Charlotte – part 1

I have been writing this story for the past several weeks. This is the bare bones version. I will do more fleshing out and telling more of the story, but I wanted to share this with all of you for your own enjoyment. There are 15 parts to the story, so check back daily for the next installment of the story. The last part will publish on July 4, 2014. 

 

Charlotte stepped out onto her porch, blinking back the tears threatening to fall. Her throat ached but she refused to give in. She knew. She had known all along, but for some reason, she believed that eventually, Ryan would choose her.

After all, she and Ryan had been together for six years. Six years! She believed he would come to his sense after he had gotten this out of his system. He wanted to marry Charlotte. He told her so! He just said it two weeks ago!

Six years. Completely wasted. Six years. Charlotte could have found someone else. She could be getting married. She could already be married. She could already have kids. She cursed.

“It’s been over a year”, Charlotte said out loud, resolutely. “They are still sneaking around. He isn’t going to leave her. He isn’t going to choose me. I am not waiting anymore.”

True, there was a ring. Charlotte had accidentally found it hidden away in one of his desk drawers. She was searching for her earbuds that Ryan insisted on stealing. She saw the box hidden there. Her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it, gasping at the beautiful ring inside. The ring, waiting patiently for her.

That was two months ago now. Still it sat in the drawer, waiting.

Yesterday, Charlotte saw Ryan and whoever that girl is getting lunch and ducking into his car. Charlotte didn’t even know her name. She didn’t want to, either. All she needed to know is that they were still spending time together.

Charlotte had come home early from work once and saw them leaving the apartment building together. She couldn’t believe that Ryan would cheat on her, especially in their apartment! She never spoke of it to Ryan.

Instead, she confided in her best friend, Melanie, who insisted that Charlotte leave him immediately. Tony, Melanie’s boyfriend, told Charlotte she was being ridiculous.

“You have no idea what was going on inside of that apartment. You need to talk to him.”

What did Tony know anyway? Besides, he had cheated on Melanie twice. All guys cheat. Men aren’t capable of being faithful. Charlotte could have understood if it was a one time thing, but she just saw them together again yesterday. It was the way things always happened in the movies – she comes home just in time to see her man leave with another woman he’s seeing.

Charlotte turned and walked back into the apartment. Ryan had gone into work early to prepare for his three-day business trip to New Orleans. She would take him to the airport, come home, pack, and leave. Maybe even write the two a little note and leave the ring out on the table for a nice touch.

Charlotte grabbed her phone and called Melanie.

“Sup girl?” Melanie’s bright voice chirped over the phone.

“I’m leaving Ryan.”

“What?” Clearly, this is not what Melanie expected to hear.

“I’m leaving Ryan. I’m taking him to the airport tonight, then packing and leaving.”

“Good for you! Where are you going?” Melanie’s usual enthusiasm was back.

“What do you mean ‘where am I going’?” Charlotte was genuinely confused.

“Charlotte, honey.” Melanie pulled out her motherly tone that she used often with Charlotte’s Hollywood movie inspired ideas. “If you leave where you live now, you have to find a new place to live. Where are you going?”

Charlotte was silent for a minute. The thought had honestly not occurred to her. In the movies, people just pack up from their old place and end up in a new one. No one talks about HOW that happens.

“Charlotte?” Melanie broke into Charlotte’s thoughts.

“Hmm?”

“Where are you going to go?” Melanie was much more persistent now.

“I… uh… I don’t know.”

“Honestly, girl! You have GOT to stop watching so many movies and live in REAL LIFE for a change.” Melanie sighed and cursed, slightly irritated at having to save Charlotte again. “Look, pack up what you need and come here tonight. We will find you a new place and get you settled before Ryan gets back. It’s Pittsburgh – there are plenty of places here. Okay?”

“Sure. It seemed so much easier to do this in my mind.” Charlotte admitted. She felt deflated and wondered if she was actually making the right choice. Maybe she should stay and just talk to Ryan about it.

“Of course it did, dear. That’s why you called me. So I can make a plan for you and get you some ice cream to celebrate! What are friends for?”

“You’re the best, Mel!”

“Of course I am. But now I have to finish getting ready for work and so do you. We’ll talk tonight, okay?”

“Sounds great. Thanks!”

Charlotte felt better, reassured that Melanie didn’t hate her. She bounced around the apartment singing and humming to herself as she got ready. She had never done anything like this before. She felt free and in control of her life for a change.

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