So, here's my latest storyline for Zeppelin World. I've been wanting to write this for SO LONG, since mid-summer. This is transferred over partially from a notebook. You know, the scribbles I posted a few days ago?
"Bethany, darling, how's your latest column coming?" Ryan asks, stopping by my desk and leaning in.
I sigh. "It's coming slowly. Seems like a slow news week. Hopefully Valentine's will bring some engagements."
"Psh, who gets engaged on Valentine's Day? That's so tacky!" I glare at him. "Oh! Sorry, I forgot that you..." he trails off, backing away from me and heading back to his own desk. I guess that means I should get back to what I'm working on. What was that again?
My cell phone rings. Weird, people never call my cell if I'm at work. Elise? Why is she...?
All I hear from the other end is breathing.
"Elise, I know you didn't butt-dial me again, this is our home number. What's wrong?"
"Come home. Now."
That's all she says before she starts sobbing. It's all she needs to say.
"Okay, I will. I love you," I say, hanging up and starting to gather my things. Before I can go, however, I get stopped by the last person I want to see at that moment: Ash.
"Edwards, why the rush?" he asks, his eyebrows perking up.
"Family emergency, gotta go. I'll send you a message later with details."
I push past him, out the doors and into the elevator. The main lobby and the escalators down to the street are a blur, as is the frantic rush to get a cab (I'm pretty sure I left a tourist or two in my wake). I fidget the whole ride home. Something had obviously happened, and it must have been bad. But who did it happen to? Her grandfather? One of her parents? Those are the only people I can really think of that would cause her to get so upset.
I pay the cabbie and hurry inside our building, taking the elevator to our floor. I'd normally do the stairs, but this seems faster. When I get the door open and step into the living room, I see Elise sitting on the couch. Her face is blank, and it's evident that she's been crying. She looks up at me with empty, red-rimmed eyes and gets up, walking over to me and clinging on for dear life.
"I told him! She sobs into my shoulder. "I told him that they weren't safe, and he didn't listen!"
I rub her back, trying to comfort her. "Who didn't listen about what?" I ask.
She pulls away from me, but I make sure to keep a hand on her shoulder, because she looks like she's going to pass out. "Jake. That stupid car, we all kept telling him the brakes weren't safe. Well last night..." she trails off, and I have to bring her over to the couch and sit her down. "They were coming home from a party and the brakes failed."
"Are they okay? Were the kids with them?"
"No, no, the kids are fine," she says, still shaking.
"What about Jake and Maura? How are they?"
She looks at me, and my stomach drops. The way she looks at me tells me all I need to know. I hug her tightly, the both of us crying. After a bit, I have stopped, but she's still sobbing into my chest. I can feel my stomach gurgling, and I realize I haven't eaten anything in quite a while. I gently shake Elise, and she unwraps herself from me, wiping her eyes.
"Hey, I think I'm gonna go get some food. Do you want something?" I ask gently. She sniffles and nods. "Okay, I'm gonna go out and get us some pizzas and a whole load of beer, how does that sound?" She manages to smile a bit. I stand, and manage to get her to stand up, too. "I'm gonna go, you go get in bed and get all comfy. Try to sleep a little." She heads off towards the bedroom, and I get my coat and bag and head out towards the nearest pizza place.
When I get back, I make sure to try and be as quiet as possible, but the noises I hear from the bedroom tell me she's not asleep. It really hurts me to hear her this upset. I kick off my shoes, put one six-pack in the fridge, and carry the other pack and the pizzas into our room. Everything gets set on the desk, because more important things need to be attended to.
"Hey," I say, climbing onto the bed and cuddling up behind her. I pull the hair away from her face and kiss the spot behind her ear. "I got food, you wanna eat something? You should."
"Yeah," she says, sniffling. I pull away and let her sit up. I get off the bed, grabbing the food and beer, setting them down in front of her.
"I need to go shoot a quick email to Ash, I promised I'd let him know why I left. I guess I'm gonna have to take some time off, too. What do you think, like a week and a half? Two weeks?"
"Make it two weeks. You never know what might happen or who might show up."
"Okay," I lean over, wiping some of the tears off her face and giving her a quick kiss. "I'll be back in a few minutes." I head out the door, but at the last second I pop my head back in. She's already opened the pizza box, good. "Oh, and Elise?"
"I love you. Remember that."
She smiles at me sweetly. "I love you too."So there it is. No, this isn't it, there's more. Lots, lots more.