ATTENTION: This is a sequel to a one-shot titled Yesterday, Seven Years Ago. The story will make some sense, but it will be much more powerful if you read Yesterday..., first.

Background Info: (All of the following was described in Yesterday, but obviously in more detail.) Trey was shot, in a coma for four months, in the hospital (concious) for two weeks. The first day Ryan went to visit was the day Trey checked out, leaving his brother with a note. In Yesterday, it had been seven years and Ryan had yet to read the note. Ryan and Marissa are married, and one day she had discovered it. This is what Marissa thinks about it.

A/N: Kursk has been asking for this for a LONG time, but I was busy working on Less of a Mother (don't worry, I'm still working on it). Plus, it took me forever to find a good song to put it to. I hope this song works. This probably isn't the sequel you were expecting, but it is NOT a one-shot, so the sequel you were all expecting is coming up later. This story will probably only be two or three parts. Not sure how soon I can update, though. Any and ALL reviews are welcome, so please leave me on. Pretty please?

P.S.--Thanks for the reviews of Yesterday. They weren't as numerous as I had hoped, as I still think of that as my baby, but you can't always get what you wish for. Thanks anyway.

P.P.S.--Happy Rosh Hashana. From one Jew to the next. I shouldn't be writing, I suppose, on this holiday, but I am. L'Shana Tova.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything that has to do with the O.C.The song (the part in italics) is written by Nine Inch Nails and is called The Line Begins to Blur. I don't own that either. I do, however, own the story. Do not steal and do not copy.


Marissa didn't know how Ryan did it.

Ten years was a long time to wait.

It had been three years since she had found out about the letter and each day, it nagged at her.

She could only imagine what ten years was like.

The tenth anniversary of that night had been a week ago.

There are things that I said I would never do,

There are fears I can not believe have come true,

For my soul is too sick,

And too little,

And too late.

Marissa had been sure Ryan would open it then.

Instead, he had just spent an extra five minutes looking at the note in the morning, and a good ten minutes that night.

Ryan thought she didn't notice this little ritual, but she did.

If they fell into bed kissing, he would wait until he thought Marissa was asleep to pull out the letter and look at it.

There was a pattern to how he did this.

First, he would take it out and smooth out the imaginary creases.

Then, he traced his fingers along his name, memorizing every swoop and curve, just in case he had forgotten it in the last twelve hours.

After that, he turned it over and checked to make sure the envelope was still closed.

The few times Marissa had looked at it, she had noticed that it wasn't sealed, as if Trey had been teasing Ryan.

At the same time, it was likely that Ryan had opened it, but then thought better of it, and stopped before he could read it.

She often wondered if Ryan checked the back in hopes that it had accidentally opened. Then he would be forced to read it.

And myself I have grown too weary to hate.

The more I stay in here,

The more it's not so clear;

The more I stay in here,

The more I disappear.

Marissa didn't know why Ryan did it do himself. She could understand his nervousness in reading it, but finding out what it said had to be better than wondering.

That was her philosophy, anyway.

Ryan had a very complicated relationship with Trey. Well, besides the fact that Trey had tried to rape his wife and then she had shot him.

That would definitely make any relationship complicated.

No, before the two had even stole the car, their relationship had been more complex than most.

Marissa hadn't known just how twisted their bonds went until her wedding.

Dawn had gotten drunk and had spewed stories left and right about the two of them when they had been little.

Most of them involved Ryan doing something smart, which made Trey beat up on him. Or Trey doing something that Ryan thought was cool, but got them both in trouble when he tried to do it.

Ryan didn't know Marissa knew about the wedding invitation.

She had suspected it when she had been short one.

She had figured it out when she found the note for the first time.

She never mentioned it because she knew Ryan would feel stupid.

Marissa thought it was sweet, touching, and heartbreaking.

As far as I have gone,

I knew what side I'm on

Now I'm not so sure

The line begins to blur.

The ten year anniversary of the shooting had been hard on them both.

From the moment she had woken up, she had been aware of what day of it was.

At 7:38 p.m., the exact time she had gotten the phone call from Seth, her cell rang and she flipped out.

Ryan, she could tell, had also been uneasy.

They hadn't talked about it all, though. Talking had always been the weakness in their marriage. Hell, it had been the weakness in their entire relationship.

Instead, they had gone about their day, pretending it wasn't important, pretending it wasn't anything special, pretending it was just another day. They made small talk at the dinner table, exchanging tidbits of their day, smiles forced and laughs tight.

That night, there had been no passionate kissing or touching. A simple kiss and they had retreated to their own sides of the bed.

Marissa hated to be alone at night, especially when there was a warm body next to her. Especially when that warm body was Ryan.

She had wished that he would reach over and take her in his arms, whisper things in her ear, tell her it would be alright.

Instead, he had curled himself into a ball, and waited until she evened her breathing, pretending to be asleep. So sure she had been that tonight he would read it, she had stayed up later than usual.

Is there somebody on top of me?

I don't know, I don't know.

Is there somebody stopping me?

I don't know, I don't know.

There had been no sounds of paper tearing, there had been no sounds of broken hearts or confirmed fears.

Instead, there had been silent tears. Tears so silent that no one but Marissa could hear. And even then, that was because she knew Ryan so well.

When Ryan was crying, which was rarely, he would shield himself from other people. His arms caved in and his hand wiped furiously at fallen tears, only to have them replaced by fresh ones. It always seemed to Marissa that he was mystified by the wetness on his hands.

Tears weren't something "men" did, not tough men, not emotional men, not married men. Most definitely not Chino men.

There were days when all Marissa wanted to do was take out the note and pour over it. Of course, she could never do that to Ryan. Could she? Would she really be doing anything wrong?

Marissa knew that he had been waiting for years for her to do that, waiting for anyone to do that.

At the same time, his world, balanced precariously on a pedestal of uncertainty, would come crashing down. How would he go on without that note in the back of his mind?

Still, Marissa was anxious to find out what it said. She knew that it would likely involve her in some ways. In a lot of ways, actually.

Her therapist had told her that in order to move past it, she had to confront her fears. The note, if she thought about it, was one of her fears.

Truth be told, the note was just as frightening to her as it was to Ryan.

However, unlike every other problem in their lives, Marissa wanted to face this one head on and Ryan wanted it to solve itself.

She knew from experience that problems never solve themselves.

Despite all this, she had been pretty sure she had convinced herself not to read it.

So then why was she sitting on the edge of the bed, the note gripped in her hands, begging to be opened?

Well I'm trying to hold my breath,

Just how far down can I go?

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.

Marissa wasn't even sure how she had gotten here. Sitting in the dip made by frequent use by her husband, holding onto a letter that could end her marriage.

Because she knew it could. The betrayal could be enough to send Ryan, and her marriage, over the edge.

She glanced at the clock, absorbing the numbers and making a mental calculation. Ryan wouldn't be home for another twenty minutes, but sometimes he liked to surprise her. Marissa got off from her job at the magazine earlier than he got off from the construction site. Or the office. Or wherever his architectural job took him.

Did she dare even attempt to read it when he would be home so shortly? What if he walked in on her reading it?

Life was full of what ifs. Screw it. She was tired of spending her days watching what she said and pretending to be asleep so that Ryan could do his little thing.

"Marissa? Hello? Are you here?"

Ryan's voice echoed through the apartment and she jumped up. Shit.

"Honey?" His thick boots stomped across the floor, making their way closer to her.

"Um, just a second," she called. "I'm…getting changed."

Marissa tugged at the drawer, cursing it for always being stuck.

"Is that supposed to keep me away?" he replied playfully, peeking around the door frame.

Her heart was in her throat. Ryan surveyed the scene in front of him. His eyes fell onto the envelope that was lying on the bed.

"What are you doing?" he asked slowly.

"N-N-Nothing," she stammered.

Marissa only stuttered when she was nervous.

"Is that…That isn't…Tell me it's not what I think it is."

She decided to tell the truth, knowing lying would only make it worse.

"It's his letter."

As I lie here and stare,

The fabric starts to tear

It's far beyond repair,

And I don't even care.

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As far as I have gone,

I knew whatside I'm on.

But now I'm not so sure,

The line begins to blur.