Chapter 14

Finally, after what felt like an eternity of writing, Alex finished his letter. He read through to make sure he hadn't left anything out. Not like it mattered all that much, no one was going to be reading it. But he wanted to make sure it was all out once and for all. Everything looked good. He began to fold it up neatly to put in his pocket. Then it occurred to him, what am I saving this for? I'll just end up stumbling across at some point in the future and it will put me right back where I am today. I need to just get rid of it. Without a second thought he crumbled it up. He did so with anger; he had let the best thing in his life slip away without a fight. Maybe some sleep would do him well. He stood up and started to walk out of the garage. When he got closer to the door he decided that disposing the letter here would be best. That way he wouldn't be tempted to keep it. He tossed the crumpled up paper into the basket and left. What he didn't notice was that he had missed and the paper bounced off of the side of the can and on to the floor. Oh well, it couldn't be a big deal. Someone would probably just pick it up and put it in the trash. That is, if they even noticed it.

Almost instantly after Alex had left, Elaine walked in to the garage, but coming through the back entrance hoping no one would notice her. Last night was hard enough; she didn't want to have to go through that again. To her relief no one was around. Quickly she ran up to her locker and grabbed the bag she had forgotten. While she was at it she took another look to make sure nothing else would be left behind. She closed the locker and started to hurry back out to Arnie and her kids. About halfway down the stairs she stopped, "This is the last time I'll come down these stairs." She said to herself. She looked around taking the atmosphere in for one last time. She slowly began climbing down the stairs again. When she got to the ground something caught her eye; the crumpled paper. Normally she would have ignored it, but she could see some of the words and she could have sworn she saw her name written on this mysterious piece of paper. Curiously, she picked it up and slowly unwrinkled it. She began to read:

Dear Elaine,

There has been something-

Just then Arnie walked in, "You coming? If we don't leave soon we won't have time to go get breakfast."

She jumped slightly from being startled, "Oh, sorry. I'm coming. I was just… taking one last look around." She smiled, she didn't want Arnie to know how sad she was feeling. Lord knows that if he did he'd go into a panic.

He smiled back, "Alrighty then, off we go!" he cheered. Elaine laughed. Then Arnie noticed that paper Elaine was holding, "What's that ya got there?" he asked inquisitively.

"Oh, this? I'm not sure, I just, uh… found it in my locker." She wasn't quite sure why she said she found it in her locker. Maybe it's for the better though, 'I found it in my locker' seems more casual than, 'I found it on the floor and it just so happens to be a letter to me.' Until she read it and knew what it was about and why it was crumbled up and meant to be thrown away, it's better to keep the questions to a minimum. She continued, "It's probably something from a while ago that got lost in there. I'll look at it once we get settled. I'm sure it's nothing. Come on, let's go!" she stuffed the letter into her bag, smiled once again and put her arm around Arnie and they cheerfully walked out of the garage. For the last time… she couldn't help but think. Anyone could walk by and look at Elaine and assume she was one of the happiest people in the world. But in reality, despite how she appeared, she was afraid that her feelings about leaving New York would be sticking around for a while. Though, she was determined to get over them and start off on a positive note. Give it a few weeks, she thought, things may seem a bit hopeless right now but I'm sure in a matter of time you won't need to be faking a smile. You made the right choice. Besides, you're with Arnie and that's all that matters.