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All About The Silver Lining

By JessicaX

Drama / Romance

Chapter 1

A Diary of Everwood, by Jessica X

Characters and settings © Greg Berlanti and the WB (which is what the channel was called when Everwood was on the air, so I'll not be calling it by that hideous name it goes by these days). Original story elements are a product of my corrupted imagination. Rated M for language, drug/alcohol use and abuse, brief references to self-mutilation, and exceedingly intimate content (that means "sex", my champions). This is not for the faint of Hart (lol). More notes afterward.


Uh... here's the thing. I always sucked at big speeches and flowery words. Even worse at opening lines. Which is way obvious by now. Sorry about that.

I'm starting a journal because I have some stuff I'm trying to work through. Tons of stuff, and some of it's pretty crucial, some of it's background noise I can't seem to tune out. Let's see where my ballpoint pen takes us.

The name gold-leafed in the bottom-right corner of the front cover is "Colin Hart", but I'm not him. I'm his sister, Laynie. Brothers and sisters fight over stuff and share and "borrow" all the time, right? So if you aren't an only child I bet you're not too shocked to find out that I'm not the person this thing was given to (by his father on his fourteenth birthday; it was supposed to be some kind of memorable, rite-of-passage male bonding deal, don't ask me). He stuffed into the back of the closet and never used it at all, so who cares if I stole it?

What you might not realize is that he's kind of dead, so I doubt he'll be asking for it back anytime soon.

You probably think I'm being a little cold about his death, and I am. It's hard to feel those shooting pangs of remorse and sorrow every waking moment when they've been hanging around for almost two years now. The story goes a little something like this: Colin was tooling around in Daddy's truck and got into an accident; it blew. He was in a coma for a while, which blew harder. Then he miraculously came back to life, which was almost okay... but went back under the knife and we lost him for good. Gale-force blowing.

That was almost a year ago, though. What's the standard length of time to sit around moping about this stuff? I mean, with a pet goldfish I bet it's somewhere in the three-days-to-a-week range, but for family... a month? Six months? Definitely not any longer than that, or you'll waste away to nothing.

Like Amy.

There's some weird connection between the Harts and the Abbotts that's been growing and growing since the dawn of time. Sometime between diapers and diaphragms, Amy started dating Colin, and I think everybody expected me to hook up with her brother, Bright. Let's head that one off with a resounding "NEVER IN A MILLION FREAKING YEARS." He's cool and all, I guess... for a guy with the IQ of a celery stick. And he was Colin's best friend, and his sister was dating him so it would be all picture-perfect bookend-y. Except, huh-uh; my standards are higher.

Like Ephram.

Another history lesson: world-famous neurosurgeon loses his wife to (theme established?) a car accident, and uproots his son and daughter from the Big Apple to the Little Hole-In-The-Wall. Or, Hole-In-The-Mountain: Everwood, my hometown and the source of all misery. Blah blah blah, Dr Brown randomly finds himself removing chunks of bone from Colin's brain stem, the boy is mostly fixed. It's the kind of deal that forever links destinies.

Between you and me, it never sat well with me how Amy roped Ephram into doing her dirty work. The guy has it hard enough, losing not just a parent, but the parent that actually cared. Then he gets moved to some crappy little mountain town that's not even on a map by the absentee parent that decides he's ready to be Superdad. But Amy's so wrapped up in my brother's plight that she can't even understand how messed up it is to cozy up to him just so she can get his dad's help with her boyfriend. Couldn't she tell that he was crushing on her for real?

And if you're reading this, Amy... well, you deserve it. I ain't telling you nothing you don't already know. So get over it.

I was going somewhere with all this... wait, yeah. So who am I, what am I doing? As long as I'm trying to puke my thoughts onto paper I might as well get into my own family.

My parents fail. No, I don't mean they mean well but they keep making mistakes. They're not good parents who work too hard and can't make it home for dinner every night. They're not good friends to their children but bad at setting an example. When I say they fail, I mean it; FAIL. Eff Ay Eye Ell.

My mom is doped up on like, quadruple my own dosage of antidepressants, and my father, um... self-medicates. Which means he crawls into the bottom of a bottle of Jack every single night of the calendar year. He dried it up while Colin was sick, but once his son was gone for good that was the end of his ride on the sobriety wagon. So neither of them get credit for setting good examples. But with Colin, at least they tried; at least they encouraged him, fought for him, dug up medical care and did what they thought was best (even though most of the time they were just fucking things up way worse than they already were).

Me? I might as well not be alive as far as they're concerned. Dad can barely remember my name, much less anything deeper. Mom's always on my case, never stopping to think about how rough I have it, never asking how I feel or what I want, or want to do next. She sees me crying and lashing out and junk and sticks me on pills. They help, don't get me wrong... but she's totally using them as a substitute parent. And they don't work that way.

So when I tell you that Colin, Amy, Bright and Ephram were the only things tying me to Everwood, the only things keeping me from running back to that all-girls school, I hope you get that I'm not being melodramatic. It's just real. There's no larger group of extended friends, no loving family, no clubs or obligations or cheerleading squad or any of that annoying bull. Just four people.

Ephram and I had a thing once. It fizzled. Let's not get into that.

Bright... eh, we were never really that close. Just buds-by-association.

Colin's high school basketball jersey was retired after he died.

So who's that leave? Don't strain yourself too hard to come up with it.

The whole reason I stuck around as long as I did was for Amy; for her to have a shoulder to lean on, so both of us could have at least one other person to spontaneously burst into tears with. Even with my parents nearby, I didn't feel that compassionate vibe from them; me falling apart would just drive them further into depression, and they would end up resenting me for it. I'm too much for them to handle. Story of my life. And losing Colin again was too much for me to handle, so I made a not-so-triumphant return to St Margret's. Not like I left for good...

Okay, my hand is cramping and I'm already getting tired of back-story which means you have got to be. Flash forward to the good stuff. Let's see... back in Everwood following my brother's funeral, summer's over, classes start. I make the huge, stupid mistake of telling Amy I'm on Zoloft and like a total sheep she decides she needs that, too. Except she probably needed them more than me. While making regular trips to the drugstore for her meds, she meets Tommy "Crackhead" Callahan, and I warn her to stay away from him... but at first, he really seems like he's off the sauce and getting his life back in shape, and she needs somebody new in her life who's not her bratty ex-friends Page and Kayla, or even Ephram (who's got a huge hard-on for his sister's babysitter as it turns out). So in spite of Methboy's character flaws, I tell her to go for it. Why the hell not?

Until it turns out he's still using. The rehab didn't take. Even if he's not still using, he's still dealing, so it's whatever. The point is, Tommy didn't get as far away from the drug scene as he claimed he did, and now he's trying to drag my best friend down with him. What a useless wasteoid.

Here's where it gets ridiculous; Amy takes him back. After he lies to her about being a pusher! He shows up all strung out on something and sobbing and whining and begging, and she folds like a cheap lawn chair. So I tell her she's being dumb, and she tells me to get the hell out. That's fine. I am so done with this place.

See what I did there? I said "this place" because Amy was my last holdout. If there's no Colin, no Amy and (obviously) no Ephram, then Everwood is completely yesterday. Screw this shithole.

I'm kind of full of it, though, right? You get that. I can't ever hate this place, not seriously... no matter how much I want to. It's home. But sometimes you can't go home again. Tom Waits said that, or somebody... I don't remember.

But I'm stuck. I'd love nothing more than to bounce nowish and find myself at that disgusting boarding school again, because at least there I'm more than The Sister Of The Coma Kid – or worse, Amy's Weird Friend. It's bad enough being known only through Colin! Thing is, I can't leave because it's too close to the end of the school year, and I've run out of "Get Out Of Jail Free Due To Family Crisis" cards. It's not like I've asked my parents yet, but it's pretty obvious I'll get smacked down if I try. The worst part of all is that after the year ends, I'll still be expected to hang around all summer before the next semester starts.

What do you do in a town where there's nobody worth talking to?

That's where my dilemma comes in. I've been kicking around for a while, trying to blot out the rumours that Amy overdosed and had to get her stomach pumped, or that Tommy did and is dead and Amy's in jail. Crazy shit. I really have no desire to pine after Ephram again, babysitter or no babysitter. Bright? He's a real barrel of laughs. See, he's graduating, so everything with him is about his future. Boring. Extra boring when he has no future, since the suspension and low grades guaranteed that he won't be headed to Yale or Notre Dame anytime soon. Maybe there were a few guys I tried to hook up with at parties, but it lost its flavour pretty quick when they went straight from "Hi" to their hand up my skirt; I'm not so lonely and damaged yet that I'll give it up that easy. And as we've discussed, my parents are nonexistent. Nobody else in this town knows I'm alive.

Lucky for me I've got this Zoloft shooting through my system, or I'd be slitting my wrists right about now. And saying stuff like that is exactly how I ended up with them in the first place.

There. Now I've put all my trauma down on paper. And I'm looking at it for an answer... and I see nothing obvious. How about you? You see some light at the end of this dismal black tunnel? I'm coming up with nada. I even started playing some of Colin's old PlayStation games just to have something to do – and I hate video games. That has to be a sign of the apocalypse.

So I'm looking for another kind of sign, for an out. For a way to become something more. It's not just that I want something to do... I want someone to be. Y'know? If I keep on going as Invisible Laynie from now until the end of August, there won't be enough medication in the world to fix me.

This is more than a journal. It's a silent cry for help.

What now? What do I put now? What do I do? It's either cry for the sixth time today, walk around town like a zombie, or go back to Final Fantasy VIII. Or cut myself; I've done it once or twice, just to feel. And I don't want your pity, or your "eww blood why would you do that blah blah", okay? I've also drank, and doped myself into a stupor, and spent an entire day in a movie theater, and every other thing I could think of to fill up my day, to make myself feel something. And nothing works, which is why I don't keep doing that stuff.

Whatever. Forget it. Keeping a diary was a lame idea; third-graders keep diaries. Filling up paper with ink never helped anybody solve their entire life. I'm just gonna have to accept that I'm doomed to the loneliest summer of all time, cross my fingers and hope I survive. So kindly disregard all of this.

But I won't throw it away, not yet. Might be morbidly funny to reread someday.


[[AUTHORESS'S NOTE: Here we are again, meine Freunde! The beginning... saw existence... of a chosen dream... (kindly disregard this completely errant lyric). Yes, I'm a little punchy, I've had a grand amount of painkillers due to... well, due to pain! Hahaha... they're prescription, no worries, luvvies, I'm fine, it's fine, we're fine (who is "we"?), okay? Grand.

I've always wanted to write an Everwood fic, but haven't. That simple. Wasn't brave enough. A few months ago, I wrote the first chapter of this and laid it aside when I was watching the show again... and I was inspired to go back and take a second look at the scrap when I saw the premier of that new show Revenge, which stars Emily Vancamp (Amy). It's nowhere near as amazing as Everwood was, but it couldn't hope to be. When you read this, I want you to understand that this was my favorite programme. I adored it to the point where I shed physical tears when I learned it was being cancelled. Four seasons was NOT enough! This is the only show that moved me so drastically in my life, though there have been many others I cared for. I still love it, I always will; it was so perfect and beautiful and earnest when all others would be false. This sounds pretty ridiculous, but I mean it, I really, really mean it.

The story title is something Laynie once said to Amy in the episode (ironically) named "The L Word":

AMY: I don't know what I'd do without you.
LAYNIE: That's me; I'm all about the silver lining.

From infancy, I knew I would always call it that. I looked, and I don't think I saw another fic with the same name, so destiny strikes again in my favour. Yay!

This particular femmeslash will be a little different. Typically, I have a set length for the chapters of each of my fictions (usually between 8-10 pages per chapter). This time I'm writing it as Laynie Hart in journal format. Some "entries" will be pushing ten pages, some not even a full page (for realism). I'm sorry if you feel dissatisfied with a given chapter's length, but I'm hoping that you can keep this in mind and understand why I've done it the way I have. Rest assured that by the end its 26-odd chapters SilverLining will be a bit longer than RAYCOG, my most recent offering.

Ready for more? No? Too blinking bad - away we go!]]

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