For a very, very, very long time, she knows no more than to lie in bed most of the day and wonder what the fuck happened. Mel doesn't know quite what to do with her; Masen can't bear to look at her; Brady shakes his head in a pitying way that aggravates her; Noel keeps on calling and calling and calling but she just can't stand listening to that squeaky little voice that prattles on at about a million trillion miles a second. So she lies in bed. She doesn't care anymore, doesn't care about Mel and Masen and Brady, doesn't care about Noel, doesn't care about anyone other than Evie. Her lovely, fun, sweet, amazing, incredible Evie Zamora.
But her lovely, fun, sweet, amazing, incredible Evie Zamora is far, far, far away. She really hopes that Evie, too, is lying in her bed somewhere in Ojai, missing Tracy, but somehow it seems more plausible that she's out getting high. The way she used to go out and get high with Tracy.
All of her organs and muscles and brain cells and arteries and whatever the fuck else is lying around in what's left of her body all seem to twist themselves into a heavy knot inside when someone mentions Evie Zamora. It aches so much that Tracy thinks she might just die, right there in her bed. But she doesn't, and somehow that seems worse.
When she falls asleep, her dreams are full of Evie. She's back, she's grinning like a maniac and Tracy just feels so happy. Nothing that she or Mel or Brooke ever said matters, because Evie's here now and it seems that everything's perfect. It's so perfect.
But all too soon, light bursts in through the window and it burns all those dreams away, and Tracy doesn't know what else to do than lie in bed and mope. Doesn't want to know what else.
After what seems like forever (yet also a millisecond), the ginormous knot in her chest starts to unravel itself. She no longer lies dead in her bed, but she goes back to school. Medina still throws her dirty looks, Astrid avoids her like the plague, Javi and KK and Ruben just ignore her. Even Yumi's wary. Noel's the only one who welcomes her back in open arms, which in a way makes Tracy hate her a little bit more. But she can't hate her, she doesn't have anyone else. So she smiles, and allows herself to gradually settle back into her old regime.
Every time Noel hugs her, she hugs Noel back. Her arms are skinny and a little bit too long to be anything like Evie's, but that doesn't defer Tracy. She hugs Noel back with all she can, squeezes her eyes so tight it hurts, and the words 'I love you, Evie' play on the tip of her tongue. It's times like these that the ache twists itself a little more, but it's not painful anymore. It only throbs ridiculously, dully muted, and that's how she survives. Barely.
Summer passes with a tremendous amount of effort to stay happy on Tracy's part, but she manages. Somewhere along the way, she stops wearing the Skechers.
The next summer rolls by a lot quicker than expected. It's not as hard as the previous, but it's not the easiest summer she's ever had. She manages, and somewhere along the way, she gets rid of that little yellow thong.
Tracy barely notices the summer after that. She can smile without any effort, laugh without her chest tightening and she can look herself in the mirror and not be utterly disgusted. Sometime during that summer, she removes her tongue ring. (But not her belly button ring, the one that Evie pierced herself. Never that.)
Tracy sails through high school. She and Noel get wasted from time to time, but she's not into that at all anymore. She graduates. Mel cries and takes a million pictures, and when she graduates from college, Mel cries even harder and takes a million more. She keeps saying, "I thought I'd never see this day, Tracy! When you were thirteen, I thought I'd never see this day!"
Tracy doesn't tell her, but Mel's words make her insides tingle with an emotion that she can only describe as Evie. But she locks her jaw, and continues to smile. Evie's history.
Over the next few years, Tracy goes through a number of interviews and jobs, until she settles in one where she's happy. She wasn't ever meant to do something incredible with her life, and she hasn't. She has an average job and an average apartment and an average life, but she's happy.
When Tracy's twenty-six, she's out in Melrose. She passes Red Balls and thinks of the jeans with the leopard fur. Smiling slightly, she takes a deep breath before any memories can settle, and walks on.
Tracy stops to check her phone, and lights a cigarette. Her eyes scan the familiar sights, familiar people. But there's someone standing by a stroller, and Tracy studies her as she takes a long drag. She's got a young kid on her hip, chestnut hair just past the butterfly tattoo on her shoulder. Tracy watches as the woman puts the kid into its stroller and turns to push it. She nearly chokes on her smoke.
The woman's eyes are dark, with deep purple rings beneath them like bruises, and she's smiling down at the child. Her grin is wide and bright. And she's grinning, grinning, grinning like a maniac, like in all of Tracy's dreams.
Her Evie. Her lovely, fun, sweet, amazing, incredible Evie Zamora.
The knot rejumbles itself up in Tracy's chest, and she can't remember how to breathe. Her cigarette is smoldering and the ashes are crumbling out from the top of it, but Tracy doesn't care. Evie fucking Zamora is standing mere yards from her, and Tracy's never had a heart attack but she's near certain she's having one now. She takes the deepest breath in the history of deep breaths, and drops her cigarette. With as much confidence she can muster, she strides over to her. Evie looks up and smiles her little smile that hasn't changed in thirteen years, and Tracy fights back the urge to simply slap her; kick her; hug her tight and cry. Evie's brow furrows a little as she tries to place Tracy, and when realization seeps in, she gasps.
This time Tracy resists the urge to crumple into a little ball on the ground. Instead, she nods, smiling. "Your Tracy."
Evie's smile breaks into the wide grin that's stayed with Tracy for years, and she lets out a soft peal of laughter. "So much for Brooke's 'never seeing you again' thing, huh?"
And this time Tracy can't fight her tears, won't fight them. Not for her lovely, fun, amazing, incredible Evie Zamora.
This has been lying around my computer for the past five months or so, so I figured I might as well post it. I absolutely adored 'Thirteen', but truthfully couldn't really stand Tracy, so I'm not sure if this has done her justice. Opinions?