Loving With A Heavy Heart Chapter 155
154 Secrets Revelations And Understanding
Abby struggled with herself for several days. From the moment she had seen Elle and Adam together in front of Tae she understood what the relationship between them was. It was clear as day that they were together and yet Elle hadn't given her so much as a hint of it. Slowly the secret began to eat at her.
She brought it up with Jacob once thinking he may have known something about it. He and Elle had lived together for a while after all. One night they were out to dinner together when Abby pointed out.
"Elle has been dating someone, it seems like it's been a while too." She commented lightly.
"It seems so." Jacob replied, clearly uninterested.
"Do you have any idea who it is? Surely you must have seen or heard something from her."
"Not at all. She never comes to the house. I barely even see her at work since we're on different floors."
"I see..." Abby said disappointedly.
"If you're that curious about it you should just ask Elle yourself." Jacob said with a frown.
"I suppose you're right. Maybe I will." Abby said with a forced smile.
It was a lie; Abby couldn't bring herself to ask Elle directly. Things between them were different now, though they had mended whatever cracks had formed in the relationship they weren't as close as they once were. Abby didn't have the confidence to ask.
In addition to not having the confidence to ask, part of herself was scared to ask. She was afraid to know the reason why Elle kept it a secret from her, for surely she purposely hid it from her.
When Abby looked back it was clear to her how much had gone on in front of her that she had been oblivious too. Elle and Adam had been at a few parties together. Abby recalled how she had once teased Elle for talking to Adam at a party; had they already been dating at that point? What a fool she must have looked like back then.
The worst day for Abby came on a day when Elle asked her out for lunch. Abby, who would have normally been thrilled that Elle had asked her out, Abby sat at lunch together with Elle with dread. Her secret seemed to hang between them like an invisible weight. She didn't say much as they ate out of fear that she anything she said would lead to Adam.
Instead Abby let Elle lead the conversation and listened to her talk about work and their other friends and whatever other mundane topics Elle brought up.
While they ate Abby couldn't help but notice the necklace around Elle's neck, the one she always wore. A tiny little bluebird that had been a limited edition release from MK. Was that a gift from him? Abby wondered. It had come out last autumn - had they been dating that long?
Then another realization hit Abby...that necklace had been released right after...
"What is it?" Elle asked, noticing the distracted, far-off-gaze Abby had in her eyes. "Is something wrong?"
"It's nothing." Abby said, returning to the present for the moment.
As soon as lunch was over Abby returned to work and began searching pictures from MK's launch event that had happened the previous year.
She began laughing to herself as the pictures came up on her phone. How funny. The mysterious model that she herself had admired for weeks and weeks was her own friend. How funny it was that she had no idea about it back then and yet now she saw it clear as day.
Then it was funny for a second time. Abby couldn't help but laugh at herself as she recalled how she had admired these pictures to the person in them without ever knowing.
"How ironic." She said bitterly.
Just then she came across a particular picture of Elle from that night, dressed in her beautiful gown with diamonds hanging around her neck, looking up at a display of white flowers with such innocent admiration in her eyes. Abby recalled, plain as day, a bouquet of the very same flowers sitting on Elle's desk only a few days after this event had taken place.
"The cold and unforgiving Adam Hayes is surprisingly romantic." She said in barely a whisper.
Then finally the day came when Abby's secret would be no more.
It was a weekend but her mother had come and woken her up early that morning.
"Take this over to Elle." She demanded, handing over several containers of food. Abby was flustered; she didn't want to go.
"I'll take it over later." Abby stammered.
"I told Elle I'd be sending it over for her to have for lunch today. Take it now." Her mother said with a tone of finality.
So Abby reluctantly got dressed and headed over to Elle's condo. She drove rather slowly and even stalled in the parking lot for several minutes before finally getting the courage to get out and head upstairs to knock on Elle's front door. All the while praying that Elle was still asleep. Praying for some excuse to avoid the interaction.
Her prayers were in vain. Elle opened the door and let her in.
"Your mom said she would send over food but I didn't expect it to be so quick. I could have come picked it up. Sorry that you had to go out of your way."
Abby could see that Elle was talking more softly than usual. And when Elle glanced towards the bedroom Abby felt whatever restraint was inside her break.
"Is Adam Hayes here?" Before she was even aware of it the words were coming out of her mouth.
"What?" Elle asked.
Abby couldn't help herself. She burst out laughing at Elle's panicked expression.
"It's worth not having been told by you just to be able to witness that expression." She said in between laughs.
As her laughter died down Abby noticed that she felt five pounds lighter. She only knew how heavy this secret had been weighing on her now that it was gone.
"You're dating him right? I already know so you might as well just confess that I'm right."
"How did you find out?" Elle asked nervously.
"I saw you two talking together in front of Tae one day."
Elle rolled her eyes. "That could have been work related. Or a coincidence. Just cause we were talking doesn't mean we were dating. Something else must have tipped you off." She argued.
Abby was silent for a moment. "It was your smile." She said finally. "I've been your friend for many years now; I've seen you happy, I've seen you sad, I've even seen you angry, but I've never seen you smile like that before."
Elle flushed bright red. "I don't know what you're talking about." She muttered.
The apartment grew silent, each girl lost in their own thoughts.
"Are you mad that I didn't tell you?" Elle asked after a long moment.
"I was at first." Abby confessed, choosing her words carefully. "I was angry for a while, then I just felt hurt, but the more I thought about it, and the more I realized, the more I understood you."
"I don't like it, but I can understand why you didn't tell me. Jacob is still as clueless as always by the way, so you don't have to worry about your family knowing. Not from me anyway." Abby continued. "I just came to drop off the food. I don't want to intrude on you guys so I'll go now but introduce me to him properly some time."
She got up to leave but before she made it to the door Elle had grabbed her arm.
"Thank you Abby." She said earnestly.
"My mom is the one who cooked. I'm just the delivery service, no need to thank me."
"No, for your understanding, thank you."