Annie smiled in surprise.
“Oh! It is quite clear to me now. Do you love Francis? Wow! Annie exclaimed and Ellen bent her head shyly.
“That’s the reason you’re afraid of losing him, right? Annie asked. Ellen remained silent. Annie was in thought for some seconds.
“Wow! Our plan worked. Now you have fallen so much in love with Francis. Tell me Ellen, aren’t Francis and I so brilliant? It was my plan with Francis to make you fall for him. The concern Francis showed you have just been fake. Infect, he just pitied you. I pity you, Ellen. You are yet to feel more pain. I would suggest you avoid doing things that would attract my wrath” Annie explained and Ellen was shocked. Annie began to leave Ellen who then broke down in tears.
“Poor Ellen. You are so naïve. That is why I was able to frame this up so quickly. I am sure you’ve already believed. Dumbo! Annie said in her mind.
Ellen remembered all the times spent with Francis. This made her cry.
Ellen was in her room in thought.
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“I’ve cried enough, and this would be the last time I would ever cry for anybody. If Annie would stop bothering me when I leave Francis, then I think I will agree to that. But, I would like to meet Francis one last time” Ellen said in her mind determinedly. She picked her phone and began to type.
“Francis, I want us to meet” Ellen texted Francis.
Ellen arrived at Francis house and knocked. Francis opened the door and happily ushered her in. he was happy to see her, but Ellen was moody.
“What’s wrong Ellen? You told me that you had something important to tell me, and I promised to meet you. But now you are in my house. Is there a problem? Francis asked caringly. Ellen remained silent. He attempted coming closer to her but Ellen seemed cold.
“Keep yourself at arm’s length! Ellen said in a very serious tone. Francis was surprised.
“Are you still angry with me Ellen? Francis asked, confused. Ellen remembered what Annie did to her.
“Couldn’t you realize that Annie… Ellen wanted to say but she tried to control her emotions. Francis was becoming even more confused.
“You want me to stop relating with Annie? Say it if that is what you want” Francis said but Ellen shook her head.
“Annie is the same friend whom I told you about. The ingrate who just came back from Mexico! You couldn’t even realize that. Instead, you decided to join hands with her in other to hurt me” Ellen said, trying to withhold her tears. Francis was shocked.
“What are you talking about Ellen? Francis asked, clueless.
“Annie told me everything. Now answer this question; did you receive some pictures from me? Ellen asked and Francis nodded, remembering the shock when he saw the pictures.
“You saw the pictures and you didn’t bother calling me? You were comfortable with it? That proves what Annie told me about you” Ellen yelled, still preventing tears from dropping. Francis was still clueless.
“What are you talking about Ellen? I am clueless! Francis said.
“Really? I do not want to go into details because I am certain you already know what I am trying to say. Nevertheless, I must tell you my reason for wishing to meet you. Hopefully, this is the last time I will ever meet you. I want you to stay away from me! Ellen yelled and Francis was shocked.
“Yes! I have never been attached to any man. Who gave you the right to come into my life and make a difference? You made me value you so much that I worry when I do not see you. You made me feel things I’ve never felt before. In the long run, you are fake just like Annie! Please do not call or text me anymore. I want to return to my old life of staying away from men” Ellen said. She wanted to leave but a confused Francis held her hand.
“Ellen, if your anger is that I communicate with Annie, tell me that you want me to stop. And I didn’t bother about the pictures because I already refused to believe you did that. I knew that someone must have framed you. I even thought about asking you, but then you brought in confusion. What plan are you talking about? Francis asked. Ellen looked at him for some seconds, and then she freed her hand.
“Kindly respect my request and decision. Stay away from me” Ellen said and then began to leave. Francis looked at Ellen, hurt.
“I couldn’t explain much. I was afraid that I may break down in front of Francis. And I don’t want that to happen” Ellen said in her mind.
At night, Ellen was online. She remembered Francis and tears were at the corner of her eyes.
Francis was also thinking about Ellen in his room.
5 Days Later,
It was evening and Marbella was applying makeup in her room. Her friends were with her too.
“Party tonight! We are going to rock it, babes! Emma exclaimed.
“Yeah” the rest of the girls except Marbella chorused.
“Emma, I love your shoes! Mia said.
“Thanks, mica,” Emma said.
“But Mia, you haven’t said anything about my appearance. Will you not comment on my beautiful pendant? Olivia asked. Emma chuckled.
“Sorry Olivia, you don’t look as stunning as I am. Don’t be jealous” Emma teased and Olivia shook her head. Mia just laughed.
“But wait! Marbella looks so stunning. Her clothes, jewellery, hairstyle and even nice figure. Oh my God Marbella, you are the only girl here who can make me jealous” Emma said and Marbella smiled.
“Of course Emma. Come on girls, let go to the party with confidence. No one will outshine us! Marbella declared.
“Yeah. That’s the spirit girl! Mia said.
The four girls were walking through the hallway when Emma mistakenly collided with Lisa.
“Hey! Can you not see or are you blind? Lisa said rudely.
“Maybe you have a daughter who was once blind, right? Emma answered back, shocking Lisa.
“Emma, that shouldn’t be a better response. Just say sorry. You were coming so fast” Marbella corrected.
“Okay. Sorry” Emma said and the four girls left. Lisa was unhappy.
“Marbella has brought her friend to insult me. One day, Marbella’s pride will disappear” Lisa said in her mind.
Ellen was at home doing the dishes. She was sad in thought which made her pause washing the dishes.
“It has been five days now, and Francis has not even bothered calling. And he has not even taken mine. Even Jamie has not been in touch” Ellen said in her mind. Marie came into the kitchen and observed Ellen’s mood. She came closer to Ellen.
“Ellen” she called and Ellen looked at her.
“You remembered Francis again, right? Marie asked. Ellen nodded. Marie smiled and then touched Ellen on the shoulder.
“Look Ellen, I understand your feelings. This is your first time having feelings for a man. You’re bound to be very worried. But then, the way you treated Francis was very wrong. You didn’t even give him a chance to explain or even understand what you were accusing him of. To me, you acted very immaturely. That’s why I wouldn’t blame him if he is upset. And that Annie must be feeling happy after seeing that her efforts didn’t go in vain. She succeeded in separating Francis and you. But Ellen, have you tried apologising to him over the phone? Marie asked. Ellen shook her head.
“No. I cannot connect with him even now. And he has not even called me” Ellen complained.
“Something must be wrong,” Marie said.
“Mum, I am so scared. I don’t want Francis to go away from me. He has been the best friend I ever had. Even when I get angry with him, he always apologises. Now I feel I should be the one saying sorry this time. I don’t want to lose him” Ellen said in tears. She hugged her mother who consoled her.
In a big cyber café, Jamie was seen working. A friend of his walked up to him.
“Hey buddy, have you been able to find your phone?
“No. and I’ve lost all contacts. I think the phone fell into the water. But I am quite lucky that my cousin came back from Mexico the previous day. I would have been bothered on how to contact him” Jamie said. His friend shrugged.
The next day, Marbella and Ellen were together at the café sitting and having tea.
“Ellen, even in many years to come, this particular teashop will always. The first day I met you after returning to the Philippines, it was here. And I even met your two male friends here as well” Marbella said. Ellen smiled. Marbella noticed that Ellen’s mind was on something else.
“Ellen, are you still worried about your friends? Marbella asked. Ellen nodded. She was surprised when she saw a familiar car driving towards the café.
“Francis! Ellen said excitedly and stood from her seat. Marbella became curious. She followed Ellen’s eye gaze and saw Francis’ car. Ellen quickly left the table and Marbella followed her.
Francis came out of his car and was surprised to see Ellen and Marbella. Ellen was smiling at him. Francis smiled too. Ellen shyly came closer to him while Marbella remained in the same spot.
“Ellen, how have you been? Francis asked.
“I’ve been fine. What about you Francis? Ellen asked, smiling.
“I am okay” Francis answered.
“What about Jamie? Ellen asked.
“Jamie has been busy, but he’s fine though” Francis answered. Ellen nodded.
“Well, I just came here to get some takeaway coffee,” Francis said and Ellen just nodded, smiling. Marbella came closer.
“Hi,” she said, waving at Francis and smiling.
“Hello? Francis replied without even looking at her.
“Hey! Greet like a man at least” Marbella said, smiling. Francis frowned.
“Sorry? Francis asked.
“You heard me, man. Just because I am not Ellen, does not mean you should frown when you see me. Look, I am a cheerful and free girl. Bearing grudges have never been my thing. And you are a man. You are not supposed to keep malice with a free girl like me” Marbella said. Francis turned to Ellen.
“Ellen, let me go get the takeaway. I have a lot of work today” Francis said, ignoring Marbella. Ellen nodded and Francis left the girls.
“Let’s go, Ellen. You’ve finally met your friend. Are you happy? Marbella asked Ellen. Ellen nodded, smiling.
“Francis appeared happy with me. He is not even angry. I wish to meet him soon” Ellen said happily. She and Marbella entered the car and zoomed off.