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feel so alone (standing in a crowded place)

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 her life was a mess. sure, work was going relatively well and her mom's debt was slowly but surely being paid off. yet the only thing she could think of was elly and mark. together. getting married. having a family.

 it made chloe sick to her stomach and the fact that she so vehemently didn't want it to happen, made her feel even worse, because this was her family she was thinking about.
elly's mother was right, chloe was being selfish - extremely so. she couldn't give the letter to elly and ruin a friendship that they both held so close to their hearts.

 that kiss meant nothing, just a silly moment between the two that chloe initiated and one that elly certainly didn't seem to appreciate, based on the fact that she didn't reciprocate. chloe wanted to scream, she wanted to cry, because why was life so unfair? she was already set to die, why couldn't life just throw her a bone, make her truly happy for once.

 she sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. chloe was in her room, packing - like the coward she is. whenever things got bad, or too serious, chloe would always run away. that was the safest option. the best option.

 the destination didn't really require much thought, as anywhere but here would serve her well. any matters chloe had to take care of were done, her resignation letter was right there on the bed and another letter addressed to her brothers (and elly, in a way) was also placed there.

 it seemed that these past few days she had been writing a lot of letters, something that chloe would have never imagined herself doing. least of all for this purpose.

 chloe looked around the room, reminiscing. she had packed up all she could in her suitcase, but most of the stuff was going to end up being sold and used as some extra cash for her brothers just in case. it was the least she could do.

 besides, running away didn't mean she could shirk off of taking care of them. chloe sighed again, a sad smile painted on her face and listened for any sounds in the house. no one was home, just like the last 10 times she checked in the past hour. there was an anxious pit in her stomach that wouldn't go away and countless thoughts swirled in her brain.

'what if someone came home' 'what if they saw me' 'what would i say' 'what would i do'

 those were just the tip of the iceberg.

 a honk reverberated through the house, making chloe jump in slight fright. her taxi had just arrived. she looked around the room one last time and left the house, never looking back. the suitcase was heavy and it made a loud grating sound when meeting with the ground. nonetheless chloe pressed on and finally got to the taxi.

 "hey hun would you mind helping me put this in the back? thanks" she quickly spoke to the driver, who appeared nonplussed by her attitude and did as he was asked.

 she got into the backseat and leaned her head against the window. soon enough the driver was back in his seat and ready to go.

 "where to, miss?

 "lasitter's first. then the closest airport"

 "yes ma'am." he nodded and started up the car.

 this was going to be a long ride.

 mark and elly came back home around twenty minutes later only to find the house completely devoid of life. surprised that no one was home yet, but not worried, both of them got around to making some food.

 elly tried texting chloe a few times but noticed none of her messages were going through. slightly concerned, she took a break from cooking, letting mark continue and went to chloe's room.

 there was a weird feeling that something had gone wrong with chloe and elly was admittedly scared.

 as soon as she opened the door to chloe's room, elly's fears were realized. it was empty. completely empty, as if no one had ever lived there. the only remaining thing of chloe's was her perfume and a letter on the bed addressed to the family.

 a shout ripped through her throat and mark dropped everything, immediately racing to her.

 "hey what's wrong?" his worried voice sounded behind her. elly moved away slightly so he would also see the room and was rewarded with a,

 "what the fuck."

 mark stomped up to the bed and snatched up the letter. he wasted no time in opening it and reading the contents. as he did, his face went through several emotions, anger, sadness, confusion, betrayal, worry.

 elly went up to him, "what... what does it say?" she stuttered, afraid because the answer was easily deduced.

 mark silently passed the letter to elly and she started to read through it, although there wasn't much written.

'i know what you're going to say. you're going to give me grief and that i shouldn't be doing this. not again. that i'm a coward.

you'd be right. i am. as always, i am taking the easy way out. i tried confronting my feelings and it didn't go so well, it never really does.

i realized what i had been doing was selfish. i love you all, i love our family, but i also somehow along the way fell in love with elly. i can't break you all apart, because i promised you i would change.

though i guess i failed, seeing as i'm doing this. i guess running will always be a part of me and i ultimately didn’t end up breaking the pattern. once again, i'm so sorry. don't look for me and don't worry - i’ll be ok for now.

thank you, for giving me another chance. i will spend the remaining time i have remembering the fond memories we made and trying to repay everyone for the support i was given.



 elly took in a shuddering breath. she had expected something along those lines, but to actually read them out loud and see the physical evidence almost brought her down to her knees.  it felt like her heart was being ripped out of her chest the further chloe was getting away.

 "we will talk about this" mark spoke up, his voice raspy, "but first we need to stop chloe."

 elly nodded and put the letter away in her pocket, "where would she go?"

 "i have no idea, but if i know one thing about chloe. it's that she would get out of the country as fast as she could."

 they both paused for a second as they realised where chloe would go.

 "the airport" elly breathed out, panicked.

 mark nodded, "we need to go. now."

 "just stop here for a minute, i'll be back soon." chloe told the driver, as he parked nearby to the hotel.

she got out and rubbed her arms, it was quite chilly outside so chloe hurried into the hotel. the usual receptionist was there and greeted her with a happy smile,

 "hey chlo. didn't realise you were working today."

 "i'm not. sorry i'm in a rush, but i need you to give this to terese as soon as you can, okay?"

 the poor guy nodded, speechless by the way she was acting.

 "thanks! bye." chloe said while giving the resignation letter to him and was quickly out before he could even say goodbye, or ask what had happened.

 "alright drive and pick up the pace. i need to make it in time for my flight and i only have 30 minutes to spare."

 the driver smiled, "you got it miss. now just hold on tight."

 chloe shrugged and did as she was told, only to almost smack her head against the seat by the way the driver went back onto the road. well, it seemed like speed wasn't going to be an issue any longer.

 the car ride was silent, fraught with anxiety and tension. although elly was appalled at the prospect of talking to mark about the whole chloe situation, she was more worried about the woman in question herself.  elly had continuously texted and called, trying in vain to contact chloe, but the only response she got were unsent messages and voicemail forwards. she bit at her lips continuously as mark sped through the streets, hoping and praying that they would make it there in time.

 a touch on her knee startled her and elly looked down only to see mark's hand. she followed it up to see mark looking at her, determined.

 "we'll find her and bring her home okay. i promise."

 elly breathed in deeply and nodded, trusting mark, knowing that he would achieve anything he put his mind to. while that relaxed her appearance outwardly, the knots in her stomach only continued to pile up.

 the driver had made it to the airport with 10 minutes to spare and chloe tipped him generously, thanking him. soon enough, she was left alone, staring at the large building. knowing that once she stepped in - that would be the end.

 determined to follow through, seeing as there really was no turning back, chloe walked through the doors and into action packed surroundings as countless people rushed to reach their destination.

 feet moving automatically, chloe scanned the screens for her gate and once found started moving towards it.

 suddenly a hand shot out and stopped her. chloe felt the dread rise throughout her body as she turned around only to see elly standing there.

 it was like the world slowed down for a moment as chloe took in the woman's harried appearance. it was obvious elly had rushed here as quickly as she could, because there were still some remnants of flour on her face.

 chloe almost smiled, because even when she looked like that, elly was still completely breathtakingly perfect to her. way too quickly for her liking, the world started spinning properly once more.

 "what the hell are you doing?" elly's voice rang out clearly, even in the cacophony of noise.

 "what does it look like i'm doing? leaving. obviously." chloe tried to inject some levity into the situation as the way elly was staring at her was leaving her breathless. not to mention the fact that elly was still holding onto chloe's arm with a fierce grip.

 "and what makes you think that that's such a great idea?"

 "there's nothing else i can do."

 "yes there is."

 "oh? like what?" chloe incredulously asked, trying to think of a way out.
 "you could stay!" elly shouted out, angry with tears in her eyes. "please... stay, break your pattern again." she repeated once more, quieter this time with her voice breaking.

 chloe sucked in a breath at the sight, heart breaking at the pain she was causing. she bit her lip and smiled up at elly sadly, "you know i can't. not anymore. it’s just impossible for me to not fall back on my old ways."

 "yes you can. please. your family needs you." elly choked up, “i need you.”

 a shake of chloe's head and a quick step backwards out of elly's reach that threw the grip elly had on her off, made the distance between them suddenly increase. a chasm formed as chloe continuously stepped away and soon enough left elly standing in the middle of the airport, hand still outstretched, failing to hold onto her best friend.

 a panicked mark soon found her, after having searched everywhere. "so? did you find her?"

 elly stood there, still as a statue, somehow feeling as if she had lost a part of herself that she didn't even know existed.

 “she's gone.”