Healing Charles

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25.

~Stella

"They are discharging her today."

I looked up from my pancakes that I have been picking on for last forty five minutes or so I think, finally smiling for the first time in two days.

"Thats great." I said. "You will visit her?"

"I am thinking of stopping by before office." Mae told and I gave her an encouraging nod. She has been so patient with me since last two days while I was busy in worrying about everything that has been going on lately.

Mae has been visiting Rosie for me day and night, to make sure she is doing fine and that I know about her progress which is the only thing that has kept my spirit from falling face first into dumps. I am relieved now that she will get to go home.

"Are you gonna eat that or not?" I snapped out of my thoughts at Mae's question and gave her a guilty look which made her sigh dramatically. "No don't give me that look. You gotta finish that!"

I rolled my eyes and tried to shove it all in so that I could just leave for office already. As soon as I was done, we both left for work together.

"When will you get off from the work?" Mae asked while driving.

"The usual time. Why?"

"Perfect. I'll pick you up." She said cooly and I narrowed my eyes at her realising her voice had gotten a little squeaky all of a sudden which meant she wanted to tell me something but wasn't sure about how I will react.

"Cut to the chase."

"Remember how I am your best friend?" She said glancing at me and then back at the road. Why do I feel like she has done something extremely stupid. "Which is why you have a date tonight."

I didn't say anything as her words settled in between us.

"Mae Andrea Parker.."

"Not the full name, not the full name." She muttered to herself and pulled up in front of my office.

I frowned. Why would she do this to me?

"Why?" I asked looking away. I didn't have the energy to shout at her or freak out like I usually do but I couldn't help my subsided moments. I just didn't have the energy to react even in the slightest.

"Because I am done having you sulk around in my house."

"We share the rent."

"You know what I mean."

"No Mae! I don't know what you mean!" I snapped all of a sudden, looking at her, my frustration finally taking the best of me but her smugness caught me off guard. "What?"

She shrugged.

"Get your butt out of here."

"Fine!" I huffed and got out of the car. I hate it when she acts unexplainably. She always does this when she is upto something and this time I have a very bad feeling that her actions would land me into some incredibly serious trouble.

"Stella!" I stopped at her voice. She rolled her window down and smiled at me. "I have always admired you for never settling for something your heart wasn't okay with. Don't let Charles change that."

I frowned.

"What do you mean?"

"Have a good day!" She winked and pulled away from me, leaving me to dwell on her words and my confused thoughts again.

"Ugghhhhhh!" I huffed and went inside, making my way to my office. I am relieved John is away on one of his business trip for a few days so I had the whole office to myself which was a good thing considering my mood and also because it would give me time to think everything through which is something I have avoided to do but I don't think I can help myself anymore.

Its weird really. This has never happened to me before. I don't get upset over things that are not concerned to me and I like to think that Charles and his actions have got nothing to do with me. Then again, even that makes me sad. Is it okay that I want him to be about me but at the same time I don't? No of course not. I can't have it both the ways. That will probably have me stuck in the middle of nowhere and I don't want that.

I hate how I have started to question everything again because of him. It scares me a little because I know my curiosity is my weakness and I have gone through a hell far worse than heaven's counterpart to finally learn that. I don't want to go back to being how I was and this is why I am so restless even if its been just two days but for me, forty eight hours matter because silence is an answer.

To think even Mae sees how I am not acting myself is an alarming juncture in itself. Charles makes me question my desire which until two days back was a good thing to me because in someways that comforted me with the fact that even I could know feelings but now? Now I am not so sure if thats what I want.

With him its always an 'almost' and I think that should be a 'no' on my end because how many times I am really going to bother about all of this before everything drops on its own accord and we go back to being strangers again? I am all for being patient with him but I don't think I can do that when he can't even talk to me. Yes I am aware of my mistake, I am very well known with my faults but things are not just that about anymore.

His silence fuels my sirens that fill me with alarming thoughts when his words should be soothing them to sleep instead and thats sad because he hasn't come around and isn't Mae right? I never settle. Thats who I am and I shouldn't let Charles change that. I shouldn't let him device my mechanism to suit himself. He didn't tell me who he is and I shouldn't let him play with who I am. I shouldn't stop for something thats always stops at an almost because that what he is. He is an almost for me, the part, I can never finish if I ever start with.

Like his unfinished work on you?

Ugh. Why can't I stop thinking about that? The little time I sneaked with him at his lodge before every bit of it flew out of the window has been a pure torture to me. I can't believe I let him see me like that, so exposed and to think I didn't feel like holding anything back with him is all the way more revolting to me.

I made out, with Charles, the guy who I know nothing about and thats where it hurts. Its hurts because he makes it okay for me to do things, I wouldn't be doing in my right character, the one I like to think is me but his influence never lets me regret anything either.

Because the only thing I regret is not finishing what we started.

Gah. I am not this, I shouldn't be this!

My phone buzzed.

Mae: I am here.

I sighed realising how quickly this day went by when I don't want to leave just yet. I am really annoyed at Mae for fixing me up on a date when all I want to do is NOT date.

How could she even think of me going out with someone when I am already on a such a complicated step with Charles. She is a mad woman.

I have been going crazy about who she has fixed me up with but she wouldn't fess up anything when I kept asking her all day. She is adamant on letting me have the perfect experience of a blind date when I clearly don't want to do anything with it.

I cleared my desk and picked up my handbag before heading out. I spotted Mae's car and got in quickly. I was about to explode on her when I caught a glimpse of twins sitting in the back seat grinning devilishly at me.

"What are you guys doing here?" I asked confused though I have a very strong feeling they are going to gang up on me right now.

"We went to shopping." They answered at the same time and burst out laughing and I just sat there shaking my head at their silliness while Mae pulled out from the parking lot.

"Without me?" I asked pouting. Don't judge me because I love shopping even with my closet already flooding with clothes and shoes and dare I say, I have a very good collection,

"Without you but for you." Bella answered sobering up.

I gave a confused look and she rolled her eyes.

"For your date dumbass!" She exclaimed as if I was missing the obvious. I gave a look to Mae.

"I am not going." I replied cutting off their excitement and turned around to look ahead ignoring their protest which was a never ending thing. We reached our place and they dragged me straight to my room. "I am not going anywhere you guys!"

"Shut up Stella and get into shower!" Bella snapped at me and pushed me into my bathroom.

This day is by far the most irritating day of my life! I wanted to scream at everyone yet I had no choice but to strip and get into the shower stall.

I can't go on this date like this, when I am already a mess over some guy who hasn't showed his face in last two days and even though I shouldn't care about his whereabouts or how he is doing, I can't help but feel guilty about this date Mae is forcing me into. What will Charles think if he finds out I am on a date? I haven't exactly cleared out anything with him.

No. Forget it. I shouldn't be worried about him or his reactions when all he cares about is how to push me away every time I try to close even one inch between him and I.

The sick part is, sidelining Charles is not enough. I genuinely don't want to go on this date.

I got out of the shower that didn't help my nerves at all. These nerves weren't hyped from being forced into a date I most certainly don't want to go on but they were jittering more with unwanted guilt that has been consuming me. I feel like I would be hurting Charles with this and thats not a good feeling because I know he doesn't care or he would have been here and I wouldn't be in this situation to begin with.

I wrapped one towel around me and another around my hair and walked out of the bathroom. There was music blasting from my music system as I entered in my room to find Bella and Brooke dancing weirdly while Mae was shooting their funny moves.

"And ladies and gentle I present you the queen of grumpy-land, Stella Ivy Summers!" Mae turned her camera towards me and I flipped her off as the twins pulled me to dance with them. I reluctantly gave in and danced for a bit while holding the towel around me tightly. "Oh she is not grumpy anymore!"

I laughed as Mae kept commenting on my every move and I hate to admit it but their passionate spirit to make me go on this date, even if it was all forced onto me, it made me secretly happy that they had taken so much effort just for me. They are truly adorable.

"C'mon now get ready! Alden will be here in an hour." Mae ordered tuning down music a little and I groaned.

"Alden?" I raised a brow at her slip. She wouldn't even give me a name until few minutes ago.

"Yes. His name is Alden Janssen and he is cute as fu-"

"I don't care!" I cut her off.

"Aww has Charles set the bar little too high?" Bella teased as she blow dried my hair while Brooke plugged in the curling iron to heat.

I glared at her through mirror.

"She has got it bad for Charles." Brooke teased and everyone laughed.

I stayed quiet though. They wouldn't stop anyways.

"C'mon Stells, you know yo do!" Bella snickered.

"I do not." I shrugged.

"Then why are you so reluctant about this date?" Mae asked taking the outfit out from the bag. I can't believe they specially went shopping just for this.

"Because I always am." I gave her a 'duh' look.

"Liar liar, pants on fire!"

"Shut up Bella." She is seriously giving a background soundtrack now.

"Then spill the beans."

"What do you want me to say?"

"That you miss him." Bella gave me a challenging look and I sighed. I do miss him, not denying it, but whats the point in admitting something when reality doesn't change anyways?

"If I did, I wouldn't be going on this date." I answered instead. Mae circled around me as Bella finished drying my hair to let Mae take over. Brooke started curling my hair while Mae started with my make up. I feel like we were all playing 'dress up the doll' now and it wasn't even funny anymore. Sure they were having fun out of my misery but I felt like kicking everyone of them out of here and lock myself in the room so I wouldn't have to endure a painful evening of spending time with someone on an elfing date!

"Keep it simple." I mumbled as Mae finished applying the base and picked up the blush.

"Done." Brooke announced. She left my hair open with loose curls down my back. They looked quite neat as she pulled them away from my face. I nodded in the mirror, smiling, while Mae scolded me to sit still.

"There." She finally set down the mascara and took a step back to admire her work on me. I rolled my eyes but couldn't bring myself to disagree with her. My face looked really different, courtesy of her professional fingers. Having a fashion stylist as your friend has its own perks and even though my make-up was minimal, my face looked drastically different. Good different to be specific.

"Wow."

"I know right!" She squealed making me laugh at her cuteness.

"Dress time!" Bella handed me the dress they bought and I admired its thick fabric while they waited in room so that I could change. It was a high collared white sweater dress with full sleeves and reached my thighs. It looked very flattering on my slim figure and with my hair and make-up done so right, I felt really good.

If only Charles was here to see me.

Ugh. Stop Stella.

I walked out of my closet to show it to girls who all gasped once I was in front of them, twirling, to give them a proper view.

"You look so beautiful!"

"Oh my god Stells.."

"Smokin' haawwt!" Bella exclaimed. "Here. Wear these." She passed me my black boots which were really high and reached to my knees. Once I was done, I took a look in the mirror and sighed at the girl that was staring back. It isn't the first time that I have dressed upto this perfection but it sure felt a little exceptional this time.

"Thanks guys." I said turning around to everyone. On the cue, doorbell went off. My heart picked up the speed.

Expecting it to be him?

No. Not at all.

Mae jumped to take the door while I paced around to settle my nerves. Gah why did I give in to go again?

"Its okay Stells, you'd be fine." Bella said while helping me to get the hoops through my earlobe.

"Stella! He is here!" I jumped as Mae called for me.

"No! Please I don't wanna go!" I whispered frantically while Bella pulled me out of the room.

"Oh c'mon Stella he is really cute! Go on." She pushed me from behind as I composed myself.

"Coming." I said to Mae as she stood grinning at me by the door. I stopped once I saw who she was talking about for the whole day.

Oh he was cute alright.

His short brownish-golden hair was neatly combed back revealing his small-yet-strong face. His cheeks had a very sharp angle that set his blue eyes on focus. He was dressed in formals with a white tee underneath his dress jacket and white high tops to match with it. They reminded me of Charles, the ones he wore to the festival and as soon as the thought of him came to my mind, I pushed it away, not letting myself feel guilty about this.

He smiled at me and unlike his looks, which were really sharp, his smile was really kind.

"Hi. I am Alden." He extended his hand and I took it, returning his smile.

"Stella."

"You look stunning." He smirked and I had to remind myself again to not think of Charles and how his smirk was better than this guy. Focus Stella. "Shall we?"

He asked and I nodded while Mae handed me my clutch.

"Have fun you guys!" She called behind us. He held the elevator door for me and I entered in chuckling.

"Where are we going?" I asked him once we were out of the building and he walked me to his car.

"Somewhere as classy as you." He smiled and I tried hard not to cringe at the cheesy remark and instead resorted to a short laugh so I wouldn't come off as a rude person.

Though judging by his looks and dress-up, I was guessing he was indeed taking me to some fancy place. I hope it all gets over with pretty soon so I can move on with my life.

"Ready?" Alden asked starting the car.

I glanced in the direction of Charles's building, for one last time before reminding myself that he is the one who never came.

"Yeah."

As if I had a choice.

•••


Hey guys!!

So what do you think about Stella's date!!

Vote & comment

Lia xo

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