“Come on Sophie.” Ella called out to her friend. “We can’t miss the train. Maxwell will kill me if we do.”
“I’m coming. I’m coming.” Sophie grabbed her backpack and chased after her friend. “You didn’t really give me much time to get ready.” She was breathless as she ran down the path to the train tracks. She looked down at her shoe and saw her laces were untied but she didn’t dare stop to tie it up. “Don’t fall, don’t fall.” She mumbled to herself as she followed her best friend.
Sophie and Ella had been best friends for 15 years; ever since their first day at boarding school when they were 7 years old. Ella had marched up to Sophie and linked her arm through hers and that was all it had taken. They had been inseparable ever since. Unfortunately for Sophie, she was still treated like the lost little girl she had been when they first met and Ella bossed her around like nobody’s business.
“Run Sophie. Run.” Ella screamed at Sophie as she jumped onto the train, her blond hair flying. She reached her hand out to Sophie and grabbed her arm as she came running up to the train. “Jump.”
Sophie ran and jumped into the train, tripping over her shoes and falling into the carriage. She stood up as gracefully as possible and saw the other passengers in the train looking at her as if she were an alien from outer space. She grabbed her bag from the ground and sighed when she saw 3 more people get on the train casually.
“The train wasn’t leaving Ella.” She hissed at her friend embarrassed.
“Well, it might have started to leave and you’d be stuck here if you hadn’t run.” Ella spoke matter of factly and walked into the main carriage. “Let’s find our seats. I hope Maxwell hooked us up.”
Sophie sighed and followed her friend. She hadn’t wanted to come home with Ella for the break; in fact, she never wanted to go to Ella’s home again but she had found herself emotionally blackmailed into accompanying her friend to her childhood home in Iowa, instead of going to stay with her Uncle and Aunt in Florida. It had become a tradition for Sophie to stay with Ella’s family every Spring Break and sometimes in the summer as well. They had grown up together and after High School, they had both gotten into Columbia University in New York. Ella’s family had been kind enough to rent Ella a beautiful apartment in the Upper West Side and allowed Sophie to live there for free.
Sophie loved Ella’s parents as if they were her own but she was dreading seeing Maxwell: gloriously handsome and brilliant Maxwell. He was Ella’s older brother, by 8 years and Sophie had been in love with him for years. Only he didn’t know. And she wanted to keep it that way. He looked at her as his younger sister’s annoying best friend and Sophie knew she had no shot with him. He was the heir to a billionaire’s fortune, handsome as a model and as intelligent as Einstein. He was also the one who had provided comfort to Sophie as a youngster, when she had been homesick. She smiled to herself thinking about their midnight snacks and scary story nights. What she wouldn’t do to get him in her bed now. She laughed to herself; mocking her fantasies and sat down next to Ella.
“What were you laughing at?” Ella looked at her curiously, twirling her long blond hair in her hands.
“Nothing.” Sophie sighed. She wanted to ask Ella if Maxwell had a girlfriend but she didn’t want her friend to know about her crush.
“Sophie, thanks soo much for coming home with me. It just wouldn’t have seemed right without you there. You know you are more like my family, than just a friend.” Ella clasped her hands and brought them towards her. “I am so lucky to have a best friend like you.”
Sophie’s heart warmed and she felt her eyes moisten. Ella really knew how to make her all warm and fuzzy inside. “It’s okay Ella. It will be a Christmas to remember I’m sure.” She checked the latest text message from her Aunt and smiled. “And it will allow my Uncle and Aunt to go on that cruise that they have been talking about for years.”
“Yay. I am soo excited. Let’s go shopping tomorrow. We only have a few days left until Christmas. I hope Maxwell talks my parents into buying me a new car.”
“I doubt it.” Sophie laughed. “Not after you totaled the last 3.”
“It wasn’t my fault.” Ella pouted.
“3 Mercedes totaled in 3 months is your fault!”
“Stop you start up as well Sophie. Wouldn’t you rather be driving right now, than in this stuffy train?”
“Not really.” Sophie laughed, happy that she didn’t have to drive with crazy Ella. She was scared for her life every time she got in a car with her friend. “But hey, I never have enough money saved for a car so maybe you can drive with me.”
“Oh Sophie, that’s great.” Ella smiled at her friend. “That will be awesome.”
“I know it won’t be a Mercedes but it will still be 4 wheels.” Sophie beamed at her friend. One of the things she loved about Ella was that she didn’t judge her because she didn’t have as much money as her friend. Her Uncle and Aunt had been able to send her to boarding school because of the insurance money and she had gotten a scholarship to college. The $3000 she had in her account was from her part time job working at a pet shop and she was looking forward to buying the 2004 Toyota Corolla that her professor was going to sell her.
“A car is a car. Soon we will be college graduates and we will be able to travel the country at our will.” Ella squealed with excitement.
“Well, I don’t know about that.” Sophie frowned at her friend. “You know I’m looking for a job. If I want to stay in the City, I need to have an income coming in.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Ella looked down at her phone. Jobs meant nothing to her. Having grown up in a family that was in the Forbes top 100 richest families in the country, Ella had never had to worry about things like money and jobs. “You should just ask Maxwell to hire you as an executive in one of our companies, then you won’t have to worry so much.”
“I can’t do that.” Sophie smiled at her friend and sighed. She would love to work for Maxwell, it would be heavenly to see his face everyday and to smell and touch him. “Anyways Maxwell would never want to hire me.”
“Yes he would. He knows how smart you are.” Ella grins at her friend. “Do you know how many times he has told me that he wishes you were his sister instead?”
“Yeah, you told me.” Sophie faked a smile and tried to keep her disappointment to herself. She didn’t want Maxwell to see her as a sister; she wanted him to see her as a sex God and lust after her. She wanted him to push her into a room and ravish her quickly before Ella came down the stairs. She wanted them to have romps in the car and in the fields and laugh at how naughty they were. But no, all Maxwell did is peck her on the cheek and talk about what a good friend she was to his sister before he hit the town and had fun with a bunch of other girls. The last time Sophie had stayed over at the Van Harkel’s she had seen Maxwell making out with a girl in the garage. He had seen her peaking at him and had winked at her before he had continued ravishing the beautiful blond and Sophie had gone to her room and cried. She had managed to skip going with Ella for over a year now but hadn’t managed to bail out of this visit. It was the last Christmas that they would be in school and Ella had managed to emotionally blackmail her into coming.
“Sometimes I think he likes you more than he likes me.” Ella grinned and with her blue eyes sparkling Sophie knew she was just kidding.
“Well, he knows I can cook a better pie.”
“Ooh, does that mean you will make one for Christmas? I’m sure Mrs. D won’t mind.”
“I guess so. I don’t want Mrs. D thinking I’m after her job again. Though that would be a job.” The two girls laughed together and relaxed as the train left the station.
“Ella, wake up. We’re here.” Sophie shook her friends shoulder and stood up stiffly. She brushed her long hair back, hopeful that it didn’t look as frizzy as it felt and smoothed her skirt flat. She wanted to whip out a mirror to make sure her makeup was still intact but she knew that Ella would wonder when she became so vain. She certainly didn’t want to tell her friend that she wanted to look good for Maxwell. There were enough girls who tried to befriend Ella just so that they could get an introduction to Maxwell Van Harkel. She didn’t want Ella to think she had gone over to the dark side as well.