Lynn tells herself and us that she can't bring herself to keep telling Annie's story because it brings back painful memories and might expose her to the dangerous concept summed up by the phrase "it takes two to tango" when what really seems to have happened is that since she didn't have to copy Cathy Guisewite and have Elly surrounded by extremes, she could easily drop the friend that had no real-life inspiration. One of the most bizarre coincidences I've encountered in the last fourteen years of following Lynn's work is that this disconnection between stated and real motives was paralleled in the strip itself when they met years later.
As we all know, Elly and Anne managed to meet up one day and Elly made a speech about how she lost respect for Anne and stopped being around her because she just let Steve keep on cheating on her like an idiot only to be told that after they really parted company, Anne policed his behaviour rather sternly. Rather than apologize for having misread the situation because she was too lazy to keep track of neighbourhood gossip, Elly thought-bubbled something about her being a warden and went right on not talking to Anne so she could save face. The problem is that we and Annie all know that she's lying to herself. What really drove a wedge between them was the fact that Anne sought out paying work and could no longer take care of April when Elly needed her. As we all know, this took place two or three years after Steve copped to his series of one-night stands which makes it obvious that Elly's transactional view of friendship prevailed. Steve can alley-cat around all he likes so long as Anne is there to wipe April's bum but should she not be there doing her 'job', she's an unperson Elly can't like. It would be as if she were a child who decided to become something Elly can't live vicariously through.