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Tightly Knit

By KittyBell All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Romance

Blurb

Life was complicated for Eleanor Ross the moment she was born to a workaholic mother. Left in the care of a babysitter the majority of her childhood, the girl learned to busy herself with a hobby of knitting before making a couple of friends. With her father nowhere in the picture as she grows older and symptoms of a disease appearing, Eleanor seems lost in a household where her mother, Maggie, is constantly nagging her to seek help. Fed up with the constant fighting that has further distance her from her mother, Eleanor agrees to start attending a support group to meet others that share her pain and much more. Attending the first support meeting, Eleanor doesn’t bother to say much as she shyly knits away in her seat, listening to the other stories of the others attending. However, she catches the eye of a couple of the attendees with her rapid nervous knitting. Among them, is Fred Badgely who is attending the meeting with his brother as emotional support. He notices Eleanor right away as she seems set on keeping to herself but he’s sure she has a story. Now all he wants to do is figure out what she’s trying so hard to hide.

Prologue

The sound of the tires turning up the gravel driveway stirred the young girl tucked in her bed as she slowly lifted her head from her pillow. Lights poured into her bedroom from the headlights of the vehicle that arrived in front of the house before turning off and leaving her in the dark. A car door opened before slamming heavily as twelve year old, Eleanor Ross sat up in her bed listening further.

She could hear the front door open and the voice of her mother greeting the babysitter, Rachel. The usual discussion that Eleanor had been well behaved and mainly remained in her room quietly as the girl normally did. Her mother, Margaret thanked the older teen before sending her off with her payment. The approaching footsteps towards the bedroom door, sent Eleanor to bury her face into her pillow and pull her covers back over her body.

With her eyes closed, she pretended to sleep as her mother opened up the door to check up on her.

Her mother’s work shoes clunked heavily against the hardwood floor as the woman was apparently walking around in the darkness of the room. Eleanor decided against peeking an eye open as her bed suddenly dipped and creaked under her mother’s added weight to the mattress. She flinched at the touch of her mother running her hand over Eleanor’s head and trailing through her long hair.

The coldness of her mother’s nose pressed against the side of her face as Margaret kissed her goodnight, whispering to her a wish to have happy dreams. A shift in the bed rocked Eleanor back as Margaret left the side of her bed and exited out of the room, closing the door behind her gently.

As soon as the coast was clear, Eleanor rolled onto her back and opened her eyes staring up at her ceiling, decorated with old stick on glow-in-the-dark stars that she had placed up, back when she was seven years old. It was during the time that she was afraid of the dark and wanted to sleep with the light on. She asked her mother to keep the light on or at least buy a night light, but Margaret reassured Eleanor that it was something she would outgrow in due time.

Not counting on growing out of the fear, Eleanor was given the glow-in-the-dark stars by one of her best friends, Marnie Saxon who had plenty. The two girls had spent an entire afternoon jumping on Eleanor’s bed to reach the ceiling and stick them on.

Pulling her blanket up to her chin, she let out a heavy sigh into the dark room wondering if her mother would be there in the morning, or would she wake up to another babysitter.

Her mother spent the majority of her time working at police dispatch answering emergency calls throughout the day and night. It made it hard for Eleanor to see her mother as the woman was always taking up extra shifts as if she was purposely avoiding being home. Whenever they did talk to one another, it somehow turned into some form of argument between the two. Margaret usually had the upper hand in the argument but as Eleanor grew older, it wasn’t so simple to win the battle as the girl was able to unleash her own damage.

Loneliness played a large role in Eleanor’s childhood until she and her mother moved to the permanent residence in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. It was there that she met her best friends that would be there for her no matter what. Marnie and of course their dear companion Christopher Branson. The three latched onto each other quickly when they first met and were inseparable since .

They were the only two that Eleanor felt comfortable confiding her troubles in when it came to the topic of her mother. Marnie seemed to understand the most as she didn’t get along with her parents very well either. The Saxons carried a very prestigious air about them, and expected Marnie to become a poised, well-educated lady at such a young age, but as Marnie reminded them with her rebellious ways, she was going to be whoever the hell she wanted to be.

Christopher on the other hand, lived the dream life that both girls craved to find within their families. His parents were supportive in everything that he did, leaving him happy and somewhat spoiled. But Eleanor envied one thing about both of her friends’ family. The want of having her father in her life was evident. She had spent plenty of hours, wondering what he looked like, sounded like, and overall, what he was like. She wanted to know everything about him, but it would be impossible as the man skipped out on Margaret before Eleanor was born.

Her mother refused to give any information pertaining to the man, in fear that when Eleanor was older that she would try to search for a man who wanted nothing to do with her. She figured she was protecting Eleanor, when in fact she was only causing Eleanor more pain.

Lying in her bed, Eleanor was beginning to slowly drift back to sleep when she felt a familiar tingling in the extremities of her hands and feet. A clear burning sensation began to course through her toes and fingertips.

She let out a whimper as the pain became worse, as she tried to roll out of bed for help.

“Mum!” She called out loudly as she tried to stand but the pain in her feet became too much causing her to collapse to the floor with a loud thud. The sound of her hitting the floor seemed to have alerted her mother down the hall as Margaret arrived to the bedroom a few seconds later. She flipped on the light switch and found Eleanor on the floor.

’Ellie!” The dark haired woman ran over and knelt down at her daughter’s side. Her damp curls from her shower, sprinkled Eleanor with several drops of water. The girl’s hands were clamped together and she squirmed with a look of discomfort on her face.

“It hurts!” Eleanor told her. “It hurts really bad!”

Margaret carefully lifted her daughter from the floor and back onto the bed as Eleanor suffered through one of the painful episodes.

“It’s going to be alright, Ellie. It’ll be over soon!”

“Make it stop!”

Margaret frowned as she looked down at her child with a shake of her head.

“I can’t…”

The episode of the burning pain didn’t last long as Eleanor released her hands from each other and began to breathe regularly. Margaret stayed at the girl’s bedside watching as Eleanor fell back to sleep after the pain subsided.

Adjusting one of the pillows, Margaret decided she was going to spend the night in Eleanor’s room in case the girl awoke to another painful symptom of the disease that haunted her child.

“Don’t worry, Ellie, Mummy’s here. I’ll stay with you tonight. Alright? Does that sound good?”

Eleanor, of course, didn’t respond as she continued to sleep but Margaret took the girl’s silence as confirmation.

“Sleep well, Ellie.”

A/N: Alright, so it’s finally here the original version of Tightly Knit. For those of you who are confused, this means there are no Harry Potter elements to this story. No Hogwarts, Moldy Voldy and that…but there will be the element of Frellie and a special kind of magic. ;) I hope you all enjoy it.

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