Nothing in life is simple.
Things are incredibly complicated when it comes to people. That's what Tracey found out when Jaylen divorced her. Turns out, she had been cheating on him for years. I will admit, I didn't like her for it at all. She had it made with Jaylen. He was a great guy and she completely ruined it. I suppose Tracey hadn't really changed from her Fame or Shame days. It's a disappointment, really, but what should I have expected? Tracey to stay settled down, pop out a couple of kids, and be content? Needless to say, Amanda and Michael weren't happy about what had gone down between the couple. But it was obvious that things wouldn't have worked out.
People don't change.
Jimmy continued to play his videogames and his addiction to them got worse. I felt bad for Karen, his wife, since she was left to care for their two kids practically on her own until Michael found out. He decided to send her money without Jimmy knowing. It wasn't hard since Jimmy was pretty much checked out of reality once he was laid off. I wish he had stayed the way he had been when I came to live with the De Santa's. But I guess it was inevitable the moment he didn't have to support himself and found that it was easier to let Karen take care of everything. I wish she'd divorce him for her own good, but that wouldn't happen. She'd continue to take care of the kids on her own while Jimmy wallowed in self-pity about losing his job about four years ago. Funny, that was almost how Michael and Amanda's relationship had been, or so I've been told.
But sometimes things change.
I moved away before all of this went down. I went to Liberty City University and absolutely loved it. It was completely different from North Yankton and much better than Los Santos where people were more plastic than a Barbie doll. People in Liberty City were real and I felt much more at home here than I did in LS despite my parents, Amanda and Michael, being there in San Andreas. I loved them dearly, but LS just wasn't for me and I was glad that they respected that. Ever since I got into LCU, I lived here and I loved it. I hadn't changed as a person, but my surroundings had and I was genuinely happy with the changes I made in my life. Sure, I was all the way in the east while my family was all the way in the west, but this was the life I was supposed to live. Josh and I made it in Liberty City as dancers and I couldn't be happier.
But sometimes change causes heartbreak.
Many people would claim Trevor Phillips didn't have a heart so therefore it couldn't be broken. But I knew better and me moving to a completely different time zone definitely broke his heart a little bit more than it already was. I loved him like an uncle and I wished that he'd just be happy for me living my life the way I always wanted it to be. I'll never forget when he broke down and said, "Everyone just fucking leaves me" and that almost made me give up my scholarship. Almost. It was difficult leaving him behind, probably even more than Michael and Amanda. I was content knowing that those two would at least have each other while they suffered being empty nesters. Trevor, on the other hand, didn't have anyone. I felt guilty but I couldn't put my life on hold. I wasn't going to let anyone hold me back from doing what I loved. Because of this, the strong bond that we once had started to break even if I didn't want it to. I had to accept that I broke him further and that he broke me a little bit, too. I'd have a pain in my chest when I thought about him. We were hurting each other. Despite everything, I still loved my Uncle Trevor and I hope that he still loved me.
Even if you love someone, you can't change them even if it breaks your heart.
I loved my father, Michael. He was everything I ever wanted in a father-he loved me, told me bedtime stories when I was little, made me hot chocolate, and let me stay up past my bedtime. But most importantly, he was always there for me. The only thing I ever wanted to change about him was his involvement in criminal activity. When I found out, I tried my best to make him change his ways so that he wouldn't end up dead one day. He told me he never would end up dead, but that didn't stop me from trying and fighting with him for a couple of years to the point where we got into screaming matches. I told him if he loved me he would stop. Needless to say, it didn't work and I had to accept that he'd never stop stealing or scheming no matter how much he loved me. It was who he was and I couldn't change that.
But your heart can still be okay despite the miles between you.
Amanda and I still remained close. Every Sunday night, I would call her and chat with her on the phone. We tended to talk about everything and anything. She knew practically everything that was going on in my life and she kept me updated on the rest of the family. Despite her flaws and her past, Amanda was a great mother to me and I couldn't ask for a better one. She comes and visits me every few months to watch me perform even though I told her it wasn't necessary. She could never be this close with her biological daughter because all Tracey did was push her away whenever Amanda tried to get close. It was sad, but that was just the way Tracey was. I knew it was up to me to maintain contact with her throughout the years and make her a priority in my life. It's funny how close I was with Amanda while she was so far away from Tracey and Jimmy.
Sometimes hearts are fragile and they get confused.
I remember back when I was sixteen, I promised myself that I would never see or speak to my biological mother, Elizabeth, again. But I did and I don't regret it even if it was painful. I visited her in the asylum recently once I heard they locked her up there. Honestly, that had been the sanest I had ever seen her and we talked about good things. Not any moment between us because there really weren't any, but mostly about my career and what I planned to do with my life. It was easy to talk to her; easier than it should have been considering our history. And I got confused. She tried to manipulate me again. I didn't let her this time because I remembered what happened. And it hurt. I didn't want to hurt anymore. So I didn't visit her after that.
But hearts are stronger than you think.
I talked to the people to me that mattered most-my real family. Tracey said to forget about Elizabeth and be happy. Jimmy told me to talk to him whenever I had the urge to fly back out to North Yankton and visit her. Michael recommended that I focus on my dancing and don't look back because that's how he got over his parents (although he got over it by focusing on violence and stealing rather than dancing). Trevor, unfortunately, was still angry with me. But most importantly, Amanda was there to listen to me. There's just a special bond between a mother and a daughter that I didn't understand. She was right about one thing: I was strong and I could repair the damage that she had done. My heart wasn't breaking anymore and it had the strength to keep going; to keep beating even though it had shattered.
Never give up because you don't think you can overcome anything, never give up on yourself because you're down on your luck, and never hate yourself because someone says to. Always be you and never be afraid to face challenges. You will overcome those challenges, my daughter, my little Erica De Santa, because you have so much to offer the world. Nobody knows who you will become in the future. But I know that you'll do great things because that's what you're destined to do. Never forget that I love you and I'll never let you fall. So don't be afraid to leap because I'll be there to catch you. And most importantly, never forget to be happy. I love you so much just please remember that, Erica.
Love you always and forever my baby girl,
Your mother, Amanda
Finally this story is officially done! Hopefully this epilogue is a nice wrap-up of the story. I loved writing this story and I still can't believe how many people loved Erica despite her being an original character. Thank you so much to everyone who continued to read and/or review this story and put up with my random updating as much as I tried to keep it regular. Thanks again!