Ryan found something of Elle's.
"If I could be a part of your world. Leave this all behind. I would investigate a perfect life with you. If I could say it in another way. These words could make this right. I would investigate a perfect love with you."--Sugarcult.
The news spread like disease; a contagious gossip infecting the ears of those who are close. The cure was nonexistent, but with the prescriptions of self-pity may possibly heal these wounds. This illness plagued the heart, causing irregular patterns for beats and emotions to rage inside your cold veins. The symptoms may include guilt, sorrow, pain, regret, and depression. Any type of medication didn't do much justice for a sick Ryan. He used pills of sleep, time, and attempting to forget. But those things only numbed his broken soul; any memory sending him in a spiral of a nauseous pity. But, only few were suffering from slight cases of this virus. Elle and Nicole had a different epidemic, they're only treatments were to hate Ryan. The side effects consists of insults, sarcasm, and deathly glares. As for Helen, she was enduring the same syndrome as Ryan.
Ryan polished the countertops with the specific cleaner for the eleventh time today. Ever since Elle had heard of what happened, she combined all her spite, anger, and sarcasm in her to spit at Ryan through making him do everything repeatedly or things that Elle knew he didn't want to do. She was usually saying, "No, you didn't clean it right. Do it again." or "You missed a spot, you have to clean it again" and every time he cleaned, he always had some sort of flaw. But, once Elle got bored of that, she moved on to something else and sent him on missions to look for a certain cleaner that they didn't even have. She was doing everything that she knew would aggravated him enough to send him in a rage. But, Ryan knew her game. He knew exactly what she was trying to pull. She was trying everything she could to make him quit, but if that didn't work, she wanted to cause an angry outburst at her, so she could fire him. I mean, it's not like she could just fire him for breaking her best friend's heart.
Suddenly, he heard a splash plunge to the floor as Ryan turned around and saw Elle smirking next to a spilled coffee mess, with the cup in hand.
"Oops!" she cried out sarcastically as Ryan just narrowed his eyes at her, gripping the dish cloth in his hand.
"Ryan, you need to clean that up."
Ryan just grumbled a few curses before heading off to the closet to retrieve the mop. Ryan was fed up with Elle's spiteful behavior. He didn't know why she just didn't beat him up and get it over with. Anything would be better than all the other things she made him do. But, by no means, would Ryan loose his cool, because he knew she'd fire him in a second. And he couldn't loose his job now. It was good pay and if he were to leave this job, he'd want to go with his dignity in tact. Not just because Elle was being a huge bitch to him over a break up. He came out of the closet with the mop in hand, as Elle just looked to him in a devious manner.
"I want you to use the vanilla scented cleaner this time." she said, smirking.
"But we don't have vanilla scented cleaner, Elle." Ryan protested.
"Yes we do. It's in the back. You just have to look."
Ryan just glared at her for a few minutes before visiting the 'Employees Only' room where they stash needed things for Starbucks, such as the imaginary vanilla scented cleaner that Elle so spitefully swears they have. He searched for it, considering there might possibly be the cleaner. Of course, he usually thinks of the possibilities until he realizes he's just making a big fool out of himself for Elle's entertainment pleasure. He bent down and started to explore a cardboard box, filled with random things. Suddenly, he came across something that caused him to giggle and be disgusted all at once.
He pulled out a black, lacy bra that looked to be about Elle's breast size. It was wrinkled and looked as though it had been misplaced from a secret rushed romance, because one was not allowed to be fooling around in that manner in the Employees Only room. As gross as it was to know that it was Brendon and Elle were back here, finding pleasure in a coffee shop, Ryan also thought it was the perfect thing to get back at her with, considering all the horrible things she's been doing the past week or so.
Ryan jumped up, with a devious smile stretching across his lips. Just picturing her embarrassed expression was going to be absolutely priceless. He peeked out from the door to make sure that Elle was no where in sight. He checked his watch and saw that it was Elle's lunch break, so she must be talking to Pete like she usually does. And as he slightly opened the door a little more, he was right. He tucked the bra into his palms and hid his hands behind his back as he slipped out quietly, hoping Elle wouldn't turn around from her conversation with Pete. Right now, she was in another fit of giggles as Pete was talking about something that happened to this man that went by the name of 'Dirty'. According to the stories Pete has to bring about him, the poor guy might need medical help.
Ryan went behind the counter and stuck one of the straps onto the handle of the coffee pot as Ryan tried so desperately not to burst out into a hysterical laughter. As soon as he was done, he darted out of there and stood in front of Elle, trying to hide his smile.
"I couldn't find it." Ryan choked out, as Elle turned to him with an annoyed expression.
"Fine. Just use the regular one." Elle replied, wishing he would go away.
"I think there's something wrong with the coffee maker, though." Ryan said, as Elle turned to him with a confused expression.
"What? What the hell did you do to my coffee maker?!" she screamed, jumping off of her seat and rushing behind the counter, as Pete just calmly took a sip of his beverage.
And then suddenly, there was a high pitched scream from behind the counter as Ryan suddenly broke out into laughter and Pete's gaze grew confused.
"Who did this?!?!" Elle screamed, coming out from behind the counter, with her bra in hand as Pete, too, was trying not to laugh.
"Why? Does it look familiar?" Ryan asked sarcastically, as Elle narrowed her eyes and clucked her tongue.
"You did this, you little freak!" Elle shrieked as she launched herself to pounce on Ryan, but Ryan was quick and ran from the frazzled strawberry-blonde as she chased him around Starbucks, apathetic to staring customers.
"This is a health violation in SO many ways!" she scolded.
"Oh, and what you did with Brendon in the back room wasn't?" Ryan replied, as she just blushed and knew she the event that took place in the back room a few months ago has been figured out.
Suddenly, they heard laughter coming from Pete, as Elle just hastily spun around and blushed wildly.
"Well, this was entertaining and all, but I have to go." Pete laughed, before leaving Elle, who was still in shock and embarrassment that Pete had witnessed the whole thing. Suddenly, she turned to Ryan, with the most pissed expression on her face that he has ever seen. Ryan, on the other hand, was a little frightened but still remained calm at what she was about to do.
"How could you do that to me? Gosh, it's not my fault you can't satisfy Brendon like I can." she spat with a vicious smirk, as Ryan's heart plummeted.
"I don't get you! You know, Brendon cheated on you, too! So, why are you so mad at me?" Ryan asked, as she was about to come back with something sarcastic and hurtful, until she just stopped. It was odd. She just stopped and her angered expression had softened to blank as her opened mouth shut tightly. Her tensed shoulders dropped as well as her gaze and then, out of nowhere, she just left. Just like that. Not an uttered word or anything.
Any other time, Ryan would just let her go. He wouldn't pay any mind to her at all. If she was in pain, she deserved it. This whole week, she's been nothing but horrible to him. She deserved this payback. But, right now, he remembered all the times Helen went chasing after him when he was hurting. Of how she was already there for him when they never even met each other. Of how amazing Helen was and that even though Ryan thought that he was still a terrible person, Helen still had some sort of effect on his being. And he was still thinking 'what would Helen do?' So, right then and there, Ryan followed her and had every intention on doing the right thing.
He exited Starbucks and saw Elle fumbling through her keys near her black convertible, as tears were flowing hastily down her cheeks.
"Elle, wait!" Ryan called, as she turned around with an expression of only sorrow.
"Just leave me alone, Ryan." she said, as Ryan came closer.
"No, I'm sorry, okay? I didn't mean to hurt you. I was just angry." Ryan apologized as Elle just slammed her car keys down and fell to the ground, hugging her knees against her car, startling Ryan.
"No. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I've been such a bitch and I don't know what to do. I know I should be angry with Brendon, and I am. But, it's like everyone I know has turned their backs on me, you know? Everyone I once trusted has totally screwed me over. Like, I mean nothing to anyone." Elle gasped, wiping away some tears as Ryan just at down next to her, leaning against a tire.
"Yeah, I know how you feel." Ryan admitted, as she just turned her head to face him as she gave him a half-hearted smile.
"It's just, I had everything and suddenly, it all disappeared. I had Starbucks, great friends, a wonderful boyfriend, an awesome car. I was like, the Cappuccino Barbie of reality."
"You still have all of that, just minus the wonderful boyfriend part."
"But, it's like, he was the best part. And now, he's gone."
"I used to feel that way about him. Well, until I met Helen." Ryan replied, as Elle just gave him a sad smile.
"You really do love her, don't you?" Elle asked.
And there it was. The question that Ryan had been asking himself for the past few weeks or so. The very question that caused Ryan's heart to bleed and his conscience to plead guilty after every memory. The thing that broke both Helen and Ryan's heart. The thing that Ryan was so unsure about, until this very moment, in which he knew his answer.
"Yes, I really do."
And then Ryan realized he had made one of the hugest mistakes of his life. He really did love Helen. There wasn't a second thought or lingering doubt. He could say it all day and still have the tingle on his tongue. I love Helen. I love Helen. I love Helen. But, now she was gone because he was being stupid. He had let her go and didn't put up the effort to fight for what he really wanted: Her. But, then, Ryan realized, that didn't really make him as horrible as he thought it would. He was blinded by Brendon's charm and his vicious lust; the power of the wanted ex. But, Ryan just figured he really didn't love Brendon, he just loved the idea of them. This emotion he thought he felt towards him was only mere desire. Not the kind Helen and him shared. The love he felt for Helen was so genuinely real, that Ryan realized that this was the most awful mistake he could ever make. Right now, everything could be perfect, if it wasn't for Ryan's ignorance. He would probably still be with Helen and Elle would've never hated him in the first place.
"I'm sorry I've been so horrible to you this week. But, you broke my best friend's heart. It's my duty." Elle said, sniffing away her tears.
"It's fine. I'm sorry I showed your bra to everyone, including Pete." Ryan apologized, as Elle just laughed.
"Oh God. That was so embarrassing." Elle chuckled as Ryan joined her.
"Come on. We better get back to work." Elle said, standing up and sticking her hand out to help him up. He took her hand as they walked back to Starbucks, finding the closure between them.
"You know, we don't really even have vanilla cleaner?" Elle said, once they reached the coffee shop.
"Yeah, I know. We have black bras instead."
Author's Note: Thanks to infinite-oddity, eileen162, webba141, rclukins, iluvsmiliez, MrSz. Or3o, and medicatedlives for their terrific reviews. :]
Hey, I updated sooner than I thought. Go me. :]
Do with it as you like.