Healing Charles

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4.

•••

~Stella

I hate it when I forget to turn off my alarm clock at Saturday nights which is the reason why I am up so early even though its Sunday today. Nonetheless I tried cheering myself up with all the pampering I save for my Sundays.

I prepared a bubble bath along with my manicure kit ready to be used while I relax myself in the bath.

It took me couple of hours before I came out of my self-care session, all cleaned up for coming week. I towel dried my hair and left them loose down my back so they would dry off and put on some old skinny jeans and a cardigan to go with it.

I looked at myself in the mirror. My cheeks were glowing and were tad bit pink with all the rubbing and massaging. My eyes looked big and bright so I did my lashes to even that out.

Perfect.

I walked out of my closet at the sound of knocking. I opened the door of my room but no one was there. Strange.

"Here dumbass." I turned around at his muffled voice which was coming in through the closed window. He was practically dangling from his sill to knock on my window.

Is that distance so less for him to actually knock on my window?

Of course he would do that after I ignored all his flash signals to open the window last night.

I folded my arms and raised a brow at his choice of words for me.

"Right. Open the window princess before I fall down." He said giving a look like it suddenly dawned on him that he was the one who needed that window to be opened and not me.

I looked at him in disbelief. Was he incapable of apologising? Even now after he literally insulted me? I am all for forgiveness but the person should be apologetic first for me to actually show my forgiving capabilities.

I shook my head at his ways and without saying anything more, left from my room. This way I would not be tempted anymore to answer that window calls. As he said its none of my business.

I went into the kitchen to fix myself some breakfast. I opened the fridge and frowned at its empty state. There was just a crate of eggs. Eggs it is then.

I decided to make scramble eggs and sat down to eat my own disastrous kitchen skills. I totally suck, even at something as simple as eggs when it comes to cooking. While I was at it, I grabbed a notepad and a pen and started making a list of groceries that we needed to stock up the kitchen with. I am free anyways so I will explore the area while I go get them.

I heard the front door opening and turned around to find Mae walking in with her heels in her hands and her dress all creased up from everywhere.

I grinned at her thoroughly hungover state.

"Someone had fun last night." It was my time to finally pull her leg.

"If by fun you mean getting up to find myself completely abandoned in a bar all night? Yeah I did." She had a horrified look on her face. "I can not even imagine what could have happened to me."

All my senses jammed at once as she came to sit on the stool beside me. My eyes widened at what she just told me, all the colour draining from my face.

"Oh my god Mae, are you okay? Are you hurt? What about your date?" I fired away the questions at the speed of light getting all worked up. "Why did you not text me? I could have come and took you home. Damn girl."

She groaned as she rested her head against the kitchen island.

"Don't take that jerk's name in front of me. We went to this bar and had couple of drinks and danced and while we were talking this girl showed up. His ex." I almost rolled my eyes at the typical situation but held myself just in time. "I was pretty drunk by then, both of us actually. He said he would be back in two minutes but he never came back and everything is blur after that. I woke up in a booth this morning."

I felt terrible for her. She did not deserve it.

"Oh honey." I hugged her and passed her my breakfast. "Eat this you will feel better."

She nodded and ate all of it.

"The only time I am having this." She said making a disgusted face and I laughed. "Seriously Stella, you are the worst cook ever."

"But you love me."

"That I do so which also gives me a full access to murder you." She said getting up. "So stop talking. Ah my head hurts so bad."

I chuckled and gave her some medicine so she could sleep the whole thing off.

"Will you be fine while I am out for groceries?" I asked shrugging on the jacket.

"Bring me some ice cream please, will you?"

"Sure. Take care." I took her care keys and went out. I spotted her car in the underground parking lot we have for our apartments and slid in behind the wheel. Unlike her bedroom, she keeps her car awfully clean.

I remember taking my first car lessons in my dad's car. I was more focused on how dirty the car was than I should have been on the road ahead of me which was why he never allowed me back in his car and I had to settle with my mother's mustang always. At least it was clean.

I smiled at those memories while focusing as I got the car out of the lot and on the street. The google was my assistant today.

I found the supermarket easily and sure enough it was a big one, with a giant sign that read "Welcome to Ol'mart". I parked the car and got out of it, making my way to the trolley station so I could get a trolley basket for the stuff to keep in.

I entered in the busy mart and took out my list and it took me while to figure out my way around the place and where all the sections were for everything that I wanted.

I found everything on the list quickly and picked up Mae's ice cream too and checked out all the items.

I was by the car putting away all the bags in the trunk when some guy waved in my direction. I looked behind me to check if there was someone standing behind me but I found no one.

"No I am waving at you." He said coming near to where I was. I noticed his strong accent and handsome look. Well it was not like anyone could ignore him because he had looks for sure.

"Oh." I said. "Do I know you?"

"Apparently not but I have got a flat tire and need a ride to get to this address." He showed me the address on his phone. I had this extreme urge to make a face when I saw the address was of the apartments where Charles lived as well.

I could just tell him I am new in the city or make an excuse about going in a complete different direction. What if he is a criminal? He can totally hijack my car.

"Thats fine, I know the address. I can take you there, if you want?"

Why does my mouth not comply with my thoughts?

"That will be great. Thank you." He smiled which I returned closing the trunk.

We got in the car and I drove silently, really awkward. Its funny how I think I could not get any more awkward than I am in my life and something like this happens with me out of blue.

"I am Valentino by the way and you don't need to worry. I am not a runaway from prison." He said in a warm tone. We both fell, silent taking in what he just said it made both of us laugh. I eased up a little bit. We reached at Blossom Apartments and he got off thanking me and went inside the B-building while I parked the car in its usual place and got the bags back to our place, dumping all of them on the kitchen counter. I checked on Mae in her room but she was not there then I heard the sound of water running. She must be in the shower.

I busied myself in arranging the kitchen and putting away all the stuff I bought. I chuckled at how this was all changing so fast.

One day we were just these students trying to get through our finals and next I know Mae and I were all packed up, standing in her driveway back in Volendam ready to go away and find our own lives and now here we are, doing grocery rounds and decorating the house that we rented on our own and adjusting to this job-life in general.

It seems like only yesterday we were in high school, walking through crowded hallways, gossiping about everything without a care in the world. Time flies.

By the time I was done with the kitchen, all the energy had drained out of me and I made my way to my room. I entered in and jumped when I saw Mae sitting on the window sill.

"What are you doing here?" I asked and when I neared my expression turned flat. Charles.

Seriously what is up with this guy? Does he not have a life or something?

Its Sunday.

Still, does he not?

"What do you want?" I forgot about Mae for a minute and let my annoyance take over completely.

"Ah so you want to talk to me now?" He said cocking his head to side and I was thankful for the distance we had between the two building or I would have surely slapped him by now and I am not a violent person.

Before I could answer someone came from behind him to see what was going on. My eyebrows shot up when I saw Valentino.

"Ooh who is that?" I heard Mae's quiet whisper behind me but I ignored her. Did she not just get ditched by her date?

"You." I said.

"Me." He said stuffing his face with popcorns like he was here to enjoy some show. "Told you I am not a criminal."

"Wait what is going on?" Charles asked, his face turning into confusion and Valentino explained him everything.

"Hi. I am Mae." She waved excitedly from behind me and Valentino smiled at her, his stare lasting on her a little too long than necessary.

"Valentino." He said and Charles fake coughed to get the two back into the reality. We passed a look of understanding between us secretly sharing the humour of the situation.

"You have a shower flooding your bathroom, Mae." I stressed to get her attention, amusement taking the place of annoyance that was long forgotten. Her eyes widened.

"Crap." She said and left after passing a short wave to everyone. I turned back around and Valentino was gone too which left me alone with the jerk. My mood swung back to its original state again.

Before he could say anything I closed the window again.

"C'mon!"

"Not until you apologise."

"Fine."

And he was gone.

What?

Why is he like that?

That class A-jerk.

•••

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