugged, “Don’t know, don’t care.”
Jordan laughed, “You guys are fighting again?”
“She’s pissing me off. I think I’m done, bro.”
I must have frowned because Danny and Jordan both stared at me.
“Come on, Haley, she’s a bitch,” Danny sighed.
“But you love her.”
“Not enough to deal with her attitude anymore.”
“What about the band?” Jordan asked.
“This won’t affect us. Cami will get over it—she’ll be bitter, but when isn’t she?” Danny laughed.
For some reason, I was infuriated. I know Cami wasn’t the warmest person on the planet, but she was my friend—kind of. She got me my first gig as a photographer. And my second. And my third.
Sure, she and Danny fought, but he wasn’t exactly an angel. His temper flared up fairly often; in public no less. I wouldn’t be able to put up with Jordan cursing at me in front of people—let alone at all.
I was annoyed with Jordan, also, for only caring about the band and not Cami. She is his ex-girlfriend. I know he didn’t have feelings for her in that way, but he must feel something toward her as a friend; as someone who has helped better his career.
“Unbelievable,” I threw my hands up.
“What’s up with you?”
“Do either of you care about Cami’s feelings?”
“Haley, I care. She’s just unbearable at times.”
“And so are you!” I yelled.
“Excuse me?” Danny asked, placing the pool stick down on the table.
“D, just calm down,” Jordan put his hand on his friend’s chest.
“Tell your girl to leave me alone, Jordan.”
“Jordan doesn’t tell me what to do.”
“Haley, shut up already,” Jordan growled at me.
Danny smirked and I just hurried toward the front of the bar.
“Haley, what’s wrong?” I heard Sebastian ask, but I just walked outside.
The cold air hit me hard. I was wearing a short-sleeved sweater dress, and my arms instantly goose-pimpled. I looked up at the December sky and there was no moon. That was disappointing.
I hated new moons; it was like the moon was my nightlight to guide me along, and when it was gone—I was lost.
I heard Jordan walk up behind me. I kept my back to him; pretending to see something of interest in the sky.
“Hale,” Jordan sighed. “I’m sorry—I didn’t mean to yell at you.”
I didn’t look at him. I continued to stare at the blank sky, hoping for some change, though I know the moon was not going to magically appear.
“It’s just—you know how Danny gets when he has a few beers in him. I didn’t want you to get him going even more.”
I felt his arms wrap around me and still I didn’t react.
“Will we end up like them?” I whispered.
“Cami and Danny? Tasha and Christian?”
“What do you mean?”
“Fighting over nonsense. Trying to make something work that just doesn’t.”
“We fight over nonsense now,” he laughed into my ear, before kissing it.
I wrapped my arms over his.
“We don’t have to try to make something work,” he whispered. “We just work.”
I squeezed his hands underneath mine.
“I’m scared,” I admitted.
“That we’ll lose each other.”
I didn’t even know I had such fears until that moment. Maybe it was the realization that Jordan was my only boyfriend—and nowadays first loves didn’t usually last.
Maybe it was the fact that all of my friends were in and out of troubled relationships. Before Christian, Tasha dated Ricky—that was an emotional roller coaster. Laney’s relationships only lasted a month at a time. And then there was Meghan. She was with Mike for two years and they decided to take a break since they were so young when they got together. They wanted to experience other things. I couldn’t imagine wanting to experience someone other than Jordan, but he might feel differently one day.
Ultimately, I’m sure my fear had something to do with college graduation this spring—and nothing to actually do with my relationship. There would be so many changes. I would start my career and Jordan would basically be touring nonstop. We would have to decide on our future, and to be honest, we never really discussed it. The possibility that our lives might head in two opposite directions terrified me.
Even more so than the moon, Jordan was my nightlight. When everything else in the world went to hell, he was always there to help me forget and move on.
Jordan was quiet far too long. I looked back at him.
“We won’t lose each other,” he said. “Tasha and Christian will be fine. They’re already onto planning the honeymoon.”
I wasn’t sure if I was happy about Tasha and Christian. I didn’t want my best friend to get her heart broken, but I just couldn’t imagine Christian making her happy.
“And Danny and Cami…” Jordan continued. “We all knew there was a huge chance they probably wouldn’t last. He’s just angry; it’s best not to argue with him. He’ll wake up tomorrow ready to apologize to Cami. Don’t worry,” he said.
“I’m sorry I got so bent out of shape back there,” I said, realizing I had overreacted to Danny simply ranting to his best friend about his relationship.
Jordan shrugged, “This is why guys don’t talk to girls when they complain about their girlfriends.”
“Oh, does that mean you talk to him about me like that?” I wondered.
He shook his head and laughed.
“Miss Sensitive today,” he rolled his eyes. “Not once have I ever said I was going to break up with you after a fight.”
I smiled, “Can we go inside now? I’m cold.”
“Who told you to come out here without a jacket?” he said, grabbing my hand and pulling me back inside the pub.
“Were you going to pass out again, Haley?” Darren asked, laughing.
“Ha-ha, very funny,” I squinted my eyes at him.
Darren loved to tease me about my claustrophobia and social awkwardness—though even he can’t really pick on me about that anymore. I have overcome many fears and phobias in the past eighteen months.
Sebastian had his arm around the blonde he had been flirting with.
“Jordy, you better be treating my girl right,” he winked at me.
I laughed. Seb loved to mess with Jordan by flirting with me—that was his nature anyhow. Danny walked toward us from the back room.
“I’m gonna split,” he said.
His blue eyes looked weary. Gone was the cocky, self-righteous guy who didn’t care about his girlfriend. Danny wasn’t an easy nut to crack. He was one of the sweetest guys I knew, yet his temper could get him into trouble easier than his smile could win over any girl—which was pretty damn easy to begin with.
“I’m sorry I snapped at you,” I said.
Danny pulled me into a hug.
“It’s forgotten. Wish me luck with Cami,” he sighed.
“Good luck,” I smiled at him.
Danny bumped his fist against Jordan’s before leaving.
Late that night, I woke up alone. I slid out of bed and looked out of the hotel window, hoping the moon somehow appeared while I was asleep. Although I knew the science of the moon phases, that never took the magic out of it for me—like wishing on stars, I prayed to the moon.
I walked into the bathroom, desperately having to urinate. I had a few drops of blood on my underwear. Relief washed over me. Though I chalked my cramps up to my period coming, the nausea along with it did set the pregnancy alarm off since my period is late and I am on birth control.
I dreamed of the day Jordan and I were married—both successful in our careers—and with a child on the way; the child Jordan missed out on, the one I could give him. I took comfort in that dream, but with a semester to go of college and with Jordan at the start of his career—not to mention we were unmarried—this was not the right time. My parents would lose it, and though, I don’t think they’d react the way Jordan’s father did when Bippy turned up pregnant—they would have their own opinions on how we proceeded.
After finishing up in the bathroom, I walked out and Jordan was flipping through channels on the bed, wearing just sweatpants.
“Did you go out to smoke?” I asked, with a hand on my hip.
“Sorry,” he said.
I took out body splash from my purse and began spraying him with it.
“Haley!” he yelled. “I’m going to smell like girl!”
I laughed, “It’s better than smelling like smoke.”
“I’m dousing you in men’s cologne while you sleep,” he said, pulling me on top of him.
“Jerk,” I said, bouncing hard on his stomach.
“Ow,” he winced, while laughing. “Come on, let’s get some sleep…big party tomorrow,” he rolled his eyes before turning the TV off.
I flopped down next to him.
“It’s just one night,” I reminded him.
I am fearing Chuck’s party just as much as Jordan is, but I am trying to be uplifting. I despise these ritzy parties with stuffy schmucks who bring out my social anxiety more than anyone in the world.
Around five-thirty the next night, I walked out of the bathroom in a strapless red dress as Jordan was fixing his tie in the mirror. There haven’t been many times that I’ve seen him in a three-piece suit. I know he hated wearing them. It was a little much for New Year’s Eve, but Chuck always had formal parties. Jordan could have played the part of the rebellious son tonight—he did that well, but he wanted to coast through the party—we both did.
Jordan hates when his father starts with him in front of me or with his brother around. He tries to tolerate Chuck once in a while, for Andrew’s sake.
“Wow, is that my boyfriend?”
To be perfectly honest, I like him dressed down better anyhow. Jordan looks good in anything, but in a suit—you can tell he isn’t comfortable. I’m sure I come off that way in the heels I decided to wear.
He looked me over with a grin; which usually meant he wished we’d just stay in and fool around. I wouldn’t have objected. He scanned down my legs to my feet.
“Heels?” he asked.
“You don’t like them?” I wondered, turning my feet to the side.
“I do, but can you walk in those?”
“Tasha gave them to me—she said flats aren’t sexy enough for this dress.”
He laughed, “You’d make anything look sexy.”
“Does that mean I did well?”
He just walked toward me and pecked my lips. He hates that I can be so insecure.
“You look amazing.”
“But not slutty? This is a formal—“
“You’re perfect. Don’t care what they think.”
By “they”, he meant the rich friends of his father.
“I care what you think. Do I look like a respectable young lady?” I asked, pouting innocently.
He scratched the back of his head.
“Respectable—sure, but hot as hell.”
I just laughed at him.
“Let’s go, I’m starving,” I pulled his hand and dragged him toward the door.