Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ellen Bartelle, Woman of Mystery, Part 5

It was still a dark and stormy afternoon.  Ellen had finished three of her six stops for the day and it was already 4:00.  She peered at her list to find her next destination...764 Downey Street.  That seems familiar.  She rifled through the papers to find the name of the business.  "Ah, here it is." she thought.  It was her old school.  Wonderful, she could check the locker for the Mayor's next Godiva payment.  That'd be a great snack, especially considering how many calories she was burning this afternoon.  She glanced at the papers again to find her contact.  She stopped and gasped.  It couldn't be...but was...Jonathan Miller, none other than the junior high vice principal who had watched her leave the school just a few short weeks ago.

That familiar gnaw came to her stomach when she thought about the possibility of speaking to him face to face.  The truth was, she had always had a crush on him...even back when she was in junior high.  He was the smart, funny guy with perfectly french-rolled jeans.  All the girls were crazy for him, because he was nice, too.  Ellen had admired him from afar, never daring to think that someone popular like him would take the time to notice her.  Then came that fateful day.  She had slammed her locker closed, expertly snapping her padlock into place.  She had turned around and collided with him on her way to gym class.  They were both fine, but her fanny pack had littered its contents all over the green tiled floor.  They both bent over to retrieve her items, and she felt a strange tingle being so near him.  She looked up and saw him smiling, and at her.  Her heart had wings for a few brief moments.  Her poor acne-loaded skin stretched into a smile, until she saw what he held in his hand.  He had inadvertently grabbed the small picture she had tucked away to sigh over later.  Her purple pen had etched 'Mrs. Ellen Miller' and 'Jonathan loves Ellen' all over the poor picture.  By then, others had gathered and someone was broadcasting her humiliation throughout the halls of junior high.  She had pushed through the crowd of jeerers with tears pricking at her eyes never to look him in the face again.  And now, in a strange twist of fate, she would have to march right into his office and speak to him with the very same fanny pack which had been the cause of her disgrace.

She felt a little sick at the thought, then came up with a plan of action.  The secretary.  The secretary was all the protection she needed from a reignition of her shame.  She'd go in covertly, wait for the right moment, then speak to the secretary while he was gone.  She knew she could pull it off, for she had plotted similar schemes all through high school.  She felt a little comforted at the prospect of her plan and continued walking.  She finally arrived, and slipped into the junior high wing through the side door near the kitchen.  She could smell the rancid grease as she passed the kitchen door.  Just one more corner would bring her to a safe place where she could observe the vice principal's office without detection.   She felt her way along the cool bricks of the wall, then quickly rounded the corner into the shadows.  She had made it, but when she took a moment to grab her binoculars from the fanny pack, she felt that someone else was there.  She slowly turned her head and looked straight into the stark brown eyes of Jonathan Miller.  Her plan was ruined, and she needed an explanation, as well as a TUMS.  Her mind was racing to come up with a plausible story when he took a small step forward.

"Ellen," he said.  "I thought it was you."  She looked at him again...he had that all too familiar smile on his face.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jr. High, the heartache, the pain . . . how I don't long for you.