Loving With A Heavy Heart Chapter 147
146 Chance Encounters 2
Elle winced. These were perhaps the two people she wanted to avoid most in the world.
'Of all the people in the world why did I have to come across this combination of people?' She wondered bitterly.
Elle watched as Amelia excitedly pulled Adam's mother towards a pair of limited edition heels on display.
'It will be okay, right?' Elle thought. 'I'll be in and out of the store quickly. They probably won't even notice me. We'll just pass by each other as nothing more than a coincidence.'
She quickly found a store attendant to help her get the exact shoes and size she was looking for. Elle was in line waiting for her turn to cash out when she heard the dreaded voice.
"Elle?" Amelia called out. "How funny meeting you here."
Elle's face was drawn in pain and she let out a quiet sigh of frustration before turning around to greet them with a bitter smile.
"Hello Amelia, Mrs. Hayes." Elle greeted politely.
"It seems our fates are intertwined. Our paths have crossed so many times since I returned." Amelia said with a friendly smile.
'I always knew the fates disliked me.' Elle thought to herself sarcastically.
"Is this one of your friends Amelia?" Mrs. Hayes asked.
"She is, but she was actually Adam's friend first. I only met her through him."
"Is that so?"
"I'm Elle." She quickly introduced herself. "We met a long time ago but it seems Mrs. Hayes doesn't recognize me."
"Did we? When?"
"At one of MK's product launches late last fall."
Mrs. Hayes' eyes narrowed as she tried to recall before suddenly opening brightly. "That's right! You were the main model that night."
"That's right." Elle said with a soft smile. Just then a registered cleared, and Elle who was next in line was given her chance to escape. "I'll be going now but it was nice meeting you again."
"Wait, Elle, we're going to go for lunch soon. Why don't you join us?" Elle opened her mouth to politely decline but Amelia was faster. "You rejected me last time. You can't possibly mean to refuse me again."
Elle faltered. "I wouldn't want to intrude on your plans." She answered uncertainly. "It would be rude of me to waste your time together. Maybe next time."
"It wouldn't be an intrusion at all." Mrs. Hayes insisted. "Why don't I call my son as well?"
Elle's face getting more pale by the minute. 'This is my worst nightmare.' Elle realized.
"What a wonderful idea." chirped Amelia who no longer saw Elle as a rival and was always eager for an opportunity to see Adam.
Before Elle could open her mouth to argue Mrs. Hayes had already pulled out her phone and began calling Adam.
"That's odd." She said after a moment. "He's not answering."
'Of course he didn't. He's still asleep.' Elle realized. Feeling more confident now Elle spoke firmly. "Your son is a busy person. I'd hate to bother him on a weekend. I'm also in a hurry today. Why don't you let me treat you both to a cup of tea instead?"
Both Amelia and Mrs. Hayes found this agreeable so once Elle had made her purchase they all went to a cafe in the mall to sit down for a cup of tea. The conversation was light and pleasant.
Elle noticed a marked difference in Amelia in particular. She seemed much more genuine and friendly than she ever had before. Elle wondered if she had just been imagining the underlying defensiveness she had noticed before, not realizing that the difference in treatment was due to Amelia's own misunderstanding. Amelia now saw Elle as a sweet and lovable girl now that she no longer saw her as a rival for Adam's love.
"So Elle, what projects are you working on now?" Mrs. Hayes asked.
"Nothing special at the moment." Elle replied, not realizing in the moment that his mother mistook her to be a model. "Just the typical small projects here and there."
"What about you Amelia."
"I think I have something big coming up." She replied proudly. "But I'm going to keep quiet until it's more certain."
"Oh come now. That only makes me more curious. Doesn't it Elle?"
Elle only smiled politely in response. The conversation continued in the same manner for some time until Elle's phone broke the sound of the continuous murmur of the conversation. Elle felt panic consume her as she saw Adam's name appear on her screen. She scrambled to answer the call before either of the others could see who it was.
"Hello?" She answered.
"Where are you?" The groggy voice responded.
"I'm still at the mall."
"Good. I forgot we were out of dish soap. Do you think you can pick some up on your way home?"
"...Are you with someone?" Adam asked as he noticed the polite strain in her voice.
"That's right! You'll never guess who I bumped into; Amelia and Mrs. Hayes." Elle said with fake enthusiasm thick in her voice. But Amelia and Mrs. H didn't notice, and simply smiled at their being mentioned.
"My mother?" Adam asked with a furrowed brow.
"That's right." Elle responded through the gritted teeth of her best smile. "But don't worry, I'll be sure to keep our prior engagement. I won't be late." She added, cleverly creating her fool proof excuse to leave the gathering early.
"No, no, no. there's no need for you to rush back. You should stay there and enjoy yourself properly."
"What's that? You want to meet earlier?"
Adam laughed at her blatant scheme from his end of the line.
"Sorry, I don't think I'll be able to make it to you early. I definitely won't be late though."
"Fine, fine. Run away if you want." Adam teased. "You've worked hard my love. I'll see you at home."
"Okay, I'll see you soon." Elle was unable to answer his sweet words with ones of her own while in front of his mother and friend but their presence couldn't stop the ever-so-slight blush that coloured her cheeks.
"I take it you have to leave us now." Amelia said regretfully.
"Unfortunately, but I thank you very much for the conversation." As Elle gathered her things another phone began to ring.
"Ah! It's my son." Mrs. Hayes said excitedly. "Hello Adam. Pray tell, what was so important that you ignored my earlier call?" She asked in a teasing voice.
Her eyes widened in surprise to whatever it was Adam said in response. "You slept in? Really? You? However did you manage it?"
Elle could just imagine Adam's disinterested reply; 'Yes, me. I slept in. Now it's your turn. Tell me what did you call for?'
It seemed like he really did reply along those lines for Mrs. H said "Ah, I was out with Amelia this morning and we bumped into Elle. I wanted to invite you out to lunch with the three of us but it seems like Elle needs to leave to meet someone else already. Why don't you join Amelia and me?"
"Eh? You're busy too? How unfortunate. Next time all four of us should meet. Speaking of which, why haven't you introduced me to Elle before? I thought I knew everyone from your little circle by now."
Elle's heart beat loudly in anticipation. She had no idea but Adam softly replied "You're right, I was late. I'll introduce her to you properly next time."