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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ELLEN MARIE

just had to know

By Margaret BrennanPublished 10 days ago Updated 7 days ago 5 min read
Top Story - May 2024
12
photo by: bodegawasuon.github,io

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ELLEN MARIE

*** just had to know ***

++++++++++++

As Mike drove through the town he hadn’t seen in about twenty years, he wondered about those he’d left behind when he left for what he thought would be “greener pastures.” He wanted to make his mark on the world. Determination drove him and the little town of Meadowville wasn’t where he wanted to be.

Mike Green, had indeed made his mark on the world but not as he originally planned. As a young man, he had a passion for painting and wanted, more than anything to become the next Michaelangelo – or at least someone as famous. Instead, after he left his little town and everyone living in it, he found his passion for painting had died. However, seeing new sights and scenery, sparked another passion and soon his intriguing photographs were sought by printed periodicals, collectors, and specialty shops. Yes, he made his mark, and that mark was recognized around the world.

“Hi Mike,” a man called out from across the street.

Mike walked over, “Steve, is that really you? I thought you would have moved from here years ago.”

Steve replied, “Yeah, well, I had my teenage dreams but then dad got sick, and mom couldn’t handle the store on her own, so I decided to stay. Good thing I did, too because then I began dating Patty. I’m sure you remember her. Well, long story, short, Patty and I got married a few years later and now, I’m the proud papa of two magnificent kids, both in college.”

“Wow! That’s awesome. So, how is your dad?”

“It was rough for awhile, but he eventually pulled through. Not well enough to get back to business but at least he’s still here with us and mom. Where did your folks move to? All we ever knew is that they just up and left a year after you did.”

Mike’s face showed a hint of anger that he quickly disguised as he said, “Well, Steve, that’s another issue. You know I was adopted, right?”

Steve nodded his head and Mike continued, “When I told them after graduation that I wanted to go out on my own, they never once tried to stop me, so I figured, what the heck. I’ll just leave! I wrote several letters, but they were all returned – unopened. To this day, I have no idea where they are or even if they’re still alive. Once again, I’m truly an orphan but at this stage of my life, it doesn’t matter anymore.”

Steve placed his hand on Mike’s shoulder and said, “I’m sorry, man! I thought you had a swell family with Irene and Joe. Guess their masks finally came off, huh?”

“Yep, you could say that. Hey, listen, I was wondering. Whatever happened to Ellen Marie? Is she around? Has she gotten married?”

“Wow, Mike, you really have lost touch with Meadowville. Why not come to dinner tonight? I’m sure Patty would love to see you again, and we can fill you in on all the latest gossip and recent town history.”

“Sounds great, Steve. What time?”

Steve returned to his store and immediately called his wife, “Hey Patty. You’ll never guess who’s back in town!”

They spoke for a short time, and she had a mix of delight at seeing her old friend and trepidation at the news she’d be giving him. “Oh well, it’s time he knew,” she thought to herself.

Mike walked up to his friend’s front door and rang the bell at exactly 5:30pm. It was Patty who opened the door and greeted him with a huge hug.

“Oh, my lord, Mike! When Steve called and told me you were in town, I almost wept with happy tears. We often wondered if you’d ever come back. Are you? Or are you just passing through? Not that it matters; we’re just so happy to see you. Come on in, I’ll get you a .. hmm! What are you drinking these days?”

Mike hugged her tightly, remembering all the fun he’d had in his teens with Steve, Patty, and, well, that was another issue, wasn’t it?

“Beer is good.” He looked around their living room. “Wow, Patty, are these your girls? They’re gorgeous.”

“Yes, they are, and Mike and I are so proud. Emma has decided to go into fashion design and Dawn wants to be a trauma nurse. Can you imagine? Working in a trauma center? She sure has a lot of spunk in her. Just like her father. I get dizzy just looking at blood.” Patty shook her head and laughed.

They ate on the back porch where Steve grilled three ribeye steaks. As they settled with after dinner drinks, Mike had to know, and so he asked.

A bit hesitantly, he said, “Uh, so, Patty. Whatever happened to Ellen Marie? Is she still around?”

Patty smiled what Mike thought looked a bit sad.

“Well, she’s still around. Remember when that virus was going around a decade or so ago? Well, her parents caught it and died within months of each other. Ellie, as she decided she liked to be called, thankfully never caught it. Ended up, she couldn’t bear to live in her parents’ house any longer so she sold the place and bought a smaller house on the hill, just west of here. I’m sure you remember that old place. Ellie always loved it so now that’s where she calls home. She never married. When I asked her once why she didn’t date, she just looked at me and said, ‘Oh Patty, you know why.’ But she wouldn’t elaborate. She’s still as pretty as ever, even at our ages of forty-two.”

After he left his friend’s house, he headed back to the small hotel where he’d been staying for the past two nights. Yet suddenly he looked up and rather than seeing the hotel, he saw a small wooden house. He noticed that it needed work, and yet, was still kept neat and clean. He knocked on the door and within seconds, it creaked open.

His breath caught in his throat, but he managed to say, “Hello, Ellie. Remember me?”

The only words Ellie said as she wrapped are arms around his neck, were the words he longed to hear all these past years. “What took you so long?”

And she pulled him inside.

Love
12

About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 77-year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (6)

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  • D.K. Shepard6 days ago

    Lots of character history that you introduced bit by bit! Great storytelling! And congrats on Top Story!

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  • I love ending like that , great work

  • angela hepworth7 days ago

    What a beautiful ending!

  • Shirley Belk8 days ago

    true love

  • Murali9 days ago

    A heartwarming reunion story.

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