First scene Monday in the Barlow living room, Ken and Tracy amid the leftovers of her wedding. He’s trying to make her feel better. Telling her how it would have been worse if the wedding had gone ahead, how she ought to be glad that Peter is getting out of prison and Rob going in, as soon as the police find him. Things could be worse. She isn’t alone, she has Amy.
She does not take comfort from his words. In fact, she gets extremely angry at him. I feel sorry for Ken, he’s trying his best to give her perspective, to make her see the good rather than just wallow in the bad. But I feel sorrier for Tracy. She doesn’t want to hear that right then. She doesn’t care that her brother is exonerated, that she still has her family.
The life she thought she had ahead of her is gone – in an instant, poof. She is alone, and a laughingstock whose fancy wedding was totally destroyed, with an almost-husband who is a murderer. She’s back to being a single mother living with her parents. And she’s got wedding presents to return and a pile of wedding stuff and arrangements to get rid of and pay for. What she wants to hear is “poor Tracy luv” over and over again.
I once read a short story about a woman just dumped by her boyfriend, riding in a New York City cab. She told the cabdriver the whole story, at length, and cried. He probably didn’t want to hear it, didn’t really understand what she was even saying, and had to navigate traffic. All he said, every time she paused for breath, was “he are a large arsehole, missy, he are a large arsehole.” Those words comforted her. They, or a Ken variation of them, were what Tracy needed to hear right then.
Later in the week, to my great surprise, I felt sorry for Tracy again. She turned Rob in. She did what is easy to call ‘the right thing’, but it broke her heart all over again. Friday, she was back to herself, opening and criticizing wedding gifts (with no plans to return them) and blaming Carla for everything. Another surprise: I was glad to see the real Tracy.