The Emotions Game

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Chapter Six~Amabile: Fiend or Friend?

Hope is something that becomes harder to find every day.

A duet, was he crazy? Ella thought, she barely spoke to him and every time they did see each other she treated him so coldly. Why did he want to do a duet all of a sudden?

Leaning on her cold wooden desk Ella kept replaying the events through her head. “He must be insane,” Ella whispered into the desk

Turning to the front Ella watched as the teacher fumbled through the lesson on how to turn a jingle into a song, it easily enough made her start thinking about the stupidity of the whole class and wonder why she was taking it. Tuning out the lesson Ella focused on what she would do about her “issue”.

What was she going to do? Raking her fingers through her hair Ella stared mindlessly at the wall. The feeling of someone tapping on her shoulder made her jolt from her seat. Looking for the person who startled her she found a tall girl that seemed a bit off. It reminded Ella of herself in a way. The girl stuck out her hand and uttered, “I’m Vanessa, Vanessa Wayne, you spaced out and class is over now. I just thought you might what to know.”

Nodding in thanks to the girl Ella grabbed her bag and started toward the door. In the process, Ella started to think about how Vanessa was too long of a name and she should just call herself Vannie.

“Wait, Ella.” Vann-Vanessa stuttered out

Turning back Ella saw Vanessa rubbing her hands together and fumbling around with her fingers while walking closer, soon enough Vanessa was standing in front of Ella closing off any room Ella had to the exit. Walking even closer made Ella subconsciously walk backward with every step towards her. Ella quickly tired of the small chase.

“What do you need Vannie?” Ella asked

“Vannie?”

Ella mumbled a small ‘oops’ to her slip up. Vanessa seems to brush off the nickname and speaks,“I’ve looked up you for a while now, I’m also a pianist. I’m also in most of your classes so I have really wanted to talk to you for awhile it’s just that you usually don’t go to class.”

Shock flowed in Ella causing her to slightly drop her mouth at Vanessa’s confession. Was Vanessa trying to befriend her? Ella wasn’t used to such confrontations. What was she supposed to do?

Vanessa again spoke answering Ella’s unspoken answers. “I would like to be your friend, and the best way to get to know each other is to play together; the piano I mean.”

Please don’t say it. Please don’t.

“And maybe we could do a duet.”

Unbelievable, Ella never really talked to anyone until two weeks ago and now look where it got her. Stuck with two people wanting to do duets. It’s all Nathan’s fault Ella thought to herself. If he didn’t ask to do a duet in front of so many people this wouldn’t have happened. Ella hoped that no one else would get the idea to collaborate with her. One was already too much especially since it was Nathan, then another now with some girl she didn’t really know made everything so much more difficult, but not impossible.

A small whisper of a answer slipped through Ella’s mouth,“Sure.”

Vanessa’s face lit up with excitement and to Ella’s distaste, high pitch squeals started to come from her mouth. Vanessa interlaced her fingers with Ella’s in an uncomfortable hand- well in Ella’s opinion it seemed like a hand hug.

Somehow while still squealing Vanessa still spoke,“We’re going to be the bestest of friends.”

Ella started wondering if maybe she shouldn’t have said yes to Vanessa. Besides bestest isn’t a word as cruel as it was Ella could be a grammar nazi at times. Ella almost snapped back at Vanessa. The thought surprised Ella even. Usually, she would be calm and collected about things like this a firmly say ‘no’ but since she met Nathan she was more open and didn’t try pushing back her emotions. Was he playing with her?

Looking around she was that Vanessa had now left leaving Ella alone in the classroom. Ella didn’t have friends unless you count the unwanted volunteering of Nathan but, she did know that friends don’t abandon each other after class without saying a goodbye.

School ending after four more classes, all of which had Vanessa in them (who wouldn’t take no for an answer from Ella about hanging out after school sometime). Luckily no sign of Nathan was ever spotted the rest of the day giving Ella more time to think about her unwanted duet with Nathan. As much as Ella wanted to say no Ella already said yes to Vanessa so it would be unfair to Nathan.

Walking home Ella took a shortcut by cutting through the parking lot. Coming out the parking lot and walking along the sidewalk Ella spotted a familiar car driving toward her. Nathan’s car. Pretending not to notice him Ella kept walking with her back turned to his car.

Pulling his car to be next to Ella Nathan rolled down his window yelled over the roar of his engine, “Hey, I was looking for you.” Pretending to still not notice him she kept walking never even glancing at his car.

“Ella.”

“Ella please.”

“Ella Stella love bug”

That got Ella to turn around to face Nathan.

“Did you just call me love bug?” Ella questioned menacingly while glaring at Nathan.

Nathan shrugged in response. “Whatever gets your attention,” he paused to smile,“love bug.”

Grumbling Ella walked closer to Nathan.

“What will it take for you to stop calling me love bug?” Ella sighed in annoyance

Nathan looked to be pretending to think about it before answering,“Let me take you home.”

“No, I’m good,” Ella said dismissively

A whine could be heard coming from Nathan but no movement was made to start driving away from Ella. A few minutes later and many yells of love bug Ella finally reached her house. Still following Ella, Nathan parked in her driveway and started walking towards Ella.

“Why won’t you answer me, Ella?” Nathan asked

“Why are you still bothering me? Go away.” Ella retorted back

Nathan seemed unhappy but consented to Ella’s wish anyway and started back towards his car.

Opening the door to her house something felt strange. The house was clean, normally it would be if Ella had cleaned up in the morning but usually her father’s drunken walks would cause a mess.

“Ella?” A voice yelled from inside the house. Stepping into the house Ella looked around before finding a man.

This couldn’t be, he was,“Dad? Is that you?” As much as Ella wished it to be true it couldn’t be. This man wasn’t drunk nor did he had her father’s unshaven beard. This man looked clean cut and aware of his surroundings. There was no smell of alcohol, instead, it was the smell and shampoo and cologne.

The man grabbed Ella into a bear hug and whispered words that brought pride to Ella,“I’m going to change for the better.”

Pride was an emotion Ella usually only had when scoring perfectly but this was a new type of pride, a pride for others.

The doorbell rang making Ella let go of their family hug and start walking down the hallway to the door. Nobody comes to your house, Ella thought. Deciding it was probably Nathan again she opened the door. She’d rather not have to face his excessive use of calling her love bug.

Open the door Ella was surprised. Why was she here?

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