Chapter 46—Epilogue

A/N—WARNING! GRAPHIC CONTENT! That's all I'll say. If you've read thus far, you know what this story is about. So consider yourself forewarned….

This begins a couple days before….

Lizzie sits on her bed, tears streaming down her face. She opens up the letter again:

Dear Lizzie,

How are you? I haven't heard from you in awhile. I hope you're all right and that you didn't get in too much trouble with your chaperone and parents. Paolo's a real, you say, jerk. He lost all his record deals. However, I've really been enjoying my new solo career. Speaking of solo careers, you were so good at the IMVA's. You could easily have a good solo career of your own too.

The IMVA's were spectacular. People all over Italy are still talking about the famous Lizzie McGuire, my twin from America. Your song is still playing on TV all the time. They wonder when you will sing with me again.

That brings me to something I want to ask you. I'm touring this summer in Western Canada. I want to know if you'd be interested in coming to one of my concerts. I'd pay your way, of course. We could see the sights, and maybe even sing a number or two on my concert.

I'm sorry that I've not heard anything from my record company yet. I thought for sure they would want to sign you on. Maybe next time. You were great.

Please tell me you'll come this summer! I miss you!

Ciao for now!

Isabella

She tears the letter up into little pieces and cries harder. "It's not fair! I busted my butt over there! I snuck out and tried to help someone I thought was my friend and for what? Nothing! Sure I sang on stage with Isabella Parichi, but I thought she'd get a record deal for me. She said I was a shoe in for a new deal. I sent her tracks, like she asked me to, and for what? Nothing!" She shreds the pieces in her shredder to make sure no one reads them. Then, she begins to type on her computer. There's a knock on the door.

Jo: Lizzie, can I come in?

Lizzie: I'm doing my homework.

Jo: Can you come down? I need you to help me fix dinner.

Lizzie: Can't Matt do it? I've got to finish my Math homework.

Jo: No, Matt's at Melina's. Please.

Lizzie: Closes her book, huffs and opens her door. Fine.

Jo: Notices her tear-stained face. Are you okay?

Lizzie: I'm fine.

Jo and Lizzie fix dinner together. Lizzie works on the green bean casserole while Jo prepares the turkey.

Jo: Lizzie, may I ask you something?

Lizzie: Sure. What is it?

Jo: I got a note from your Spanish teacher, Mrs. Flores. She said that you didn't turn in your assignment last week; if you don't turn it in, you're in danger of failing. Lizzie, that's not like you!

Lizzie: But I did! She just lost it, that's all!

Jo: She said that you've failed to turn in other assignments as well. She puts the turkey in the oven.

Lizzie: Stomps her foot and begins yelling. She hates me! She's had it in for me since the beginning of the school year.

Jo: What do you mean? A wave of nausea hits. Beads of sweat form on her forehead, and she begins to sway.

Lizzie: Concerned. Mom, are you okay? She helps her mother sit down.

Jo: Catches her breath. Yeah, I'm fine. Just got a little dizzy, that's all.

Lizzie: Are you sure? You look pale.

Jo: Yeah, I'm fine. I think I'll go lie down on the couch. She makes her way to the couch. Are you sure there's nothing wrong?

Lizzie: Yeah. There's another Elizabeth McGuire in the class. Mrs. Flores won't let us use nicknames, and so she's always getting us confused. The other Elizabeth's a junior, and is barely passing. I've got a solid B.

Jo: Okay. Do you need me or your father to help straighten this out for you?

Lizzie: NO! She replies, flustered. I mean, no, that's okay. I can get it worked out myself.

Jo: Oh, okay. If you need us to help, we'll go talk to her. She closes her eyes. I think I'm gonna rest awhile before dinner. Tell Matt to wash up when he gets here.

Lizzie goes back upstairs to her room and shuts her door. "Whew! That was close!" She takes out her report card, and reads:

English: C- ; Math: F ; Chemistry: B- ; Economics: D- ; Physical Education and Health: C- ; Choir: D ; Spanish: F.

Tears stream down her face more. "Why? I thought High School would be a blast. Instead, it's turned out to be a nightmare. What am I gonna do? Mom and dad can't see this! They'll know I lied." She takes out a note from her notebook:

To Elizabeth B. McGuire:

We are sorry to inform you that due to your failing grades in Math and Spanish and your borderline grades in Economics and Choir, you will no longer get to participate in choir. You are not eligible to try out for honor's choir until you raise your GPA to a minimum of 2.50. Please have your parents sign this note and return it to the choir director.

Signed,

Alana Doty, Choir Director

Ms. Ungermeyer, Principal

"MY LIFE'S OVER!" She yells into her pillow and sobs until she falls asleep.


The day before….

Lizzie runs down the stairs into the kitchen, screaming with joy, at the top of her lungs. "MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! Look at this!" She's holding a letter.

Jo: What is it, sweetie?

Lizzie: It's a letter! From Isabella!

Jo: Well, what does it say? She says, curious.

Lizzie: Opens up the fake letter and begins to read:

Dear Lizzie,

How are you? I haven't heard from you in awhile. I hope you're all right and that you didn't get in too much trouble with your chaperone and parents. Paolo's a real, you say, jerk. He lost all his record deals. However, I've really been enjoying my new solo career. Speaking of solo careers, you were so good at the IMVA's. You could easily have a good solo career of your own too.

The IMVA's were spectacular. People all over Italy are still talking about the famous Lizzie McGuire, my twin from America. Your song is still playing on TV all the time. They wonder when you will sing with me again.

That brings me to something I want to ask you. My record company is so impressed with your tracks you sent me; they want to offer you a recording contract! This would mean you would have to fly to Rome next summer. If you want, you could stay with me. Maybe we could sing again on stage. If you're interested, let me know. The record company will be mailing you a contract in a few days. I just couldn't wait to tell you. Call me soon!

Isabella

She jumps up and down with excitement. Can you believe it? Isabella wants me to come back to Rome and sing!

Jo: Is this what you want, honey?

Lizzie: Oh yes! Very much!

Jo: Wraps her daughter in an embrace. Then, I'm so happy for you!

Lizzie: Beaming. Thanks!

Jo: This calls for a celebration. How about tomorrow, you invite Gordo and Miranda over for dinner and we'll celebrate.

Lizzie: Thanks! I've gotta go back upstairs and call them.

Jo: Oh, before you go, have you worked things out with Mrs. Flores?

Lizzie: Yeah. It's fine. I talked to her, and we got the misunderstanding worked out. She sighs.

Jo: So, how's honor choir?

Lizzie: It's good. She swallows. Mom, lemme go call Gordo and Miranda. We've got to work on our Chemistry project anyway. It's due Friday.

Jo: Okay. Do you want to tell your father the good news, or do you want me to?

Lizzie: Oh, I'll tell him and Matt tonight at dinner. She hesitates. Mom, homework.

Jo nods. Lizzie goes back upstairs. "Whew! That was close." She begins to panic. "Oh my God, what have I done? I'm in so deep! Mom and dad think my grades are high, that I'm still in honor choir, and that Isabella is giving me a recording contract. I've lied to everyone! I can't do this anymore."


The day of…

Lizzie, Gordo and Miranda are eating lunch at school. She received a D on her English report for Miss Fields. Lizzie decided to talk to her teacher about her grade, but to no avail. The trio grab their lunches from their locker and find a place to sit outside.

Lizzie: Can you believe Miss Fields?

Miranda: I know. That was so unfair! I thought your report was good.

Lizzie: Me too. I worked all night on it!

Gordo: At least you don't have Mr. Chase. He's a slave driver.

Miranda: Aw, come on, Gordo. You know you've got an A in Honor's English.

Gordo: Changing the subject. How 'bout we go to the Digital Bean after school to celebrate Lizzie's recording contract?

Miranda: That's a great idea! I'm sooo jealous! Lizzie blushes. Nah, really, I'm happy for you! I can't wait until your first CD comes out.

Lizzie: Guys, I haven't even recorded one song yet. How do you know it'll be good? I might wind up being a flop.

Gordo: Yeah, right. Miranda, she was so hot on stage. Lizzie, you're a natural.

Miranda: I could design your wardrobe for your first music video.

Gordo: And I could film it.

Lizzie: I wouldn't have it any other way. Anyway, you are coming to dinner tonight? Mom's cooking a big dinner for me to celebrate.

Miranda: Of course!

Gordo: When have I ever turned down a free meal at your house, or your mom's cooking?

Lizzie: Well, there was the tuna noodle casserole?

Gordo: Shivers. Well, there's always a first time.

That night, Jo fixes spaghetti, Lizzie's favourite meal, for dinner and invites Gordo and Miranda as well.

Lizzie: Mom, this is good.

Jo: Thanks, sweetheart.

Sam: So, Lizzie, how does it feel to be a rock star?

Lizzie: Blushes. Dad, I'm not a rock star yet. I haven't even recorded any songs yet.

Sam: Well, my daughter's gonna be famous.

Matt: Yeah, famously lame! Lizzie sticks her tongue out at him. Hey!

Jo: Sam, can you explain our children for me?

After they finish eating, Jo goes into the kitchen. When she returns, she is holding a cake. Matt begins taking pictures. Jo sits the cake in front of Lizzie. It is a white sheet cake with red flowers adorning the edges. The flag of Italy graces the center, as do the words "Congratulations, Lizzie." Lizzie's eyes brighten and Matt, Miranda, and Gordo applaud.

Jo: Congratulations, sweetheart!

Sam: We knew you could do it!

Lizzie: Blushes. Thanks!

Jo: Our little girl's gonna be famous.

Gordo: Don't forget us "little people" when you become a big rock star.

Lizzie: Oh, I won't forget you. I'm taking you with me. She gives Gordo a kiss.

Matt: Ewwww! Get a room you two!

Gordo: Just wait until you turn fifteen. You'll have a girlfriend, and you'll enjoy making out.

Lizzie: Blushes hard. Thanks. Right in front of the 'rents!

Jo: Oh, stop it. You make us sound old. Suddenly, she turns pale.

Sam: Looks concerned. Are you all right?

Jo: Yeah. Beads of sweat pool on her forehead. I just got a little woozy.

Sam: Let me get you some water, honey.

Jo: Sits down. Okay.

Miranda: If it's okay, I'll cut the cake. Jo nods. Miranda serves the cake, giving Lizzie the first piece. Here you go! Remember, I want to design your outfits you'll wear on stage!

Lizzie: Thanks! Of course! You're definitely my favorite designer.

After dessert, the trio goes upstairs to do their homework. Then Jo drives Gordo and Miranda home.

Lizzie sits upstairs in her room crying. (Sam, Jo, and Matt have gone to bed.) She grabs her fake journal (the one she writes in to throw Matt or anyone else off) and writes,

Dear Diary, I can't take it any more. I'm sorry. Lizzie.

She closes the book and puts it in her dresser drawer. Then, she goes into the attic, and rummages through boxes until she finds her diary. She sits on a chair and begins writing:

Dear Diary, I'm such a liar and a miserable excuse for a human being. I've sure f'ked up my life, big time, and no one realizes it. I'm failing in school; I'm in danger of having to repeat my freshman year. I didn't make honour choir, and got kicked off regular choir due to my grades. Everyone hates me, well with the exception of Gordo and Miranda. Mom and dad think we're dating; well, I guess we are, but I dunno. He's kinda shy about it. I think he's my boy friend, but am I his girl friend? Then, I just heaped on lie after lie with the fake letter from Isabella. Recording contract my ass! I'm never gonna get anywhere with my music. I'm just as lousy with that as I am anything. The only thing I'm good at is Rhythmic Gymnastics, and I think it's lamer than lame. So, I'm done. I've had it. I can't take it anymore. I'm sorry. Lizzie.

She puts the diary back in its place, fighting back tears,and creeps back into her room. Everyone's still asleep, so she goes unnoticed. "Goodnight mom, dad, Matt. I love you," she whispers toward their bedroom doors, as a tear rolls down her cheek. She leaves the light in her bedroom off, then she goes into the bathroom, leaving the lights off, and pulls out a couple razor blades and sits on her bed.

"I guess this is it," she says to herself, looking at the blades. She takes a couple deep breaths. "Am I gonna do it? It's now or never." She inhales and cuts her arm. Blood starts dripping from the cut. Droplets fall onto the sheets. Her eyes widen with surprise. "Ow! Dammit!" she hisses. She cuts again and again. Blood starts pouring. "Oh my God!" she gasps. Next, she goes to her abdominal region and slices, tears streaming down her face. Still more pours, creating a stream, which drips on the floor beneath her. Then, she finds her carotid and digs.

She pulls the covers up around her and snuggles down into them, with Mr. Snuggles beside her. She drifts off to sleep……………………