Chapter Four

theme 16-personality changes

Sue Ellen and Charles kept up their affair. They hung out with Emily and other friends. They pretended everything was normal. But every few days, he'd come over. They'd hang out. Then they'd roll in the hay. He'd leave and head back home. He shared an apartment with Emily. She might share his apartment but she didn't share his secret.

Months passed. They kept it up. Sue Ellen found herself really falling for Charles. He was so handsome, so good in bed. She didn't want to live life without him. He was perfect.

Spring came. Sue Ellen hung out with the group before finals. Emily was snippy. She kept going off on people for wrong answers. She criticized Charles for poor note-taking. He argued with her. They left early in a screaming match. Everyone wondered what Emily's problem was. Sue Ellen wondered with them but she wondered if she already knew.

After finals were over, Sue Ellen packed her things. She was headed home. She had just finished packing when someone knocked. She opened the door to Emily. She was red-faced. Sue Ellen smelled alcohol. She didn't know how Emily got it. They were both underaged. Sue Ellen tried to ignore it. But she stayed focus. This wasn't good.

"I know everything!" Emily hissed. "I know what you've been doing, what he's been up to. I know it all. How dare you try to hide everything from me! I thought you were my friend. You were really my enemy, you two-faced bitch!"

Emily threw a punch. Her perception was off. She missed by a mile. She was stunned. She looked at her fist before swinging again. She missed again and again. Sue Ellen finally grabbed her. She pushed her to the couch. Emily started to sob.

"I trusted you. I trusted him. I guess I messed up here, but this is on you. You're the slut, and I won't have you ruin my perfect wedding. I don't care what it is, but whatever it takes to make you leave town and never come back, I'll do it. I'll pay you. I'll do whatever it is you want. Just get the fuck out of our lives," Emily hissed.

Sue Ellen mulled it over. She could use some good money. She didn't know where she'd go from here. But money was ubiquitous-it could be everywhere and take you there in luxury. She felt guilty but she let Emily write the check. Twenty thousand dollars were now hers. She just had to decide what to do.

Sue Ellen decided to meet up with Charles. They met at a coffee shop. They sat outside away from everyone. She told him she was leaving. He agreed that was best. Emily was mad at him but things were better between them.

"Why'd you give her up in the first place if you two were so close?" Sue Ellen asked. Charles sighed, "I have addiction, a sexual one. After we got engaged, she cut me off. I did other things for a while, but when you came along and told me you came back for me, something snapped in me. I couldn't have her but you were available, so it happened. It shouldn't have, and it can't again. She said she paid you to leave. I'll match the money. Just go, okay?"

"I'll just leave. What she gave me was enough," Sue Ellen said firmly. Charles shook his head. He wrote a check. It was for ten thousand. Sue Ellen knew that was only half but she remained silent. Charles left. She watched him walk away. She'd never see him again.

Sue Ellen looked out the plane's window. She was surrounded by ocean, this time the Atlantic. She went home with her father. She couldn't transfer back to Japan because her credits wouldn't transfer. She didn't want to redo a semester. France took her classes so she went there. She used the money she got to live a nice life. She met new people, got new friends. But she didn't contact people back home. She posted to social media instead. They followed her. She didn't follow them.

Sue Ellen eventually found love again. She took a while to forget Charles, but she had to forget. He used her. Now she was the slut. Society's standards irritated her. She decided to embrace them. She was sexually active, the life of the party. She still studied and worked hard in school. But she knew how to have fun, so she did. Life got tough sometimes but she powered through. And in the end, she got the life she wanted.