Charlie stayed the weekend then came back every day with various foods from the church. It wasn’t until a week later when she stopped by that she found Aj bathe and in fresh clothes. She was washing the coffee cup that she held on all week. “Hey!” Charlie said louder than she intended. “Hi.” Responded aj almost in a whisper. She put the coffee cup in the cupboard and held her hand on the door for a minute after she closed it. “How are you feeling,” Charlie asked cautiously. “He's not coming back” responded Aj. Charlie put down dinner on the table and wrapped her arms around Aj’s neck. Aj wrapped her arms around her waist and pulled her closer. “I know,” Charlie confirmed. “What am I supposed to do” Aj questioned. Charlie pulled away and held Aj’s face between her hands. “All the stuff you’ve been avoiding, unfortunately.” Aj received several phone calls from the department asking what to do with the remains. She had avoided it fearing that if she closed the door he really wouldn’t come back. Now she knew, that no matter what she did hed never come back. “Cremation.” She whispered, “He wanted to be cremated.”
“Okay, ill make the call for you.” She went outside to make the call and Aj watched her every move from the window. It had only been a week but it felt like Charlie had been with Aj for a lifetime. She took care of her even when she couldn’t and was the only one to see her. Aj looked at her phone and went through all her unread text messages. She didn’t have a single missed message from Will or Hayley. “Okay, so the awake will be in two days, sound good?” Charlie walked in asking. “Yeah. Wheres Will and Hayley they haven’t reached out to me?” Charlie's face whitened and she began to nervously play with her fingers. “Will is at his mother's funeral” Charlie informed her. For a moment it felt like Aj was falling and suddenly she hit the cold ground “I killed her, how could I forget I fucking killed her” Aj began pacing running her hand through her hair frantically. “I killed my best friend's mom and just…Fuck!” Aj screamed. Charlie stepped up and grab Aj's arms. “Stop no one cares. Literally Will and Hayley are the only ones there. Everyone thinks she went outside drunk and fell on the pitchfork. No one is blaming you.” “I killed his mother”
“No, you killed the person abusing him for his whole life and gave him his freedom. That’s what Will sees.” Charlie interrupted her.
“Then why isn’t he here?” Aj screamed.
“Because I sat here and watched you for a week but it wasn’t you, it was a fucking shell. You were so broken and shattered and I was afraid if I let anything else in you would….” Charlie burst into tears. Aj didn’t take anything that happened in the last week. Charlie had tried to hold the walls up so she wouldn’t be crushed even though it slowly crushed her in the process. Aj pulled her into a kiss wrapping her arms tight around her. She felt Charlie grab her back and kiss harder against her lips. After a couple of minutes they pulled apart “I'm so sorry, nothing will touch you like this again” Aj promised looking her in the eyes. “I love you” Charlie responded. Aj stood there shell shocked by her words unable to speak. She pulled Charlie and kissed her hard. Their hands ran across each other bodies ripping off the other clothes. Aj reached for bra clasp when Charlie's phone rang. “Fuck” Charlie finally breathed. She scrambled to pull her phone out of her jeans “Hey! We were just talking about you”
“I'm pretty sure we weren’t talking at all” Aj grumbled. Charlie glared at her and threw her shirt at her face. “I think you should come over now. Okay well see you soon” She hung up the phone and straddle Aj on the floor. “Hi, who did you invite over” Aj questioned. “Will and Hayley. We need to get dressed” she insisted. “That’s kinda hard with you on top of me” Aj grinned. “Do you love me?” she asked with eyes longing for an answer. Aj felt like an idiot she was so happy to hear the words she forgot to even respond. “You're the only one that I love now and I don’t plan to lose you” Aj finally told her. Charlie kissed her again but this time it was gentle. Aj swore that the kiss froze time around them because it felt like a lifetime. Charlie pulled away and smiled “I brought some groceries let me make us dinner.”
By the time dinner finished there was a knock at the door and then it opened without an answer. “AJ!” screamed Hayley as she walked in the door. It took Aj by a surprise when she instantly threw her arms around her neck “Uh, hi” she awkwardly responded. “Uh hi,” Hayley mocked her “we really missed you.” Aj looked past Hayley and saw Will looking relieved to see her. Hayley walked away towards Charlie leaving Will and Aj alone. “We've really missed you” Will spoke first. The sound of his voice sent a relief that washed over her. “You look a lot better since the last time we saw you.” He smiled. “When was that” Aj asked. “Right after my mom’s funeral” he quieted his voice. A pain shot through Ajs head she had flashes of her running through the rain then Will's mother and the face she had as she fell to the ground. Aj couldn’t breathe and no matter how hard she tried to tell herself to it was as if she had forgotten how. Then she felt a warmth wrap around her snapping her back into her own body. Charlie was behind her wrapping her arms around Aj's hips “No one blames you so don’t blame yourself” she comforted Aj. “She's right.” Will spoke “She wasn’t my mother as soon as my father died and the police decided that she got drunk and fell on the pitchfork. The only ones who know the truth are in this room and honestly, you saved me from a situation I couldn’t save myself from.”
“He's right” Hayley spoke up. “his life is already so much better. The town even pitched in to pay off the property tax for the year and gave him a part-time job at the Home Depot.”
“This town never paid attention to me, they always turned a blind eye to my moms abuse but now that she's gone it's like I became the town's kid” Will finished explaining.
“So that’s it?” Aj asked confused.
“To be honest I don’t think anyone cared enough to actually look into her death” Will informed Aj.
She sat there thinking about how she had murdered someone and without even trying she got away with it. This isn’t what she thought would happen she ran through all the scenarios, she had prepared herself for the sheriffs to arrest her at the house and pleading insanity due to the death of her father.
“Wait, my dad,” she asked.
The room went silent and for the first time since they walked in Hayley and Will looked uncomfortable and weren’t making eye contact. Charlie reached to hold Ajs's hand and looked in her straight in the eyes ’Are you sure?” she asked her. Aj nodded her head unable to speak. “A drunk driver hit him, they wouldn’t tell me a lot because I'm not family but he died on impact” Charlie explained. “Who?” Aj demanded. Charlie wasn’t the one to answer but Will did “That football cunt you met on your first day” he snarled. Aj ran her hand through her hair pulling at it her breath shaking as she tried to say something but nothing came out. The room darkened around her, all she could hear was her heartbeat growing louder and faster. She could feel her face getting red and her nails digging in her palm and she tightens her fist. Then through it all, she felt a softness cover her fist dragging her out of the darkness. She looked down to find Charlie's hand wrapped around hers “He won't get away with this, he will pay for it” she kept her voice low. The Aj felt another hand on her shoulder “Shes right” spoke Will “There are two witnesses who are testifying against him. From what I heard his family already tried to buy them out and they refused. In a month he'll be given the death sentence.”
“Where is he now?” Aj asked
“With his family. They paid his bail and he's on house arrest and the school expelled him already”
“You said his family tried to pay off the witness?”
“They're one of the richest families in town. Their ancestors settle this town and they own most of the land.” Spoke Charlie
“Not mine” grinned Will.
“Does that mean my house too” asked aj disgusted.
“Yes, they're one of the biggest donators to the sheriff's department as well” finished Charlie.
“Of course they are” Aj snarled as she slammed her fist down on the table.
“I could always use a roommate and help to fix the farm up” Will offered
“Well I can't stay here but I demand chickens” Aj joked.
“Do you got chicken money? ”he teased her.
“Tomorrow ill bring you some boxes and we can start packing but for now let's eat dinner it's getting cold” Charlie smiled.