At the beginning Harris Lacroix had really loved Diana Brently. She was the homecoming queen type, the beautiful girl from Nashville who could not only look damn good when she wore a dress but she would go out and throw the pigskin around with the boys. Harris knew that much because they had grown up together in Nashville. She was the kind of girl a boy like him falls for. He was the bad boy who always knew he didn’t deserve someone like her. He had no real job, she was forced to work for their money while he looked for something to do to help. Two kids growing up in the world who had gotten married because they had a kid of their own, their little boy Carter. Everyone knew it wasn’t going to last. Everyone except Diana. She always told everyone how much she loved Harris, how good of a man he was. Deep down, in the bottom of her gut, she knew it wasn’t right. She knew he wasn’t what she needed. But love made everything better.
She put him out like the burnin' end of a midnight cigarette
She broke his heart he spent his whole life tryin' to forget
We watched him drink his pain away a little at a time
But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind
Until the night
He started a new job, not telling Diana what he was doing for a living. He would leave in the mornings with a suitcase and dressed in his best suit and when he came home that night he would be in jeans and a nice t-shirt, having just showered. She expected cheating at first, as any woman would. What had happened was in all actuality something much more sinister. Harris had fallen in with a rough crowd, Harris had become an assassin. It was little jobs really, killing for some of the gangs around Nashville. But he liked the feeling of a gun in his hand. He liked the way it seemed to give him power. He knew he could never tell his darling wife but the darker side of his life was starting to take over. He started drinking, started helping out less with Carter who was a growing toddler. He was starting to look at his life like one big joke that would end if he just up and left. But he would never do that to Diana, his baby girl. He loved her to much.
He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away her memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength he had to get up off his knees
We found him with his face down in the pillow
With a note that said I'll love her till I die
And when we buried him beneath the willow
The angels sang a whiskey lullaby
The drinking led to every fear that a woman has about her man: cheating. Diana would find him more and more without his wedding ring on. Sometimes she would see the lipstick stains on his collar or catch the familiar scent of another woman. Even more disturbing was when he came home smelling of other men. But not once did she ever let him see it get to her. That wasn’t her place, her place was as his wife. Her place was with him as a family. She reminded him of that the day she got pregnant with another child. Harris swore he’d straighten up, swore he’d act right. They both knew it was a lie. The money from being an assassin, no matter how dirty, was paying for their family. She knew he wouldn’t give that lifestyle up. He loved it to much to give it up. His life was slowly killing her.
The rumors flew but nobody knew how much she blamed herself
For years and years she tried to hide the whiskey on her breath
She finally drank her pain away a little at a time
But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind
Until the night
And one day he didn’t come home. She had seen him off to work, Carter running around the living room with a toy airplane that his father had bought him and little Nolee in her arms. Harris had given them all kisses, had promised he would be back that night for supper like he always was. At first she thought he was dead but as time went on, the checks she received in the mail told her that he wasn’t. He had left. He had not wanted to be tied down anymore and had decided that the small time wasn’t good enough for him.
Diana had lived life taking care of her son and daughter hoping that the love of her life would return and find her. She never bothered to look for anyone else, never bothered to fall in love with another man. But life alone, without her Harris, became tiring and she just couldn’t live it anymore. So when Carter was 14, Nolee just 8, she had gone into the bathroom and taken her own life. No regard for if her children found her and no regard for her life anymore. In the years since Harris had taken his job, she had gone from the proud housewife to a wreck. And this was the result.
She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away his memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength she had to get up off her knees
We found her with her face down in the pillow
Clinging to his picture for dear life
We laid her next to him beneath the willow
While the angels sang a whiskey lullaby
He kneeled underneath the willow in the old cemetary he had heard was where they buried her. Harris knew he had been a rebellious youth, had been a real bastard for leaving her when she needed him most. But he also knew why he had done it. One day he had seen the effects of what this life was going to do to his children in a dream, it was going to turn Carter into what he had turned into and possibly turn Nolee into one of those girls he cheated on his wife with. He didn’t want his son or daughter to sucumb to the same vices he had. So he had left, not another word to anyone. Just packed up and left. Later on, when he came to New York, he had met his children. They were cops, making something of themselves on the force.
Now as he kneeled at her grave, tears lined his tired and already starting to wrinkle face.
Eventually he had moved on. He had found a husband, a wonderful doctor named Adam, and had more kids, a boy named Jason and a girl named Katie, but sometimes when he was raising them he wondered how things would have been if he had stayed with Diana. He wondered if his daughter would have been the cheerleader or his son the jock. And then he looked at his family and realized he wouldn’t give them up for the world.
“Hun are you ready to go?” asked a voice from behind him.
Harris turned his head to stare at his husband, whose hand was on his shoulder. “Yes, yes I am,” Harris nodded, standing and placing a kiss to his husbands lips.Things were good the way they were, he had just needed to see this place. To understand what he had done. He would always love Diana but he was a changed man.
He was the Harris she had fallen in love with once again.