A Soulless Path

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Chapter 17

The next morning Aj woke up to an empty bed for the first time in the past month. She didn’t realize how much Charlie had invested her life into hers until she was gone. Though Aj knew it was still the best and pushed her life forward. She decided she needed to finish school and make an appearance to the town after her father's trial. Charlie kept up her appearance as a friend and with them at lunch from time to time. Classes dragged and Aj kept mostly to herself despite people constantly approaching her to say their condolences.

At the end of the school day, Hayley had to make a presence at her home and left Will and her alone to work on the chicken coop. She knew this was her chance to talk to will if anyone would understand it would be him.

“I have to talk to you but I need to know the conversation will stay between the two of us” she gathered the courage to finally speak.

“Must be important”

“Iv been thinking a lot since this past weekend and I realized I can't let him get away with killing my father”

“Yeah, Charlie mentioned something to that effect. So what’s the plan?”

“That’s it no shock or argue?” aj asked confused.

“I owe you my life in my opinion. I was trapped and you gave me my freedom”

“Iv decided to sign up for the military. They can train me to do what needs to be done” she finally told him.

“That’s it?” he laughed “Join the military? Hell I already did that a week ago”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” aj grumbled.

“You had a lot on your plate. I was waiting for things to cool down” he explained.

“I get it I'm still trying to figure out when to tell Charlie. Does Hayley know?”

He shook his head yes “She went with me but Charlie is different she won't be okay with this but you know that” he spoke the truth.

Aj had just started her relationship with Charlie just a month ago and despite it being such a short time they had fallen in love. Charlie had in fact spent almost every second with her and now she had to tell her that she would be leaving for an unknown time. Though the longer she took to tell her the worst it would be. She began massaging the back of her neck trying to avoid the stress that was building up.

“Look Aj. It wont be easy but she does love you. You owe her the truth she has kept your secret and to hide something from her would be the worst thing you have ever done” Will interrupted her thoughts.

“I know but we're fighting and now I have to make up with her just to make her upset again. This is really stressful.” Aj expressed.

“Well I can help you make up with her but after that, you're on your own”

Will and Aj had woken up early the next morning to get into the school before any students. They broke into Charlie's locker and filled it with her sunflowers which happen to be her favorite flowers. They waited down the hall for her to open it so no one would think they were waiting for her to open it. When she did her friends became all giggly asking her who was the lucky guy but Aj was smart enough to leave a secret admirer note so it would draw too much attention. Once the crowd thin out Charlie searched for Aj and gave her a quick smile showing she was forgiven she couldn’t wait for lunch.

Instead of meeting in the cafeteria Aj met Charlie in the old landscaping shed. Their secret spot at school when they needed to meet away from prying eyes. Aj sat in the shed fidgeting until she heard a knock at the door. When she opened it Charlie didn’t wait for the door to close before she kissed her. It took Aj by surprise and she had to catch her balance to keep from falling over. Charlie clung to Aj as if she was afraid to let go. The four days they spent apart was hard for both of them. The kiss started to get rougher and before Aj knew it Charlie's hand was unbuttoning her pants. It took everything in Aj to push her away so she could talk to her.

“What's wrong?” Charlie panted with a smile “I thought you missed me” she began walking back towards Aj. She stuck her hand out to stop her knowing she couldn’t push her off again.

“You know I did but we need to talk first” aj mustered out. Charlie gave her a soft kiss on the lips and laced her fingers in Aj’s

“I know I hated how we left last time but I forgive you if you forgive me”

“I forgive you but that’s not what I wanted to talk about” Aj pressed her forehead against hers.

“Then tell me” Charlie lifted her chin with her finger.

“Remember our plan? Well iv put a lot of thought into it and I'm ready to act on it” aj beat around the bush

“Well, where do we start?” Charlie asked.

“You see that’s the thing Iv already started with Will”

“Without me? It was my plan” Charlie huffed.

“I know but you couldn’t help with this part. Its something I had to do on my own and Will apparently did it too without me knowing” she continues to avoid the subject.

“So what is exactly is it” Charlie crossed her arms. Aj knew she couldn’t avoid it any longer she to a big gulp and stuttered the next sentence out.

“I joined the military” she finally admitted.

“You did what” screamed Charlie.

“Look I need training I can't just get away with murder again” she tried to explain.

“You're leaving me!” Charlie began to cry

“Only temporarily ill come right back to you” aj tried to reassure her but Charlie ran out before they could finish the conversation.

Aj sulked her way back to the cafeteria it didn’t feel good making Charlie cry but it was unavoidable. When she made it back to the lunchroom she looked for her but couldn’t find her. Hayley informed her that she had said she was going home sick but she was obviously upset.

“Give her time” will insist “She just needs some time to think about it”

“It’s a lot to take in knowing that the person you love is leaving trust me I cried too” Hayley explained.

“I know but we just made up and we only have a semester left” aj ran her fingers through her hair.

“maybe in a couple of days she'll come to her senses” Hayley tried to cheer up Aj.

It wasn’t days weeks or even months. The end of the semester came faster than ever and Charlie still hadn’t spoken to Aj. She tried several more surprise gifts just to watch Charlie throw them all in the trash. She was done with Aj and she made that very clear. It left an empty piece inside of Aj but it was for the best because it made it that much easier for her to jump on the bus and leave that small town.

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