Magificent ELle

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Sometimes, it's hard to see.

“Elle…?”

Elle sat quietly in the meeting, staring at the empty chair across from her.

“Elle?”

She pressed her cool finger tips to her burning eyes and rubbed firmly. She could almost feel the dark circles underneath them becoming even darker as she continued to stare into the mahogany leather chair ahead.

“Elle!”

Elle flinched in her seat and, as if she had been asleep and suddenly awakened, widened her large eyes in search of the perpetrator who called her.

“You gonna read the passage or what?”

She glanced around the table and felt her stomach softly quake as her eyes met the gaze of the eight other persons seated at the long, wooden table.

“Yea, sure—”

She pulled the thick binder into her lap and started reading. She pronounced the words eloquently and read with such purposeful diction and meaningful inflection that the others quickly forgot the odd way she had been blankly staring moments prior.

When she finished, the presenter had them break into groups. Luckily for her, her coworkers rarely pushed her to engage in the small-group discussions.

They didn’t like the small-group discussions, either. At least, that’s what they had claimed. In about fifteen seconds, though, they would all be chatting and cutting one another off as if they had forgotten their vociferous hate for the task at hand.

“Alright,” the presenter shouted after five-minutes of intense talk, “you have an hour and a half for lunch. Be back by…” He stopped to stroke his bare chin, “Two-fifteen.”

While the others lingered to talk, Elle swiftly packed her bag and grabbed her cell-phone.

She leered at the black screen and grew anxious. How long had it been so? She pressed the power button repeatedly and the screen remained black. One hundred tiny butterflies manifested in her bowels and her stomach quickly folded into a cluster of tight knots. Her phone was dead.

 She would have no lunch.

Upon returning to her cubicle, she frantically searched her drawer for a spare charger and finding it, scurried underneath her desk to plug it up.

As soon as she pressed the power button, she took a deep, clarifying breath and watched the loading logo flash across her phone screen.

She always hated this part… Her phone never did what she wanted it to do. It took what seemed like forever for the screen to adjust, and she couldn’t tap any apps lest the phone freeze for a spell.

“Ding!” Her phone had finally connected with the registered network and—“Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!” –She had already missed five calls.

Feeling a little panicked, she opened Duo and as she suspected, all five calls came from… him. She knew he wouldn’t be happy when she’d call back. She knew she’d have to pay for her stupidity.

She stretched out a reluctant finger to tap the call button but before she could connect her touch with the screen, he was calling again.

She exhaled deeply, emptying her lungs of all the remaining air, and swiped to answer.

“What the fuck, Elle?”

“I—I don’t know what happened.” Elle tightly clasped her fingers around her long, flowing skirt and fidgeted with her hands under her work table.

She sat at her computer and rolled her chair as closely to the cubicle wall as she possibly could. She didn’t want anyone to see. She didn’t want anyone to hear…

“How don’t you know what happened? It’s your fucking phone. How the hell aren’t you gonna know what’s going on with your own phone?”

“I don’t—”

“You have it in your vicinity all fucking day! You expect me to believe that shit?”

Elle sighed. “No… I guess I don’t expect you to believe anything I say.”

“See? that’s that smart shit I’ve been talkin’ about. If you wanna give me attitude, I’ll give that shit right back, bigger and better—”

“N-no, I don’t want that. I’m sorry.”

“I’m tired of you being sorry. Start using your brain, dumbass.”

Elle parted her mouth, but silence swept the remnant of broken apologies from her plump lips. She bit her tongue.

“Why is it that I have to remind you every night to make sure your phone is charging? Are you doing this shit on purpose to provoke me?”

“No…”

“I think you are. You can’t really be that forgetful.”

Elle squeezed her arms close to her body and scrunched her hands into tight fists under the table.

She chewed her lip anxiously and for a moment, she held her breath and expected more to be said. But, silence ensued. She exhaled.

The rest of the day went smooth enough. She finished her meeting ahead of schedule and since she didn’t take lunch, she completed nearly every task on her three-day agenda. She was happy. She was... happy.


Submitted: January 05, 2019

© Copyright 2021 Jennifer Brighton. All rights reserved.

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Comments

AdamCarlton

Controlling relationships, hey?

Wed, June 2nd, 2021 7:38am

Author
Reply

Absolutely. Sometimes, as life would have it, you hope and pray and run only to fall into the snare anyhow. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Wed, June 2nd, 2021 3:37pm

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