41 | Letting Go and New Beginnings
“So, what happened that you suddenly wanted a girl’s night?” Tracy inquires as soon as she barges into my room.
After calming my heartbeat because of the jump scare she gave me my walking in, no, barging in like that, I shrug innocently. “We haven’t hung out in a while after becoming the girlfriend of Mr. Baker and I didn’t want to go out.”
She narrows her eyes at me and jumps on the bed, tickling me. “You cheeky little thing.”
I laugh loudly, cackle more so, and roll around on the bed, trying to free myself from her sweet torture. “Okay, stop.”
She huffs and finally gives up and we both turn to look at Maggie who is standing beside my window and giving us an amused smile.
“Oh, why did you stop? I was enjoying some girl on girl action.” Kevin’s voice floats in my room and Tracy and I both turn to look at a shirtless Kevin, standing on his side of the window and smirking. My cheeks flame red and Tracy scowls.
“Go away, doofus.” She groans.
“Aww.” Kevin pouts. “Am I not invited to the slumber party?”
“No.” Tracy says, walking towards the window and gives him a sarcastic smile. “Because it’s a girl’s night.” With that, she closes the curtains and drags Maggie back towards the bed.
Kevin’s laughter is loud enough to feel like he’s standing in my room. “You shall be punished for this offence, kitten.” He shouts and Tracy’s cheek burn crimson, making Maggie and I fall into fits of laughter. I’m sure the whole neighborhood heard him too.
“That son of my mother in law!” My friend huffs and joins us on the bed.
“Mother in law? Wow, that escalated quickly.” Maggie comments and Tracy blushes harder.
“I’ll get some snacks, I’m hungry.” She shouts and runs out of my room, leaving the two of us laughing.
When we sober up, I look up at Maggie. “Grant told me about Waverly.” I say quietly. Her eyes snap to mine and she looks worried. “And Neveah.”
“What did he tell you?” She asks, her voice quivering with nervousness.
I smile and wrap my arm around her. “That we both lost a chance at being the best aunt’s to one of the most beautiful girl in the world. Well, that and everything else.”
Maggie sniffs and I pull away to see the same tears in her eyes as mine. “She will always be our niece though.” She mumbles.
I nod. “She will. Even though I never saw her in person, I’m surprised how much my heart swells when I think about her. Grant let me have a picture of her.” I say and open my bedside drawer, pulling out a small framed picture, the first ever picture of my niece, Grant and Waverly.
More tears fall from Maggie’s eyes. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before. I even took you to see Waves but didn’t tell you anything.”
I shake my head. “Hey, Mags, it’s okay. I’m glad you left it upto my brother to tell me. That explains why you were so familiar with him since the first time you visited my house. I can’t believe I never noticed. But then again, even if I did, I would have concluded that it was something between you two.”
“Ew.” She scrunches her nose in disgust. “He’s too far gone and in love with my older sister to even think about me like that. Plus I’m not interested in him, not unless he miraculously turns himself into a girl.”
I laugh but choke on my laughter when the last part of her sentence registers in my brain. “What?”
She gives me an amused smile. “Exactly what you’re thinking.”
“You - you’re.... you’re -”
She cuts me off with an eye roll. “Yes, Leah. I’m completely gay. 100% gay DNA.”
I open and close my mouth like a fish. “Wait, did you tell me but I was foolish enough to not pay attention to it or are you just coming out?”
Maggie sighs and lies down on my bed. “I don’t come out traditionally. I’m not ashamed of my sexuality but I didn’t feel the need to announce it to the world when I figured it out myself. I mean, my sister never came out as straight. So why should I? But I do tell them that I’m a lesbian when they try to set me up with some dudes. I guess, that’s my way of coming out. With you, it never happened so the topic never came up.”
“Oh.” I say, nodding. “That makes sense.”
“I know right?” Right then, Tracy barges back in my room with both hands full of packets of chips, candies and chocolates. “Did you go shopping for all of these?” Maggie asks, amused.
Tracy rolls her eyes. “A chef’s house is basically a food storage, specially if the chef has a daughter like Leah.”
“Hey.” I say, chucking a pillow at her. “Are you calling me fat?”
“No, I’m asking you where does all the food that you eat go?” She sighs dramatically.
“Down the drains, mostly.” I mumble under my breath but neither of them hears it.
“So what are we gonna do?” The ever so dramatic Trace asks, lying on the carpeted floor itself, spreading her limps like an eagle.
“Um, probably play some movies in the background while we completely ignore it and talk about the stupidest things we can?” I say it like a question causing my friends to chuckle.
“Why, ain’t that right?” They comment together and we all laugh.
Then I get up, playing Sixteen Candles on my laptop while the three of us pile up on my bed, really not paying attention to the movie while we talk about everything and anything. Tracy gushes and tells us about every single of her dates with Kevin and how he makes her feel. She confides in us about her feelings, her insecurities, her fears and strengths and everything in between.
Maggie and I share a telepathic conversation and we decide to tell Tracy about Waverly, Grant and Neveah. By the end of the whole story, the three of us are in tears again and I have to fetch ice-cream from downstairs that we finish within minutes watching a few scenes of the now playing The Notebook and gushing at the photo of Grant and his little family.
Two more movies and stupid talks later, I come clean and tell the two of them about everything that has conspired between me and the universe altogether. From Sean approaching me on Valentine’s Day to me ending things with Veronica and my well deserved closure. I don’t miss major details and I cry and vent out everything out of my system and by the end of it, two pairs of arms are wrapped around me, rocking me back and forth.
“So ended things with her? Like the goodbye forever end?” Tracy asks, slight hope in her voice and I smile through my tears, nodding.
“Not forever, but yeah, I said my goodbyes. I don’t think that I can turn her away if any day she comes knocking at my door for a shoulder to cry on. So it’s not a ‘I’ll never see you again.’ goodbye. It’s more of a ‘I won’t hate you anymore, I won’t hold you responsible for the things gone gone and I won’t tie myself to what we had in the past’ goodbye. I’ve made it clear and accepted that she isn’t my best friend anymore. And she never will be again. But it’s also true that what we had in the past will never be erased.” I admit truthfully.
Tracy nods and looks down to her lap, fiddling with her fingers, deep in thought. Before I could say anything, Maggie speaks.
“Hey guys, how about a mini holiday? Spring break has started, we have two weeks free of school. Let’s head out somewhere, a trip before we head out for college.” She suggests.
Tracy and I both perk up at the idea. “Just the three of us?” I ask, excited.
Maggie nods and shrugs. “Yeah, just a girl’s trip. The summers will keep me busy with preparations for college and Waverly.”
“I’ll ask Mom.” Tracy pipes.
“Me too. I don’t think they’ll mind though, that is, if we have something planned and presented to them before hand.” I sigh.
The two girl’s shrug. “So let’s do that. Plan the trip I mean.” Tracy says. “Oh, and that reminds me, did you guys send in the college applications? I sent it for NYU, UCLA and North Western. If I don’t get in those three, it’s community college for me.”
“I almost missed Harvard’s last date.” I say remembering the horror and how I had to send in my application at the last moment.
Maggie smiles slightly. “I’m attending the community college. Can’t leave Mom to look after Waves alone.”
The mood has turned somber and before we could get back to painful memories, I grin. “Okay so bestie, how about we go for some shopping for this trip of ours?”
Tracy’s head snaps my way and she looks at me with wide, surprised eyes. “Wh-what did you just say?”
I bite the insides of my cheeks to hide the grin and turn to Maggie. “What do you say, bestie two? You in?”
Surprisingly, Maggie is just as surprised as Tracy and I’m so taken aback by their expressions that I don’t see Tracy jumping over me.
“You little brat, I want to kill you and kiss you - both right now.” She mumbles. I let out a laugh but quieten down when I feel her small body shaking on mine, telling me that she’s sobbing.
“Trace?” I call out my she hides her face further in the crook of my neck. “Hey, why are you crying?”
“Because I hate you.” She mumbles.
I look towards Maggie and she immediately looks up, subtly wiping the tears but I see them. “No you don’t.” I say confidently.
Tracy pulls back and glares at me. “You’re right, I don’t. But you’re a brat.”
I laugh and sit up. “Learned from the best.” Then I turn to Maggie. “Are you going to tackle me too are you planning on surprising me differently.” I tease.
She lets out a laugh and wraps her arms around me. “I love you.” She mumbles.
“I love you too.” I say softly, motioning Tracy to come closer. She does and wraps her arms around us.
Together, this night, we make new memories, mark new beginnings of our friendship as I give myself a second chance at friendship. We cry together when things gets too emotional and we laugh when it gets too funny. We tease each other, pull each other’s nerves and whisper I love you’s that have never meant any truer.
Together, we start anew.