Rated for language. Alone.
Charlie knew that eventually she would have to wake up. Her mind knew it, but currently her body didn’t. She lay limp and half out of it as she listened to Mikey, Frank, Gerard, and Chris talk softly, deciding that Chris and Charlie had to leave sometime seeing as tomorrow was a school day and neither of them could miss. They also agreed on taking shifts watching Charlie until she woke up. But the problem was Charlie didn’t want to wake up. She wanted to stay this way forever so she didn’t have to go back to her house. She was sick and tired of everything that she just didn’t care anymore. She just wanted to sleep.
“I’ll take the first shift.” Mikey offered as he pulled up a wooden chair next to the couch Charlie and Chris were lying on. He sat down and watched Charlie intently. He thought maybe if he concentrated hard enough on her waking up, she would. But she lay still on the couch. The only movement was that of her chest, rising and falling with every breath.
“Mikes, Charlie’s going to be okay, you know that right?” Frank asked as he put a hand on Mikey’s shoulder. Mikey scotched away from Franks touch and didn’t say anything. Charlie’s physical health wasn’t much of a concern to him at the moment; he knew that she’d be sore tomorrow, but it was more a matter of her family’s health that was bugging him. He didn’t know exactly where this left Charlie, always getting beaten and never knowing the love of a parent. The only real family love she had was that from her brother Chris, and even he wasn’t enough.
Mikey sighed and Frank sat down next to him on the floor, both of them watching Charlie intently. Minutes passed quickly and the sky outside grew darker and darker, Mikey and Frank sat silently together not daring to move or say a word. Both of them waiting for Charlie to wake so they could regretfully take her back to her living hell. Then as Mikey’s eyes began to droop softly he heard Chris whispering a soft tune.
As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you're miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up
Neither Mikey nor Frank knew Chris was crying before then, but as they watched him sing a lullaby to his sister they could see the tiny tears running down his round face. Mikey reached out his hand and placed it on Chris’s back, rubbing it in small comforting circles. Chris slowly got off the couch and sat in Mikey’s lap, burying his face into Mikey’s shoulder and flinging his arms around his neck.
“I love Charlie; I don’t like seeing Charlie hurt.” He whimpered. “I can’t help her when she’s hurt, I want to help Charlie, but I can’t.” Mikey nodded and held Chris’s tiny body. He wanted to help Charlie too, but he didn’t know how.
“Hey guys,” Gerard said. Mikey and Frank looked up at Gerard as he walked in from the kitchen. “Maybe you should go take a nap for a while, I can watch Charlie.”
Mikey shook his head no, “I’m fine. I’ll stay with her.” He said firmly, although he wanted nothing more than to go to sleep at the moment.
“Mikey, she’ll be okay; you look like you haven’t slept in weeks. Go take a nap, I’ll come and get you if she wakes up.” Gerard said firmly.
Mikey opened his mouth to fire back at his older brother, but Charlie’s hoarse voice stopped his words. “Mikey, listen to Gerard, go sleep.” She said. Mikey almost dropped Chris out of his lap as he leapt from his seat to kneel down next to Charlie’s head.
“You’re awake,” He stated. Charlie smiled meekly at him and ran a slow hand through his messy hair, Mikey shivered at the sensation.
“Yeah, I am.” She said and she winced as she turned her head to get a better look at him.
“I didn’t notice, I’m sorry-“
Charlie held up a small hand and silenced him, “I woke up when Gerard walked in. You don’t have to apologize Mikey, for anything.”
Mikey’s jealousy of Gerard flared, but he ignored it and nodded to Charlie. Chris stood silently next to Mikey and Charlie smiled at him, using the hand that was in Mikey’s hair moments ago to take his hand and give it a small squeeze.
“I heard you singing our lullaby.” She said softly. Chris squeezed his sisters hand back, overwhelmed with the love he felt for his only true family member.
“I hate to break this little happy party up, but we should get Charlie and Chris home.” Gerard stated. Mikey’s jaw clenched, he didn’t want to send her away back into a house with her father. But Charlie nodded stiffly and tried to sit up; she visibly winced in pain and trembled slightly. Frank put his hands under her armpits and slowly helped her to stand. Once she was up straight he gently let go of her, she swayed a tiny bit and that was enough for Mikey to walk over and put his arm around her waist.
“Are you alright to walk?” He asked. Charlie blinked a few times and nodded. Gerard ran out to start Frank’s moms car while Mikey helped Charlie out of the house.
“Mikey,” Charlie whispered softly as they slowly walked down the hall and towards the front door. “Thank you for taking me here, I really appreciate it, but if this ever happens again just leave me.” Mikey’s eyebrows furrowed.
“Why?” He asked in bewilderment.
“Because now my dad thinks I ran away and when I get home…” Charlie stopped speaking and realization washed over Mikey. He had just made things ten times worse for her, guilt started building in his stomach and he felt like he was going to be sick.
“Charlie, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean for it to be like that.” He said as they made there way down the two porch stairs and onto the sidewalk.
Charlie slowed down a little, giving them time to finish their conversation. “Mikey, stop apologizing! It’s my fault anyways.” Mikey bit down hard on his tongue to keep back the apology he wanted to shout out. He felt so horrible.
Finally as they reached Frank’s mom’s old mini-van Mikey had collected himself and gathered up something not completely lame to say.
“So- uh- Charlie, I was thinking maybe I should come with you, to your house I mean, and like stay the night with you? So you don’t get hurt again or whatever…” Mikey drifted off as he gently helped Charlie into the car. She smiled warmly at him then leaned forwards and kissed him slowly on the cheek. It seemed like all his blood rushed to his face and butterflies went zooming through his stomach.
“Mikey, thank you for your concern, but I think I’ll be alright.” She said softly, the high that her kiss had caused his evaporated quickly. “I’ll see you at school tomorrow, I love you.” She said before Gerard walked over and closed the door. She smiled and waved at him through the window and Mikey watched silently as Gerard drove the car away.
Mikey heard Frank chuckling behind him, but he didn’t care enough to ask why. He loved Charlie, but there was a possibility that he loved her too much.
“You know,” Frank said as he clapped Mikey on the back. “Charlie has you wrapped around her little finger.” Mikey shrugged, he knew that was true. He would do just about anything for her. “It was also quite obvious today that you liked her more than a friend.” Mikey turned his head and cocked an eyebrow at Frank.
“How so?” Mikey asked.
“Like when she kissed your cheek you got a hard on.” Mikey’s eyes went wide. He glanced down and saw the tent in his jeans.
“Dammit!” He shouted and quickly tried to move his shirt so his hard on wasn’t as visible. Frank was now laughing loudly. “Shut up! What if she saw?! It would ruin everything!” Mikey yelled at him.
“Mikey it wouldn’t ruin anything, it’d be really fucking awkward, but I’m sure she’d think it’s – erm – natural.” Frank couldn’t stop from laughing again and Mikey’s face was now turning a deep scarlet. Not only was he humiliated, but now Gerard probably knew he liked Charlie. Mikey didn’t really want anyone to know he liked Charlie because what if she found out? Would she stop being friends with him? Mikey sighed and stomped back into Frank’s house.
Charlie leaned her head against the cool glass of the window, hoping it would soothe the throbbing pain in her face that now hurt more than ever. Chris gave her hand a small squeeze and Charlie decided to ignore it for the moment, right now she didn’t want to talk to her brother. She didn’t think she would have enough strength to share for the both of them. She hated feeling like she couldn’t take care of her brother when he needed her too; Chris would always need Charlie because in reality she acted like his mother. But she didn’t want to play that role anymore, she just wanted out. Charlie felt so alone, like no one loved her. Her eyes welled with tears as she remembered Mikey’s reaction when she said she loved him, and how he didn’t say he loved her too when she left just moments ago. She let one single tear go before angrily wiping it away with the hand that wasn’t holding onto Chris.
“Charlie, we’re at your house.” Gerard said quietly. Charlie sat up straight and nodded, forcing herself not to wince as the pain in her cheek spiked.
She slowly opened the door and got out trying to ignore the little bulbs of light that were obscuring her vision at the moment. Chris came out behind her and grabbed her hand again, leading her back towards the house. Gerard came around the car and caught Charlie’s other wrist before they could get much farther.
“Um, you know Mikey’s just trying to keep you like safe and shit. So like don’t be mad at him, he just cares.” Gerard said. Charlie swallowed thickly, she could tell Gerard had been rehearsing that in his head, but she appreciated it. She could also see that Gerard loved his brother a lot and that he was trying to make things better. What Charlie was trying understand was that why did he think he needed to make things better? She wasn’t angry at Mikey; in fact what he did made her love him even more. Mikey sort of acted like her guardian angel in a way.
“Gerard, I understand and I’m not mad, I cant imagine being mad at him.” She said softly. Gerard let out a sigh of relief and nodded. “Thank you for taking care of my brother and I, and for giving us a ride home. It means a lot.” Gerard nodded and gave her that lopsided smile that made her stomach do tiny back flips. Gerard was really cute, she decided, she just hoped Mikey would be okay with her thinking that. Gerard let go of her wrist and Charlie watched as he strutted back to the van, got in, gave her one last smile, then drove away. She felt like all her hope went with him.
As Charlie and Chris walked up to the house in the dark of night, both of them wished that there father had been too preoccupied with being angry at the world that he didn’t notice their absence. Charlie silently twisted the doorknob open and let Chris in first, the house lights had been turned off and both of the Malmgren children took off their shoes before as silently as possible being creeping up the stairs. They had almost made it to the top when one of the boards beneath Charlie’s foot creaked, both of them stilled. The light underneath the door of their parents room went on, Chris began trembling, the door was flung open and both of them ran the rest of the way up the stairs and into the closest room for safety.
That night the whole neighborhood could hear the Malmgren father bellow his daughters’ name.
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hey guys thank you for all those who are rating and reviewing, but the lack of them are sort of putting a downer on my motivation to write more. thanks again to all those who have been rating and reviewing and just plain reading. i love you all.