Status: Weekly Updates

A Day at a Time

Twenty Three

Charlie's phone sounds from her bedside table. Begrudgingly she opens her eyes, groaning when she sees its pitch blackout beyond her windows.

"Hello?" She answers quickly, praying for the obnoxious noise to stop.

"Hey," Geralds's voice comes through her phone. He sounds more relaxed than usual, his tone is flat and quiet and she can't make out any noise other than his voice.

"What do you want, Ger?" She questions, closing her eyes again.

"There's a party tomorrow night for Halloween. I host these events at a few clubs every year, I was thinking you could come."

"I could probably, yeah," Charlie mumbles into the phone, trying to stay awake long enough to hear more.

"It's going to be crazy. I'll be really busy but you could bring a friend, yeah?"

"Yeah, okay," She agrees and that's the last thing she remembers before she falls back asleep.

What feels like a few minutes passes before her phone sounds again, signaling the start of her day and her first day back at work since her bereavement period.

When she steps foot into the staff lounge she is greeted by Jules, whose pace quickens to meet her as if she'll up and walk away at any moment. She takes Charlie into a warm comforting hug, which reminds her of her mother for a brief moment.

"How are you doing, dear?" Jules asks as she parts from Charlie. "I wanted to check in on you but no one had your number, your a hard woman to reach."

Charlie nods with a small polite smile. It's true, Charlie hasn't made much of an effort to make friends when she came to town. She was busy with her family but she also wasn't happy and she certainly was not looking to make the move permanent. Is she now, she wonders briefly. Truthfully, probably not but the opportunity exists and she hasn't had the chance to give it much thought recently.

"I'm sorry, Jules. I just needed a moment to myself. Thank you for thinking of me and my family. It's never easy, is it?"

Jules shakes her head and gives Charlie a soft smile, "Well, I'm here if you need anything. Now, let's get this shift done so we can go home."

When Charlie arrives back to her apartment around 5 PM, Gerald has already let himself in using the key that sits above the doors molding. While she's not surprised to see him sitting in a bar stool in her small kitchen, she is surprised to see he's accompanied by a woman she hasn't met. She's tall, tan, and slim with brunette hair that's pin-straight and runs down her upper back. She stands in the middle of Charlie's kitchen holding a binder open and flipping through it, captivating Gerald's attention.

He pays no mind to Charlie when she closes the door behind her or sets her purse on the counter rather loudly, hoping to get his attention. She clears her throat in a last attempt for his attention.

"What are you doing here?" She asks when his eyes finally look up towards her.

"Hi," he smiles and motions to the woman who is now also focused on Charlie. "This is Jess. I hope you don't mind. I brought her here to do your makeup for tonight. You fell asleep last night before I could tell you it's a costume event."

Charlie's brow raises, he's joking, right? She briefly remembers speaking to him last night and although she knows she agreed to a party she was not aware of what she was actually attending.

She glances over to Jess, who is now standing in her kitchen rather awkwardly, then back to Gerald. "Can we talk outside for a second?"

"I'm sorry, I don't understand what we're doing here." She says once the two of them stand out on the balcony alone.

"I should have told you, I know." He admits, "There just wasn't time. Tonight is kind of a big deal and I wanted you to be comfortable. Everyone is going to be in a costume so I just thought this could be fun for you. Jess can make whatever you want, she's your girl. And your guests, too."

"So what's the deal? I have her for an hour and she does our makeup?" Charlie questions, not understanding fully.

"She's yours for the night. She'll do your whole costume and your friends and when you're done she'll go, yee?" He encourages with a small, hopeful smile that elicits a similar one from Charlie, who agrees, nodding.

"Hey," she says, reaching out to grab his arm. "You don't have to do all of this, you know? I can do my own makeup, I don't want you wasting money on me."

He just smiles, shaking his head and makes his way back inside. He thanks Jess briefly and slides on his sneaker before slipping out of the door.

After hours spent with Jess, and a few glasses of wine supplied by Alex, Charlie finally is ready to let loose, just a little. Alex and Jack met Charlie at her apartment briefly after Gerald had left and one by one Jess created a custom costume for each, working with makeup and items of clothing she'd had brought with her.

Alex had chosen to do a themed costume and after much arguing between the three and at times even Jess, they decided on doing the Little Mermaid.

"We can do it," Charlie agrees, "but I want to be bad."

"We've got our Ursula!" Jack yells, much too excitedly.

Jack makes an easy Eric with just a change in clothes. He wears blue jeans, folded into high waters at the bottom with a white bottom down and a red silky material belted around his waist. His dark hair slicked back with gel pulls his costume together.

Alex wears a wig, bright red with large curls. A small shell bra rests on her chest, leaving little to imagine and she wears a long green maxi skirt to match. The fork tangled in her curls makes the costume.

Charlie's costume began with Jess using body paint over her face, chest, arms, and legs. She's coated in a light purple hue, matching Ursula's tone. Jess curls her hair and places it in an updo atop her head, using a colored hairspray to mist it whiter. She's dressed in a black silk slip dress to resemble Ursula's attire and Jess makes fake tentacles with body paint on Charlie's legs.

Charlie's definitely feeling the buzz of the champagne as they make their way to the event and once they're in she's not as nervous as she thought she would be. She had never been one for crowds and there was certainly one there but when her eyes laid on Gerald on stage she felt herself pushing through the mob of people, gravitating towards the stage with Alex and Jack trailing behind her.

Gerald's eyes find her after a few minutes. He's dressed in black slacks with a white button-down tucked in. He has a black cape draped over his shoulders that almost reaches the ground and his face is painted white with grey over his hollow cheeks and fake blood dripping from his mouth. He continues bouncing around on stage but she sees his face soften with a small smile when he sees her.

When Charlie feels Alex and Jack bouncing along with the music beside her, she joins them. A few songs pass and Gerald leaves the stage, followed by another performer that Charlie is unfamiliar with but Alex and Jack seem to be enjoying.

"Hey, I'm going to find a bathroom," Charlie shouts to them, not actually intending to find a bathroom. Alex and Jack nod and continue to dance while she pushes back through the crowd. As she makes her way side stage she bumps into a tall firm figure and she knows immediately who it is as a feeling of deja vu hits her.

"You made it," he smiles down at her, hands gripping firmly on each of her arms to steady her. She can feel his eyes on her, making their way down her body and pausing over her breast which peak out slightly over the silky fabric of her dress.

Her smile matches his own, "I did."

"Come with me," he asks over the music and she is quick to follow as he leads her, by hand, further towards the back. They pause in a quieter hall where only a few people loiter.

"Are you having a good time?" He questions.

"This is great. Thank you for inviting me. I think I needed to get out."

He nods in response before smirking down at her, "You look great. I can't wait to take that off of you."

"Oh yeah?" Charlie's questions suggestively and eyes the family bathroom behind him.

He chuckles lowly, "You're not serious."

She grabs at his hand again, smiling widely as she pulls him with her ignoring the invasive glances of the strangers around them. The door slams closed behind her and Gerald pushes her body against it with his own, reaching around to lock the door.

His lips meet her own feverishly and with a few soft nibbles to her bottom lip, she opens, inviting him in. His hands trail her body running along her sides from her waist up and back down where he reaches below the hemline and hikes her dress up.


"Your makeup is all fucked up," Charlie laughs while they both fix their costumes in the mirror.

He turns towards her, taking in her face makeup. Before she knows what is happening he's laughing, reaching for the sink where he turns the faucet on and runs a hand under picking up water. He swipes his hand across her cheek, smudging her pale purple body paint.

"So is yours," he laughs, smiling down at her.

She rolls her eyes playfully and her smile widens. "I'll see you out there," she says before she turns to leave.

Charlie finds Alex and Jack at the bar on her way back. Jack nurses three drinks in his arms while Alex fusses with her small shell bra. When she looks up at Charlie she smiles widely and Charlie can tell that they had been at the bar for a little while.

"Charlie!" Jack calls out obnoxiously, "I got you a drink but you disappeared." He frowns dramatically.

She chuckles softly, grabbing a glass that Jack holds close to him between his arm and chest. He relaxes immediately and is able to shuffle so he only has two drinks in his hands.

"Come on, Alex. We're missing the show," Charlie whines, pulling her friend towards the crowd.

Alex laughs, quick to follow them, "Oh, as if. Where'd you disappear to, huh?" She jokes, knowing fully well where Charlie had gone.

Charlie blushes slightly, laughing.