Healing Charles

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14.

~Stella

According to google, a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to maniac highs is what classifies a person as a bipolar and apparently Charles fits perfectly into the parameter of the definition.

I get it when people have temperamental issues. Some of them even have a reason for being like that but what about those of us who do not know the reason? I try to reason it with myself that whatever he did was just out of his anger in the moment. He was not thinking through his word but I can not shrug off the feeling that consumed me when he shouted and left me back there. I was hurt and no matter how much I tried to move past that I could not.

Go away Stella. Bother someone else with your problems.

If me being around him was a matter of bother to him then I guess I should fence the boundaries now. What was I even thinking when I felt like we were good friends? Its pathetic really after knowing well that I barely even know him.

I ignored him for rest of the weekend when he called and tried to talk to me through his window.

Being mad at someone is something that has always been difficult for me but when it comes to Charles, he makes it more easy for me to pull off.

I sighed and went back to doing my work. My day so far has been really tiring with back to back meetings which I have had to attend with John. I had to work even through the lunch which justified the growls, my empty stomach was making and I looked up at the clock which said I had to survive yet another hour of admonishing from my intestine.

My phone buzzed.

Can we talk? -C

I sighed at the his message.

No we can not talk because I don't want to bother you with my problems which clearly seem to be non existent since I have never burdened you with any of mine. Ever.

I did not reply though and instead texted Mae to not pick me up, again. I liked walking back to home by myself. It gives me more time to appreciate my surrounding.

Time passed by agonisingly slow and when it did I jumped from my seat and picked up my bag and coat which were lying on the table that I cleared up while I waited for my office hours to be over. I informed John that I was leaving and he smiled and wished me good night. I exited the building and made my way across the street to a small cafe and ordered some sandwiches and soda while I waited in a booth by the window. A waitress served my order and I thanked her in return. While eating, my attention shifted to some pamphlets that were kept on the table along with tissues and spice shakers. I picked up one of them randomly and my senses perked up when I saw it was a brochure of a local library.

I took out my phone and put the address in google maps saving it for later. I finished the lunch and I am saying that despite it being evening out there but I do not care, it was long due.

As dad used to say, the Satan had been fed!

I felt more energised now since my bones were not shaking with lack of food. I made my way out of the place and walked back to the home. Mae was sitting in the drawing room when I entered in and her face lit up when she saw me.

"What is it?" I asked chuckling.

"Val asked me to be his girlfriend."

"And?"

"I said yes." She smiled and looked so happy.

I grinned.

"I am happy for you Mae." I hugged her and we sat down together as she went into the details. I laughed at her excited look when she talked about him. Its about time someone captured her heart for real.

"I feel so grown up." She finally said sighing.

"Yet I am sure he is the more sane one between you two." I nodded in a serious tone and she hit me with a pillow. "Anyways I am going to freshen up and head out."

"Where to missy?" She asked frowning.

"Oh this local library I-"

"Say no more!" She said waving her hand to stop me from going any further. "You will age away in those book holes when you should be out on dates!"

"Dramatic much."

She stuck her tongue out at me.

"Seriously Stella find someone to be with. You are always alone on your own."

"I have you."

"You know what I mean."

I sighed.

"Can't I just pass my days and grow old? I promise I'll buy at least ten cats."

"Very funny." She said giving me a blank look. "But on a serious note, do it or I'll start fixing you up on blind dates."

I just made a face at her and retrieved to my room. Though somewhere I know she is not kidding because when my dating life is concerned, Mae gets more protective about it then I will ever be.

I freshened up and changed out of my work clothes. I put on a pair of jeans and a crop crochet sweater over camisole. As usual I put on my scruffy sneakers. I took out some cash from my wallet and put it in the back pocket of my jeans and grabbed my phone before heading out.

"I'll be back soon!" I called out loud so Mae would hear it.

"Take the spare key. I will be gone with Val for our date!" She shouted back and I rolled my eyes before taking an extra key of the apartment and going out.

I followed the dotted lines on the map as it took me down three blocks away and I turned on the street where the library was located. I was about to close the map as I was almost there but suddenly my hand got snatched and I was pulled into an alley I was walking past. Fear struck through my chest and I was about to scream when a large hand covered my mouth so that option got nullified alright. I opened my eyes when I felt a face coming near me. The man had a large profile and was very buffed up. Half of his face was covered with a mask while leaving his eyes bare which were dark and his greasy blonde hair were long and pulled back into a pony tail.

I panicked and tried to crawl away from his grip but he only grabbed my hands tighter in response. I had no strength compared to his muscles which were now looking really scary. I was doomed.

I did not have anything on me. No pepper spray or the pocket knife that I usually keep in my bag and my mobile was several feet away out on the street floor.

I tried to scream but it sounded muffled and made no difference as his hand pushed back more into my face. I wanted to gag because his hands were filthy and he was reeking in the alcohol smell mixed with cigarette smoke.

"You look like a real treat." He chuckled and his eyes lit up, crinkling the skin around them. His words made me sick and my heart beat started to pick up tenfolds, fear coursing through my veins. I looked down and saw his area unprotected and looked up not wanting him to understand what I was about to do. "What are you doing tonight, sweet?"

He brought his face near me and I shut my eyes in fear and brought my knee up in full force to hit him where the sun does not shine but my heart sunk down in my chest when his hand blocked my knee and threw it back laughing.

He brought my hands together with his one hand and pulled it above my head making me vulnerable and fully accessible in any way he wanted to come at me. I thrashed so much against his hold but all my attempts were futile against his strength.

I prayed and prayed again for someone to cross by and save the unholy that I was dreading as he forced his body on me. I willed my throat to not give in and kept screaming, hoping against the hope for my octaves to come out as shrilly as possible.

"Bitch." His hand came with full force and hit me across my face. His slap was so hard that for a second my vision blurred slightly and all my voice got shoved back in my throat as my jaw rattled in the after effects of the impact. "You obey when I tell you something and I want you to be a good girl and stay quiet."

I am done. I am done. I am done.

Just when I thought this will only get worse he got ripped off from me and I coughed, gasping for air that his hand was cutting off a second ago. I looked up as he cursed at the person who pulled him away and my eyes met with those familiar grey orbs. Tears pricked at my eyes.

He looked away and glanced at the man who he had easily pinned with his one arm to the wall. He looked at me me again, his expression was unfathomable with the dark look he had on his face. His eyes had a thunderous gleam in them which scared me more than that man did combined and for a very fleeting second I sympathised with him as Charles chocked him with his arm.

"Are you okay?" His voice was tender yet stern as his eyes examined my appearance for any sign of harm. They stopped at my cheek and his jaw clenched. Instantly my hand went up to touch my soar cheek which I am sure had a mark on it considering the skin was heated and it stung on contact. No words were needed as Charles looked away and kneed the man in his balls. He cried out and fell down as Charles took a step away from him who was cursing loudly as he laid on the floor curling in the pain, Charles inflicted on his manhood. That was not it. He crouched over the man and started throwing punches at his face in full speed. It was non stop until the blood started flowing down from his broken nose yet it did not affect Charles who was seething in anger right now.

"Nobody touches her except me you fucker!" He shouted and I had to take a step back from the scene as his words settled in. I felt sick. All the blood was too much for me to bear.

"Charles.." I said feebly not feeling well but it was enough for him to stop and turn back to look at me. The blood was making me nauseated. His expression softened and he stopped which was enough for the man to take advantage of. He crawled away from Charles and ran as fast as he could in the other direction.

My legs felt wobbly and I was shaking visibly from what just happened.

I felt him coming closer and I took a step back, my anger finally coming undone at him. How can he say things like these and then shrug me off the very next minute like I am nothing. If he thinks he can play me over again and again then he is wrong.

"What are you doing here?!" I shouted at him and saw his shocked face.

"I-"

"I thought you said I should not bother you with my problems!" I exclaimed throwing his words back at him. "Then why did you save me?!"

"Tell me you are joking right?" He scoffed and closed the gap between us. His hand went up to my cheek and he caressed my tender jaw. "You shouldn't be wandering alone like this. If something were to happen to you..."

I shook my head.

"You were so rude to me." I was shaken. It was enough for my tears to take the hint and flow down my cheeks, embarrassing me in front of him like I was not enough of a mess already.

"I know I know and I regret it so much baby." He said, his voice soft and desperate, wiping away my tears. "Please don't cry. I don't deserve your tears."

My eyes met with his and my voice hitched at the sincerity his eyes held. The worry was evident.

My attention drifted to his hand which was on my face and I took it in mine. I gasped at his busted knuckles which were severely injured and blood oozed out of the them.

"Its nothing." He said, taking away his hand and I protested but he silenced me. "C'mon. Lets get you safely back home."

He pulled me out of the alley and to his bike. I got on it behind him and he drove silently back to home. Without anything said he took me to his apartment which I was grateful for since I knew Mae was out with Val and I did not want to be alone right now.

I walked in behind him and sat down on the couch, fidgeting, my thoughts completely haphazard and shaky.

Charles fetched me some water and I downed half of the bottle in one go, quenching my extremely dry throat.

"Hey." He was crouching in front of me and his hand squeezed my thigh bringing me back to now. He gave me an ice pack to keep against my soar cheek. "Its gone, you are safe now."

I nodded.

"Thank you."

He shook his head and took a deep breath and looked at me.

"I am sorry."

I paused.

"What?" I opened and closed my mouth like a fish and then I laughed. I laughed so hard that no voice came out from my vocal chords. "Did you just apologise?"

I looked at his amused expression.

"Yes princess I did."

"Wow I should record this one. Wait, where is my phone?!" I panicked realising it fell off from my hand near the alley.

"Here." Charles handed me a phone which I recognised as mine and I sighed in relief. He must have picked it up and the question popped in my mind.

"How did you find me?" I asked curiously. Out of all the people who could have found me there, it was him.

"I had gone to your place since you weren't picking up my calls and Mae told me that you were at the library. I knew where it was since there is only one in the whole neighbourhood." He said and got up. "I checked in the library and you weren't there so I did a few rounds around the place and found your phone on the pavement and you in the alley."

All that could have gone wrong today but did not because he showed up when I least expected him to and I was eternally grateful for it.

I got up and threw my arms around his neck, burying my head in his shoulder. I inhaled his mild citrus body smell mixed with cologne which gave me the kind of warmness I could not put into words.

All I know is that I am safe and its because of him.

"Thank you Charles." I embraced him, not letting go.

"You are always welcome ella mella pee."

•••

Hey guys!!

Fun fact : I know Mae and Val's thing is kinda rushed but its something that I want to be there in front of Stella so she seriously considers her own dating life. But also because Mae and Val are so cute. If you guys want more of their moments, lemme know in comments.

Like & comment.

Lia xo

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