“Feelings just don’t go away. You either have them forever or you never had them at all.” -Unknown
That was the last of it.
At least, the last of what Ellie Lawson had planned to pack into her pink 26 inch metallic wheeled suitcase.
She lets out an exhausted sigh as she plopped down to sit on the bed—thankful that she was able to finish her packing despite the fact that she had crammed for it. Adding to this, she even got a few more hours to spare at that.
“Ellie, are you done?” Her college roommate Addison asked the moment she had opened the door of Ellie’s room; peeking through the side and giving Ellie a glimpse of her usual comfy loose shirt and shorts, partnered up with her thick graded eyeglasses.
Ellie’s dorm room wasn’t that big, so it could only house about two people. And by a random pairing done by the university’s staffing, Ellie was partnered up with Addison Cher.
Addison, were at times, annoying and bossy. However, she was also joyful, kind and independent. Addison also served as somewhat, a mother figure to her—which she lacked thereof and straightened her out in times that Ellie felt like she was losing herself.
You see, Ellie didn’t expect that Addison was the one friend she desperately needed. And the fact that both of them aimed to pursue a degree far from their hometowns was secretly something that had caused Ellie to feel some sort of bond or security. Although Ellie would never admit it and would probably claim that it was hard to live with Addison because of their evident differences and lack of mutual interests, she was absolutely lying. Addison Cher was a room mate that she was more than lucky to have.
Addison pushes the loose glasses sliding down a bit off her nose upwards as she tried to take in the mess that unfolded in front of her—the mess that Ellie had created in a span of two and a half hours which very much resembled a doing of a natural calamity.
“Yeah, I just finished.” Ellie responded, a bit unfazed by the horrified look Addison had on. This was a struggle for Addison who attested to having OCD despite her not being diagnosed as one.
Addison inhaled and exhaled heavily, calming herself and trying to pretend to not see what she had witnessed seconds ago. She then crosses her arms against her chest before nodding over to Ellie with a wide smile.
“Okay then, get changed. We’re going to eat lunch out before you leave okay?”
And with that she walks away from Ellie’s room, not even bothering to close the door she had opened. A typical behavior of Addie that somehow for some reason, should tick off Ellie but it doesn’t.
Moments later, Ellie’s phone buzzes obnoxiously which she found strange because there was highly unlikely anyone who would try to call and contact her in the light of day. Everyone knew—her family and those who she was close or affiliated with, that Ellie preferred text messages more than calls.
She still scrambles on her feet to try and find the resounding mobile device, feeling quite a bit curious to who it was who was trying to take a hold of her.
Ellie ends up staring on the display of her phone in utter shock and surprise once she had it in the palm of her hand. The caller owned an unknown number, but somehow the digits seemed awfully familiar.
“Hello?” Ellie said in greeting; her voice being barely there and even, hinting the receiver of her evident tone of reluctance. "Who is this?”
“When were you planning on telling me that you were going back to Sheffield?”
Ellie’s eyes widened, easily recognizing the owner of the voice. ‘Could it really be her?’ She thought.
“J-Julia?” Ellie muttered in disbelief, not truly believing that it was her. A loud scoffing was heard from the other end of the line.
“Who else would it be?—” Julia Whitmore snapped, sounding very irritated. “—So? Explain yourself Ellie.”
Ellie swallowed heavily before responding. “You see, it was supposed to be a surprise...”
“So, me not knowing your number was a surprise too?” Julia shot back, obviously hurt. "You’re ruthless.”
Ellie found herself sitting back down roughly on the bed, feeling suddenly tired. She felt guilty about what she had done, and the fact that she doesn’t even remember the reason why she distanced herself from Julia had only made these remorseful feelings worse.
“I’m sorry Julia, okay? I really am—But yes, I will be coming home.” Ellie tells her, shifting the topic and trying to evade Julia’s confrontations she was way too uneasy to regard. "My flight is at 7 pm...How did you even find out?”
“From your brother.”Julia replied matter-of-factly.
“Noah?” Ellie’s brows furrowed together in deep thought.
“Yeah? Who else dummy?”
Ellie’s lips cracked up a smile. "I have two brothers Julia. You’re going to have to be more specific.”
“Do you really expect I’d get anything from Cedric?”
“Well, No...Okay. You got a point.” Ellie sighed in defeat before hearing Julia’s heartwarming giggles. Wetting her lips, Ellie found herself holding onto the phone a little bit tighter than she did moments ago. “I’m really sorry about not telling you—”
“It’s fine. You’re forgiven Ellie.” Julia says softly—any sarcastic tone or irritated manner of talking had completely vanished. "The important thing is I got a hold of you. Now, what are your plans when you get home?”
Ellie gnawed on her bottom lip, pausing for a few seconds to think about Julia’s question.
“I um...I’m really not sure. I’ll probably just spend some time with my family. Other than that, mind grabbing some coffee with me tonight?” Ellie started chewing on her nails in nervousness. She cursed mentally, thinking about why she had invited Julia over coffee when in reality, Julia still probably hated her guts and would probably reject her causing her to sulk and regret ever asking in the first place.
Because no matter how much Ellie discerned the fact that she missed Julia’s company, it was her own decision to cut her off and ruin their friendship.
What Ellie thought nonetheless, was not true.
“Of course Ellie, I would love to have coffee with you. But maybe in another day, there’s someplace I need to be tonight—everyone’s meeting up at a party later.”
“Everyone in our class!—” Julia exclaimed through the phone, causing Ellie to hiss and jolt away from the gadget in her hand before placing it back against her possible now ruptured eardrums .
“—Like a reunion? We have it every year. ” Julia continued. "You wouldn’t know cause you’re never here. But that would change because tonight you’re coming with me!”
Ellie rolled her eyes in disagreement. “Ha! Stating the obvious? Anyways, I think I’m going to pass on that one.”
Julia groans. "Come on Ellie. Don’t be such a killjoy.”
“You know that I have the capability to make decisions for myself and not go, right?”
“And we both know that I will pester you to the point that you decide to come on your own.” Julia replied defiantly.
“Woooow. And I thought I was ruthless.” Ellie snorted.
“You’ve already skipped most of the social gatherings with our old friends! You at least have to show yourself.”
Ellie’s mouth set into a hard line. "Do I really have to? I mean...”
“Don’t you miss everyone around here? Do you hate everyone that much? Do you hate me?” Despite the fact that Ellie couldn’t see her, the way Julia spoke seemed to have already given Ellie an idea of what Julia was feeling.
“Of course I don’t.” Ellie responds immediately, ensuring Julia of her absolute lack of resentment towards her. Yes, Ellie had turned her back against Julia. But it wasn’t because Julia did something wrong—rather it was because Ellie was a coward.
“Besides, Reece is attending. Knowing you, you’d probably won’t ever want to miss that out.”
Ellie sucks in a shallow breath. “...I don’t care about him, Julia.”
“It’s been what? Three years?” Julia intensely protested. "You both are in college and things are different this time. We forgive, we forget.”
As if Julia expected Ellie’s silence and loss for words she spoke up again. "I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry Ellie. This isn’t even about him. I just desperately want you to come—”
“It’s alright. I um...I’ll think about it. don’t worry.” Ellie says, placing Julia’s mind at rest. “Thanks Julia, for the invitation. That means a lot coming from you.”
“No problem, Ellie. Anytime. By the way, do you want me to pick you up at the airport?”
“No it’s fine. Dad’s doing it for me so. See you soon Julia.”
“You too Ellie, have a safe trip.”
Ellie felt as if a boulder had been dropped from the top of her head and crushed her whole the moment Julia finally dropped the call. The pain of loss had suddenly emerged and urged Ellie to recall the memories she had shared with her.
Ellie tried to remember how long it has been since they last talked. All Ellie remembered was after a few months she had started college, living distantly had made it difficult to remain in contact with Julia until she ended it all together, even deleting her number in the end.
Julia was one of Ellie’s closest friends back in High school. Julia and her were inseparable at the time, and Ellie couldn’t believe that she ended up breaking away from Julia too.
Out of nowhere Reece had suddenly invaded the entirety of Ellie’s thoughts. And it was only because Julia mentioned that he would be coming to the reunion later tonight.
Ellie had now felt an overwhelming familiar ache in her chest that caused herself to bury her face in her hands. Ellie had succeeded on not having to think about him for a while now. How has it that only his name could relive a memory she tried everything to forget?
‘It’s been three years, huh? Whatever.’ Ellie told herself. ′Nothing has changed about what I feel for him. Time already healed me....Didn’t it?′
“So Reece is going to be there?” Ellie jumped at hearing Addison’s voice. She turns her head to the side only to see that Addison was already standing next to the door frame.
“How were you able to hear that? And How long have you been standing there Addie?” Ellie raised an eyebrow while watching Addison simply shrug before pushing the door more widely open for her figure to fit in and walk inside the room.
The bed shifts as Addison takes a seat next to Ellie on the mattress.
“Haven’t you ever heard of selective hearing? And Honestly? I’ve been standing there for a while...” Addison’s cheeks flush crimson, and even her own eyeglasses couldn’t hide her obvious discomfiture from Ellie.
“Anyways, that doesn’t matter! What matters is if your going to that party.” Addison started waggling her eyebrows teasingly and started poking Ellie’s side with her elbow. "So? Are you?”
“If you paid well attention into the conversation, you’d already know that Julia has decided for me.” Ellie responded flatly and Addison purses her lips while she stared at Ellie amusingly. By a fluke, there was something in Ellie’s eyes that flashed—and it represented the complete opposite of what she was telling her.
“Well, you can always back out. It is your life Ellie, not theirs,” Addison laced her fingers together, fighting a smile. "But do you want to go? And don’t you lie to me Lawson, cause I’ll be able to tell if you do.”
Ellie moves a lose strand of her hair and places it at the back of her ear before meeting Addison directly in the eye.
“I-I don’t know Addie. I’m honestly stuck between wanting and not wanting...”
“Oh god! You must, Ellie. No questions asked!” Addison squealed as she got up to her feet and clapped her hands enthusiastically.
“I knew you were going to say that.” Ellie grunted and shook her head hopelessly. Addison ignores her comment and simply pointed a finger in her direction.
"You should take the opportunity the world is giving you.This could be your chance Ellie—”
“A chance for what?” Ellie retorts.
“To win back Reece!”
Ellie almost choked on the air she was just casually breathing in. She roughly clutches on her chest when she regains her composure before her cheeks heat up and turn a darker shade of red—more than what Addison’s cheeks have created earlier.
”W-What? Win him back?! Are you crazy?! That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard!”
“What’s absurd is you leaving Sheffield so you can move on from him.” Addison grinned smugly while crossing her arms against her chest triumphantly.
Ellie gasped and felt as if she was now starting to resemble that of a tomato. She abruptly stands up and faced Addison head on—her hands now balled up onto fists as they stay rested by her side.
“That’s one thing you’re wrong about Addie. I moved to Newcastle because of university!”
“Sure sure. Keep telling yourself that.” Addison chuckled to herself and waved her hand airily, dismissing Ellie’s explanations. And as Ellie opened and closed her mouth like a fish out of water—struggling to figure out something that would convince Addison that she wasn’t right, the girl already turned her back on Ellie and headed out for the door.
”Get changed alright? You have 10 minutes!”Addison shouts before closing the door behind her.
Ellie then clutches onto her hair, wanting to rip it out of her scalp because she was unable to even defend herself.
Seconds after however, her shoulders slumped entirely. And Ellie couldn’t help but curse under her breath because Addison was definitely right. And Ellie was now starting to doubt her feelings she was always so certain of.