((Lol, enjoy this long post.
David grinned. "Sounds lovely." He picked up the phone and ordered a bottle of champagne with two glasses, two lobster dinners, and a cheesecake for dessert. When it all arrived, it came in on a fancy copper cart with a beautiful lace table cloth over it. The champagne was set in the middle, with one crystal glass on either side of it. The plates of food were covered up with stainless steel dome covers, and the cheesecake was off to the side along with some napkins, utensils, and additional plates.
The young looking hotel worker asked, "And this will be on the bill with your hotel room?"
"Depends. Rachel, is George paying for your room?"
"I would love that, sweetie." Mary smiled as Sebastian walked over with the bags. "I will see you tomorrow then. I can't wait."
I will speak with her sometime next week then. Thank you for the heads up, Janelle.
"I understand she's being difficult, and I never said you weren't at least trying to help... What I said was that Heather's comment, and Ella acting that way, isn't something to laugh at. It's not a joke. You DO realize there's a suicide epidemic, don't you? Laughing and cracking jokes about someone who's obviously sick... what if she overheard? Seriously, I've disappointed and disgusted the three of you." Ryan put his controlled down.
"Holy moly, calm down there, dad
." Heather rolled her eyes, "Stop with the lecture, Ryan. We're not 5. Sorry for trying to to lighten the mood. Did they take your sense of humor when you were in The Program?"
Ryan shook his head and followed after Ella.
Ella was just putting her bowl in the sink and about to head upstairs when she bumped into Ryan. "Oh, sorry. Are you going into the kitchen to get something to eat? I didn't mean to be in the way..."
"No, Ella, you're not in the way. I actually was looking for you. I wanted to talk to you."
"Thanks, but no thanks." Ella sighed and tried to walk past him.
Ryan let her pass, but followed her up the stairs, "I'm not here to judge or to attack. I want to know how your day went."
"Sh*tty. I stayed in bed all day and cried while everyone else went to the zoo."
Ryan didn't know they had gone to the zoo, "The zoo, huh? I wasn't invited either."
Ella stopped and turned around to face Ryan, "They didn't invite you...? Why not?"
He shrugged, "Good question. I guess they just didn't think to ask."
"But you're their friend, right?"
"Yeah, but I'm sure they had their reason, or they forgot. It's no big deal. As for inviting you, they probably didn't want to wake you up if you were still in bed. Would you have wanted to go anyway?"
"No," Ella sighed, "Not really." She walked into her room and sat on the bed.
Ryan sat beside her, "El, never lose hope. As hard as times are right now, things can always get better. If there's one thing I do remember about you, Ella, it's that you were always happily optimistic and you loved life. Don't let yourself lose that."
Ella hugged Ryan, "But it's so hard to be optimistic right now, Ry. I feel so alone."
Ryan hugged Ella tighter and kissed the top of her head, "I know, Ella. I feel alone too, you know. Ever since I've gotten back from The Program, everyone but Torie feels like a stranger to me. They're my 'friends', but I can't feel that connection with them anymore until it's been rebuilt. Since they took Torie... I've felt lonely."
"It's not the same..." Ella mumbled.
"No. I know it isn't the same. I can't begin to say I understand how you feel, because I'm not in your shoes. Only you are. Both of us need to make the best of bad situations." Ryan said, trying to comfort her. "If you can find that hope deep inside you, that fiery, spirited, intelligent, fun young woman you truly are... Everyone loves that Ella. I know Mike-"
"Don't even mention his name. I hate him."
Ryan raised a brow, "Why?"
"He's stupid, and mean, and I hate him."
"You don't hate
"Yes. I do. I poured my soul out to him, and he shoved it back in my face and pretty much told me that I did this to myself. I told him I wanted to kill myself and he told me that if I did that I'd hurt everyone. He didn't say, Don't Ella, you have so much to live for!
, or Don't do it, Ella, I love you and I'll do anything to keep you happy.
None of that... all I heard was something like, You'll cause more trouble for everyone if you do that
. You'll hurt everyone. You're being selfish.
I just wanted him to hold me again, Ryan. To tell me everything would be okay and... I guess I wanted him to do what you're doing now." She sighed, "Torie's lucky she has you. You're such a softy on the inside."
"Ella. Don't do it." Ryan put a hand on her cheek and wiped a tear away with his thumb. "You mean so much to everyone. We all love you, El. We all hate seeing you like this. You have your whole life ahead of you. Maybe, right now, you don't see it as a happy future, but think of it this way. You're lost in a forest, everywhere you look you see trees. No escape. No light. Just trees and darkness. Would you give up and sit down? No. You have better options.
You can keep walking straight ahead, hoping to eventually get out of the forest, but you risk walking in circles. You can call for help, but unfortunately, sometimes your calls will go unheard since the trees muffle the sound. What else can you do, Ella?"
"I don't know Ryan. What?"
Ryan smiled and ruffled her hair, "You take out a saw and cut down every tree in your way. Every problem you face. You cut it down."
"That doesn't sound environmentally friendly." Ella said, letting out a small giggle.
"Oh, but this forest is filled with EVIL TICKLING TREES!" Ryan grinned and pushed Ella down on the bed as he tickled her. He deepened his voice to sound menacing, "WE'RE THE EVIL TICKLING TREES HERE TO TICKLE YOU WITH OUR BRANCHES OF DOOM! WE WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH YOURSELF TO DEATH! THERE'S NO ESCAPE!"
Ella burst into laughter and wiggled around, "Oh my gosh, Ryan, stop!"
"WHO IS THIS RYAN
?" He laughed, then he covered his mouth and, in his normal voice added, "Oh no, Ella, how do you beat these evil trees
"Cut them down!" Ella replied, karate-chopping one of Ryan's arms.
"AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH. OUR ONLY WEAKNESS!" Ryan put the arm she chopped behind his back. "AT LEAST I STILL HAVE ONE!"
Ella chopped the other.
Ryan put his other arm behind his back. He 'fainted' onto the bed, laughing. "So, as I was saying... Your happy future is out there somewhere, you just can't see it yet. You have to cut down the trees - get rid of all your negative thoughts - and then you will be able to see everything more clearly."
Ella smiled, a very genuinely happy smile - something she hadn't done in a while. "Thanks for the talk, Ryan. You're... you're right. It's hard right now, and this forest of negative thoughts is massive so it might take a while, but I will try and cut down the trees. One at a time."
Ryan nodded, and after a short silence asked, "Do you still hate Mike?"
"You said you hated Mike."
"I... I don't hate him I guess. I... I exaggerated. I'm just frustrated with him."
"He cares a lot about you, Ella. Maybe he's not very good at understanding how to deal with people, but he loves you. Seeing you the way you are right now upsets him, and he wants to fix it, but he gets frustrated when he realizes there's nothing he can do to help. Sometimes his frustration comes off a little... intense, and sometimes his choice of words isn't so gentle, but he feels the same way I do. We all feel this way."
Ella cuddled up against him, as they were both laying on the bed from the tickle fight. She rested her head on his chest and smiled, "If football doesn't work out, you should see if Dr. Martin can get you a job somewhere. You'd make a good therapist."
"I've had enough therapy that I picked some things up from Dr.Martin." Ryan chuckled. He put an arm around her to pull her closer, and with his other arm he ran his hand through Ella's hair. He didn't see it as being romantic, but simply helping to comfort a friend.