It's Not That Simple ((Chapter Four))

Fiction By Madeline // 6/2/2011


That night I retired to bed with a lot to think over. Since my return only a short couple weeks ago, many things had seemed to happen. I barely was getting sleep at night, it seemed, worrying over matters that weren't worth my trouble.

 The image of Brandon crying kept playing back in my mind. I had always assumed him an unstoppable force, something that couldn't be messed with. But, of course, his family could break him. I was surprised as a surge of hate went through me, making my mouth go bitter. How could their father do that to them?

 "I miss you mom," I whispered very quietly. It was the times like these that I needed her most. If I knew one thing, it was that she was up in heaven, and certainly could know what was going on. I squeezed my eyes shut, picturing her smiling face. Light, pastel green eyes--an unusual color. It was what dad had fallen in love with. A bubbling, happy personality to match the brightly colored clothes she usually wore. Thick, full brown hair that bounced becomingly past her shoulders. She had been short.

 There was so much that I loved about her yet had never gotten to tell her. Because of me. If I had just had the sense to tell somebody what Randall had done, they would certainly be here. And mom could help me figure out which path to take: Brandon or Phillip. Both were great, both were now a part of my life, and I had a history with both.

 A few quiet tears slipped down my cheeks, landing on my pillow. I suppose I fell asleep that way, tear-streaked, because the next thing I knew sunshine was streaming in through my window. I sat up, dazed, and tried to regain my bearings.

 There was a knock from below, and I hurried downstairs to answer the door. I stepped back when I saw Phillip standing there, holding a bouquet of beautiful wildflowers. I grimaced as I realized I was wearing shorts and an old tank top.

 "C-come in," I stuttered, stepping aside so he could enter.

 "Isn't it a lovely day?" He asked, handing me the flowers with a polite bow. "Almost as lovely as you."

 My eyes widened with his words. I was taken aback. Why was he being so direct? Carefully I began walking backwards, trying my best to not seem rude.

 "Well...well...I'll go put these in some water!"  I spun toward the kitchen, where Nana had yet to awake. Carefully I put the gift in the nicest vase we had, and set them on the kitchen table. They brightened the room considerably.

 "So, Ellie."

I jumped when I realized how close Phillip actually was. I quickly dashed to the other side of the kitchen, trying my best to make it seem like running around the house in dirty pajamas was a normal thing for me to do.

"Whoops!" I gasped, sliding to the floor. I feel with a loud, "THUD!" I glared down at the slick socks I had been wearing. My luck exactly.

"Are you alright?" Phillip asked, kneeling down beside me. He pressed his hand to my forehead. Again, too close for comfort. I looked down, refusing to meet his eyes, and sighed.

"Yes, Phillip. I'm fine." I pulled away from his touch. "No fever, whatsoever."

Carefully I stood, and motioned for him to sit on the couch. "Just...wait here. I'll be back in a moment. Thanks."

I dashed off upstairs, almost falling again, but managed to catch myself at the last minute. I burst into my room, a safer haven, and began going through my closet.

I had to pick something nice to wear that would impress Phillip. His sudden advances showed me that he was indeed interested in dating me. Or else I was completely daft and he talked this way to Marion, too. I hoped not.

When I came back downstairs in a yellow sundress, Nana was sitting beside Phillip with a cup of steaming coffee in his hands. He was drinking from my favorite mug that had used to be moms. Usually I didn't allow people to touch it. I figured this time it might be okay. I sat down gingerly on the edge of the couch, waiting for them to finish speaking.

 "We'd better be going," Phillip said at last. He stood, motioning for me to follow him.

 "We?" I asked with uncertainty. I glanced over at Nana. She gave me a reassuring smile.

 "I thought I'd take you for breakfast, and then a stroll in the park. Maybe even a nice picnic! Let's be on our way, then."

 I was aghast. Was this a date? I blushed at the thought, not wanting to ask him in front of protective Nana.

"Bye," I mumbled, following him outside sheepishly. We were a safe distance from the house when he suddenly reached over and took my hand. I stared at it, not sure if I should grip his hand back. I finally decided on a half-hearted squeeze.

"I really like you, Ellie," Phillip said. He stared straight ahead, seeming perfectly self-assured. "It would please me if we could do this once or twice a week. Your company is most enjoyable. And you look especially pretty today."

With each of his words the red in my cheeks deepened. "I that."

 "Good." Phillip swallowed nervously. I realized how hard the words had been for him to say. I bravely deepened the grip on his hand.

"Breakfast?" I asked shyly.

Phillip laughed and suddenly pulled me into the trees. He took his jacket off, setting it on a branch, and stretched. "This is a grove of fruit trees here. How does that sound?"

Before I could answer he began to climb the nearest tree. Expertly he went up the branches, coming back down with four large pears. I smiled as he handed them to me and cleaned them off on my dress.

"They're my favorites," he said, taking a large bite of one. I did so, laughing when my teeth wouldn't go through it.

By the time we were finished with our food, I was covered in the sticky pear juice. Phillip showed me back to the stream, where I didn't hesitate to hop in. My dress matted to my skin, and my hair to my forehead.

Phillip swam over closer to me. Slowly he stood in front of me, reaching for a lock of my wet hair. Ever so slowly he tucked it securely behind my ear.

Suddenly voices came crashing through the trees. We froze, locked into our offending position. Of course it was Brandon who came through to the clearing, followed closely by a friend of his I recognized as Turk.

"Whoa..." Turk said, coming to a stop. Brandon's mouth opened in shock.

I stepped away from Phillip quickly, climbing onto the bank. Slowly I took in the three men staring at me and felt the tears starting.

I turned around and began to run. I heard feet following me, easily keeping up with my quick pace. I slowed and turned around, expecting Phillip. Instead Brandon was there. He rushed forward and roughly grabbed my arm, yanking me back into the forest.

"What are you thinking, Ellie?" He exploded, shoving me against a tree. I cowered there, slightly afraid. My lips quivered and the tears spilled over.

"What do you mean?" I demanded.

Brandon softened ever so slightly at the sight of my pain. "Phillip! He's almost ten years older than you!"

"So?" I said, stepping forward. "You can't stop me from liking him! Nana even does!"

Brandon turned around, plunging his hands deep into his pockets, and kicked a rock. I was surprised he didn't cry out. I would've.

"Talk to me!" I screeched. I put my hand on his arm and spun him around with all my might.

"ARE YOU STUPID?" He suddenly exploded. I clamped my mouth shut and sniffed, slightly frightened. "PHILLIP IS JUST GOING TO HURT YOU! THIS WON'T END WELL!"

"What do you care?" I retorted. "Lately you haven't even been acting like my friend!"

"I care because..." Brandon stopped and sighed.

"Because why?" I asked bravely, getting closer to him. I defiantly stared into his eyes.

"Because Nana would be furious with me if I let anything happen to you," he said at long last, avoiding my gaze.

"Well, newsflash," I said, turning on my heel. My voice grew bitter. "I can take care of myself."

Slowly I headed for home, leaving Brandon there dumbfounded. The tears stung as they coursed down my cheek. If things could just be simple...

They weren't.




Okay, here you go! Let me know if you notice any errors. It should be properly corrected now. So please, enjoy! 

Still deciding between Phillip and Brandon so...let me know your vote for Ellie after this chapter! haha! :)


Madeline | Thu, 06/02/2011


 I haven't commented but I have been reading your story. You specifically asked if there were any errors, (which is the ONLY reason I am mentioning this), but it really should be '' all right'' not ''alright''. It's a really common mistake. :)

   You have really interesting story. Ellie's voice is perfect! My vote goes to Phillip, definitely Phillip. 

Kathleen | Thu, 06/02/2011

Hi Aredhel!

Thank you for commenting :) was that published so quickly!? Hahaha! I just submitted it this morning...

Okay, cool! I have a look through it. I never realized that. Thanks for pointing it out! And thanks for reading...

Much thanks for your comment! I'll take into consideration your vote. I'm kind of still deciding at this point...between Brandon and Phillip! :D 

Madeline | Thu, 06/02/2011

Brandon, without a doubt. 1.

Brandon, without a doubt.

1. He's a normal age.
2. His love would last way longer, based on what I know of each of them.
3. They're already friends.
4. Brandon is a nicer name than Phillip.
5. He cares more.  Phillip is just infatuated, if you ask me.

Awesome chapter, BTW.  Your writing style is really vivid.

Bridget | Fri, 06/03/2011

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya


Another comment that made me smile!! Thank you so much!! :)

Okay...that's one for Brandon, one for Phillip! hahaha! 

Madeline | Fri, 06/03/2011


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