Chapter 1: Jobless
“Charlie, it’s okay. You’ll get another job. Stop worrying.” Maria said sympathetically.
“It’s not about losing the job. It’s just— I got way too attach with Ricca and Mose in the past two years, and now all of the sudden they are leaving. It’s just too hard to accept that they’ll be gone within few days. I’ll miss them terribly.” I sniffed and whipped off the tears off my face.
Ricca and Mose are the kids I have been taking care of for the last two years and now they are migrating to Barcelona, where their father works. It’s just too hard to say goodbye to them. I got overly attached to them, and now I can’t stop weeping. Call me an overly emotional person but, that’s who I am— I never react moderately. It is either extreme or nothing. I can literary get attached to someone or something within a minute.
“Come on, Charlie. I know it’s really hard to say goodbye but, sometimes we are forced to do things we don’t want to do.” Maria solaced.
“You are right.” I sighed.
“You know what? Let’s go out for lunch today. Just you and me, and then maybe we could catch a movie as well. It has been so long since we’ve spent some quality time together. What do you say?” Maria suggested.
“Sound good but, what about call in for pizza and watch some comedy movie at home? I am not in a mood to going out and anyways, this sweatshirt is way too comfortable to change.” I asked
“Of course you don’t want to.” She rolled her eyes playfully. “As you say, my buddy. So pizza it is?” She asked while standing up from the couch with the help of her crutches. I just nodded in reply and watched her vanishing into her room.
I’m very socially awkward. I don’t feel comfortable in the crowd, I don’t make friends easily and I definitely don’t go clubbing or some senseless parties. I am very homey kind of a girl. So if anyone would ask me to go out or call in for pizza. I’ll definitely choose pizza.
I believe in my own comfort, even if it doesn’t impress others. Everyone used to call me boring in my school. I remember how no one even asked me to prom, I was completely invisible to them — but then, I didn’t mind because I had my eyes on only one guy. I’m a very sensitive person and I don’t want heartbreaks— I’m afraid of falling in love and getting the rejection, again.
“Alright! So, the pizza will be here in thirty minutes.” I heard Maria’s voice, snapping me out of my thoughts. I heard some clinking voices and after a minute Maria appeared from the kitchen, “Charlie, don’t you have any wine?” Maria asked.
I turned around to face her, “Since when did you start liking wine? From what I remember you hated alcoholic drinks.” I asked.
“That’s not true. I used to drink wine before— just not much.” She answered. Lair. She once tried it and immediately started disliking it. It was some cheap wine from Walmart — I guess.
I rolled my eyes, “You know, Silas is really spoiling the good girl.” I commented.
“Hey! He isn’t spoiling me.”
I chuckled at her response, “I never said it was you."
“Funny.” She said while rolling her eyes, “Alright fine, yes— last week he asked to taste this wine, and, my dear was it good. Expensive but, extremely good.” Maria said dreamily. I laughed at her expressions. She herself chuckled and sat on the couch beside me.
“Hey, speaking of Silas — I haven’t seen him for the last few days. Where is he?” I questioned.
“San Fransisco.” She answered, “Silas and Marcus, both had to go to Fransisco. They’ll be back the day after tomorrow.”
It’s funny how I feel funny in my stomach, whenever I hear Marcus’s name. Maybe, it is because of his adorable kid, Kathryn. Or because, Marcus scares me a little— okay, a bit more than a little.
“Hey, how is Marcus’s daughter, Kathryn?” I asked interestedly. I like that kid, I only spent some time with her once and immediately started loving her. She is a pure angel, nothing like her father.
“Oh, she’s good. I met her last week— she’s growing up fast.” She paused and sighed, “I wish Susan was here to see Kath growing up.” She said sorrowfully. I remember Maria telling me about Susan, Marcus’s wife, my heart aches for Kathryn— I know how it feels to live without a mother and it isn’t pretty at all.
“How old is she? Kathryn I mean.” I asked, completely changing the topic because I know how sad Maria gets when she talks about Susan.
“She will be two in two and a half months.” She smiled softly.
“Great, so— is there going to be a celebration?” I asked excitedly.
Her smile fell instantly, “Uh— no, no celebration. Marcus won’t approve of it.”
“But, it’s his daughter’s birthday. The daughter he loves the most. Why won’t he?”
“Charlie, Kath’s birthday is on the same day as Susan’s death anniversary. Marcus doesn’t even show up on that day. He just closes himself in his house with Kathryn.” She answered slowly. “Anyways, which movie would like to see?” Maria asked. I didn’t say anything about Kath or Marcus anymore. I don’t want to interfere in family matters.
I shrugged, “Any good comedy movie. Wait, I have some in my room. Let me get it.” I said and stood up from my place and walked into my room.
I kneed down and pull out a box from under my bed, it has all of my favorite movies in it. I started looking for some good comedy movie but, I couldn’t because now my mind was stuck on Kathryn and— Marcus. I wonder how Kath will feel on her birthdays when she’ll grow up, or what Marcus feels now— I know it must be extremely hard but, still, Kath deserves some happiness on her birthday. But, again who the hell am I to think about them? I’m nothing to them but just some stranger. God, I hate how I can’t get Kathryn off my mind.
I chose some random comedy movie and walked out of my room. I was no longer in a mood of watching any movie but, I don’t want to show Maria how upset I was. I don’t want her to question me and then think of how stupid I am to get attached to a kid I once met. When I walked out I heard her talking to someone. I entered the lounge to see her on phone. Her back was facing me so she didn’t know I was standing behind her.
“Yes, I’m fine. Will you stop worrying?” She chuckled while brushing off the hair from her face.
Silas. I thought it is definitely him. I don’t get Maria, even a blind person can tell that she’s head over heel into him. But, she’s too stubborn to accept it. Not even a single day passes by without her talking to Silas or talking of Silas. And Silas— that guy is just crazy about her.
She suddenly started laughing, “Oh my God, are you now? Poor Kathryn.” She chuckled.
Kathryn? I suddenly alerted. What about her? My whole attention was on Maria and Silas’s conversation. I know it’s bad to hear other conversations but, she mentioned Kathie and I had to know about that cute little munchkin.
“Yeah, well she must be hungry or maybe sleepy. Why don’t you try to feed her?” Maria suggested. I mashed my lips together and slowly walked in front of her. She suddenly looked up and smiled.
“Who is it?” I acted unaware and sat beside her.
In reply she mouthed, ‘Silas’, I rolled my eyes and smiled. But actually, inside I was dying to know what they were talking about Kathryn.
“Hey, why don’t you ask Charlie about it? She’s very good with kids. She can definitely help.” Maria said to Silas. I frowned, is Kathryn okay? I was now starting to get worried.
“What?” I mumbled. Maria handed her cellphone to me.
“Here, please talk to Silas. He is babysitting Kath and she won’t stop crying. Marcus is in the meeting—” she didn’t have to say more. I instantly put the phone over my ear. I was greeted by Kath’s loud cry. I’m heart twisted— poor baby.
“H-hey, Silas. What happened?” I asked.
“Hey Charlotte, sorry I disturbed you but, Kathie just won’t stop crying. I tried to feed her some— uh, something Marcus left to feed her but, she’s not eating it. She’s not sleeping either, all she’s saying is ‘Da da da da’. I’m serious —” he was rambling. I could tell he was also extremely worried.
“Did you check her diaper?” I cut him off. I have an instinct that she has dirtied her diaper. He didn’t answer for few second.
“Uh— no. Why?” He hesitated. I rolled my eyes. Typical.
“Silas, check her diaper. She might have soiled it.” I emphasized.
“What do you mean?” I never thought Silas would be this dumb.
“Seriously Silas, she might have pooped or pee. Check it, she might need to be cleaned.” I said urgently. Kath’s cries were getting unbearable for me.
“How— how do I check it?” He stalled.
“You don’t know how— never mind, have a little peek in her diaper - see if it’s dirty,” I instructed.
“What?! No, I’m not peeking in my niece’s diaper. No!”
“For God sake Silas, she’s a kid. She might not stop crying if you won’t do it.” I scolded him. “Okay listen, is your or Marcus’s secretary with you?” I asked. She might help.
“Uh— yes. Marcus’s secretary is here.” He answered.
“Okay, then ask her to check Kathryn’s diaper,” I suggested.
“Never! Because it’s not her it’s him." He snapped. I sighed and tightly close my eyes, some uncle Kathryn has.
“Then you have to do it, Silas! She won’t stop crying otherwise.” I snapped back.
“Urgh! Uh— okay. Okay, I’m — I’ll do it.” He sounded nervous. I waited for him to check, I was feeling extremely uncomfortable because all I could hear was Kath’s cries.
I felt a tap on my shoulder, I look around to see Maria standing behind me, “Why happened?” She mumbled worriedly.
I sighed, “Nothing, Kathryn might have soiled her diaper and your boyfriend is making an issue of it.” I replied slowly.
She rolled her eyes, “He’s not my boyfriend.” She said in a whisper.
“Seriously, don’t get me started,” I replied her. Before she could say anything I heard a horrified voice from the other side of the phone.
“Damn it! It’s full.” I knew it. “Oh Jesus! It stinks. Charlotte?! What to do? Damn it, I told Marcus to let me attend the meeting but, no!” He sounded horrified. He was panicking way too much about such a little issue, I wonder how he runs a company.
“Relax, relax Silas. You have to change it.” I said.
“No! I can’t—” before he could protest further. I heard another voice from the background.
“What are you doing, Silas? Why is she crying?” Marcus sounded anxious. Thank God, he’s there.
“Thank God, Marcus. She was crying so much. I tried to feed her but, she didn’t eat nor she slept. Charlotte said she might have pooped and God, she was right. Clean her, Marcus. And get a babysitter. Jesus!” He yelled at Marcus. I stayed quiet and kept hearing Silas yelling at his older brother. It was like Silas forget that I’m still on phone.
Should I cut the call? I thought.
“Wha— give her to me.” I heard Marcus and within a second Kathryn stopped crying. “Are you alright, cupcake? Sorry, it took so long, honey. Dada’s here.” I heard Marcus’s soft mumbles. My heart clenched, such a good father he is.
“Never in my whole life I’ve been through such situation. She was crying and crying and crying — I thought something happened to her. Thank God, Charlotte was on call—” Silas was cut off short.
“Who’s Charlotte?” I heard Marcus. It was getting really awkward. Maybe I should cut the call — maybe not. Urgh, why am I hearing their conversation?
I bit my lip and waited for Silas response and Marcus’s response to Silas’s response.
“Hey! Is everything okay?” I heard Maria’s voice from behind. I jump a little and twirl my head to see her frowning, “Kath’s okay?” She asked. Maria, couldn’t you wait for two seconds.
“Uh— yeah. Here, Silas’s online.” I stood up from the couch and hand her over the cell phone.
She sat down beside me and put her crutches on the floor, “Silas? Silas? Hey? Yeah, she’s here. Oh okay.” She talked to Silas. I walked towards where my DVD player was and started putting on the movie.
“Hey, Charlie. Silas’s saying thank you.” Maria said. I smiled and nodded my head.
I’m confused, Does Marcus really doesn’t remember me?