Elliott rushed towards the door but he knew any attempt at calling Grace back was going to fail. He stood and watched her sadly until she turned the corner at the end of the road and, without turning around, said to Lorelei, “What are you doing here?”
“I caught Sam...” She didn’t finish her sentence, but Elliott knew what the rest of it should be. He slowly turned round and looked at her. She looked much worse than last time he’d seen her; he could almost see the pain radiating from her.
“And what do you want me to do about it?” He replied.
He felt a small pang of guilt when his words caused Lorelei to wince slightly, but he couldn’t help himself; he’d had enough.
“I didn’t know where else to go.”
“So you decided to pick here, even though last time we spoke you told me I was wrong when I said he’d been having an affair?” He folded his arms across his chest.
“Look I came here for help, not for you to stand there and say ‘I told you so’. I thought we were friends?” He could see the pleading in her eyes, the pleading that he had seen so many times before and that he had fallen for so many times before.
“Yeah so did I, but I thought friendships are supposed to be a two-way thing yet all you ever do is use me as a place to cool off when things get rough with Sam.”
“Elliott, please.” She whispered as tears glistened in her eyes, threatening to fall. “This is... worse than anything.”
He sighed. If this had been any other row then he might have told her to leave, that he couldn’t help her. But this was different. He gestured her inside and she flashed him a grateful smile as she walked through the door.
“Thanks, I really appreciate it.”
“So, you caught him with her?” He forced himself to ask. She nodded.
“Together, in our bed...” Her voice trailed off as she sat on sofa and put her head in her hands. “I don’t know what to do.” She whispered.
“Well you already know my feelings on the situation.” He said coolly as he sat down next to her. “And I am willing to be a large amount of money that most other people would agree with me.”
“I’m... I’m starting to think that... perhaps I should have listened to you sooner.” She said quietly.
Elliott felt like he’d been slapped around the head.
“Wait, what?! Are you saying that you finally agree with me about him?” He asked disbelievingly.
“I don’t know. I mean... I love him. I know you think I’m crazy, but I can’t help it. I just don’t think that this is something I can forgive.”
“But the shouting and the controlling and the putting you down; that you can
forgive?” Elliott asked.
She looked at him quizzically.
“I don’t understand what you’re trying to get at?” She asked.
“I just find it odd that you’re willing to forget all the other horrible things that he’s done, but not this.”
“There’s a history with him that you don’t know about.”
She suddenly groaned quietly.
“Are you ok?” He asked.
“Yeah, I just feel a little sick. Maybe it’s the shock. Could I have a glass of water?” She asked.
Elliott made his way into the kitchen and grabbed a glass. As he stood waiting for it to fill he wondered if he was being too hard on her. Yes, the way she treated him was not ok but in this case she was right; it was
worse than anything Sam had done before.
He looked down when he felt a chill through his hand and realised that the glass was overflowing. Quickly he turned off the tap and headed back into the living room, grabbing some ice cubes from the freezer on the way past. He passed Lorelei the glass and she took a few sips.
“I didn’t think you would ever want to see me again.” She eventually said. Elliott sat next to her but said nothing. “I’m sorry I doubted you. But... surely you’ve been in a position where you love someone so much that you’re blind to their faults?”
“I guess.” He uttered. She gently placed the glass on the coffee table in front of her and turned to him.
“It’s just... I feel sorry for him.”
“Are you joking?!” He almost shouted.
“Wait.” She interrupted. “Please just... let me explain. His dad was a horrible man; alcoholic and violent. He used to beat Sam’s mum and him too sometimes. That kind of upbringing is bound to make people angry and aggressive. I think he just needs someone to make him happy.”
Elliott reached up and rubbed his face with his hands.
“Oh please don’t tell me you are trying to justify what he does.” He said, shaking his head.
“I’m not trying to justify it. I’m just saying that it’s not as black and white as you think.”
“But it is Lorelei.” He was on his feet now having lost his patience.
“And you are trying to justify it. It’s like you’re saying that the guy has no freewill! So because his dad was that way it means that Sam had no other option but to grow up exactly the same?! That’s complete rubbish. If he was a decent person then he would have learnt from his past and taken the steps to make sure he didn’t turn out the same.” He walked across the room away from where she was sat. “You know, it’s a really good thing you two don’t have kids if that’s why he’s the way he is.”
Before he had even finished that last sentence he heard sobs coming from her direction. He span around, confused for a moment before realisation dawned. “Oh God. Please don’t tell me you are having his baby?” He asked.
She nodded. “I only found out today.” She managed to gasp out between sobs. “I don’t know what to do. I can’t have a child with him! The only person who’s a bigger mess than him is me.”
Elliott looked at his friend and felt overwhelming pity for her; despite his suspicions he hadn’t realised how bad things had gotten. He grabbed a box of tissues and sat beside her once more. Putting an arm around her shoulders he hugged her close to him.
“Why don’t you stay here tonight? We can talk this all through and I’ll help you with whatever you need.”
Lorelei looked up at him through bloodshot eyes.
“Thank you.” She whispered and shot him a weak smile. She grabbed a tissue and dabbed her eyes with it. “It’s been so long since anyone’s been so nice to me.”
He could see her eyes roaming his face but was completely unprepared for what came next. Without warning she reached her face up towards his and kissed him.
A million thoughts flashed through his mind. She’s your friend who needs help but she shouldn’t be doing this so why aren’t you pulling away Grace wasn’t right was she Lorelei is married married to a psychopath.
It took him a few seconds before he could think clearly enough to pull away.
“What are you doing?” He spluttered. As soon as the words left his lips she quickly sat back and slapped a hand over her mouth.
“I’m so sorry.” She gasped and leapt up as though the sofa had suddenly been set alight. “I’ve got to go.”
For the second time that night Elliott watched someone he cared about hurry out of his house and away.
Woo! Exam hell over.