Can Local Politician Ellie Livingston Encourage The Residents Of Willow Creek To Stand With World United?
Summer, Year 2
Standing alone at the top of the road, Ellie felt very disappointed. She’d really hoped that by standing boldly with her placard and chants, she’d win over some more of the residents. Sadly, there seemed to be nobody about and Ellie was chanting to an empty street. There seemed to be no sign of her neighbours, Ethan and Hollie but, she reasoned, they were probably both at work. Even so, it was a very depressing feeling.
Since it was disheartening to keep chanting to the trees, Ellie packed her things away, got changed and went out to the community garden. The vendor there was selling fresh lemonade, which sounded like a sound choice in the summer heat. Settling herself on a bench, she questioned her approach. Had she been foolish, protesting at the top of the cul-de-sac during the day? Maybe heading to the city would be better next time. After all, there would be more people there.
Sighing, Ellie finished her lemonade and went home. As she approached the house, she spotted a couple of friends waiting on the doorstep. It was Hollie and Ethan, both just returned from work and coming round to greet her.
“Ellie!” Hollie greeted her warmly. “We’re sorry we haven’t had a chance to come and see you since you moved in. We’ve both been working flat out to furnish the new house.”
“No problem!” Ellie’s mood lifted considerably. Hollie was a very bubbly person and Ethan was a sweetheart. She was fortunate to have lovely neighbours, especially ones she’d been to university with. “Come on in. I apologise now for the state of the place. I haven’t really got much yet.”
“Didn’t you live with your sister for a while though?” Ethan asked. Ellie led them through to the lounge half of the kitchen.
“Yeah but we fell out over lifestyles. She’s living this crazy actress lifestyle in the city with guys coming and going and I just can’t work in an environment like that. Unfortunately, it’s her money that bought most of the furniture. I still had loads of loans to pay off, so I couldn’t contribute much. So when we agreed to separate, I ended up with the castoffs.”
“Ouch. That’s harsh.” Ethan shook his head.
“So what are you doing now?” Hollie asked.
“Campaigning, mostly. I’m trying to drum up support for my charity, World United. I want to end the wars and promote peace and tranquility.” Ellie sighed. “I’ve not had much luck so far though.
“Well count us in!” Hollie said enthusiastically.
Later that evening, Ellie’s spirits lifted even further. She’d arranged a bowling night with one of her other university friends, Andrea. Certain that her friend would be spending the day with Jared, she hadn’t expected to meet up with her and so was pleasantly surprised to see Andrea waiting for her on Creek Street.
“I wasn’t sure you’d come.” Ellie said as she hugged her friend.
“Of course I would!” Andrea exclaimed. “I’ve been looking forward to it. Why wouldn’t I come?”
“I thought you’d want to spend the evening with Jared, or something.”
“Ellie, I moved in with Jared recently I see him all the time. One evening out with you won’t change anything. Anyway, I haven’t seen you for ages. What kind of a friend would I be?” Andrea smiled. “You’ve have a rough few weeks, what with Rebecca’s liaisons and everything. You need a bit of fun and that’s what I’m here for. You ready to bowl?”
It turned out Ellie was a very good bowler and the evening was the stress relief she’d needed. Andrea was a brilliant friend and Ellie was pleased to have her around.
“Okay!” Andrea grinned. They’d bowled the last frame and Ellie had beaten her, fair and square. “I’d better be going. It was great catching up. Give me a ring if you’re feeling low again, Ellie. I’d gladly meet up again.”
“Thanks Andrea, will do.” Ellie promised. She watched her friend leave before heading to the restaurant adjoining the bowling alley to get some late supper.
While eating, Ellie pondered her career. The charity had at least got some support and some was better than none. Her aim was to open a charity shop to raise more money but she wasn’t sure exactly how to go about doing that. She definitely didn’t have the capital she’d need and besides; where would she open it? Willow Creek didn’t seem likely and aside from the city, she wasn’t too familiar with other locations.
The following morning, Ellie travelled into the city to make a speech about the work the charity was hoping to accomplish this year. Once again, she was speaking to an empty auditorium. People passed her on their way to Eden but nobody really stayed long enough to listen to her. One woman sat down for a while, nodded enthusiastically but even she got up and left before the end of the speech.
“I’ve really got to think this through,” Ellie thought to herself.
Feeling very low, Ellie headed out to the Spice District to try and cheer herself up. Sadly, not even the scent of the spices at the market stalls could lift her and she headed miserably towards the train station, just as the heavens opened and the rain poured.