The New Beginning
Charlie and Marcus were supposed to leave for their vacation, but Charlie’s injuries were taking some time to heal. Marcus didn’t want to let her travel when she was fully recovered – even when both of them wanted to spend some quality time together. Charlie could have used this vacation to take her time off the fact that Maria had left to live in Chicago, the only person other than Marcus Charlie trusted, had left. It has been a week since Maria left and since then Charlie has been feeling down – with her healing injuries and with her best friend gone, Charlie was having the hardest time. Even if she was secure now that Ben and Joe were arrested and Marcus had put heavy security around her new apartment – she was still scared. Never in her whole life did she think that she will have to go through such trauma. She was living a normal life – she was okay with it until she started to get involved with the Harrisons and until her father showed up. It was easier for her to believe that he and her mother were dead, rather than knowing that he was alive and was in prison. She heaved a sigh and rested her head back on pillows.
There was a knock on her bedroom door before it slightly opened and pecked in Mrs. Atkinson, “Miss McGill, would you like to eat your lunch now?” Charlie was still not hungry but she needed to take her medicines and some painkillers as her healing wound had started to ache again. She nodded her head to which Mrs. Atkinson smiled, “I will be right back with your food,” She said to Charlie and closed the door behind her. Marcus and Charlie had decided that she would be living on her own for a while. It was more of Charlie’s decision. Marcus just didn’t oppress her decision. She loved Marcus and Kathie. There was not a single doubt in her mind that she didn’t but it was still new to her and Marcus. A soft smile stretched on her lips. She still couldn’t believe that she was in love with Marcus Harrison and he loved her back – it feels like a fairytale. Charlie knows that it is still a little far out for Marcus to fully accept that he fell in love with someone other than Susan, therefore she was giving him the space that he needed to fully grasp the new reality.
Marcus sat in his office as he typed an email to one of his clients, personally apologizing for not being able to conduct the meeting with them. He has been very distracted lately – with Charlie recovering and the threats he believes are still there to his family and the guilt. Since the day, Marcus has confessed to Charlie for his strong feelings towards her, he has been feeling guilty – he was guilty towards Susan, who had left this world. When Charlie told him about her dream of Susan, Marcus couldn’t help but feel liable towards Susan. It doesn’t make much of sense to him, but then what has lately? He has been keeping himself busy with work, so he doesn’t think about Susan. He was not ashamed of falling in love with Charlie, but he never thought that this day would come. He was ashamed for moving on. When he met Susan all those years ago, he never thought that he would ever fall in love with another human again, and then when she passed away, he locked his heart – he never believed that someone would knock the locks down and takes Susan’s place in his heart.
Marcus hasn’t even kissed Charlie since she was discharged from the hospital – something that Charlie must have felt strongly about. He kept on telling himself that once Charlie will be better and when the two of them will take some time off with Kathie and go on a vacation, he might get a grasp on his undeniable feelings towards Charlie, but with her injuries taking time to recover and with the work pressure – this plan slipped out of Marcus’s finger. He sent the email before he closed his laptop and looked at Kathie as she slept in her bouncer, which was getting a little small for Kathie – she was growing up so fast. His daughter was a constant reminder of Susan. Where he loved Charlie – the thought of forgetting Susan in the process scared him and maybe this realization has been keeping him away from Charlie lately. Since the incident, he has been bringing his daughter to work – she is not much of a distraction since she only cries and whines when she is hungry or sleepy – other than that she is always busy playing with her toys. The corner of his office was like a tiny toy area, Marcus didn’t mind nor did his employees. Marcus has opened a free daycare center at his office so that single parents could bring their children to work, he knows how hard it can be to leave them behind.
He looked at the time and decided to call Charlotte – making sure she took her medicines on time, so he dialed her number. Charlie was watching a movie on her laptop while she enjoyed the soup, Mrs. Atkinson prepared for her when her phone went off. She smiled and paused the movie and answered her phone. “Hey,” She said – she would imagine a sweet smile spreading on Marcus. This was one of his things, he starts off talking with a frown on his face but soon it turns into a sweet smile. “Hello,” he replied. “How are you feeling, Charlotte?” He asked softly. Charlie liked the way he calls her by her full name. She sighed, “I am fine.” She replied. “How are you and Kathie doing?” She asked him. Marcus nodded his head as he glanced at his sleeping daughter, “She is sleeping and I am okay as well. Did you take your medicines yet?” He quickly asked. Charlie bit her tongue and replied, “Uh, I am having lunch now. I will take them once I am done with it,” She informed him. She knew what was coming next.
“Charlotte, seriously? You were supposed to take your medicines an hour ago. You need to take them on time,” Marcus emphasized. Charlie bit her lower lip, “I am just an hour late,” She shrugged. Marcus pinched the bridge on his nose and closed his eyes – he didn’t want to chide at her, she was not a child was she his daughter’s babysitter anymore but he so deeply cares for her that it bothered him that she was not taking care of herself. “Charlotte, please finish your lunch and take your medicines, okay? Please don’t take too long,” He advised her. She chuckled, “I will not, I promise. I will take my evening medicines on time.” She told him. Marcus didn’t wait to answer her, “Of course, you will. I will be there to make sure you do.” He said to her. Charlie smiled, “Of course, you will.” She said to him. There was a brief pause before she spoke again, “Is Kathie distracting you from work? I told you to drop her off at my place,” She asked him. “I would never do that when you are still recovering, Charlie.” He replied.
Charlie exhaled and rested her head on the pile of pillows behind her, “I know, but I miss her so much, and I am constantly worrying about you and her and feel awful staying on the bed all the time and –” Charlie’s deep yet calming voice stopped her rambling. “Hey, relax – okay? I know it is hard for you and I am very sorry about that, Charlie, but I want you to fully recover and I want that to happen soon. It is hard for me to see you in pain,” Marcus softly confessed. Charlie didn’t speak for a moment. Charlie knows that he is stressing over her health a lot lately, but she wants him to know that she will be okay and that he didn’t have to worry about it. She felt bad for him – he was already so stressed out, she felt like she was only adding to his troubles. “Did you walk today?” Marcus asked her another question when Charlie failed to reply before. “Yes, I did. I walked for twenty minutes today, but then it started to hurt a little, so I came back to bed,” She replied. “That’s good. I just need to attend one conference call today and after that, I will come and make you some dinner,” He proposed.
Charlie loved it when he cooks for her. She grinned, “I would love that,” she replied. She heard him chuckle from the other side before there was a brief pause, following Marcus’s deep voice, “Charlie?” He called out her name. “You know that I love you, right?” He asked. Charlie smiled and nodded, “I know you do and I love you too, Marcus.” She replied to him. The call soon ended. Charlie tossed her phone beside her and heaved a sigh. After each call and after every goodbye, Marcus asks her the same question. He asks her if she knew that he truly loves her. Charlie knows that he was scared that she would start to believe otherwise, especially since they are not behaving like a couple. When was still in the hospital, she believed that once she will be discharged. Marcus and her would make out, they will go on dates, watch movies together and so much more but non of it happened for them. It was all too new for them – it was like they were learning to love.
Marcus might not have kissed her on the lips, but the tension was there. Each day when he visits, she would feel his eyes on her – with desire caged in them but he doesn’t make a move nor does she. They were in love with each other and had confessed as well but still, there was hesitation in between them. While she so badly wants to kiss him – to hold him, but at some level, she enjoyed the newness of their relationship. She liked the stolen glances. She liked how he admires her. She likes the way his eyes flicker from her lips to her eyes when he talks to her. She likes the way they feel nervous around each other, she was in love with each of the moments. The only thing that bothers Charlie is that he never talks about what he is feeling, she believed that he was trained like that. Since he was a child, Ruby had made sure that Marcus stays quiet and sadly he adapted to it. Charlie wants him to break out of his shell – she had already put a crack on it, she just needs to break it open and for that, she requires bits of patience.
Silas decided to visit Marcus at his work during his break – that has been his new normal since Maria left. Silas is ill at ease since the day she left. He would come to his office to spend time with his brother and his niece. Silas never volunteers to look after Kathie but since Maria left, he has been doing that so that he could fill in his spare time. He is constantly keeping himself busy. Marcus knows how he feels, he did the same when Susan passed away. He would keep himself occupied with work or Kathie so that he wouldn’t think about her. Marcus never objects to Silas always showing up at his work or home – it was opened for his family and he wants to be there for his brother because he knows how hard it can be when you are all alone – all on your own. He has been there. There were nights when he wanted to cry on a shoulder. When he needed a lap to sleep on. When he wanted someone to tell him that everything was going to be okay, but instead he was welcomed by loneliness. He knows how truly hurtful being alone can be.
“What is troubling you?” Marcus averted his gaze at his brother as he heard his voice. He shrugged, “Nothing,” he replied short – Marcus has never been a man of words. Silas chuckled as he handed Kathie a toy duck and got on his feet.
He has been playing with his niece for the past few minutes – all this time glancing at his brother who was zoned out. Silas has noticed that Marcus has been very quiet lately – he believed that once he and Charlie will be together – he will change a little but it didn’t happen he has gone quieter. For the first week, Marcus seemed truly happy but then he descended – something was troubling him and Silas was worried if someone else was bothering him again.
Knowing his brother, Silas knows that Marcus would never tell him until it is too late. Silas put his hands in his pockets, “Don’t lie to me, Marcus.” He spoke. “If someone is bothering you, you will let me know – right?” he added.
Marcus chuckled, “Yes, I will. Don’t worry about it. No one is bothering me but myself,” Marcus replied. Silas knitted his eyebrows together, “Is Charlie okay?” He asked – she was the first person that came to his head.
Marcus smiled, “She is,” he told her. Marcus paused and rolled his tongue in his inner cheek, “I am just scared,” He told his brother truthfully. “Scared of what?” Silas asked.
“I am scared that I will mess things up,” He replied plainly.