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Starting Over
Chapter 4
The Big Move In

by Eleanor Tylbor

Sitting in the taxi, it suddenly occurred to Sheila that she hadn't phoned to let Estelle know that she was on her way. Given her friend's busy dating schedule, this could prove to be problematic. At this point with no where else to go or stay, Sheila would have to take her chances and hope that her presence wouldn't interfere too much with Estelle's plans.

Staring out of the window of the taxi, she wondered how she could have wasted fifteen years of her life with a loser like Hal. The signs were all there and God knows Estelle had reminded her over and over again, but she just couldn't admit that Hal was one big mistake. Tears welled up in her eyes as she remembered the special anniversary meal she had prepared for him and his predictable, negative reaction.

"Enough!" Sheila said, loud enough that the taxi driver turned around.

"Something wrong, lady?" he asked nervously, his eyes looking at her through his rear view mirror.

"Neh! Everything's right for a change," she responded, feeling quite proud of herself and her accomplishment. Estelle would be proud of her decision for sure.

The taxi pulled up in front of Estelle's apartment house and suddenly the enormity of what she had done overwhelmed her. She felt very much alone.

"That'll be ten dollars," the driver said, turning off his meter.

Sheila handed him a twenty dollar bill.

"Keep the change," she told him. "I'm feeling very 'up' today."

"Thanks lady!" the driver smiled. "Have a good one!"

The driver darted out of his cab and grabbed the suitcase out of Sheila's hand.

"One good turn deserves another," he told her, as he followed her into the entrance of the apartment building.

She scanned the list of names and the apartments until she came to "E. Shelton" and pressed the buzzer but there was no answer. Recalling their conversation earlier, she was sure Estelle had told her she was staying in.

"That's what I get for not telling her I'm coming," Sheila said to herself, calling her friend's number on her cell phone. "She's probably having an early night." At the point where she was about to hang up, a groggy voice responded.

"Hel-hel...hello..." the voice at the other end stammered.

"Sorry - I must have the wrong number," Sheila apologized.

"Sheila? Is that you?" her friend asked, a definite sound of surprise intermingled with shock.

"Estelle! Bad timing? Oh geez - I'm really sorry but..."

"Yeah...kind'a. It's midnight! What's wrong? Did that bastard of a husband hit you? How many times did I tell you to leave the loser but..."

"Estelle - I did leave Hal!" Sheila interrupted her friend's rant.

"Good for you," Estelle said. "Just a minute..."

Sheila heard laughter and a man's voice and then whispering.

"I'm back. Sorry 'bout that. There was something I hadda do!" Estelle said, giggling. "Listen - why don't we meet tomorrow at the coffee shop and discuss your next move and then..."

"I can't," Sheila interrupted.

"You're...not thinking of going back to... Please tell me no!"

"I'm calling you downstairs in the entrance of your apartment building. Um - d'ya think that... Like, I could stay with you for a few days until I can get myself together? I mean - I won't be any trouble. You won't even know I'm around or anything..."

The few seconds of silence between them said it all for Sheila.

"Know what - why don't I just find a motel instead."

"Don't be dumb! Of course you can stay here. That's what friends are for, silly!" Estelle jumped in.

"I'm on my way up!" Sheila said.

"Give me a few minutes..." Estelle tried to get in before Sheila closed the top of her cell phone.

Standing outside the door, she heard the faint sound of Estelle's laughter.

Waiting a few minutes she rang the bell.

Estelle, hair disheveled and makeup smeared, opened the door a slit.

"Just a sec sweetie," she told Sheila closing the door

When the door finally opened properly, a young, handsome male who looked to be in his 20's stood next to Estelle.

"This is Rick," Sheila said.

"And Rick is leaving," he added. "But I'll be back you bad, bad lady!"

Both Estelle and Rick laughed, then kissed.

"Count on it!" Estelle said, her voice full of promise.

"C'mon in," she told Sheila. "So tell me every detail and don't leave anything out."

One thing for sure, life with Estelle would definitely be an eye opener.

To be continued...
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Go to Chapter 5.
Previous Chapters: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3
Drop by "Starting Over" - a continuing chapter-fiction story focusing on the trials and tribulations of Sheila, once married to a loser, who attempts to re-start her life.

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