Charlotte XXX

Nathan

I stay up until two in the morning so I can catch Charlotte right after she wakes up. Nick has fallen asleep behind me, the game controller still clutched in his hand. He’s dead to the world. I switched over to a movie but I’m not really seeing the super soldiers fighting the aliens. I’m thinking about everything. My future. Charlotte’s health. Where we are all going in a year or two years. I’m having uncharacteristic second thoughts. I never have doubts. Doubts are for people still trying to figure it all out.

I’m not saying that I know it all, but I know myself. I want to join the military, do something worthwhile. I want to be with Charlotte. I want to have a family. I want us all to be healthy and safe forever. Kind of in that order. Otherwise, I’m just a dudebro getting drunk, hanging out, and leeching off my old man. Thanks but no. Of course part of not being that guy is making sure you aren’t crushing your girl’s self esteem by ignoring that there are somewhat questionable pics being sent to everyone the two of you know. 

Said old man would be all over my ass about talking to Charlotte about this issue right away, just like Nick was.  I get up and head to my room, abandoning Nick to the company of infomercials flickering silently on the television screen. 

“Hey baby,” I say when she picks up on my first ring. 

“Nathan.” My name surfs out on a tide of relief and gratitude which makes me feel doubly the asshole. I’m responsible for making her feel insecure by not addressing the weird things that Greta has been doing. 

“I completely screwed up,” I start. “I want—“

“You’ll never guess who’s here,” she interrupts. Without waiting for a response, she hurries on. “Colin Matthews.”

“Huh?” I don’t know any Colin Matthews. 

“You know. The son of the actress and the baseball player? He had cancer but then was in remission but I guess not anymore because he’s here. It’s his third time. They’re doing some kind of experimental drug therapy on him that’s not allowed in the US yet.”

I rub my forehead as I digest this information. “Okay, that’s interesting.” Not really other than the fact some Hollywood asshole is far closer to my Charlotte than I am. That’s actually not okay at all. I bite back a few choice words that would likely place me in the dickhole category. Words like “Don’t fucking talk to him again” and “Does he know you belong to me?” 

She blithely ignores my lack of enthusiasm. “When I saw him in the common room last night, I was so surprised but he wasn’t very nice to me.”

My emotions swing wildly the other direction. This douche was being mean to my Charlotte? “Sounds like I’m going to have to come over and teach him a lesson in manners.”

She snorts. “He’s got cancer. You can’t beat up anyone who has cancer.”

“Oh yeah?” I challenge. “Is there some book that says that? Is that in your medical handbook?”

That draws out a full fledged laugh, one that comes from her belly not her throat. She likes when I joke about her illness because it’s more normal for both of us according to her. “Yes, it’s number five, right after all your hair falls out. But his hair looks great. I was really impressed. I guess because you guys’ hair grows back so fast and it doesn’t need to be long. Nick’s hair grew out right away.”

My eyelid is twitching. She likes his hair? Thinks it’s great? I can’t even remember what I was supposed to say when I first called because the whole time we’ve been talking it’s been about this asshole from California. And she’s bringing up the fact that Nick shaved his head when she was diagnosed but not me?

“I thought you didn’t want me to shave my head,” I say hardly concealing my disgruntlement. 

“What? Of course I didn’t,” she says. “I was just complaining. My hair makes me look five. Do I look five to you?”

She cares what she looks like? “I wouldn’t have slept with you looked five.” I knew that was a mistake before the last words left my mouth. 

She sucks in her breath and then to my utter relief, laughs again. 

“Sorry,” I mutter. 

“No, it just sounded funny. Like I hope you wouldn’t sleep with five year olds.” She giggles again and then sighs. “I miss you.”

God, how weak am I that I need her to say those words to me? I miss you. And with that equilibrium is reestablished. I settle into bed. “How much?”

“So so so much. Like I wish I was there right now and we were holding hands.”

“That’s all?” I ask softly thinking that there was a lot more than just hand holding I’d do if Charlotte were here. 

“Um and other stuff.” 

I can almost hear her blushing. Hating to ruin the moment, the reason why I called resurfaces. “About Greta…” I begin.

“She’s being weird, isn’t she,” Charlotte interrupts. “I think she has a crush on you or Nick or both.” 

“Weird isn’t the right word. Stalkerish maybe? I don’t really know but I can’t say I like it.”

“It’s okay. Or rather while I don’t like it, I know it’s not your fault. It just made me feel…embarrassed and even a little insecure.” 

Her voice has gotten soft and small. I cringe. Is it distance that feeds those feelings? Because if that is the case, I’m worried about how she’s going to take the news that I’m leaving after school to go right into Basic. That particular piece of information isn’t ready for consumption outside the family I decide. “You don’t ever have to be insecure about us baby. I love you.”

Her initial response is a huff of laughter. “I love you too.”

“We okay then?”

“Yes. Totally okay.”

If you want the next scene delivered to your inbox on Friday’s, sign up for the newsletter here.

5 thoughts on “Charlotte XXX”

  1. Yes! Thank you Jen! I am always so impatient when it comes to the Charlotte chronicles. I really love to read it and when my impatience is too big I always reread the older chapters *_*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s