Healing Charles

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22.

~Stella

Charles's words kept echoing in the silence of car as I drove through traffic honking rudely at everyone to move out of my way.

Why did I leave her alone for god's sake?! This is all my fault. I don't need to know what is wrong but knowing that there is indeed something wrong is enough for me to spiral into my theories. I can't stop thinking about Rosie and the way Charles is driving ahead of me is making my nerves shiver for his own safety. I can barely concentrate on the road but since Charles is scaring away everyone from their way, it gives me enough time to take advantage of it and swish past them hurriedly.

We finally made it back to the apartment after what felt like an eternity of that torturous drive. I followed behind Charles who just parked his bike and got off of it running inside. Without anything said we both ran up the stairs, with me skipping two at a time to keep up with Charles.

He almost knocked the front door down as he impatiently kept banging on the door.

"Charles..."

"Don't Stella." He snapped and all my words died in my throat. He was furious. Finally his mom opened the door and he hurried in without even acknowledging her while she stood in the doorway glaring at me and this time I really took Charles's word from earlier seriously that she was indeed good for nothing except for looking down on everyone in her path so I walked past her not giving her the satisfaction of reaction out of me because I am not giving her one.

"WHERE IS SHE?!" I jumped at his incredibly loud voice. He was fuming and I felt like we all were doomed. I looked around for Rosie but couldn't find her either. We both turned to his mother in question who looked unfazed by situation at the hand.

"She is in the kitchen." She said folding her arms. I frowned and looked over to kitchen and my eyes instantly fell on the mess of blond hair that was on the floor and a gasp escaped from my mouth.

"Oh my god!" I rushed in her direction and found her lying on the kitchen floor. She was out cold as I crouched in front of her and checked her pulse which was beating at a very slow rate. I felt Charles kneeling beside me as he checked her temperature. She was freezing, her hands cold as ice. How long she has been like this? What happened to her? Thats when my gaze fell on the wrapper beside her.

She ate the whole slab of chocolate bar.

I looked up at Charles with tears in my eyes. He was looking at me with stormy expression, his eyes so frantic like he couldn't control himself anymore. He got up and turned to his mother and I just knew what was going to happen as I rubbed Rosie's hands to warm them up.

"How did this happen?" He asked her quietly.

"I have no idea Charles. I was attending some calls and she might have wandered into the kitchen. She should't have been so careless-"

"DO YOU HAVE ANY BIT OF SHAME LEFT, MOTHER?!"

I closed my eyes in pain. I could feel his frustration and anger laced with pain coming undone like anything and its only natural when his mother is acting like this was all Rosie's fault when she is only six for god's sake!

"YOU CAN'T EVEN LOOK AFTER A SIX YEAR OLD GIRL AND YOU CALL YOURSELF HER GRANDMOTHER FOR FUCK'S SAKE!" Okay this was way worst than I had imagine.

"Don't talk to me like that Charles or I swear-"

"OR WHAT HUH?!" He cut her off, daring her to piss him off anymore than he already is. "A pretentious woman who can't get over herself can barely even scratch me so go ahead lay your empty threat because this time even your precious Elijah won't come to your rescue seeing how you left his daughter on cold floor to attend some shitty calls!"

They were so engrossed in tearing each other apart that both of them seem to have forgotten about the real problem here. I wondered how unaffected his mother can be to leave her own innocent grand child on floor like this, the least she could have done is, skip one of her calls and instead dialled for an ambulance.

"Its not like that Charles-"

I couldn't hear them fighting anymore so I tuned out rest of it and called Mae and told her to meet me downstairs while I picked Rosie up in my arms and made my way out of this place, leaving them to battle each other down. None of them even looked in my direction, let alone realise that I had taken Rosie with me.

I called the elevator and got in with Rosie unconscious in my arms. I decided to take her to the nearest hospital for examination. I know Charles is going to be mad at me for taking Rosie without his permission but I cannot let him handle this right now, not when he is so lost in his wrath. He will only mess this up. So I tired to calm myself down and made my way to car. Mae gave me a worried look, while holding the door open for me. I got in the back seat and hugged Rosie close to me to keep her warm.

"Mae, hospital. Now!" I gave her an anxious look and without any question, she hurried out of the parking space and drove us to nearest medical help she could fine.

She stopped the car right in front of the hospital gates and I got out, taking Rosie with me.

"Call Charles and let him know that we are here." I said to Mae and quickly turned around rushing inside the hospital while she went away to park the car. It was a huge hospital and it took me sometime to find the reception area and with Rosie in my hands, it wasn't easy to walk fast either. I hurried towards what looked like the reception centre.

"Excuse me!" The nurse at the counter jumped at my frantic voice. Before I could say anything she called someone to help me and the two male nurses brought in a moving surgical bed and I quickly laid Rosie on it. I hadn't realised how much I was panting until I let Rosie go from my arms.

"What happened to her?" The nurse from the station asked me worriedly.

"She has been unconscious for while, probably over an hour now. She is diabetic and accidentally ate the whole bar of chocolate!" I informed her as they wheeled the bed down the hall.

"Oh god. She doesn't look good. How old is she?"

"Six." She nodded and I followed them around the corner as they turned to walk into the Intensive Care Unit for children. A doctor in his mid forties or so he looked like, was already waiting at the threshold. He stopped me from entering with them and I halted just outside the glass doors. My heart was racing and I paced around while they took Rosie away for check-up.

"Stella!" I turned at Mae's voice who was running towards me. She stopped when she saw me crying. "Hey, come here girl."

I hugged her, crying pathetically in her arms while she held me patiently, rubbing my back in a soothing gesture.

"This is all my fault!" I sobbed. "I shouldn't have left her alone."

Mae beckoned me to sit down on the metal waiting chairs that were just outside door and we both sat quietly for a while, processing what just happened. I couldn't keep my tears in so I let them out silently cursing at myself.

Rosie was in this condition because of me.

"What happened, Stells?" Mae asked and I sighed wiping my cheeks. I turned to her and told her everything that happened today, except for, well, our moment. It felt really personal so I kept that to myself. "Wow."

"Yeah."

"Its not your fault, Stella. You did the right thing." She squeezed my hand and I nodded not really believing it.

"Excuse me, ma'am?" We looked up at the nurse who I recognised from the reception. "You need to fill out some forms."

"Wait here. I'll get the formalities done." Mae said before I could even get up and I gave her a thankful look. I did not want to leave from here right now. "Oh and Charles is on his way."

I gulped but nodded anyways.

He is going to be so mad at me. I can't deal with this. I should just leave before he comes but I don't want to leave Rosie alone again, either.

Oh this is all too much. I can't forget his face and the way he pulled away from me altogether because he was so angry. He looked so distant, so far away and almost impossible to reach out to. I couldn't even get myself to say something, afraid that he would toss me away like a trash which I guess would be justified on his part because I did leave Rosie alone even though I had thought she would be fine with her grandmother who is beyond frustrating even though I barely know her.

Mae returned shortly after completing formalities and we waited for any news from doctors.

"If they ask then I am her sister." Mae said and I gave her a confused look. "They wouldn't let us stay if we are not related."

I nodded in understanding. My mind was still in chaotic dimension wondering what was keeping Charles.

"I don't care who you are! I need to know right now!" My head snapped at his voice that was audible all the way to here and mind you we were two hallways down from the reception centre.

I could hear the commotion increasing. Without saying anything, Mae left again to go check on him because I am sure the staff won't give up Rosie's information unless he is related and well practically he is but the staff won't believe that since its Mae's last name on the form.

"Mae, where the hell is Stella?!" I jumped at the way he said my name, there was clearly a latent threat lying underneath his words. My hands and feet were extremely cold and I was shaking like crazy. I couldn't control myself.

I couldn't hear Mae's reply since she wasn't shouting like he was and I could just imagine everyone gathering around them in a circle while he obliviously raised havoc in middle of them.

I heard some nurses talking angrily at Charles's behaviour and they threatened to call security if he wouldn't go away.

I shook my head. That won't stop him.

"Security huh?! Sure call them, here tip the cops as well so I can get this hospital to work properly!" I sucked in a sharp breath at the ferocity of his octaves. I swear the whole building was shaking. Everyone went silent. What the hell is Mae doing there anyways? Didn't she tell him where Rosie is?

Every voice was more clear now that everything was so still.

"Oh my god thats Charles!" I frowned when I heard someone gasping his name like she couldn't believe who he was and how he was here. What was that?

"Thats right. I am Charles Hyland and if you don't tell me where my niece is, I will sue this hospital for a damage so bad, it would turn insolvent trying to pay for that." His words dropped like a bomb on my head and tossed me into a spiralling sky with no ground to hit, echoing again and again inside me.

Charles Hyland.

Why hadn't I realised that I never knew his full name? He was just...just Charles. Not some man threatening a whole hospital at the point blank of his anger because he can easily destroy it if thats what it took for him to get to his niece.

He is Charles Hyland now.

He owns some multi-millionaire company, one that Brooke works in. Why didn't she tell me? Why didn't I ever ask him for his full name?

Charles was so simple, so easy to navigate around and now, it looks like I never really knew who he actually was. Of course I knew that I don't know him well but even his name was not in my knowledge and that-thats not how it is supposed to be.

He is a completely different person when he is Charles Hyland.

Maybe I am looking into this too much, maybe I am just being absurd but maybe, just maybe not after all.

I turned around when I heard footsteps rushing in my direction and saw Mae turning around the corner and behind her, Charles and his mother following.

I gulped when I saw him, his eyes finding mine and like I had imagined, like I had feared, they were not same anymore. The man standing across from me was not the person I had grown to care for within weeks and the way he looked at me, it was all in his eyes, the unsaid words, the wish for me to go away like I wasn't even the last person he wanted to see. He couldn't stand me.

"She is in there with doctors." Mae said and I was thankful for her to be here right now or I would have been a mess under his mercilessly accusing eyes. He looked away nodding but didn't say anything. "It wasn't Stella's fault, Charles. The doctors wouldn't have examined Rosie if no one was related to her. I signed up as her sister because we didn't know her full name."

"Okay." He said in a clipped voice. His mother glared at me and if not for Charles, I would have told her off for judging me like that. "You both can leave. I'll handle it from here."

"Actually, Mae should stay here in case there are other formalities they ask for." I suggested. It may become inconvenient without her being present here.

"Fine. You leave then."

I flinched at his harsh tone as he asked me to leave without even looking in my direction. His gaze was stuck on the glass doors of ICU section. I could almost feel his mother's smug relaxation at her son's words. It was like finally the sore sight of me being here was taken away from her eyes.

I swallowed my tears and nodded. Even though I wanted to stay for Rosie, I didn't want to aggravate him anymore.

"Take my car, Stells." Mae handed me the keys and I gave her a grateful look but shook my head.

"Its fine. I'll walk."

And before she could say anything, I walked away leaving everyone behind, repeating how Charles Hyland asked me to leave.

I exited the building,the cold wind of the night hitting my face making me realise how late it was. My heels clinked against the sidewalk as I kept walking without a sense of direction, not wanting to go home.

And even though it was really windy today, somehow it felt warm, warmer than the cold shoulder that he gave me.

Charles Hyland was not the Charles I was starting to like and I am thankful I got to know that before I could get myself hurt in this.

Guess I was right about this all along.

Feelings are just not my jam.

•••


Hey guys !

Fun fact : I actually had this thing in my mind where I wanted Stella to not know about Charles (that he is a Hyland) until the very end of this book but well that didn't really work out.

Like, comment & REVIEW!

Lia xo

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