Chapter Fourteen~Alla Breve: To Be or To Leave?
There are two sides to every story.
“What did you guys talk about?” Nate asked following her like a puppy.
“Just how to get you to leave” Ella mumbled incoherently under her breath looking up to see gray clouds.
“Nothing, just the future.”
Nate kept quiet after that until we reached the parking lot.
“Ella I’m serious, I thought we’d be able to help each other out whenever one of us has a problem.”
Ella stopped in her tracks. “Let’s do something fun,” She blurted out.
“Something fun?” Nate repeated back
Ella only nodded her head never glancing in Nate’s direction. How could she? It would unbearable to look at him knowing she wasn’t good enough to be by his side. Ella could feel a strong tightening in her throat making it hard to breathe. Her eyes started to moisten up.
“Yeah, let’s go to a movie, I haven’t been to one since I was young.”
Nate immediately jumped on board with the idea. “That sounds great, what should we see?”
“A movie with a happy ending,” Ella spoke
“Alright I’ll find out a time and we can go tonight.” Nate excitedly shouted
“Sure,” Ella mumbled waving him off started on the sidewalk to her house. Once she felt far enough away she let out a sob letting stray tears run down her cheek. Raindrops joined and hid her tears.
It felt as if the rain was crying with her. At her helplessness.
“Ella your boyfriend is at that door for you!” Ella heard her father shout making her immediately break out a tomato color in embarrassment. Quickly grabbing her messenger bag and tossing it over her should Ella rushed down the stairs. Ella could see what looked to be her father sizing up Nate.
Slipping on her shoes she ran over to Nate pulling on his arm outside with her good hand. She needed to get them both out of there before her dad decided to bite poor Nate’s head off.
“El, I brought a car,” Nate spoke stopped Ella in her tracks and turn to see a shiny grey Ferrari parked in her driveway.
“Oh,” Ella mumbled, once again embarrassed. Letting go of Nate’s arm, Nate walked over to the passenger seat opening the door for her. Once inside Nate slowly shut the door making sure not to close it before Ella was fully inside. The action made Ella slightly smile.
Once Nate got in he turned to her with a full-blown grin on his face, “What movie should we go see?”
Right, Ella thought to herself. This would be it. Her last chance to see Nate, unless. . . no, she couldn’t do that to him. She didn’t want him to be stuck here like her.
Looking to the boy she’d grown to like she smiled shaking her head, “Anything’s fine with me. You decide.”
Apparently, Nate seemed to be hoping for that answer and he quickly answered, “Cars.”
“Cars? The Disney movie?” Ella asked
“Yeah I’ve never seen it and it’s playing nearby as a special tonight.” Nate nodded enthusiastically
Ella rolled her eyes at this, she was with an adult child. It was his childlike answer though that almost made her laugh. She was going to miss this.
“Sure Nate, I’ve never seen it either.”
Nate started the car letting the engine roar before he took off down the street to the movies. Ella’s focus never left Nate. She was taking in every detail of his face, his hands, his smile. His face was scrunched while trying to focus on the road with his hair sticking out at odd angles.
The car suddenly stopped making Ella look around at her surroundings. They had reached the movie theater without her realizing it. Nate jumped out of the car and ran over to her side opening the door for her.
“My lady,” He bowed while Ella stepped out of the car. Ella could feel people’s stares burning into her then felt an arm snake around her waist. The feeling of being the center of attention quickly left when Nate wrapped his arm around her.
Looking up to him she spoke, “Ready?”
“So what did you think of the movie? Who was your favorite? Mine was Doc Hudson, did you like Sally? Not that I’m trying to be sexist she was also one of my favorites.” Nate rambled on excitedly
“Nate, I understand, relax.” Ella responded
“Sorry, it’s just that it was so good.”
“I know what you mean, it was fun it was the first movie I’d seen since,” Ella left off.
Taking a deep breath Ella closed her eyes. It was now or never. She needed to get through this. It would be easier to just rip the band-aid off now, otherwise, she might never do it at all.
“I’m leaving Nate.” She rushed out making Nate’s smile change to confusion
“Wh-what do you mean El?”
“I mean Mr. Lykes offered me a position in another art school. Somewhere better. That’s why I think you should go with him to France and continue your career too.” Ella explained
“You’re trading me for a better school?” Nate whispered
“Yeah, then we can both get what we want, someplace better. You and I both know that this isn’t a school made for pianists like us. It will only drag us down in the end. That’s why I’m heading to New York on fully paid scholarship from your father.” Ella spoke looking at Nate’s face turn to anger
“Pianists like us?” He hissed out, “What was your whole plan, to get me to go out with you then tell me you’re leaving. Do you realize how selfish you are?”
Ella pushed back the tears.
“So? I had to get rid of you somehow. This seemed like the easiest way, it’s your own fault anyway. No one told you to get close to me.” She shot back
“Yeah well sorry for trying to care about you.” And with that Nate stormed off to his car and pulled out of the theater leaving Ella alone in the dark of night.
It was all lies Ella wanted to shout. She wasn’t leaving, but she needed some sort of excuse. It would be better to be hated by the one you love making you while carrying the weight of the grief than you both pull the weight together and never forgetting each other.
“At least this way he can be happy, there’s nothing else holding him back,” Ella whispered looking up and the pitch dark sky.