Elliott watched Sam walk towards his car dragging his wife along behind him shouting at her the entire way, wondering why Lorelei had ever gotten involved with that Neanderthal in the first place.
When she had first announced she was dating him, everyone she knew had told her it was a bad idea. He was notorious for treating women badly: cheating on them, controlling them, and he was constantly being hauled up to the police station for crimes that they knew he had committed but had no evidence to charge him with. But despite his many, many faults Lorelei always turned a blind eye, and eventually as Sam’s controlling ways took over her life her friends started to have less and less to do with her. Elliott remembered the first time she had called him up in tears. She’d been out shopping for an outfit to wear on her and Sam’s date that night – a date which was to consist of going to Sam’s local pub so he could watch the football – and when she’d shown him what she had bought he had told her it was too revealing, had grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the clothes to ribbons. They’d been seeing each other for six weeks. After that the desperate phone calls started and had increased the longer the couple had been together. When Lorelei told him that she and Sam were getting married he had tried every method of persuasion he knew to try and get her to break it off, but when it came to Sam, Lorelei couldn’t think straight.
Elliott walked back inside the house and pushed his front door closed. There was no point going after them, he’d learnt that lesson a long time ago. He’d go out there and Sam would threaten to hit him and then she would tell him to go back inside, that she was fine. She must know that it wasn’t right for him to treat her like that, so why wouldn’t she leave him? Elliott picked up the mug Lorelei had knocked over and slowly climbed the stairs to get a cloth to clean up the light brown liquid that had pooled on the floor. When he reached his bedroom he glanced over and saw the towel lying on his bed exactly where Grace had left it earlier that morning before telling him she wasn’t going to be second best. Maybe he had been a little unfair to her, but Lorelei had been his friend for almost fifteen years; Grace couldn’t just expect him to stop seeing her. But that wasn’t the problem was it Elliott?
He found himself thinking. The problem was that you
never put Grace first even when there was nothing wrong with Lorelei.
Elliott suddenly felt angry with himself. He snatched the towel up from the bed and hurled it into the bathroom, then turned round and flopped onto his bed.
Just then, his phone rang. He didn’t bother looking at the screen; he figured it was Lorelei calling to apologise.
“Yep?” He answered wearily.
“Elliott, hey it’s Daniel.”
Elliott was surprised to hear that it wasn’t Lorelei.
“Oh. Hi mate, how are you?”
“Er that’s sort of the reason that I’m calling. I need to ask a favour.”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“I was wondering if I’d be able to stay with you for a couple of days? I’ve, er... I’ve moved out.”
“Moved out?!” Elliott remarked. “Bloody hell, didn’t think I’d ever see the day you’d leave home.”
“Yeah well, that wasn’t for want of trying.”
“Of course you can stay, so long as you’re alright with the sofa.”
“Anything.” Daniel replied, sounding relieved. “I’d be happy with the floor so long as I’ve got a roof over my head. Are you home now?” He asked.
“Yeah.” Elliott replied, standing up and looking around his empty flat. He had lived alone for eight years and had never got lonely, but felt glad at the prospect of having a houseguest for a few days, even if just to distract himself from his own life. The two chatted for a couple more minutes with Daniel saying he’d be round in half an hour, and so when they finished their conversation Elliott got up and started searching his flat for the spare bedding he knew he had somewhere. What a day
. Elliott thought to himself.
He was clearing up the last few bits of rubbish that had gotten accidentally flung across the room, when his doorbell buzzed for the second time that day. Wearily he plodded across the floor, pulled open the door and stood aside to let his friend in.
“You travel light.” Elliott said when he noticed Daniel’s small bag.
“Yeah, it was kind of a spontaneous departure.” He replied, setting it down on the floor.
“So what happened?” Elliott asked, leading Daniel into the lounge and grabbing them both a beer before sitting down.
“I just couldn’t take it there anymore.” He replied, shaking his head.
“She’s been sleeping with her married, ex-boyfriend who is a total bastard - I had to physically throw him out of our flat once because he was getting too aggressive. I was home doing work today and I heard them rowing; I didn’t even know he was there. I found him leaving, her half-naked and crying trying to pretend like nothing was wrong. It was just the last straw. I know she’s my mum, and I know I should be there for her no matter what, but when it’s been your whole life of looking after the one person who’s supposed to be looking after you... I figured she’s never going to sort herself out whilst I’m there because she depends on me too much.”
Elliott didn’t say anything - he couldn’t think of any words that could possibly ease the situation - so he just nodded, suddenly feeling glad he didn’t have Daniel’s life.
PiscinaDeShiva and KyleTheArtist - thank you so much comments like yours really help keep me motivated.