Chapter 7

Charlotte’s feet pounded quickly against the floor of the parking garage, having just left Jonathan’s apartment building. Her watch read 4:07 and she knew she need to hurry to the police station to pick up Max.

​​​​​In another life, she thought, maybe she would have stayed with Jonathan for a while longer. He was a nice guy, and he wasn’t hard to look at. Three years and a few months ago she would have found him attractive. Now, though, she could only have one man in her life, a rule which was defined by the person who currently occupied that position.
​​​She hardly even called her father anymore, though she had been so close to him before she met Max. Now, though, she only called once a month and never spoke to her father, at Max’s request. Charlotte knew herself well enough to know that if she heard her old man’s familiar voice she would burst into tears on the spot and tell him everything, which would only end in punishment for her. As much as it pained her, Charlotte knew she could not speak to her father as long as Max was in her life. She hoped that would not be much longer, but she had her doubts.

​​​She had to strain to get into the truck, seeing as how she was only a few inches over five feet tall and of course Max had opted to take the other, smaller car to whatever bar he had gone to that night.

​​​A thought passed Charlotte’s mind as she sat alone in the parking garage in the early hours of the morning: she could just leave. Max could not come after her from jail and there was nothing else keeping her here. She sat for what felt like an eternity contemplating her choices and weighing the pros and cons of each one. If she stayed, she would have food to eat and shelter, but she would face constant pain and emotional abuse. If she left, she would not have enough money to get to her parents’ home, and she didn’t have any friends in the city that could help her out, and she definitely did not want to ask Jonathan for help again. As he sat there alone, she decided that she couldn’t just leave. Max would not stay in jail very long, and when he got out he would certainly find her and when he did he would make her never even think about leaving again.

​​​She sucked in a deep breath and sped off to pick up Max at the police station.


​​​“What the hell took you so long?” Max asked Charlotte, making sure the door to the police station was shut before questioning her. He saw her flinch a bit, but decided he would deal with that later.

​​​“Sorry, I had to get the money from the bank,” she lied, knowing that he would probably catch on eventually, seeing as how he handled all of the finances. She silently prayed that he wouldn’t anytime soon, though.

​​​“When I ask you to do something, I want it done then, not half an hour later,” he scolded, and was glad to see that she didn’t flinch this time.

​​​“I’m sorry, Max,” she responded, knowing that if she argued, it would just serve to infuriate Max even more.

​​​They got in the truck, Max in the driver seat and Charlotte in the passenger. She barely had time to get in the car before Max was backing out of the parking space. Charlotte buckled her seat belt and pulled it tight, knowing of the intoxicated state that Max was currently in. The drive was ten minutes of pure silence, which would have normally been relaxing at this time in the morning, but Charlotte was worried out of her mind about what was going through Max’s head.

​​​They pulled into the driveway and Max got out of the car and ran to the door, almost locking
​​​​​Charlotte in the truck. Luckily, she jumped out right in time and walked to the door, flinching upon hearing the refrigerator door slam shut. “Tomorrow you’re coming with me to the bar to get the other car,” he demanded, and Charlotte nodded.

​​​Max chugged a beer and dropped it on the ground before announcing that he was going to bed. Charlotte knew she wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep so she picked up the beer bottle, threw it away, and went outside.


​​​Charlotte sat on their tiny back porch and looked up at the stars, grateful that it was still early enough that they would be out. She had always loved looking at the stars, especially when her father would accompany her and point out constellations like the big and little dipper. Charlotte has once dreamt of being an astronaut, but soon discovered that she got nauseous a little too easily, so she settled for an astronomer instead. She had big dreams of going off to college and studying astronomy, and she had. But then she met Max, and they got very serious very fast.

​​​​​She supposed her current situation was her fault, she had forgiven him the first time he ever hit her and had encouraged the relationship to go even further, suggesting that they move in together. If it weren’t for Max, Charlotte would have nowhere to stay and no money. He was her home, he had been for years now, and she had no way of changing it. She recognized that she was stuck in a horrible cycle, but didn’t know how to change or end it. Max controlled her and would until the day he died.
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this chapter is really short and i feel bad about that, but believe me when i say the next few will be longer. also, im thinking about writing another story but i havent decided on a player yet (and it definitely wont be as sad as this one). i kinda have a soft spot for seguin so he's at the top of the list atm but would anyone read it?

as always, thanks for reading and let me know what you think!