Status: New

A Day at a Time

Seven

As it turned out, Charlie was definitely Gerald's (along with Bobby, Matty, and Grady's) babysitter. It's almost midnight and Charlie has been at a club downtown with the boys for hours. At this point, it's clear that Charlie would rather be anywhere else. Gerald has shifted from drinking whiskey out of a glass to straight from the bottle. Charlie distances herself from the crew, observing as the men hit on women much too drunk to be seeking attention from anyone. Take a cab home, ladies. She doesn't necessarily mind that Gerald is flirting with other women, she just doesn't understand why he dragged her along.
She is sipping on her lemon water, scrolling through her newsfeed when Gerald leans in her direction, "Is something wrong?"
Charlie looks up at him, catching his eyes, "No, I'm going to head home though. It's late."
"You're not having fun, what's wrong?"
"I don't do this, Gerald. It's not a big deal, I just want to leave."
"I'll go with you," Gerald presses.
Charlies doesn't understand how Gerald just walks away with her, leaving behind his friends and some woman who whines as he pulls himself out of her grip. When they reach the doors, Charlie turns around placing a hand on Gerald's chest, "Stay, you don't have to come with me. Go have fun.
He smiles down at her, an intoxicated but still functioning handsome man, and grabs her hand pulling her outside. "Let's go do something you want to do."
Charlie wouldn't admit it but there's something different in the way she's viewing Gerald tonight, from the minute she saw him on her balcony. Maybe, he's growing on her. Perhaps she was harsh when she had first seen him. She remembers the fucked up man sitting in the hospital bed, looking a whole lot like her father used to look at his worse. But that wasn't Gerald tonight, even after all the whiskey.
He called a taxi and turned over to Charlie, "So what do you want to do?"
She happily replied, "Take me home, I have something in mind."
When they arrived at Charlie's apartment she stripped the bed, pulling the blankets, comforter, and pillows onto the balcony with her and laying them down into a makeshift bed. She turned off all the lighting and sat down, motioning Gerald to sit with her.
He gave her a ridiculous look but sat down anyhow. "Are you trying to seduce me?" he joked.
Charlie rolled her eyes, throwing herself back onto the pillows. She stared at the sky for a moment before her eyebrows furrowed together. Gerald watched as she glared at the sky angrily, "Seriously, are you good?"
"Where are the stars?" She sighed turning over to her side, staring at Gerald instead.
He laid beside her, on his side facing her, "I'm right here."
Certainly, not the response that Charlie was looking for, she snorted in this face.
"Excuse you, that was nasty."
She continued to giggle, leaning over and brushing a quick kiss on Gerald's cheek, "Thank you."
"For what?"
"For making me forget how much I hate this city. I can't even stargaze here. I know it's silly, but I want to go home. I want the brisk weather, laying out and looking at the stars in the middle of the night and remembering that there is so much out there and my problems are so small. Here, everything feels so heavy and difficult."
"I hope you find your something here," Gerald looks at her seriously before leaning in and touching his forehead to hers. When she glances up to his eyes they're closed and she has difficulty determining if he has fallen asleep or not.
Charlie would hate to admit it but she likes this Gerald, past the point of just putting up with him. She wants to spend time with him, she's glad that he's here and she's not sitting, under what should be a sky full of stars but is really a canvas of light pollution, alone.