Charlie Ever After

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43| Charlie

When I told Tanner about Gavin contacting me, to say a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders would be an understatement. He sat there and reassured me in ways that I could’ve only dreamed of. I truly was lucky to have Tanner by my side. Besides for the Ramirez family, most of the people in my life were toxic. I spent most of my young life until now being mentally tormented by my own mother, and then Gavin came into the picture. He was my first boyfriend, the only example of a romantic relationship that I really had, so now that I have Tanner, I have to admit that it’s a lot to get used to.

Before Tanner, I constantly had to walk on eggshells around Gavin, always too afraid to say the wrong thing around him. Now with I can talk about whatever is bothering me and Tanner just holds me, kisses me, and tells me how much he loves me. I never thought in my life that I would meet someone like him, someone who loves me so wholeheartedly, someone that I can trust with my entire being and not think twice about letting him have that trust. Tanner came into my life when I needed him the most, and I will forever thank my lucky stars for him.

“Chica!” A loud squeal breaks me out of my train of thought as a body comes crashing into mine, nearly taking me down.

“Scout. Jesus Christ. When did you turn into a linebacker?” I groan out as she only tightens her grip on me, holding me in a bear hug before finally releasing her grasp.

I suck in a dramatic breath of air which only makes her giggle as we fall in step next to each other, heading back towards our dorm building.

“Where have you been the past few days?” She questions me with a pout of her full, pink lips— she even throws in a pair of puppy dog eyes for added effect.

“The same place you’ve been the past few days.” I grin at her before nudging her shoulder.

“I can hear the two of you from down the hall.” I mock a disgusted face before bursting into a fit of giggles, nearly doubling over.

Scout's face turns a shade of red that I didn’t even know was possible. “Shut up.” She grumbles before perking up again.

“I know I’m not the only one getting lucky in that house. Don't judge.”

And I can’t argue with her, because she’s right. I just try to have a little respect for Tanner’s roommates.

“What’re you doing tonight?” She asks as we reach our building, holding the door open for me.

I shrug my shoulders. “Probably homework.”

“Lame. Come dress shopping with me.” She pouts at me for the second time in the past ten minutes. “Parent’s evening is in a few days and I have absolutely nothing to wear.”

I beg to differ but I don’t tell her that, instead I heave a sigh. “I don’t know Scout. I have so much homework to catch up on, and I’m not necessarily in the mood to go dress shopping for an event that I don’t really want to go to.”

She looks up at me with sad eyes. “Don’t say that. It’s going to be great. We’re all going to be there. You even get to meet my wacky parents. C’mon, you can’t miss out on that amazing opportunity.”

I can’t help but to giggle. “Fine, but you better not have me in that damn mall for hours. Hour and a half tops.”

Scout lets out a squeal of excitement as she skips down the hallway before unlocking our dorm room door.

~

Within a half an hour Scout and I finally made it to the mall. Our first stop was Starbucks, both of us ordering venti caramel frappucinos with extra caramel drizzle of course— we wouldn’t be basic bitches if we didn’t.

“Where are we stopping first?” I ask simply.

Scout and I found a seat in the crowded food court and we’re both picking at a plate of loaded fries. Scout was adamant that we eat first, that we needed to replenish our energy after such a long day at school. I couldn’t help but laugh because Scout only had one forty-five minute class today, whereas I had four and have been up since six-thirty a.m.

“I figured we would hit the main spots, like Macy’s and JC Penney.” Scout lifts her shoulders in a shrug as she shoves another fry into her mouth.

“Sounds like a plan.”

After we both finish our fries and frappuccinos we head towards Macy’s and head straight to the formal attire.

I don’t know how she does it, but within ten minutes Scout has an armful of dresses to try on— I haven’t even found one yet.

She appears at my side, frowning at my empty arms. “Nothing yet?”

I shake my head. “No. Nothing is really speaking to me.”

It’s not a lie, but honestly I haven’t even really been looking. I just keep flipping through dress after dress, my mind elsewhere. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with my friends, and see Tanner’s family. It's just disheartening that I won’t have any of my actual family there. I could’ve brought it up to my dad and Carlos, but I wouldn’t want them to travel all this way just for one night— even though I miss them terribly, especially lately.

Scout tugs my hand and pulls me away from the racks of clothing and drags me off towards the dressing room.

“I kind of knew this would happen.” She mutters, mainly to herself as she throws the pile of dresses over a chair before digging through the heap of fabric. She resurfaces with a cherry red floor length dress. It’s strapless and the bustline dips down into a deep V, the back cut down low and adorned with lacing and then I notice a slip in either side of the bottom skirt, coming up to what would probably be hip level. The dress is stunning.

Scout pushes the dress into my hands before pointing a finger at one of the dressing rooms. “Go.”

I nod my head oberdietly and walk into the small cubicle of a room and start stripping off my clothes before pulling the dress over my body. Holding the bust up, I stand in front of the long mirror attached to the back of the door and admire my reflection.

I always knew I was beautiful, but this dress has me feeling beautiful to a whole new level— it has me feeling like I stepped straight out of a fairytale.

I slowly walk out of the dressing room, still holding the fabric safely to my chest. Scout is typing away furiously on her phone when I step out, and after a moment I have to clear my throat to get her attention. Once Scout’s eyes flutter up to meet mine, she instantly drops her phone in shock.


“Holy shit.” Is her only response as her mouth gapes open.

She finally gets up after staring for a few more seconds and makes her way over to me. She starts lacing up the back and when she’s finished, she walks me over to yet another mirror and when I see the dress in its full effect, I can’t help but to smile. I feel amazing, and I don’t think I ever want to wear anything else, ever again.

“Charlie, you look fucking amazing.” Scout’s eyes travel my body in the mirror and the widest grin pulls up the corners of her lips as she claps her hands in front of her.

“I feel like a proud mother.” She dramatically wipes away a fake tear.

I can’t help the giggles that erupt from my chest.

“Okay, well I’m definitely getting it. So, go try on some dresses so we can leave!”

~

It took Scout almost an hour to try on every single dress that she picked out, only to choose the first one that she tried on. I have to admit, I wanted to strangle her. But, I also have to admit that she looked absolutely stunning in the simple black dress she picked. The slit up the leg showed off her perfectly toned thighs.

After the mall we stopped at the small diner near campus and both ordered burgers. During dinner though, I couldn’t help but notice how Scout couldn’t leave her phone alone. She kept checking it, answering texts. Normal young adults were like this, but it was completely out of character for Scout. Usually she’d get on my case for being on my phone too much, she was never the one to get so wrapped up in her device.

“Sorry, don’t mean to be boring you to death.” My frustration finally getting the best of me.

Scout’s eyes raise momentarily from her phone before she finishes typing out a message and then places her phone face down on the table.

My brows furrow in response to her odd behaviour but I eventually let it go as we finish off our meals and pay.

After dinner, the two of us don’t even bother going back to our dorm, we go straight to the boys’ house.

We haul in our bags from the mall and without even saying a word, we go our separate ways.

My irritation must be showing clear as day because as soon as I walk through Tanner’s bedroom door he asks, “What’s wrong?”

I sigh and drop my bags to the floor before I make my way over to Tanner’s bed, where he’s sitting with his arms outstretched for me. I curl up into his lap and he places a tender kiss to the top of my head.

“It’s so stupid.” I sigh as I nuzzle my face into the side of Tanner’s neck, my irritation instantly starting to dissipate, just by being in his presence— making my frustration feel really silly, now.

“Nothing you’re feeling is stupid, babe.” He tucks a strand of hair behind my ear, sending chills throughout my body.

“Scout and I went out to get dresses for the Parent’s Evening and everything was going great, we both got amazing dresses but then afterwards when we went out to eat, she just sat there on her phone. It’s not like Scout, and honestly it kind of pissed me off.” Saying all of it out loud made me feel like a child throwing a tantrum over the stupidest inconvenience.

Tanner is silent for a moment and when I look up at him, I catch a glimpse of guilt swirling in his eyes but he blinks and it vanishes. My brows furrow slightly but he pulls me in closer to him.

“I’m sure she was just talking to Collin. The two have been inseparable.” He offers.

I shrug my shoulders. “I guess.”

And then the subject is dropped. I grab for the remote and turn on Netflix, sliding over to my spot in bed and pushing my legs under the thick comforter.
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