Chapter 65

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"Eleanor! Eleanor, please! Come back! ELLE!!!", I heard Johnny yell after me as I ran out of the hotel room.

I heard someone running after me causing me to start running faster, racing the wind as I burst out through the back door of the hotel lobby leading to a thick, foggy forest showered in the crescent moon's glow... I ran deeper into the forest with no sense of direction or navigation... My heart beat faster with every breath I took... I closed my eyes, knowing Johnny probably gave up on running after me... Sitting underneath a large tree, I played with the moist grass as I stared up at the glimmering stars... I smiled softly, thinking of California... Thinking of home... But not all memories of California were bright...

Flashback

"Hey Eleanor, where's your imaginary friend? Seeing as, you have no friends!", Alexander's friends laughed. 

"I am quite aware of that, Christian...", I said quietly.

"Hahaha, well, why don't you try being less of a, let's say... Freak?", he laughed.

"And why do you care, anyway?", I asked.

"Get lost, weirdo... Go find some friends! Oh, that's right... You can't! Because you are 'antisocial', hahaha!", he laughed again.

"That is not your problem!", I yelled before running off, their laughter echoing in my ears.

End of Flashback

"Ugh, why are you such a freak, Eleanor!", I yelled at myself.

"It is the reason no one enjoys seeing you or even looking at you! You are a disgrace, an embarrassment! To everyone in this family, even me!", Gabriella's words replayed in my mind.

I sighed, gasping when I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder... It was Gabriella, who slowly sat down beside me, looking me up and down...

"Why are you out here at such an ungodly hour?", she whispered.

I didn't speak up... Turning my head, I refused to look at her, let alone speak to her...

"Why are you angry at me, Ella?", she asked.

"My name is Eleanor, Eleanor Adams!", I yelled.

"Oh, forgive me... Are you still not married?", she asked.

"No, I am not as beautiful and as seductive as you...", I said sarcastically.

"Do you not remember the skills I taught you when you were a child? Strength, glory and beauty is what a man looks for in a woman...", she said.

A tear rolled down my cheek... I am not like that... I thought.

"You didn't teach me those skills, you taught my older sister those skills... I was the one on the ground polishing your shoes while you spoke...", I whispered.

"Yes, I know... But you were still there... You still heard everything...", she said.

I rolled my eyes, not wanting to speak to her any longer...

"He must feel that he is a hunter, and you are a beautiful wild animal he is hunting...", she whispered.

"But I am not a beautiful, wild animal anyone is hunting... I am... I am...", I said, thinking for a brief moment.

"I am the land on which the beautiful, wild animal is being hunted on...", I whispered. 

"I am the trees, the bushes, the grass, the ground, the soil, the mud, the dead leaves on the ground... I am nature... Being disturbed by a hunter who is hunting on my grounds...", I whispered.

"Why not be the beautiful, wild animal?", she asked.

"Because at the end, the beautiful, wild animal gets killed...", I whispered.

"You always were a child with a bright imagination...", Gabriella laughed.

"No, I was a child with a wild imagination... Not always bright...", I whispered.

"You did always look at the world from a different perspective... It was why you were considered a 'freak'... But I never thought of you as a 'freak', I always thought of you as... Unique...", she said.

"Yeah, that is why you mistreated me terribly when I was a child and ruined my childhood... I remember your exact words on the night of your engagement to my father... You said, 'you are such a freak, Eleanor! It is the reason no one enjoys seeing you or even looking at you! You are a disgrace, an embarrassment! To everyone in this family, even me!', those were your exact words!", I pointed out.

"Eleanor, I know I was a terrible person when I was with your father... I was at around your age, thinking that I was the greatest, most beautiful woman in the world...", she said, embarrassed.

"What, are you embarrassed with the fact that you had an excessive amount of confidence in you?", I mocked her.

"Yes, I am... I believed that I could get any man I wanted, younger or older, wealthier or poorer... Of course, I went for the wealthier and older kind... For me, they were the best option...", she said.

"Ugh, you and Johnny both disgust me! I honestly think that you should both be together, of course, that would result in the both of you getting drunk, flying to Las Vegas and 'accidentally' getting married!", I yelled, standing up before running off.

"Eleanor! Eleanor, come back here! That is not what I meant! Please!", she yelled after me.

Meanwhile, while my back was turned and I was running, Johnny stepped out from behind the tree both Gabriella and I were sitting under...

"That was the first time I ever begged someone to come back... And the first time I ever genuinely said 'please'...", Gabriella said.

"How does she do it? Everyone is chasing after her, now... Everyone thinks of her as this precious, mysterious jewel that, just by being with it, would make you wealthy... Not wealthy with money, but with something else... Happiness... I am always so free around her, I always feel as though I can tell her anything and everything... And it would lift this enormous weight off of my shoulders... She is one of those rare diamonds that keeps disappearing because everything and everyone around her is trying to smash her without being conscious about it... That's what she is... Any man to be with her would be the luckiest human being alive... To love her and hold her like a precious drop of water on their palm when they're in the middle of a desert... She is one of a kind, Johnny... No one understands or knows what is in her head... She is like... Wonderland... Beautiful yet, mysterious and unknown...", Gabriella said with a soft smile.

Johnny thought about me for a moment... He knew that he had lost me... Forever...





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