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Long Gone

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The phone rings in the middle of the night. Ellie slowly wakes and picks up the phone.
“What? I’m trying to sleep here!” Ellie yells.
“Are you Mrs. Torres?” A woman says on the other end.
“Yeah. What is it?”
“Mrs. Torres, there’s something we have to tell you…”

“Ellie? It’s us! Can you please open the door?” Jules says the next morning, knocking on the bedroom door of Ellie’s house, Laurie behind her. Ellie doesn’t say anything back.
“Alright, we’re coming in.” Laurie says. She comes up in front of Jules and opens the door. They walk in to see Ellie splayed out across the bed, as she grabs a tissue.
“Honey! What happened?!” Jules says, sitting on the bed. Ellie doesn’t say anything in response. Jules lays down next to her and takes Ellie’s left hand in hers.
Here’s what happened. Andy had gone away for a week for business. The night before, on his way home, he was in a terrible car crash. Paramedics, fire, the works. It killed seven people, him included. Of course, Ellie was unable to talk. Even if she learned it over the phone. It was almost as if all the light was taken from her life.
Just with Jules being there for her when she didn’t know what happened made Ellie sadder, to the point where she was about to cry.

No. She wouldn’t let two idiots see her weak. No way.

Try as she might, the tears finally fell from her eyes. She swiped her hand from Jules’ grasp and sat up. She wiped the tears away with the back of her hand.
“Hey. It’s okay. We won’t judge you.” Jules says. Laurie nods.
“Yes, you will. Everyone always judges people when they see another cry. You guys do all the crying for me.” Ellie says, turning away.
“Stop. No. You are not just going to push everyone away when you’re sad. Ignoring your feelings is terrible.” Laurie says, grabbing Ellie by the shoulders.
“Please, just go away!” Ellie yells.
Jules and Laurie walk out the door and shut it behind them. Ellie gets up and closes the curtains, so Jules couldn’t talk to her.
She didn’t care what Jules or Jellybean thought she should do, when did anyone else’s opinion matter to her? Never. Not then, not ever.
She was Ellie Torres, for gods sake! She can always take on any problem and get out of it so easily, so why should now be any different?!