Status: Weekly Updates

A Day at a Time


The sun rises at 5:45AM, light peaking through Charlie's blinds hits her directly in the eyes. When she awakes, she finds herself alone in her bed, memories of Luke come back to her briefly and she smiles to herself. She's not upset to find him gone in the morning, she hadn't expected him to stay. When she remembers the other man who had shown up unannounced, the smile is wiped from her face. She groans frustrated and sits up and running a hand through her long tousled hair. She grabs her phone of the nightstand and smirks at the time before searching her contacts.

Charlie didn't actually expect an answer when she dialed his number, that was the best case scenario. Being spiteful, she was hoping she would be waking him up but in reality, his night probably ended a couple of hours ago.

She was surprised when the phone stopped ringing and the noise was replaced by a shuffling sound following a groggy, angry Gerald, "What do you want?"

"Aw, what's the problem, Ger? We're you sleeping, how rude of me to expect you to always be available," Charlie commented, falling back into her bed.

"I thought I told you not to call," Gerald snarked back.

"Listen, I'm not sure why you showed up last night but I'll be home this afternoon if you want to drop by," Charlie offers. She's met with silence on the other end. "Gerald?" ... "Hello?" Nothing. "Alright, good night."

Later that day when Charlie returns to her apartment, she finds Gerald sitting in the hallway scrolling through his phone unamused. He looks tired as hell, she notes. His hair sits messily atop his head, unlike the photos typically posted of him online. He's dressed in sweats, a black tee, and pumas on his feet. He lifts his head from his phone when he hears her making her way toward the apartment. Charlie acknowledges him silently, stepping around him to unlock the door.

"I'm not sure if it was a dream, but I thought you told me to come over. I think you even apologized for being a bitch," Gerald claims as he makes his way into Charlie's apartment, pushing past her through the doorway. He slumps down on the sofa and pulls out his phone, tapping and scrolling on the screen. Charlie rolls her eyes, it's obvious that Gerald's annoyed with her. She closes the door and makes her way over to him, pushing his legs off the other end of the sofa before taking a seat herself.

"Sounds like a dream to me," Charlie comments. Gerald doesn't answer, he doesn't even look up from his phone. "You didn't have to come here, you know." When Gerald still doesn't respond, busy on his phone, Charlie huffs and reaches over grabbing the device from his grip.

This got his attention immediately. Gerald's eyes narrow in her direction and he reaches over grabbing her wrist, "What do you think you're doing?" He growls.

Something about the grip around Charlie's wrist and the huskiness of Gerald's voice changes Charlie's demeanor. She drops the phone, staring intensely back into Gerald's angry eyes. It hits the hardwood floor harshly and Charlie flinches but neither break their eye contact. He moves to get up, keeping contact with Charlie's wrist and hovers over her, faces inches apart. He nears her ear and Charlie exhales a breath she didn't know she was holding, "How was your boy last night, better than me?" He breathes into her ear before trailing small open mouth kisses down her neck.

At the sound of this Charlie huffs and pushes him off of her, "Seriously, that's what this is about? What, are you jealous or something?"

Gerald rolls his eyes, backing off and falling into his previous spot on the couch. "I'm not jealous. I just didn't know you were like that."

"Oh yeah, like what?" Charlie glares daggers at him, "There's nothing wrong with when you're promiscuous and don't even try to tell me you're not."

"I don't need a woman holding me down."

"And I don't need you and your double standards," Charlie spits back to him. "Why did you come last night anyway?"

"I had my court date yesterday."

"And?" Charlie inquires, unsure if she's going to get more information - not that is any of her business.

"I don't know it's just fucked up, they say they should make an example of me and put me in jail but when there's money on the table suddenly everything's OK." Gerald ponders aloud.

Charlie snorts at him, not believing a word he says. "Are you seriously complaining that you got off easy? I'm sorry, G, but I can't sympathize with you. What you did was illegal, you shouldn't even have access to these drugs. Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?"

Before Gerald can respond Charlie continues her voice softening, "Listen, I know you didn't come here to be lectured but someone has to be real with you."

"I get it, alright? It's just like... I grew up without money, I get the struggle. It's just hard to know who is only in it for the money, your friends, family who just show up out of the blue. Who the fuck are these people? And that extends to people who have a higher power than you and I." Gerald paused momentarily before continuing, "I don't know, I guess I just think about the kids who make a wrong decision... they don't have money, they ruin their whole life because of a mistake and they don't have the cash to fix it."

"It's not fair," Charlie agrees, "do something about it - you know that cliche shit like 'be the change you want to see'. Be a role model for these kids because right now they see you taking drugs and fucking around and it doesn't look very good."

Gerald doesn't respond, just gazed at her quietly. Charlie is stuck wondering what's going through his head, he's always surprising her. She had no doubt that when he showed up last night it was to fool around but here he is, on the other side of the sofa with his hands to himself, looking at her gently. A moment passes before Charlie gets uncomfortable, she clears her throat and pulls her legs under her body before speaking, "So... any plans tonight?"

The corner of Gerald's mouth twitches upward, "Are you trying to get rid of me already?"

"Hm, I suppose it depends. Are you going to be an asshole like when you came in here or will you continue to be a real person?"

At that he rolls his eyes, "You're infuriating, Charlie."