face down | the red jumpsuit apparatus

i’ve kinda vowed to write everyday for ella, which helps with inspiration. i plan a new facet of her storyline with each story i write and i kinda see my writing getting better too - @etchasketchinlola i know you were having a inspiration problem, maybe you can try that. 

Ella Delaney
CDAN – July 26, 2012

I woke up feeling more refreshed than I had in a while, though the sun streaming through the windows would slowly blind me if I didn’t get up soon.

Groaning and stretching I took a quick shower than threw on a skirt and tank. Laura waltzed into the room as I was strapping on my sandals.

“Well good morning sleepyhead, I figured you’d be knocked out all day.” I laughed, grabbing the cup of coffee she offered reverently.

Taking a sip I moaned. “This is incredible, real coffee and not that chai latte crap I drink at home.”

She laughed. “Well if you liked that lets go grab some food at Phil’s Diner for your last day. I’d hate to think this whole trip we only stayed in.”

“I don’t think you realized how much I needed that talk last night. Plus there aren’t many clubs out here for a night out.”

Giggling, she grabbed my hand led me downstairs. “Yeah that’s just what Wichita needs, our own version of the 40/40 club.”

Our town was small enough that downtown was literally a couple of short blocks away so we walked to the small 50s style diner. There was a genuine smile on my face as I greeted all the people that were staples in my life back here. 

After about ten minutes of saying hi and briefly catching everyone up on my life, Laura and I sat outside at one of their small tables.

“Well that must’ve been fun, they were really happy to see you.” I nodded, taking a sip of water.

“It’s like nothing changes here but not in a bad way, everyone’s still has that hometown sweet attitude. – it’s refreshing.”

Our food came then and even though I stuffed myself last night, the cheese grits and fried green tomatoes hit the spot.

“I might have you ship this to my once a month because this is incredible.” I mumbled around my last bite of food.

“Oh my God, it’s Ella Delaney!” The girly shriek startled both of us as we looked around to see who it came from.

Around the corner came a small group of teen girls that looked no older than sixteen and sporting matching awed looks.

“Hey girls, how are you?”

“How are we, how are we? Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re here, I watch ‘The Bay’ every Monday night; you’re my idol.” The small blonde one squealed before launching herself at me in a ferocious hug. 

I huffed at the impact. “Well I’m glad you guys enjoy the show.”

“Can we please have a picture and an autograph?” I agreed and we did various silly poses, and I signed their phone cases before they were waving goodbye to us.

After paying our bill we just spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around talking about mindless topics. We visited old haunts and occasionally ran into old friends, even seeing my old crush, Mathew, from high school at the park. I was always too shy to tell him I liked him and apparently so was he.

He was playing with his dog when our eyes locked.

“Ella is that you?”

“Mathew McCormick, what a surprise.” I reached out my arms and hugged his 6 foot frame as best as I could.

After letting me go, he hugged Laura too. “A nice surprise I hope, how are you ladies?”

“We’re good, just trying to relax before Ella leaves tonight, back to the glitzy world of Hollywood.” Laura said, sadness creeping into her voice.

“Well damn woman, it would’ve been nice to know you were in town,” He grumbled goodheartedly. “I could’ve taken you on that date we shoulda went on back in high school.”

I laughed, punching him lightly on his shoulder. “That’s not my fault, you should’ve stepped up back in high school. Plus, I don’t think I’m allowed to date anymore. I’m a married woman now.” 

Immediately a tinge of pink colored his cheeks. “Oh sh-t I’m sorry Ella, I didn’t even hear about it. I didn’t mean any disrespect.”

“It’s okay Matt, honestly, no harm done,” I smiled, hoping to put him back at ease. “In fact, you should give me your phone number; I’ll call you and let you know the next time I’m back in town.”

“Yeah? That’d be great actually.” Pulling out my phone I realized I forgot to turn it on ever since I was at the airport in Cali.

“Damn, my phone’s been off this whole time and I didn’t even notice.” I murmured, scrolling through the endless emails and texts.

I also noticed it was close to my departure time so I quickly took down his number and we went back to the house. Just as I lugged down my suitcase, the bell rang.

“I’ll get it Laur,” I yelled, swinging open the door without looking through the peephole.

And what a mistake that was.

“Well they told me my daughter was in town but I couldn’t actually believe that my child would come to her home town without telling her own mother.” Her cold stare bore through me and I shrunk back from the door, making space for her to come inside. 

“Mom I,”

“And,” She said, raising her voice over my feeble one. “You go gallivanting all over town and I have to hear it from that busybody Mrs. Caruthers from the hair salon that you’re flirting with that Mathew boy at the park?”

Laura chose that moment to come in from the kitchen, her eyes bouncing from me to my mother. “Everything alright in here?” 

“Why yes Laura, everything is fine. I’m just trynna have a conversation with my ungrateful daughter if you don’t mind.” 

I rolled my eyes. “Just because I didn’t tell you about a quick two day trip I’m ungrateful?”

Her eyes blazed in anger. “No, you’re an ungrateful daughter because you left your husband and your life to come here and slum it with this girl,” She fumed, pointing at Laura. “And to come flirt with some nobody boy back from high school!”

“I was not flirting with anyone and don’t you dare say that about Laura, she’s family!” I screamed, tears welling in my eyes.

“No, she’s not, I’m your family Ella. Me and Teddy; the two people who you disrespect in every way...damnit girl what the hell is wrong with you?”

I wanted to scream back at her but my voice caught in my throat, too afraid to even speak my mind. I wanted to shrink back even more till I felt Laura’s hand on my shoulder.

“Listen, I can’t and won’t tell you off because you’re Ella’s mother and I love her like a sister. But this is my house and I have every right to tell you to get the f-ck off my property.” 

They stared each other down till my mother broke it to glare at me.

“You will call me when you get back home and we will deal with this then.” And with that she left just as quickly as she came.

I didn’t realize I was holding my breath till her retreating form had me gasping for air.

Laura pulled me into her arms, smoothing down my hair and whispered soothing words into my ear. It was like déjà vu where my mother would say something back in high school and I’d come running to Laura’s house for hug and just for someone to listen.

“How can someone be so evil?” I whispered, wiping away the last of my tears.

I didn’t wait for an answer and Laura didn’t offer one, we just got into the car and drove for the airport. It seemed like I was going to end this trip the same way I started it – in complete silence.

I boarded the plane with just a tight hug and a promise to call Laura when I got home. I hated that this great trip was tainted by, of all people, my own damn mother.

And she wondered why I didn’t feel the need to tell her.

Thankfully the four hours flew by and we touched down at LAX in no time. It was crazy that just 24 hour ago I couldn’t wait to leave this place and now someone couldn’t pay me to leave.

Teddy’s face appeared through the mass of paparazzi, fans, and just everyday flyers.

“Ella, damn what happened to your phone, I’ve been calling all weekend!” 

I pulled my sunglasses off and as soon as he saw my tears he pulled me into his arms against a background of flashing bulbs, no questions asked.

And surprisingly, it was exactly what I needed.
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