Ella and Daniel just got back from a weeklong vacation that was closely followed by a terrifying fight, which led Ella to run off to her friend, Olive’s place. Daniel was refusing to leave Olive’s place, even though Ella had refused to engage with him. Now they’re waiting for Chris to get there and hopefully, make him leave in time for Olive to go to work. Start Ella and Daniel’s story here – Lonely Eyes Part 1 – Hello, Chaos!
Her phone rang, jarring both Ella and Olive. It was her sister. Great.
She answered. “Hey,”
“Are you okay? Is he still there?” Amy asked, diving right in.
“Yeah, we’re good. He’s still here, but we’ve locked the burglar so he can’t come in.” She succeeded in keeping her voice from trembling and was peripherally proud of herself. She could keep her emotions under control if she didn’t focus too much on the fact that her boyfriend was out there terrorizing her and her friend. This was a scene she’d never imagined herself starring in.
“Okay. Don’t hang up, we’re on our way and I want to stay on the line.”
That was the last thing Ella needed. She couldn’t talk and talk and talk until they finally got here.
“Okay,” she answered. She had no business complaining. Her relationship drama had caused enough chaos, as it were. They were just trying to help.
There was blessed silence which lasted the six seconds it took her sister to add their brother to the call. Great. More people.
“Huey, we’re on a conference call with Ella. I’m with Chris.” Amy said.
“Ella, are you okay?” Huey asked.
“Yeah, we’re good. He’s outside and we’ve locked the burglar, so we’re safe.”
Evidently, that was Daniel’s cue to resume his intermittent banging and begging.
“Jesus, babe. How many times do I have to say I’m sorry? Just think about how good we were on safari. That’s the real us, sweetheart. I just made a fucking mistake. Fuck.”
“What’s happening?” her sister asked, voice uncharacteristically high pitched.
“He’s just banging the door, but it’s locked, so we’re safe.”
“Ella. Can you just be mature for once? All I want to do is talk. You’re always so fucking stubborn.” Daniel asked, seemingly unable to decide whether he wanted to be a bad cop or good cop in this interaction.
“We’re almost there. We’ll be there in five minutes, max. Amy, how far are you guys?”
“About 10, maybe 15 minutes away. Huey, be careful when you get there.”
“You’ll die alone, you know that? You’ll die all alone if you can’t forgive. Relationships are all about forgiving.” Daniel yelled.
“I didn’t even do anything,” Daniel started again. “I get that I scared you, and I won’t ever do it again. I swear, baby. I swear it.”
“What did he do?”
“What is he talking about?”
Who was she supposed to answer when they all spoke at the same time?
“Nothing.” She answered.
“I would never force you, babe. Ever. You know that.”
There was silence in the wake of his last statement.
“We’re here,” Huey said, voice low at the same time they heard a car drive up.
Ella opened the door to see him exit the car, eyes fixed on Daniel. He didn’t even bother to close the passenger side door as he stalked towards Daniel. Daniel squared his soldiers and advanced towards Huey. Huey threw the first punch, then it was an all-out brawl with Eddy joining.
Ella’s hands were shaking so much as she tried to open the padlock that the keys fell out, just outside their reach. Amy and Chris arrived during the fracas, and the three men were finally able to subdue Daniel. They pinned him down, then tied him up with some twine Chris had in the boot of his car. Amy handed Olive the padlock keys, and they joined the small crowd outside the house.
Daniel kept talking, his words directed at her, and she could just feel everyone’s eyes on her. She was those women she’d always wondered about and secretly judged for ending up in such fucked up situations. Now everyone was looking at her the way she’d looked at those women.
Someone had called the area security guards who had called the police, so now they were waiting. So much for not involving the police. The tension was palpable when they saw the police car approaching.
Huey bent into a squat, eyes on Daniel, who lay on the ground. “You stay the fuck away from my sister or I swear to God the next time, they’ll be nothing left for the police to rescue.”
The police took Daniel and instructed the rest of them to follow them to the police station to record their official statements. Olive called her boss, who chewed her out before demanding she appear at work after recording her statement.
Ella and Olive rode to the station with Huey and Eddy, with Amy and Chris following them.
“I’m so sorry,” Ella said after Olive hang up with her boss.
“I know. Now stop saying it. You’re making things weird.” She replied with a wink.
Ella got a cab for Olive. It was the least she could do. Then the rest of them headed to Amy’s place for the night. The couples had decided, without her input, that it would be safer for Ella to spend the night at Amy’s, just in case they released Daniel on bail and he sought her out. She was so numb and so tired she couldn’t summon the energy to protest.
She was riding with Huey and Eddy, with Amy and Chris behind them.
“Breathe, baby,” Eddy said voice soft with underlying urgency.
She turned to look at her brother. Huey was clasping and unclasping his trembling fingers and looked like he was concentrating too hard on breathing.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, turning to Eddy.
“Panic attack,” Eddy said, eyes darting frantically between the road and his partner. They were on the highway at night. Stopping was not a good idea.
“I’ve seen a petrol station. Just hang on a sec.”
Eddy pulled into the petrol station and jumped out, rushing to Huey’s side. He threw the door open, then started talking softly to him, demonstrating how to breathe so Huey could copy it.
Amy and Chris pulled in to ask why they were stopped and walked right into the scene.
It didn’t look like it was working, Huey looked like he was on the verge of passing out. He was shaking and sweating and breathing heavily. It looked to Ella like he was having a heart attack from the way he was grabbing his chest.
Ella stood paralyzed with fear, only moving when she felt someone’s hands gently move her to the side.
It was a man about her height, with a big afro. “I’m a nurse. He’s having a panic attack. Let me help?” He framed it like a question.
Eddy moved slightly to the side, allowing the nurse access.
“What’s his name?“ the nurse asked, eyes on Huey.
“Huey.” They answered in unison.
“Huey. I know you’re feeling terrible, but it’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. I’m a nurse and I can help. All you need to do is focus on something else, like your feet. Those are some cool shoes you got there.” His voice was so gentle.
Huey looked at his shoes.
“Good, just like that.” The nurse encouraged. “Now you just need to slow down your breathing. Bring your finger to your lips and breathe through your nose.“
Huey kept trying to breathe only through his nose, his trembling finger over his mouth.
“That’s it. Just like that. You’re going to be just fine. Everything’s going to be okay. Just breathe through your nose. There you go.“
His breathing began to normalize.
“That’s it, love.” Eddy encouraged.
The nurse helped him lean back on the seat when he was fully calm. Huey looked exhausted.
The whole affair couldn’t have lasted 15 minutes, but it felt interminable. They were cloaked in silence, when her brother, with a broken voice, said, “I’m okay,” and Eddy took him in his arms, holding him for about a minute.
“I’m okay,” Huey repeated, voice muffled.
Finally, Eddy pulled back and turned to the nurse. “Thank you so much.”
The rest of them thanked the nurse, did brief introductions, and Amy took his phone number. Eddy gently wiped the sweat off Huey’s face with soft tissues.
“How long has he been getting them?” Amy whispered after the nurse left.
Eddy paused his ministrations, turning to face the concerned group. “A while. I’m guessing he’s going to want to tell you the details himself. Why don’t we get back on the road? We can talk when we get to your place.”
“Okay,” Chris said, guiding a hesitant Amy towards their car, his arm around her shoulders.
Eddy turned to Ella. “I’m so sorry, Ella. But could you please ride with them just to give Huey a moment to regroup?”
She wanted to insist on riding with them so she could monitor her brother, but then it occurred that he’d gotten that panic attack after dealing with her mess. She nodded stiffly and followed Chris and Amy. Chris was rubbing Amy’s shoulder and whispering something. He opened the passenger side door for her, which she’d never seen him do, then kissed her cheek before going over to his side. He gave Ella a brief nod as she slid into the back seat.
Is this how it really ends or is there more to come on the Ella-Daniel front? Find out what happens next here – Lonely Eyes Part 10: The Talk – Family Secrets All Come Out
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