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Love or Money

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Marty Wells paces up and down the lakeside of Verona Lake. He keeps fumbling the velvet case inside his pocket, reciting the words he longs to say to her. Marty looks at his watch, it’s a half past seven, thirty minutes later than the time he scheduled on the note. “Where is she, I set the note right out side her apartment door, she couldn’t have missed it.” Marty stops and looks at his watch once more before takes the walk back up the hill to his ’98 Jeep Cherokee. He starts the engine and heads toward the sunset hills apartment complex. Marty begins walking up the stairway toward her apartment door; he finds the door wide open, with his note gone. Marty steps into her apartment, “Ellie, are you home?” An eerie silence filled the room. Marty sees the day’s mail and newspaper on the kitchen countertop. “She has been home, she took my note, but where is she?” “Martin?” Marty turns around to the voice calling his name at the door. “Mrs. Shepard, have you seen Ellie today, did you see her leave or anything?” “Well yes I did, I was leaving my apartment to go to town and I saw her at her door reading a note, she had a big smile on her face.” “Then as I was walking down the stairway, there was a dark haired man that was coming up, and he and her began to talk about something.” “I herd him say that there was some emergency and that they had to leave right that second, he grabbed her hand and wouldn’t even let her turn around to shut her door.” “I was hopping I could ask you about it actually, I wanted to make sure everything was okay?”, Mrs. Shepard said concerned. “Mrs. Shepard I haven’t even heard from her today, you say he was a dark haired man?” “Oh yes he had dark hair, and was probably around fifty years old, he was tall and handsome, he actually looked a lot like you.” “Really, that sounds like my dad, thank you Mrs. Shepard; I will try to give them two a call.” “Oh, yes you’re welcome Martin, and if you hear from her will you please let me know so I know she is okay?” “Yes, Mrs. Shepard, I will contact you as soon as I can.” Mrs. Shepard nods her head and makes her way into her own apartment, Marty shuts the door to Ellie’s apartment and pulls out his phone and dials Ellie’s number. Ring….Ring….Ring… “Marty”, said a quiet shaky voice. “Ellie, is everything okay honey, what’s wrong.” “Marty I’m in the back of a van right now, on my way to your dad’s ware house, Marty I’m scared please come and get me, your dad told me there was an emergency so I went with him, then he put me in this van and told me he’s going to settle the problem with me once and for all.” “Marty I don’t know what I did, I’m scared he is going to kill me, come and get me please Marty.” “Okay, I will be there as fast as I can every thing is going to be okay, don’t worry.” “Hurry Marty, the van just stopped I have to go.” Marty heard the click phone click off, with that he raced down the stairs to his jeep. Marty dodges in and out of traffic, trying to get to her as fast as he can. Marty pulls into the parking lot of his father’s warehouse, the warehouse his father has hopes of him someday owning, along with the rest of his father’s corporation. As he pulls in he sees the van, Marty gets out and races to the door. Marty quietly opens the door, he doesn’t want to make a sound, and he doesn’t want his father to know that he is there. Marty searches room after room inside the ware house, and then he sees a light under the door at the end of the hallway. When Marty gets to the door, he can hear his fathers voice within, he stops outside the door to listen. “You realize why I’m doing this don’t you?” the voice says. “I’m doing this because countless times I have told you about my son’s position, I have told you to break it off with him, or there would be consequences, but you always refused.” “So now here we are, I have no choice at this point but to demand that you refuse his proposal, or I will become your worst nightmare.” “I don’t understand though Mr. Wells, why can’t I be with him, I love him, I want to marry him.” “He makes me happy, he’s all I want in life, and I know he feels the same about me.” “He doesn’t want your company; he wants to go with me to Africa, why can’t you accept that.” “If it wasn’t for your stupid little dreams of saving the world Ellie, then my son would take the business and be a millionaire, you are keeping him from fulfilling his destiny.” Filled with anger and disgust for his father, Marty swings the door open. Marty’s father and Ellie turn to look at him, Ellie was sitting in a chair her hands tied behind her back, and Marty’s father was standing, staring into the eyes of his son. “Dad”, Marty says with tears welting in his eyes, “Why did you do this, this was our day, you ruined everything.” “How can you treat the women I love this way, where do you have the right to plan my future like this, I am twenty-two years old dad, this is my life not yours.” “Son, wake up, this business has been passed on for the last four generations, now you want to go be some sort of hero in Africa, instead of follow the footsteps you have been born to walk in.” “I don’t want it dad, I never did.” Marty walks over to Ellie and unties her hands. “I am leaving dad, for good, I don’t care if I ever see you again.” With that said Marty takes Ellie’s hand and leads her out of the room. As he walks down the hallway out of the building he can hear his father shouting remarks, and throwing things, Marty keeps walking. He walks over to the passenger side of his jeep and helps Ellie into the car, and drives in the direction of Ellie’s apartment. On the ride over Marty tells Ellie about how he talked to Mrs. Shepard and found her door wide open. When they reach her apartment he helps Ellie back out of the Jeep, he takes her hand and leads her up the stairs. “Martian, Ellie, how are you kids?” The voice comes from Mrs. Shepard at the end of the stair well. “Hi Mrs. Shepard”, says Ellie. “Everything is fine; there is nothing to worry about.” “Oh okay, are you sure?” “Yes I’m sure, we have gotten everything worked out.” “Oh, well that’s good to hear, you kids be careful now, you hear.” “Don’t worry Mrs. Shepard.” Mrs. Shepard then enters her apartment leaving Marty and Ellie alone outside her apartment door.” “By the way” Ellie says. “I did get your note, telling me to meet you at the lake, at our spot.” Ellie grins and puts her arms around his neck. “You did huh, well then I had better finish what I started.” Marty pulls out the velvet box and gets down on one knee. He takes her hand, and looks into her glittering eyes. “Will you marry me Ellie?”





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