Let It Go

Elaine slumped onto her bed and stared up at the roof, hands behind her head. It wasn’t that she wasn’t happy… Far from it. Ender was wonderful, Lana was great, the whole place was about as perfect as any place could be.

So why do I feel so frustrated??

She knew why: she was ready to commit, and she didn’t think he ever would be!

And it was because of Leila.

Leila’s gone, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to go… He does it on purpose, I’m sure… He could love me if he wanted too… but he doesn’t. Oh, that makes it worse.

She reached for a romance novel and tried to read it. But it only served to make her more annoyed. Why wasn’t life like in the books? It should be! Elaine felt a bit of rare anger and rebellion build up in her, and she decided to take advantage of it.


Ender glanced up from his work at the knock. "Yeah?"

"It’s me."

He got up and opened the door. "Hey. I heard from Lana that you were tired, so I decided not to bother you…"

Elaine walked in and sat down on his bed, trying to keep her bravado up. "Ender, we gotta talk."

He spun in his chair to look at her curiously. Something was up, definitely. "Sure. About what?"


Ender stood up and walked over slowly. "Have I done something wrong…?"

No, unless you count being yourself… "Ender, I’ve been doing some thinking. I love you. The real thing. Which brings me to the next obvious question…"

Ender closed his eyes, and didn’t answer. Couldn’t answer.

Elaine put her hand on his. "Ender, I love you."

Ender looked at the floor. "I care very deeply for you."

"I love you."

"You’re very important to me."

Elaine tried not to cry. "She’s not coming back! Leila’s dead! I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is! And the past doesn’t necessarily have to repeat over and over! Don’t you want a happy ending?"

Ender sighed listlessly. "Maybe there’s no such thing."

"So why is everyone else ending up with one? You’re ruining what could be a beautiful thing!"

He began to feel a little trapped. Elaine was obviously upset about this, or she wouldn’t be getting angry… But he couldn’t let her get hurt like Leila did… Or let himself get hurt again. "It’s a beautiful thing already…"

"You can’t live in limbo forever."

Ender winced. "What do you want me to do? I can’t lie to you."

She was hurt. "Sometimes I wish you could."

Maybe I wasn’t meant for anyone but Leila. Jadestar could have been just… friendship misread. And Elaine is… Elaine is…

It hurt enough saying that he’d read Jadestar wrong, but he certainly couldn’t do it to Elaine. Not even in his mind.

"I know this is my fault, and I’d do anything I could for you, but I can’t physically say that I love you. I can’t not say it, but I can’t say it. I’m sorry…"

All the fight went out of Elaine as she met his eyes, and she slumped a little. "Maybe another time…"

"Maybe…" Not.

The door closed softly with a thunk, and Ender dropped back onto his bed.

"Why do I get everything in my whole stupid life wrong?"

Story Copyright Rachel Baker ’99. Ender Copyright Crow and used with permission. Elaine Copyright Lana and used without permission.