Status: New

A Day at a Time

Introducing

Charlie is exhausted. It's been three night shifts in a row, she usually makes it home around 3AM. Tonight is her first night off. She had slept in this morning, waking up around noon then meeting Melissa and their mom dinner later in the day. Around 7PM she made it back to her apartment, bumping into Alex on the way in.
Alex stopped Charlie, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while. I know you don't drink but I wanted to invite you to the event we're having today. It's a pretty big deal we're having a special performance but we're keeping it low key."
Charlie began to decline the offer, wanting to spend a night in her bed at a decent hour but decided against it. She hasn't gone out and met anyone since she moved in. It could be nice to just have fun for a night.
"You'll be there right?" Charlie asked.
Alex smiled, "Of course! Come down at 9 and I'll introduce you to a few people."
Charlie changed into something a little less comfortable before heading downstairs. She wore a black body lace bodycon dress with strappy black heels and she styled her long hair loose in beachy waves.
In the bar, the tables were pushed to the side and the lights were dimmed more than usual. The music was live and loud and lights were flooding the stage. Charlie could not make out what is going on the stage from the distance at the bar itself. She takes a seat waiting for Alex to show. The place is flooding with people dancing and watching the show.
Alex comes out from the kitchen door, smiling as she sees Charlie, "I'm so glad you made it. To be honest, I didn't think you'd show."
"I didn't think I would either. I'm glad I did, this place is crazy!"
"Thank you! We're testing out adding live music, we probably shouldn't have started with someone this big but the opportunity arouse so... This is G-Eazy, you ever heard of him?"
Charlie shook her head, "No, I don't really listen to this music but it sounds great."
"Let's dance!" Alex pulled Charlie closer to the crowd and tapped on a man's shoulder, pulling him away from someone who just shrugged and walked off.
The man is tall and lanky, he has black spiked hair and a great smile, some tattoos along his arms. Alex introduces them, "Charlie this is my best friend, Jack. You should dance!"
Jack grins at Charlie, "Would you mind?"
She shakes her head, "I'd love to," and follows him to the floor.
They pass a few verbal exchanges while dancing, getting to know each other. Charlie's having a great time with him, he's fun and not trying to feel her up. She's feeling grateful that Alex invited her. When the live music has ended they continued to pump similar music through the speakers, the guest continued to dance. Jack and Charlie meet Alex who's behind the bar serving customers.
"What are you doing working, don't you have employees for that?" Jack jokes with Alex.
"I didn't staff tonight enough, I didn't expect it to be so big!"
Charlie excuses herself to the bathroom. On her way out she bumps into an all too familiar figure. His bruises have subsided but the scab on his cheek remains. His eyes are glazed over and his pupils blown. He grins down at her, "Are you here to check up on me?"
"No, but if I was I'd tell you, you look like shit."
He began to laugh, then his face got serious. Gerald leaned forward and held his head. Charlie sighed, the ethical part of her knew she should help him.
"Gerald, can you hear me?"
No response.
"Do you know where you are?"
He began to open his mouth to speak to her but vomit spilled out of his mouth just barely missing her heels. He covered his mouth and began to slouch. Shit, Charlie thought.
"Did you come here with anyone, do you know where your friends are?"
He shook his head and closed his eyes. She sighed and put an arm around him, holding him steady. "Walk with me," she commanded and pulled him with her to the exit. She basically had to drag him to the elevator. Once they reached her apartment she let go of him to unlock the door, he leaned on the wall for support. Charlie was able to get him on her small loveseat sofa before he passed out completely. Charlie hated this, Charlie grew up with a man like this and did not need another one in her life. Of course she loved her father but watching him go through this and caring for him was so hard on her.
She covered Gerald with a throw blanket and placed a glass of water and Advil on the coffee table. She knew Alex may worry about her if she left without letting her know but she didn't have her phone number. Charlie called the bar and when she got through it was hard to hear the other end but she was pretty sure she got Alex.
"Hey, it's Charlie. I just wanted to let you know I made it back to my apartment. Thank for having me out."
She couldn't hear the other line so she hung up and got ready for bed.
The next morning she awoke early to snoring, startled she turned the lights on. She had forgotten that there was what is basically a stranger sleeping on her couch. He was laying face first into a throw pillow with his legs and arms dangling off the sofa.
She slumped down in her bed, knowing she would have to deal with him sooner than later and she was not excited. A few minutes passed and she rolled out of bed and made her way over towards the sofa.
"Wake up," she pushed him in the shoulder. He stirred but didn't wake.
"You're not staying here, getting up!" She demanded louder this time pulling the pillow out from beneath his head.
He groaned squinting his eyes up, "What am I doing here?" he asked slowly sitting up and shaking a hand through his hair.
Charlie handed him the Advil and water, "You probably don't remember getting so messed up last night that you almost puked on me in the bar then passed out."
"Shit, sorry. How was my performance though, any good?"
"What are you talking about?"
He looked up wide-eyed, "Shit, tell me I went on stage!"
She gave him a similar look, "Shit, you're G-Eazy?"
He nodded and slouched back into the sofa holding his head.
"Well, that explains your choices, what were you on last night anyway?"
He shrugs, "Whiskey, blow? I don't know."
"You're killing yourself, you know. You don't even remember your own performance. Why bother?"
He sighs and stands up, "Listen, I'm too hungover for this. Thank's for a good night."
She shakes her head, "We didn't sleep together."
Gerald turns around as he opens the apartment door and smirks at her, "not yet."