Set a few days later, Charley is grieving over the guys' departure, and nursing her broken heart after confessing to Throttle that she loved him even though she knew it was unrequited.
"I know why you gave me that ring, Charley-girl. I've been thinking all night about what you said to me and I think I know the reason why," he said. His tone was soft and unthreatening. "I know how you feel about me Charley, and I wish that I could feel the same, but I don't. I love Carbine. I need to be with her." He explained.
"I know . . ." her voice trailed off as a tear rolled down her cheek. Throttle caught it on his finger and wiped it away. Charley began to shake as Throttle leaned closer to her and kissed her on the forehead, stroking her hair as he returned. "Carbine's one lucky girl." Charley said, trying to smile through the tears. Throttle smiled at her, and hugged her again.
"Ride free Charlene Davidson." Throttle said.
"Ride free Throttle."
Charley sat on the roof of the Last Chance garage. She was on her own, watching the last light of the sun sink into the west. She waiting for the night sky to appear and for a familiar red dot in the sky to make it's presence known.
She brought a newly lit cigarette to her lips, gently resting the tip of it on the pink flesh of her lower lip. She closed her upper lip on the little white stick, inhaling from it and making the burning end glow brightly. She removed the cigarette from her mouth and waited a few seconds before slowly exhaling a cloud of smoke.
Smoking was something that Charley had never really wanted to take up. It was a disgusting habit that would make a person stink like an ashtray, and then lead him or her to ill health - namely heart disease or lung cancer. When at the store earlier that day, Charley casually asked for them when at the cash register, as if she bought them all the time. The woman at the cash register gave her a funny look. She knew Charley and had never known her to smoke. Still she went on to ask Charley which brand she would like and how many. Charley picked a menthol type, not really knowing the difference between those and an ordinary cigarette.
She didn't know what had possessed her to buy a packet of cigarettes when she was at the store earlier that day. Maybe it was curiosity, combined with her wild, Vinnie-like side that wanted to come out to play? Or maybe she had just been looking for something to ease the pain in her heart. As she lifted the cigarette to her mouth again for another draw, she surmised that it was definitely the latter.
It had been a couple of days since Vinnie, Modo and Throttle had left. She looked up at the sky. It was darker now. The last slivers of light were speedily disappearing and the stars were starting to appear in the sky, dotting it randomly like raindrops on a cobweb. She easily found the familiar red spark in the sky - Mars. They would be there by now, she guessed, starting out their lives anew with their own people, with those who loved them.
Modo would probably be with his beloved grey-furred mama and the rest of his family, including his sister, his nephew Rimfire, and his niece Primer. She imagined them sitting down to a meal together, celebrating Modo's return and the peace that Mars had finally been restored to. The image in her mind made Charley smile. She'd always believed that a family was a wonderful thing to be part of. The only family that Charley had ever really known was her father, but he was gone and had been for a long time. When the guys entered her life they had quickly become her new family as well as her best friends. The day they had told her that they were going back to Mars was a day she could never, ever forget. Knowing that she was losing them was like being told that she had to have her legs amputated. She couldn't imagine her life without them and now that they were gone, and it was a strange and scary situation for her. It was something that she was going to have to adapt to if she had any hope of moving on with her own life.
Vinnie would, without a doubt, be chasing after any lady he set his sights upon, using his typical macho-mouse persona to woo said Martian female.
'Good luck to him,' Charley thought, 'Or good luck to her sounds more like it!' She corrected herself. She hoped that Vinnie would find someone who would not only love him but also be able to keep his wild streak under control. Vinnie deserved to be loved just like everybody else in the universe. 'Maybe that's why he was so attracted to me in the beginning?' Charley thought, 'I knew how to handle him and his ego.'
Vinnie wasn't exactly the easiest of the three mice to live with. He was loud, messy, egotistical and totally out of control. Charley had learned early on in their friendship that the trick with Vinnie was to act totally indifferent to anything he said or did. She could tell that it drove him crazy to be ignored, but it had endeared her more to him. If Vinnie could find a woman who acted the way she had then he would be set for life. Not that it would be difficult for him to find her as his good points far outweighed his bad points. He was sweet, brave, fiercely loyal, a gifted rider, a talented fighter and extremely charismatic.
'I hope you find the love you desire, Vinnie.' Charley prayed.
Love. An emotion she felt greatly, even though she knew it was in vain. Her love for Throttle refused to stay locked away quietly in her heart. A little voice in her head egged her on to cry out in anguish at his rejection. It nagged at her to feel anger and hate towards him for daring to love another woman instead of her. She loved him. She hated him. She wanted him, but she knew that she could never have him. He was bound to Carbine's love and Carbine was bound to his. They were meant to be together and Charley knew it, but it did not make her feel any better. She sincerely hoped that everything would work out well for Throttle and Carbine, even if there were a part of her that selfishly hoped that Throttle would throw Carbine aside after realising that it was Charley whom he truly loved. Charley hated herself for those thoughts. They were evil, green-eyed monster thoughts that she refused to tolerate for longer than a few seconds.
Oh, how she wanted to forget him! She knew she couldn't possibly do that because it would be like turning her back on her memories of Vinnie and Modo as well. Most of her memories of Throttle involved Vinnie and Modo in some way. Charley knew that she couldn't forsake those precious reminders. They were all she had left of her best friends, her family.
She was alone. She was facing the future alone. It was just as it was before the Biker Mice came to Earth. Charley had very few friends who came to call. Jack was always travelling. His job demanded it of him. Her closest girl friend, Nancy, from high school rarely returned to Chicago. Her career too prohibited visits. With no other family to rely on, Charley had an extremely lonely life. All she had to keep her company was memories, a few photographs and the ghosts that haunted the places that she and the guys had spent some much time at. It seemed that her only true physical friend was the night sky as it allowed her to gaze upon Mars and remember.
Charley took another draw from the cigarette, feeling a light buzz in her head caused by the nicotine and a fresh sensation at the back of her throat caused by the menthol. She looked at the cigarette and found that it was almost completely burned down. She dropped it to the ground and stubbed it out with the heel of her boots. Once satisfied that it was extinguished, Charley reached into her breast pocket and pulled out her cigarette packet and a red coloured disposable lighter. There were only a couple of cigarettes left in the packet. She decided she would buy some more in the morning.
Standing from her cross-legged position on the floor of the roof, Charley looked up at the sky and regarded the red spark once more.
"Goodnight guys," she whispered, sorrow running thick through her being and into her vocal chords.
She turned and headed back inside her home, what had once also been their home.