Dear Ellie - Part 3
This story in no way depicts real life events. It is purely fictional. As always, I welcome any constructive criticism you may have. Just leave it in the comments below. Please join me now as we continue in the world of Dear Ellie.
From Part Two
Ellie had enough. Looking back Scott's way, she protested, "No Scott, he needs to know. It was part of a hazing ritual at Sigma Nu. They nearly killed him - probably would have if I didn't see what they were doing. After Scott was more than drunk, they threw him over the second-floor balcony. Doctor, somehow, someway, sometime, this craziness has to stop."
"So Ellie, are you reporting a crime?"
"I guess I am. They tried to kill him to cover up their own carelessness and bad judgment"
"Are you willing to make that statement to the police, Ellie?"
"I've already said it, why not again to the police. Of course, I'm willing!"
"Scott, what do you have to say about this?"
"Doc, I just don't want any trouble. What's done is done. It won't change anything. Just let it go."
"Scott, is what Ellie says true?"
"Well . . . yeah, but they were just having some fun."
"At your expense. Scott, I think it was more than just having fun. Your friends at the frat house are no friends at all. I will need to report this to the proper authorities."
Once again, Ellie stared at the note she was still holding in her hand.
Ellie's gaze was interrupted by the ring of the telephone. Her co-worker, Sharon Gallagher, at Allegheny General was calling. "You doin' okay, girl?"
"Oh, yeah. I'm doing fine, Shar. Just sitting here trying to take it all in. Don't you worry about me. I'll be back to work soon."
"Well, just wanted to check on my favorite co-worker. If you need anything, you know who to call. Talk to you later."
The note, still in her hand, she remembered Todd's threat. The doctor had left Scott's room, and Ellie stepped out for a moment. She returned only to hear Scott talking to someone. She moved down the hall, but still within earshot.
"Hey, Scotty, my man! I heard ya were in here. I just stopped by to apologize about Friday night. Ya know, we're almost brothers. Sigma Nu forever, right, Scotty, my man? As a matter of fact, I came by to let you know you did a very brave thing. All the brothers are in 100% agreement that you earned your way into Sigma Nu. Congratulations!"
"Not interested! I could have died! What were you thinking?!"
"Whoa, whoa, Scotty. Now see here. It's a privilege to be part of Sigma Nu. We were offerin' ya the chance of a lifetime, my man. But ya can forget it. We don't want ya. Oh, and Scotty, ya better not breathe a word of this to the police. The brothers will be watchin' ya. Ya better watch your back. If ya mess up, it'll cost ya your first-born, know what I mean, Scotty?"
Ellie turned toward the water cooler to avoid making eye contact with Todd as he made his exit. She slowly walked back to Scott's room. "Way to go, tough guy. You think he'd try anything stupid?"
"No. He's just a big talker.Ignore him and he goes away. Ellie, I was such a fool. I know I've hurt you and embarrassed you in front of your friends."
"Scott, I've been thinking - thinking about changing my major. I've watched how these people here at the medical center have taken such great care of you. They've been so supportive. I think I want to enter the healthcare field.
"Look - we have all but four years left to our college education. I may need more schooling after that. That's too far away to think about settling down, but don;t you think we should just focus on each other. Let's forget all this party life stuff, and just build the strongest possible relationship we can now."
"Absolutely! No more party life for me. I want to devote myself to you and our relationship more than ever. I want to be someone you look up tp and cherish - always. You have my heart."
Upon Scott's courageous court testimony, Todd spent the next eight years in the state prison. Hard time for hard people.
Graduation came quickly. Although other courses were needed for Ellie to complete her degree in healthcare, both felt ready to undertake the task of housekeeping. A September wedding was being planned. Ellie would continue her medical studies, and Scott took a job as a physical education teacher at a local high school and worked part-time as an athletic trainer at a nearby gym. Their lives were coming together perfectly.
The wedding was a beautiful affair. Ellie remembered the preparation before, the excitement of the day, but very little about the actual ceremony. She did, however, remember the glow in Scott's eyes as she repeated her vows to him. It was necessary for her, once again, to remind herself of those vows.
"I, Elaine Elizabeth Ayers, take you, Joseph Scott Branson, for my lawful husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part." A tear trickled from her eye as she gazed through her door to the beautiful Nittany Mountains rising from the earth's surface miles away.
It was two years later - a rainy, Wednesday night. Scott returned home early from the gym with bad news, Ellie met him at the door with good news.
"Scott, what are you doing home so early? I have some good news to tell you."
"It better be good because I have some bad news to tell you. Let's go sit down."
Scott, is it that bad?"
"It is. The gym is closing. Tony didn't tell anyone. Tonight is the last night, One more paycheck on Friday, and that's it. I don't know how we're going to pay for your schooling. That job paid it all. I'm going up to bed."
"No, Scott. Wait a minute!"
"Oh, yeah. You said you had some good news. That's what I need right now - some good news."
"Look at me - Scott, look at me!" Ellie walked toward Scott and put her hands on his shoulders. "Look at me. We'll get through this. I can take a leave of absence for a while. We'll make it work just like we always have before. We can do this!"
"There's no way you're leaving school. Not now. Not ever. You've worked too hard to stop now. I won't let you quit."
"I didn't say quit - just a leave of absence. Just for a while until we can get back on our feet. It will work."
Scott wasn't so sure. He repeated, "I'm going up to bed."
Morning came. Scott struggled to get out of bed. Ellie nudged him into action. He went through the ritual of dressing, eating breakfast, and going over his class notes for the day. On his way out the door, he shouted to Ellie who was in the kitchen, "I'll be late. I'm going to go job hunting after school. Wish me luck. You know what? We'll get through this. Love ya, Babe!"
Ellie's heart sank. She didn't have the chance to tell Scott the rest of the good news that was now bad news.
© 2017 William Kovacic