Is ‘World United’ Coming Apart At The Seams? Is Organiser Ellie Livingston Up To The Job?
Winter, Year 2
It was a very cold morning in Windenburg as Ellie arrived at Lux Park for a workout. She’d started a new fitness regime to try and help her to cope with Gerald’s disloyalty. She still hadn’t managed to pin him down to talk to Rebecca and it was starting to look like he didn’t care.
It didn’t help that he started going to the gym on the same days she did. She still couldn’t pin him down to a satisfactory answer. He seemed completely reluctant to tell Rebecca about the two of them.
The tension between them was getting too much and Ellie was relieved one morning to see a text from Daniel, inviting her out to GeekCon.
“Thanks for inviting me, Dan,” Ellie said as her friend pulled her into a hug.
“No problem. I hated seeing you so down the other day. When I knew GeekCon was coming into town, I had to invite you!” Daniel rubbed her back. “Things still not good with Gerald then?”
Ellie sighed unhappily. “Nope. He’s still refusing to talk to Rebecca with me. I really think she should know about us. I don’t feel right about asking for her help with the charity shop if she doesn’t know about us yet.”
“Ask yourself this, Ellie: What difference will it make? I know Becca and Gerald were on and off at University but they split up some time ago, didn’t they? Sort of?” Daniel bit his lip.
“Sort of? They did break up, eventually. Admittedly she was already seeing David and Jack by then.” Ellie sighed again. “You know what? I don’t think I care right now. I’m just going to have some fun today.”
Daniel grinned. “Good! Come on, this’ll be good.”
“Ellie? Is that you? I haven’t seen you for ages!”
Ellie looked up at the man sitting at the computer next to her. “Jared!” she exclaimed. “Great to see you!”
“How have you been?” Jared asked. “I heard about you setting up the charity.”
Pulling a face, Ellie shrugged. “Yeah. It’s not going so well at the moment. Not much support.”
“Why don’t you come round to us sometime after Christmas? Andrea and I would be glad to help out where we can.” Jared winked. “We can even make a couple of donations, if you want.”
Relieved, Ellie grinned properly for the first time in weeks. “That would be brilliant, thanks Jared.”
“No problem. Now you’d better focus on this hackathon. Ethan’ll be here any minute and he’s bound to wipe the floor with both of us. It’s embarrassing; I’m a computer engineer!” Jared and Ellie both laughed.
In the end, Ellie decided to take Daniel’s advice and not tell her sister about her relationship with Gerald. She did, however, decide to meet Rebecca for dinner at The Tudor Tavern, to talk about the charity shop idea.
“Thanks for meeting me, Becca,” Ellie started as her sister sat down and flicked her long red hair behind her.
“Oh it’s fine. I didn’t have any plans tonight anyway. This was better than sitting in the flat by myself!”
“Anyway, I wanted to ask you something. There’s not really an easy way of putting this but-”
“Oh waiter, there you are. Can we have two glasses of your very best red, please. I’ll have the spinach quiche and my sister will have the superfood salad.” Rebecca collared the passing waiter and waited until he’d gone away with their order. “You’ll love it.”
“Oh. Erm, thanks. I suppose that’s okay. I hadn’t intended to be drinking tonight, Rebecca. I really wanted to ask you-”
“Oh trust me, you’ll love it. You don’t get out half as much as you should, Ellie darling. That boring job of yours should really take a backseat sometimes, you know. I can’t imagine why you want to get yourself so involved with it all!”
Ellie decided that it would be a bad time to ask Rebecca for a loan. Instead, she concentrated on her meal.
“Please, just go.” Ellie begged. “I really think it’s better if you go.”
“All right, if that’s what you want babe. But remember, I got souvenirs of tonight. So play your cards right, love.” The mystery guy patted Ellie’s rear and left the house.
Ellie broke down. She’d known it was stupid to invite a peeping Tom into the house because it was snowing outside. His taking advantage of the situation was inevitable.
Still sobbing uncontrollably, she reached for her phone.
“You did what?” Rebecca burst out laughing. “I’m sorry, Ellie but that is so unlike you!”
Ellie sniffed and reached for her wine glass. “It’s not funny, Rebecca. I never have one night stands. Especially when I’m already seeing someone.”
“Ellie, don’t worry. It happens. You and Gerald are having problems and you’ve been really down lately. It’s okay, honestly. Don’t beat yourself up over it.” Andrea squeezed her friend’s hand and shot Rebecca a filthy look over Ellie’s head.
“Wait, Gerald? My Gerald?” Rebecca’s laughter ceased and she stared incredulously at her sister. “Gerald Davies?”
Ellie’s head dropped to her hands. “Yes, Gerald Davies. I’ve been seeing him since before Easter. I’m sorry, Becca but you two had already broken up.”
“No we hadn’t.” Rebecca said bluntly. “We were still seeing each other on and off over the summer.”
Unable to hold it in any longer, Ellie broke down again. Andrea shot another look at Rebecca before hugging her friend. “Maybe this is for the best, Ellie. He’s not been making you happy for ages, has he?”
“Really? I thought he was rather good.” Rebecca shrugged. “Each to their own, I suppose.”
“Piss off, Rebecca. Can’t you have some sympathy for your own sister?” Andrea growled.
“Why should I? Gerald doesn’t do permanent, the silly bitch should know that. God, that was obvious.” Rebecca shook her head and drained her glass. “Ellie needs to get over herself and stop being so dramatic.”
Ellie banged her fist down on the bar. “I’ve heard enough.”
Ignoring Andrea calling her name, Ellie got up and ran out of the pub and out into the country lanes of Windenburg. The blizzard raged as she ran in no particular direction.