Charlotte: Crush

Despite Eliza’s many visits in the weeks following their father’s death, presents remained unopened; the decorations hung solemn, a stark reminder of Winterfest. Emilie retreated, grieved in solitude; Charlotte made an unkind remark, Rylan was neither husband nor father, he was a man whose time belonged to himself. Her mother, tired of arguments, kept distancing herself from the family, and Patrick spent his time in his bedroom. The comment, cruel, thoughtless and inconsiderate, a resulting wave of deep-rooted anger towards her father, leaving them on what should be a happy occasion, his demise scarring the holiday for everyone.

Eliza and Charlotte

Charlotte convinced herself Eliza’s idea of bailing on the family was a good one, that if she disappeared, no one would notice her absence. Eliza disagreed; the pain of her broken relationship with Rylan would live with her, she was jealous Charlotte had his time. Handing Charlotte a key, Eliza reminded her of the importance of family, Eliza would be here whenever needed, but Emilie deserved an apology. She fumbled with the key, wondering if she had to go home or if it could wait till morning? Her sister handed her the phone; should Emilie agree, Charlotte could stay a few days.

They enjoyed food from the vendors; Charlotte eyed the locals, with one catching her eye. He stood at odds with his surroundings, dressed in Victorian or gothic attire, the heavy red velveteen jacket with gold detail, his black fitted trousers. Her eyes trailed towards his youthful face, the defined features, deep pooling eyes, and the hair, spiked at the top, and a long fringe to one side, it gave her New Romantic vibes. She giggled, her cheeks flushed, his gaze remained with her; Charlotte felt warmed by his presence; it made her shift in her seat. Eliza cleared her throat, keen to regain her sister’s attention, clicking her fingers to break the hypnotised girl.

Eliza, Charlotte and Caleb

Whoever this man was, his age was deceptive, and Charlotte was young and impressionable. Eliza glared as a silent Charlotte floated towards him, voice betrayed her, remaining muted as the gentleman took her hand, firm, to his cold lips. Caleb, his eyes shimmered in the lamplight, lips curled revealing pointed canines, withdrawing quick, he led her to a table. Ignoring Eliza, Charlotte listened to the poetic voice, finding her voice soft, silky sweet. Charlotte danced for weeks after, her conversations with Eliza were conversations where all talk of Caleb. Heart skipped as she spoke, voice breathless and changed by the love growing inside.

At home, the atmosphere grew tense; Emilie could bear the tree no longer, the wrapped presents she prevented the children from opening needed a resolve. Pain filled her, she watched broken her two children rip through presents; Patrick tugged a small box, sellotaped to an a4 envelope. A final gift from Rylan was the deeds to a new house; it seemed fitting, the unreturned calls from the realtor and the sudden desire to tidy Winterfest decor, Emilie long suspect Rylan’s boxing day surprise. Patrick stood handing his mother a box; Charlotte tossed in a sofa cushion; if it was Rylan’s last wish, they were on board with it.

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