Charity Begins At Home

World United Open Their First Charity Shop In Newcrest!

Spring, Year 3

In an attempt to distract herself from her current woes, Ellie had started heading to Lux Park every morning for a few laps of the pool. it was proving effective and she felt better by the time she dried off and headed off to work.

Andrea treated Ellie to a decent day at the spa on her next day off.
“So, what are you going to do?” Andrea asked. “You know you can’t stay with him, Ellie. Not when he’s been messing around with Rebecca too.”
“I don’t know.” Ellie sighed unhappily. “I think I just want to focus on my job first, and the charity. Gerald can wait.”
Andrea was quiet for a while. “Have you heard from him lately?”
“Yeah.” Ellie bit her lip. “But then I haven’t really mentioned to him that I know about him and Rebecca last summer.” Ellie caught Andrea’s eye. “Look, I know I should confront him but I can’t. I suppose I just don’t want to hear the excuses.”
Andrea watched her friend thoughtfully. She was hoping Ellie would get the courage soon; she hated her friend feeling so down all the time.

Later that day, Ellie heard a knock on her door. She was delighted to see it was Daniel.
“Dan, hey!” she exclaimed as she opened the door. “This is a nice surprise!”
“Hey Ellie. I wanted to see if you were okay, and you weren’t answering your phone.” Daniel explained. “I was worried. Especially as Jack told me that Andrea told him you’ve been a bit under the weather lately.” He paused. “Gerald, I assume?”
Ellie sighed. “Yeah. That and I’m a little worried about World United. I’ve not had even a fraction of the support I was hoping I’d get. As a result, the charity still doesn’t have the money to set up a shop as I was hoping to.”

Daniel dragged Ellie out into her sparse garden for a kickabout. “So it’s a funding problem you’re having then?”
“For the charity?” Ellie kicked the ball across to Daniel. “Yeah. And I haven’t found anywhere suitable to rent, either.”
“Have you looked in Newcrest?” Daniel asked. “There’s a decent looking place there, if you’re interested.”
Ellie raised her eyebrows and widened her eyes. “Are you serious?”
Daniel nodded. “Yeah. Did you want to come and look at it?”
“Yes!” Ellie laughed. “I mean, I still don’t have the money but I suppose that can be sorted out. Let’s go!”

“This looks perfect!” Ellie exclaimed as she stared at the building. The place really did look ideal and she could feel the excitement starting to build. “I just wish I had the funding for this. It’s so ideal!”
“Listen, have you thought about taking out a loan? The SimCity Bank would probably give you a decent deal on a business loan.” Daniel shrugged. “You’ve only got to enquire.”
“A business loan.” Ellie shook her head and laughed. “Why didn’t I ever think of that?”

Once she got home, Ellie made straight for the computer to set up her loan. Daniel had been right, it hadn’t really taken too much effort. Finally, she had the promise of some funding and could go ahead and buy the premises in Newcrest!

She took a few days off work to get the shop set up. Her first day of trading got off to a roaring start! Hollie came in to see her and offer some support.
“It’s busier than I expected for your first day!” Hollie commented cheerfully as she browsed.
Ellie grinned. “Daniel mentioned it to a few people for me. It’s busier than I expected too.”
“Has Gerald dropped in?” Hollie asked, lowering her voice.
“No.” Ellie shook her head sadly. “I’ve been thinking about this. I’m going to have to do it. Tonight.”
Hollie hugged her friend. “Good luck, Ellie! Call round if you need some support. You’re welcome to have dinner with us tonight if you don’t feel like cooking.”
“Thanks, Hollie. I’ll be okay though.” Ellie smiled.

“WHAT?” Gerald exclaimed. “You don’t mean that.”
“Yes, I do.” Ellie felt the tears brewing. “Look, Gerald. Don’t give me your usual crap. I know you were seeing Becca last summer. She told me. I don’t want your excuses, I just want you to go.”
“You little bitch,” Gerald roared. “And what about you? With that little one-night-stand you had with that peeping Tom? Yeah, you’re not the only one Rebecca spills everything to! You little trollop!”
“Get out!” Ellie shouted, finally snapping. “I’ve had enough of everything being my fault. Just get out. I never want to see you again!”
“Fine, no problem.” Gerald got up and stalked towards the door. “Have a nice life, Ellie.”
She’d done it. Letting the tears flow, Ellie did feel some relief sweep through her. At last, she’d done it.

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