25 Love Stories 8/25
Julian Baker and Brooke Davis (One Tree Hill)
There’s treasure in this relationship — something unexplainably beautiful that’s been waiting to be found for years and years. I didn’t really have any favorite characters on One Tree Hill until about season two and that’s when Brooke Davis became the one person whose happiness I wanted most. I’ll save talking about her growth for when it’s time to do individual characters, but life screwed her over and the world misunderstood her most. Brooke Davis has always been more than a pretty face, she’s more than just a pretentious cheerleader: she’s ambitious and compassionate in ways so inspiring, the man who stood by her side had to be incomparable. It wasn’t until Julian began showing just how much he cares to know more about her story, where I began to actively root for them. At the end of the day, no man has ever come close to truly deserving Brooke Davis. It’s key to note that at the end of the day, the greatest relationships are the ones that effortlessly heal all wounds while simultaneously challenging their partners in all the best ways. Love’s an outrageous mess wrapped beautifully in a bow of infinite possibilities: a safe place where both strengths and vulnerabilities are welcomed. It’s a whirlwind of emotions and hard work, but it’s the boldest risk that’s taken day by day with an admirable openness and unwavering adoration.
Throughout the series, Brooke Davis’ character broke my heart the most and what I’ve always loved is that though she met Julian years after she’d graduated high school, he still made sure to incorporate it into their relationship in order to create fonder memories for her. And series creator Mark Schwann’s strongest suit has always been writing gorgeously memorable scenes that are cherished even after they’re over. Julian’s clearly fascinated with Brooke’s character from the very beginning, but it’s not until he witnesses her doing Molly Ringwald’s classic dance to Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me” where he truly realizes what a treasure she is. Stereotypes tell us that cheerleaders are pretentious mean girls with very few emotions and no ambitions (end this now), but what Julian knows is that Brooke’s been neglected, she’s grown up in an unhealthy family where she wasn’t encouraged to do anything big for herself. A beautiful girl inside and out who’s unfortunately believed she isn’t enough because every time she’s opened her heart to someone, it’s been ripped into pieces. And that same broken girl is the one who does a ridiculous dance when she believes she’s alone. We live in a time where if a woman wants to be in love, she’s somehow perceived as weak, but that’s one of the things that always made Brooke Davis so strong. Because she grew up in such a toxic home, she wanted to make sure she’d be in relationship where the firm foundation is love. She wanted to bring children into this world in order to raise them in a loving environment where they’ll constantly believe they’re more than enough, and they can do anything they set their minds to. Henceforth, when she would open heart, she’d open it completely. She’d give all that she was able to in order for her partner to see just how significant he is to her, just how loyal and warm she is. And yet somehow, she’d continuously be left behind, she’d never be the chosen one — until Julian. A man who learned about her value and promised he’d do anything to make her the happiest she could ever be. It’s always been about the man who’d ceaselessly support her dreams every step of the way. They are one of the featured couples where my list of favorite moments would lead me to a 50+ page analysis, but there are a few scenes I cannot bear not to mention, and those are the ones that essentially showcase why Julian Baker and Brooke Davis are the perfect pairs for each other.
Referring back to the “Don’t You Forget About Me” dance, I find it remarkable that Julian chose to remind Brooke of that moment on their wedding day. I find it remarkable that he made sure she knew he fell in love with the wild soul within her that never once changed who she truly was for the rest of the world. Julian came to Tree Hill in order to create a TV series on a book he read, he had an incredible movie premiere, but he chose to make sure that because his next move would be the most defining — he wanted to be known as the man lucky enough to marry Brooke Davis. There’s nothing, no form of fame or fortunate that could ever equate to the honor of being the man Brooke Davis chose. And that’s exactly what Brooke deserves, a man who sees that she is the greatest treasure he’d ever find, the gold star that’s unparalleled to any other.
During earlier seasons, it was difficult to watch them bicker because of Brooke’s jealousy, but it’s admirable to see that her honesty is something Julian’s always valued. He knows she’s been screwed over too many times to be fearless when it comes to love. He knows that when she opens her heart, it’s all laid bare and the slightest threat sets her off because betrayal is all she’s known. It’s vital to note that even in the times when love would make her do crazy things, Julian continued to remind her of the fact that she’s the only girl for him. He chose her, over and over again.
In my humble opinion, one of the most defining moments for Brooke and Julian, the ultimate scene where we can be certain their love has come full circle wonderfully happens in the very last episode. I’m unashamed to tell you all that I wept like a little baby when Julian bought Brooke’s old house for their family. One of the things Brooke’s always loved is the fact she was known as the girl behind the red door, she lived in a gorgeous house that deserved a beautiful family and that’s exactly what Julian gave her. He gave her a family and a promise. Prior to moving in with her family that house was merely a place — a thing she felt comfortable with even though she was torn up inside, but it’s in the moment where Julian buys it for it where it finally becomes a home. It’s now the place she’s always wished it’d be — somewhere that’s warm and full of love.
Brooke and Julian’s relationship has always been about strengthening the love between them. It’s been about understanding one another and cherishing each other even when they make mistakes. It’s about realizing that it doesn’t matter who they’ve been or where they’re going because they’ve finally found their other half. It’s about making dreams come true and healing all the old wounds life has left in their hearts. It’s about beautiful little moments such as the time Brooke kissed Julian in the car because he was the never the popular kid in high school. And we all know the nerdy kid suddenly has it all when the most popular girl chooses him. Brooke Davis has always wanted love in her life — she’s wanted the happily ever: a loving husband and wonderful children, she’s wanted a relationship that’d give her hope everyday and it’s exactly what she found. Equality: two people who’d do anything and everything for each other. The truest forms of love are unalterable and Brooke learns that when she recites a Shakespeare poem at another couple’s wedding. They’ve both gone their entire lives believing they weren’t enough. It doesn’t matter what they did or how hard they worked because disapproving parents have continuously been louder than their success. However, with each other, they know they’re always more than enough — they’ve found their safe haven and together, through their unwavering love they create a wonderfully inspirational life for their children. You don’t need love to be complete, but it’s what makes every little thing in life worth it. It’s what makes the darkest days bearable and the happiest times incomparable. Whether they’re having a ball roleplaying like the ridiculous nerds they are or having a quiet night with wine on the couch, they’re treasuring one another in ways no person ever has. It’s through patience and kindness that they’ve learned to forgive even the most terrible mistakes. It’s through profound understand where they’ve been able to help each other out in the way most appropriate for the situation. And it’s through love where they make each other stronger day by day.