Country: United States
October 12, 2019
02/13/2020 10:50 PM
Greg Haynes and Rachel Wesley were fairly young when they began dating. It was love at first sight. It didn't take long for the couple to move in together and just four months after doing so, the two were married in a small ceremony held just for them and their immediate family. Rachel's parents never forgave her for not having a traditional church wedding, and they never particularly cared for her husband. Rachel's father was a farmer from Missouri who hated anything and anyone to do with California. When he heard his daughter was marrying a man from Los Angeles, a man she had known for less than a year no less, he was livid.
The couple was blissful, excited to begin their life together. They had most of their future planned out. Rachel would go back to college and finish up her degree, she would become a professional photographer soon after. Greg wanted to be an architect. However, life had other plans for the young couple. Just two years after marriage, Rachel became pregnant with their first child.
Both were nervous and scared to death, as any young parents would be. They weren't ready for this, it wasn't apart of the plan, but a baby was on the way nonetheless. Nine months later, on October 25th, 1986 Olivia Grace Haynes was brought into the world. Born three months early, she was tiny at only 5 lbs, 6 ounces. For the longest time, the family wasn't sure if they were going to get to keep their newest edition. But Libby Haynes, as her father affectionately nicknamed her, was a fighter and was not going to give up that easily. Three weeks after being born, she was able to go home. Greg and Rachel called her their miracle baby, they were overjoyed with their baby girl.
As much as they adored her, adjusting to life as a parent was a bit difficult for the married couple. Neither had had any experience caring for babies. It seemed every other hour, Rachel was on the phone with Greg's mother asking for help. Her own mother so far away, Deborah just seemed like the more logical choice. Of course, Greg's parents were more than happy to help with their first grandchild.
Just two months after she was born, Greg decided that he and Rachel should move to Los Angeles from San Francisco to be closer to his mom and dad. They found a nice three-bedroom home with a big backyard in a nice neighborhood that was just five minutes away from his parents. The family settled in nicely, and while Rachel was caring for Libby, Greg decided that he wanted to join the L.A.P.D and become a police officer, putting his architect dream on permanent hold.
Living so close to them, Libby spent quite a bit of time with Greg's family, particularly his parents. Michael and Deborah had a room for her at their home and the child often spent weekends with the elderly couple. She thought the world of both of her grandparents, especially her grandfather.
Rambunctious, mischievous, and unfiltered, Libby was somewhat of a free spirit. At times, she was hard to keep up with; it seemed the child never tired. With a natural curiosity, the family had to keep a close eye on her or she'd get into things she ought not. For instance, Michael had left a latter sitting up against the house after cleaning out the gutters, and a four-year-old Libby had just about climbed to the top and onto the roof when he caught her. She was always getting into scrapes of the like. She was fearless, to say the least. Not to mention, she had a temper and a mouth on her that would put the Queen of Hearts to shame.
The year she began preschool, Greg and Rachel were concerned at how well she'd play with others. She met a friend from the very start, Della Drews was another four-year-old in her class and the two girls were instant friends. But after another child, a four-year-old little boy named Jayson was teasing Della, Libby punched him in the nose, drawing blood, and was suspended from the school for an entire month. Greg and Rachel were forced to put her in child psychology class, sort of anger management for toddlers, and in October she was able to return to school.
Della and Libby quickly became like sisters. It didn't take long for Greg and Rachel to learn of Evelyn Drews, Della's horrible so-called mother. Once they found out about her home life, the couple lobbied for Della to stay with them regularly. Not that Evelyn cared much. As long as Della was out of her hair, she didn't care where the child was. Della became a part of the family, so much that Greg and Rachel got bunkbeds for the girls for Libby's room, and whenever they bought Libby something, they bought Della the same thing. It went so far that the couple thought of adopting Della, though Evelyn wouldn't hear of it. If Della was living with someone else, she would not get the benefits from the state for being a single mother. So the Haynes' continued anyway, whether Della was legally theirs or not, she was their daughter.
It was around her fifth birthday when Michael Haynes would introduce his young granddaughter to an interest that would ultimately shape her life. Whenever she would spend the night with her grandparents, Michael would read her comic books of all different sorts. Her favorites were Spiderman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wonder Woman, and X-Men, more specifically, Scarlet Witch. The child's love for comics grew from there and before long, she was reading any of them she could get her hands on.
It was around this time that Michael introduced her to two more loves of her life. The elderly man had a first edition copy of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien that he kept in a very special place. He would read a chapter of the story to Libby right before she went to sleep and she fell in love with the world of Middle Earth. Michael was also the one to introduce Libby to the world of horror, showing the five-year-old a VHS copy of A Nightmare on Elm Street. She begged her grandfather to let her watch it and against his better judgment, he agreed. He made her promise never to tell her grandmother or her parents. To his astonishment, when the pair sat down to watch it, Libby was fascinated rather than horrified. From that day on, Freddy Krueger became her favorite horror movie villain, thus beginning her love for all things horror.
Along with his parents, Greg's cousins also lived nearby. Fran and Eric Caldwell were the children of his mother's sister. Though his Aunt Beatrice was a horrid woman that no one, including her children, cared for, Greg had always had a close relationship with his cousins. So much in fact, that the couple had asked Fran and Eric to be Libby's godparents. It was only natural, as Fran was not only Greg's cousin but Rachel's best friend as well. She was a handful, but Fran often took Libby and Eric's son Logan who was just three years younger than her, on outings now and again.
The two cousins were enough on their own, but getting Libby and Logan together was nothing short of a nightmare. The two were constantly at each other's throats, bickering and arguing, doing anything and everything to annoy one another. Libby had such disdain for her younger cousin that when Logan was just age three, she tried to sell him to the neighbors. A year earlier, she had pushed him out into the busy street while the two-year-old was sitting in his red radio flyer wagon. These incidents raised concerns for both Greg and Rachel, wondering if maybe their little girl did hate her cousin. But this couldn't be farthest from the truth. Once, while the cousins were at the park, an older boy shoved Logan down the slide, resulting in his forehead hitting a nearby pole and needing stitches. Libby, in turn, shoved the boy down, kicked him in the crotch, commenced to beating him repeatedly and told him if he ever touched her cousin again, he'd be sorry.
In the fall of 92, Rachel and Greg enrolled Libby in the nearby elementary school. She would be starting kindergarten. Adjusting to school was hard on her at first. She was having trouble fitting in as she wasn't interested in playing with dolls or playing house like most of her female classmates. The things that Libby was interested in were alien to most of them and they found her odd. They distanced themselves from her and for a long time, Della was her only friend. But as Della did not attend the same school, Libby would eat her lunch or play alone. This didn't bother her at first, as she was a bit of a loner, to begin with. But after a while, the bullying started.
Before starting school, Libby had to have a checkup with her pediatrician, it was then that the doctor's found that Libby suffered from anxiety. The doctor advised the couple that maybe their daughter ought to see a therapist regularly, but both refused. They didn't want to subject their child to such an ordeal. They were also informed that Libby had a condition called Enuresis, more commonly known as bed-wetting. Oftentimes, she would wet herself during the day as well as at night. This condition only worsened her anxiety, as it caused her to be anxious about spending the night with anyone but her grandparents for fear of being made fun of. Her fears were realized when poor little Libby wet herself during recess one day, her classmates responded in calling her names, laughing, teasing, and taunting her. The bullying continued from there.
In November of '92, Rachel and Greg traveled to Willow Springs, Missouri where Rachel's parents lived, leaving Libby behind to spend the next two weeks with her grandparents. One Saturday afternoon, Michael took Libby out for lunch to a diner that was owned by his best friend Tommy. On this day, Libby would meet the girl that would become her best friend for the remainder of her days. Emmerson Owens was the granddaughter of Tommy and Renee, she and Libby hit it off instantly and the two were inseparable. Michael and Tommy often joked that you could not pry the girls apart with a crowbar. They were soon nicknamed the twins, as one was never found without the other.
Soon after meeting Em, Rachel and Greg talked it over and decided it was time for them to take Libby out of her current school. After Christmas break, they told her she was be attending the same school that Em and Della went to. She couldn't have been more excited. The move helped Libby immensely, her mood picked up, she was being more sociable, she was doing better in school. Having her two best friends with her helped to ease her anxiety and she was getting help with her condition as well.
When she was around seven, Libby started taking an interest in sports. She would often attend Lakers' games with her father and grandfather and now she wanted to play the sport as well. Her parents signed her up for basketball and though she was a little shorter than the other kids, she had a lot of fun; she loved it. The next Spring, they signed her up for soccer as well, and before long she was playing basketball, soccer, t-ball, and was skateboarding. She showed a talent for athletics, though her favorite sport remained basketball, she stayed active in each one she began.
For her tenth birthday, Greg and Rachel bought Libby a desktop computer. It was her favorite gift she'd ever received and she used it daily for homework and entertainment purposes. It was around this time that she took an interest in writing and having the computer only furthered that interest. Most of her knowledge of computers was self-taught. She begged her father to buy her any books he could find about computers and she dived right in to learn all that she could. During middle school, computer science would become her favorite class.
Now in middle school, Libby was changing both physically and mentally. She was starting to develop and before long was wearing clothing that was a little more girly than what she would have worn when she was younger. She was developing an interest in boys, her very first celebrity crush was Leonardo DiCaprio. She had posters of the actor all over her walls, and in one of her notebooks, she had doodled Libby DiCaprio with tiny hearts around it.
Shortly after starting 7th grade, Libby and Em met two boys in their social studies class. The class was paired up with people of the opposite sex for a social experiment. The partners were to conduct a project where they would be married for a week while caring for their 'child', an egg that was given to each of them. Em was partnered with a boy named Colton, while Libby was partnered with his best friend Ben. Em, who got along with just about everyone, was friendly with both boys from the start. After class, she suggested that the four of them could meet up at her grandparents' diner to work on their projects. Libby on the other hand, who took some convincing when meeting someone new, did not care for either of the boys, especially Colton. For the longest time, the two fought constantly and even vowed that they hated each other and always would. Their tunes changed when they found out that their grandmothers had been friends for years. As both elderly women put it, "You're stuck with each other, so you might as well learn to get along." As time went on, their relationship turned into a brother and sister dynamic. The two of them still bickered constantly, but they did love one another, though you could rarely get them to admit it.
In February of 2000, Deborah Haynes, Libby's beloved grandmother received the diagnosis that she was terminally ill with cancer. The diagnosis sent a shockwave through the family as it was unexpected and so sudden. The next few months were painful for all of them as they watched Deborah fade away slowly. The disease ate up her insides and by May of 2000, she was nothing but skin and bones, and she was bedridden. On May 12th, 2000, Rachel, Greg, and Michael left the house for a bit to visit the funeral home to finalize arrangements. They were informed that Deborah would not last the week. Not wanting to leave her alone, Libby stayed behind to keep her grandmother company. She was in the middle of telling Deborah about a field trip that she, Em, and Della would be taking soon when her grandmother went silent. She looked over to find Deborah's eyes closed and it was then that she realized her grandmother was gone. She sat alone on the bed next to Deborah's body for the next forty-five minutes before her parents and her grandfather came home.
The loss of Deborah was a devastating one, one that the entire family felt, but it seemed that Libby was the one affected by the loss the most. Perhaps, because she had been present when it happened. It took a psychological toll on the child; she missed practices of sports, her grades slipped, she isolated herself from her friends and family, and by June, she barely left her bedroom. It was then that Greg and Rachel decided they had to step in and do something. The couple revisited the idea of having Libby see a therapist, they saw no other option. Just three sessions in, Libby's therapist Dr. Joseph Friedman suggested that the child be put on antidepressants. Normally, he would not suggest a child of eleven take such medication, but given the extremity of the situation, he thought it would be best. She continued taking the antidepressants until her sophomore year of high school.
The Fantastic Four, like Em, Ben, Colton, and Libby liked to call themselves, were as inseparable as any friends could be. The four of them were always together, more often than not getting into some kind of trouble that was initiated by Colton or Libby. They would have sleepovers, study sessions, and if they weren't at the Owens' diner, then you could find them in Colton's backyard in the treehouse he and Ben had built with Colton's grandfather. Dr. Friedman made sure to let Greg and Rachel know that the comradery and companionship of the 'fantastic four' were exactly what Libby needed and he seemed to think that it was pulled her out of the dark abyss that she had fallen into after the death of her grandmother.
As the four friends finished up middle school, Libby was in a much better place. Her grades were back up, she was participating in sports again, and she was back to her old self. Rachel and Greg noted many times that they would never be able to thank Em, Colton, Ben, or Della enough for the friendship they had shown their little girl during her rough time. Before it was over, Libby would need their friendship again.
By the time she was entering high school, the full-blown teenage years had started. While she was still playing sports, she still enjoyed video games and comic books, she was developing an interest in clothes and makeup as well. When she was thirteen years old, she shared her first kiss with her best friend Ben in the fantastic four's treehouse. She made him promise never to tell anyone about it, and to her knowledge, he never has. She kept the kiss secret from everyone, including Em and Della.
In late September of 2000, Libby signed up for the computer science class and this is where she met Mark Cooper. He had dark hair, blue eyes, and a killer smile (in Libby's opinion), he knew so much about computers, making movies, and video cameras, Libby was infatuated with him immediately. The feeling was mutual and in November, Mark asked her out on a date, and the two started dating shortly after. Mark was Libby's first serious boyfriend. Though she was only fifteen at the time, she was convinced that she was in love with him. She wasn't. She didn't know at the time, but her heart belonged to someone else.
The couple dated for the remainder of the year, all through Spring and Summer of 2001, but at the welcome back dance at school, Mark broke up with her outside in the parking lot, insisting that Libby had feelings for someone else. After coming back from the bathroom, he found Libby dancing and laughing with Ben, and shortly after he asked if he could talk to her outside. He denied that this was the reason for their breakup, telling her that he and everyone else around them could see what she was too blind to see: she had feelings for her best friend. She denied it at first, but after he broke up with her, she had no choice but to admit to herself and Ben.
Her first breakup was hard, as it is for anyone, but after a few weeks, she and Ben decided to go on their first date and the two began dating not long after. She realized that he had been the one she'd been in love with from the beginning; he was her first kiss, her first love, and her first time as well. Though Greg liked Ben, the couple made him nervous. Rachel always told Libby this was because he knew that their feelings for each other were real.
In July of 2002, Greg and Rachel informed Libby that she was going to be a big sister. The news was a shock to her, to say the least. She wasn't entirely sure why in the world her parents would want to have another child when she would be leaving for college before long. Not to mention, she wasn't sure how she felt about having to share her parents with someone else. It was a childish way of thinking for sure, but it's the way she felt. Regardless of how she felt, she helped her mother and father get ready for the new addition, helping them paint the nursery, pick out clothes and toys, anything that they needed.
On February 14th, 2003, Dylan Joseph Haynes was brought into the world. The moment her baby brother was placed in her arms, all of her thoughts about not wanting a sibling left her mind. He was so tiny, but he was so cute, and she just wanted to hold him forever. With her, that day to meet the newest addition of the family were Ben, Em, Della, Colton, and of course, Dylan's cousin Logan. When they brought him home, Libby helped take care of him as much as she could. She didn't mind babysitting, feeding him, or even changing his diapers. He became her most favorite person in the entire world.
Libby was growing up; she was now seventeen years old and preparing for college. She had made up her mind what she wanted to do, deciding on web and graphic design, she initially wanted to go to MIT, but knew it was a long shot for her to get in. She applied to MIT, UCLA, Florida State, Colorado State, Missouri, the University of Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. She was accepted into Colorado State, Missouri, UT, and Vanderbilt, as well as UCLA, but was disappointed that she didn't get into her first choice. She decided to attend UCLA, as it was right in her hometown and she would get to stay close to home with her parents as well as her baby brother. Fortunately, both Em and Colton got in as well.
It seemed the fantastic four would be attending college together, just as they had attended middle and high school together. Except, one of them was leaving the country. Ben informed a heartbroken Libby that he would be leaving to attend college in England. She was convinced that this was the end of their relationship, thinking he would move away, find someone new, fall in love, and forget all about her. She tried to put him out of her mind once he was gone, but it was no use. It's hard to get over your first love, and Libby Haynes was no exception.
View All Posts
View All Posts