The message came just as she started the car. She pulled her phone out. Sam. OMG What have you done?!? You okay hun? xxx Of course Sam would know all the details, one of the privileges of working in HR.
Ella thought about it for a moment or two. Was she okay? Yes. At the moment she was. She thought about ringing Sam, or at least messaging her back, but no. She’d wait. Sam hadn’t made herself available when Ella needed her, so now Sam could wait for the Ella’s version of events. She still felt annoyed with Sam.
Ella drove home and as she drove she thought about what had happened. It had felt so good when she’d challenged Tiffy and told Gwynnie – and everyone else – just how it was. She hadn’t said anything that wasn’t true. Tiffy knew nothing and Gwynnie didn’t know much more. And the look on their faces when she threw the dog rag at them. Priceless.
She wondered what her mum would say when she told her. Ella gasped. She wouldn’t be telling her mum anything, how could she? That made her sad.
Sam had messaged twice more before Ella got home. The last message saying that she was popping round on her way home from work. Interesting. Ella’s place wasn’t on Sam’s way home. She must be desperate to know the facts.
‘What have you done?’ Sam said as Ella opened the door to her. No hello, no how are you?
Ella shrugged. ‘Only what I should have done weeks ago. And it feels so good.’
‘Yes. But…well…you…’ Sam was temporarily stuck for words. ‘I did caution you not to do anything you might regret. How will Gubbins be able to give you a good reference after this?’
Ella shrugged again. She didn’t want to hear this. She didn’t want the sensible voice of reason. She wanted support. She wanted to be cheered. She wanted to be told that she had done the right thing. She wanted to be congratulated.
‘It’s not too late,’ Sam said, sitting down on the sofa bed, still unmade from Ella’s late start that morning. ‘I think if you apologise Gwynnie will have you back. You can put this behind you and forget about it.’
‘What? What are you saying? I’m not apologising. If there’s any apologising to be done it has to come from them – Gwynnie and Tiffy.’ Ella folded her arms. ‘No way am I apologising.’
Sam looked at Ella and sighed quietly. She stood up. ‘Well maybe you’ll feel differently in the morning. You need a job Ella, it’s not as though you’ve got any other money, or a partner to support you.’
‘Well maybe I have.’
‘Maybe I’m going to go and live in my cottage and live off the income that goes with it.’
‘Ha. On your own? Take all that on, on your own. You said you couldn’t do it.’
‘Maybe I won’t be on my own.’
Ella could tell by the look on Sam’s face that she didn’t believe Ella had found anyone, didn’t believe it for a minute.
Sam moved towards the door. ‘Message me in the morning when you come to your senses.’ She left without saying anymore, not even goodbye.
Now Ella did feel bad, but not because of what had happened with Gwynnie and Tiffy but because of Sam, her best friend and her apparent inability to support Ella. One thing was for sure, there was no going back to Gubbins and there would be no apologising on Ella’s part.
In the morning Ella woke up early and felt her heart sink. Oh my God, what had she done?
This is a first draft, so is subject to change, please excuse any errors.
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