The Rise and Fall of Tracy Jane

April 20, 2008
By Jackie Katz, New York, NY

Chapter 1: Smooth Sailin’

“Hey Tracy!”

“Hey, how’s it goin’ Tracy?”

“Trace, lunch tomorrow?”

This was a typical morning in the life of Tracy Jane Dashwood. People flocked to me, always asking me to hang out or sit with them at lunch, or to approve their outfit choices. For some reason when I was just myself, people seemed to automatically come to me like there was some kind of magnetic force attracting them. I just acted like I thought anyone would, but I guess I was just special in that way, if only for a little while.

No matter how many people came my way, I knew who my true friends were. My friends were Tara, Trixy and Tai. And from then on, people referred to us as The T’s. It was not as if we planned it this way. It just happened. Our strengths made up for each other’s weaknesses. Our humor matched, and our personalities aligned. After a very short time of knowing each other, we just started to always hang out together.

Tara is a very intelligent girl, interested in politics. She always knows about what is going on in the world. She isn’t high maintenance. Her favorite clothes are from thrift stores in Brooklyn.

Trixy, on the other hand, would be considered slightly ditzy. She is a brilliant athlete, but off the fields and courts, she wouldn’t be caught dead in an outfit less than two hundred dollars at any given moment.

And Tai, well, Tai is just plain extraordinary.

I don’t think any less of these girls because of what happened. I think you can’t stop what is fated to become. It wasn’t anyone’s fault or intent. It just sort of occurred in a weird way.

The T’s started to become somewhat of an exclusive group, according to outsiders. Other girls thought of us like the movie “Mean Girls”, where a group of four girls ruin everybody else’s lives. I hated that one. What I didn’t understand was how we ruined other people’s lives. We simply enjoyed each other’s company. We never teased anyone. In fact, people teased us. They called us a clique. I consider that an insult. I don’t know why people thought we were so exclusive. We weren’t even that entertaining. We just sat around watching trashy television and went to juvenile candy stores.

And yes, of course, girls hated us because the guys loved us.

Chapter 2: Rocky Roads

After one school year ended, it seemed the next one started quite shortly after. To be honest, I did not think The T’s would survive next year. Summers change people, and I didn’t think the other girls would put up with us for a whole year again. And as I predicted, they started to truly despise us. Tai didn’t care, she said she had us and that was all that mattered. Tara didn’t mind all that much either. Trixy and I did though. Trixy knows many people outside of our group from all her sports teams, and it becomes difficult for her to juggle two sets of crowds. And for me, I guess I didn’t survive it so my opinion doesn’t matter anyway.

Over the summer I guess I tried to distance myself from The T’s, slowly drift away. There was no confrontation or disagreement. The only thing that I can think of that I physically did was just say that I hated being in a clique and I hated how other girls thought of me as a b****. I never said I wanted out, but I suppose I implied it.

It was not as if The T’s were always in perfect harmony. Of course, we were most of the time, because we were best friends. But, we had our fair share of spats. Little things, and sometimes big even. We always managed to get through them. I guess just not now.

When the new school year began, I didn’t change at all over the summer. I acted in my same manner basically. Tara and Trixy didn’t change either. I suppose Tai became a little more experienced, but her personality didn’t change, too. We were the same. It should have been the same, or better even.

I suppose I implied my message very clearly, more clearly then I had intended. I started to not be invited to sleepovers or outings. But it wasn’t even that that bothered me. It was the fact that I was stuck. I didn’t have Tai, Tara or Trixy, and I had no one else. Everyone else still thought I was a gossiping, conniving, backstabbing b****. I was trapped.

At school, things were different between the now Triple T’s and I. They still said “Hello”, but they were always huddling together, like I suppose we did. I guess I sort of understand why others hated us yet admired us. The Triple T’s were always loud and obnoxious in the hallways and always making a scene, just somehow drawing attention to themselves. I admired with everyone else, wondering what they were talking about, despite hating them. Was I actually a part of this phenomenon?

Now that I wasn’t a “T”, others didn’t know whether to embrace me or let me fend for myself. I felt so alone. I went from the top of the social charts to dirt bottom. And the most painful part was that I think my old friends didn’t even care.

My mornings went from a bunch of “Hey Tracy” to a bunch of “Who’s Tracy?” I don’t think I was missing what I had, but knew I hated who I was now.

I knew in my heart I didn’t change. Apparently, others thought I did because people were trying out to be “me”. Other girls kept trying to squeeze their way in to the Triple T’s. No one successfully did—no one actually became all of their best friends’. But a girl named Tammy came close. And conveniently her name starts with a T.

Tammy is a beautiful girl. She has long, flowing, blonde hair and piercing green-blue eyes. And not to be too graphic, but she has a killer body according to any male. Her personality is sort of dull, though. She talks in a very nasal voice and basically has no interests except for partying and shopping.

Tammy is only true, true friends with Trixy. Tai and Tara aren’t too crazy about her, but they hang out with her sometimes and like her just enough.

People started to say Tammy was the new Tracy. The only problem was was that the old Tracy was still here.

Chapter 3: Slippery Slopes

I felt as if my presence was bothersome to other people; that others would somehow like it if I were to simply not be there. Life became extremely difficult to endure. I was embarrassed for myself. I never was a true loser before. Since pre-school, I always had friends. Either close friends, or acquaintances, I was always somewhat of a socialite.

Now I had to embrace my inner loser, because everyone else was. I had no idea what I was doing to turn people off. My former reputation was hanging over my head, and I felt as if God was punishing me for what I had done. But why would God only punish me and not the other T’s? That’s what boggled me. Why did everyone still envy Tai, Tara and Trixy, but not me? I looked the same, I dressed the same, but yet, I wasn’t. I fell into a state of depression.

My family got the brunt of it. Because I couldn’t express myself with friends at school, I exploded at home. I was edgy and tense. I was moody and sullen. I couldn’t help it. No one knew how I felt and no one could help. I wanted to transfer schools; I wanted to disappear. How could this happen? To this day, I don’t think those girls know how deeply they’ve affected me.

But before I knew it, the year was over. And summer started. And that was the part I hated—what was to come? I couldn’t take more next year. I didn’t want to re-live this horrible nightmare. I needed to change. I hated myself. I hated being me and I didn’t know why because I knew I was a kind person inside. And I hated myself for hating myself. I became so confused as to what would take place.

Chapter Four: Clear Skies

After a year of loserville, I wanted to come clean. I wanted to rid myself of my past ego and my present loser reputation. I spent a lot of time invested in things that were important to me--both the old and new me. By having a lot of me time, I think I reunited with my true self.

I found myself again, and it showed. I started to be happier and bubbly, and well, crazy, liked I used to be. I started to make connections with people, and not iffy people like Tara, Tai, and Trixy. However, I even started to connect with them a bit again. It will never be the same. We both know that. But now that I’m not a complete loser, I think the Triple T’s feel that a part of them is missing. Well, that’s what I’d like to believe.

So for now, I’m just investing my time in what I like, and if that includes a lot of other people, it does. But that’s not my main concern. I no longer define myself by who I’m friends with. I define myself by what I do for others, and what I do for myself.

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