Working Title: Charlie
“Later!” Charlie called as she watched her sister speed away in a silver sedan. It was one Friday during the summer break from the university and she was going through her weekday routine. Next on her to-do list was clean-up. Friday was her chosen clean-up day for two obvious reasons: the whole family—her brother, sister and herself since their parents were out on an Asian trip—stayed at home during the day and it felt good to relax in a clean house, and, one will never know when guests would pop out of nowhere and present themselves on their doorway. It just always pays to be ready for visitors. Besides, her parents might come home any minute and good daughters who clean up get nice rewards.
There wasn’t much to do in the house except pick up after the morning mess her working siblings left, make sure the kitchen was sparkling and tidy up the bedrooms. Yesterday, she’d already done half of the cleaning up she usually did because, again, summer was usually about staying home for her. She did miss her friends though, but a little alone time with her YA-themed books was definitely not unwelcome.
Charlie finished everything in a little over an hour and soon she was plopped down on the couch with her laptop resting on the arm rest. Donned in her usual tank top and shorts, she logged in on Twitter. She struggled to keep herself from smiling too broadly by biting her lower lip as she read feeds on her timeline. It was definitely happening tonight. She has been waiting for this for months now and it was really happening tonight.
Something about Charlie that a lot of people would notice immediately was that she has a fashion sense that totally rocks. A fashion sense that totally rocks equals being able to dress up according to her mood, and wear bold pieces that really showed her very interesting personality. This means, however, that even if she spent time tidying up, she couldn’t keep her clothes in the closet. Which, then again means, that the tidying up was just a front for being bored in the house when she didn’t have plans.
“Nope, not that,” she muttered to herself as she sifted through her clothes. Charlie was on the slight side on the size scale. Though she was petite, she had really nice girly curves too. She was as comfortable in her body as she was in her short cropped hair that framed her face. Her black hair gave her skin an even lighter glow, dark brown eyes always lighting up at the slightest amusement and darkening when annoyed. Charlie knew how to dress herself and she did this with flare. This flare came with attitude too. At nineteen, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Parker, was the kind of person every girl would want as a close friend.
A few more minutes of thinking, she decided on a black top with gray flowers printed on the sleeves and a white pair of shorts. She would have to leave in a few hours to meet one of her friends at the festival. She even bought a book for her favorite band member. It wasn’t everyday they would come to town and she did love their songs a lot, so why not give back a little to the men who kept her company for hours through their music?
She walked in feeling very excited and the music playing pumped her to bop a little to the beat. Charlie felt her friend Sophie’s hand close around her wrist, “Isn’t this awesome?” she yelled over the loud music. “Yeah,” Charlie answered with a laugh as they strode to the middle of the dance floor where fans like them cheered and sang with the band currently on stage.
A few minutes later, Charlie and Sophie were screaming their heads off as they saw Camden, vocalist of their favorite band, Always the Prototype. “Camden!” they screamed together and, as charming as he was, he winked at them and Sophie just about fainted on Charlie’s watch.
Charlie was on her way to the washroom, the book tucked under her arm as she looked into her bag for her mobile phone. She was groping inside, her head down when she slammed into a nice-smelling wall. Looking up, she stared into none other than Camden’s eyes.
Charlie bit her lip and felt her skin tingle before she uttered a breathless “Sorry.” Camden was all-smiles at her and nodded as he said, “It’s okay.” He moved away from her with another smile and just before he walked away, Charlie remembered the book. “Camden!” she called after him. He turned back to her, his brows raised in question. Before she could start stuttering, Charlie spoke fast, “Uh, I wanted to give you this. I learned you like reading this kind of books too. From your tweets, I mean.” By the time she finished speaking, Camden was already back in front of her, his face lighting up at the sight of the new book she was giving him. “Wow! Thank you!” he said in genuine amusement as he looked at the cover and the back. “You’re welcome,” Charlie replied, a little more relaxed now. “I’ll get to read this once we get back on the plane or something,” he said, his arms going around her to give her a hug.
She closed her eyes, thanking the music festival fairies for her luck. This was Camden, her favorite musician in this whole arena. And he was hugging her thanks. When he finally pulled away, he offered his hand, “Thanks again…?” She smiled broadly before helping him out, “Charlie. My name is Charlie.” Camden chuckled, “Right, thanks again Charlie! I hope you have fun tonight.”
By the time she got back to Sophie, she realized that some band members were down on the mosh pit with all of them. It was going to be one hell of an experience for Charlie and Sophie both.
They danced, sang along and took lots of pictures. Charlie was still hung over the fact that she was able to give Camden the book herself and that meant he’d get to read that letter she wrote for the band. They happen to be quite influential to her and she really wanted to thank them for the awesome music. She did hope that they’d get to read that letter even if they probably had a thousand others coming to their mailbox.
“Ouch,” she heard someone say from behind her as she was pushed back a bit by a trail of dancing girls. She quickly stepped forward and turned around to apologize. But as she turned too quickly, a hand held on her arm to steady her. “Sorry,” she said over the loud music. She looked up to see another one of Always the Prototype’s band members. Really, how silly could she be bumping into two guys from her favorite band all in one night?
Instead of accepting her apology, Brad flashed her a winning smile and didn’t remove his hand from her arm, “What’s your name?”
“Charlie,” she managed to answer even as she felt her heart beating wildly. Something about the warmth of his touch that affected her more than that hug Camden gave her. She thought she was crazy for thinking that way. It was probably just the crowd adding heat to their little encounter.
“Brad,” he replied, offering his hand. Charlie laughed at his introduction. Of course, she knew him. Nevertheless, she shook his hand, “Hello, Brad!” Probably realizing it, Brad chuckled and asked her, “So, you live around here?” Charlie nodded, “Yeah. But not exactly here, I live in another town but it’s just close enough. So…” Brad was looking at her funny. She didn’t know if it was the mixed-up explanation or if he was wondering why she was saying too much. She bit the inside of her lip, offering an apologetic smile.
“Still glad now I know where you’re from,” he winked at her. And before she knew it, he had an arm around her shoulders already and they were listening to the band currently performing looking like that. She refused to look so affected just in case he misunderstood it as being uncomfortable on her part. So, she just enjoyed that arm around her shoulders, making her feel as if they really were watching it together. Technically though, they really were.
Out of nowhere, Brad turned to look down at her and as she stared back at him, his hand came up to brush her hair aside and out of her face. “You know you’re the best, right?” he asked her. She looked up at him stunned, not knowing what to make of it. Before she could say something else, her friend Sophie came out of nowhere and snapped a picture of the two of them. They both barely had time to smile and get ready for the blinding flash.
Of course, Sophie had to get her picture with Brad too. Charlie reluctantly pulled away and took the camera from her. She smiled, “You look great,” as she returned the camera. From the corner of her eye, she saw Camden signaling for Brad to go over to the stage. She looked at Brad and smiled. She didn’t see it coming but soon he was less than a foot away from her.
“See you around, Charlie,” he said as he bent down and kissed her cheek. Charlie remained rooted at the spot, watching him as he waved goodbye to her. “Yeah, see you, Brad,” she called and she knew he heard her even with all the noise because his face gentled and he waved again before the crowd swallowed him up and he was nowhere in sight.