I RESTED MY HEAD ON MY HAND AS I WATCHED MY FATHER TALK TO A man I did not know. I had no idea what he was talking about since he and my mother were always secretive about everything. It felt like I was always kept in the dark. I looked out the window at the trees blowing gently in the wind. I didn’t want to be here with my father while he spoke to this man. I never liked being left in the dark but I guess that is what I am going to accept. Ever since I was younger that is what I got used too. And it wasn’t something I wanted to be doing on a Friday afternoon.
“Charlotte?” My father said.
“Yes, Father?” I replied.
“I would like you to meet someone.” He said to me, a smiled crept to his lips.
I followed my father to a different room. It had bookshelves, three couches and a coffee table with a pot and four cups sitting on top. I looked at the man who was sat in one of the couches. I smiled to be polite; I didn’t want this man to think that my father brought up at disrespectful child.
“Hello Charlotte.” The man said.
“Good afternoon, Sir.” I said.
“How are you?” He asked.
“I am good, thanks. And you, Sir?” I replied to this man.
“Very good. Please sit down; would you like some tea?” He asked.
I didn’t like tea but I guess it was going to do. And it was the polite thing to do to accept something when someone offered you something.
“Oh, yes please.” I said.
The man picked up a cup and poured me a cup. I thanked him as he passed me the cup; I took a sip of the tea, yuck I thought to myself as I smiled at the man. My father sat down next to me.
“Charlotte, this is Jeremiah.” My father said.
“Oh.” I said and smiled again.
“Would you like me to get him or shall you do that, Jeremiah?” My father asked.
“Can you get him for me please? I would like to get to know you daughter more.” Jeremiah replied with a smile to my father.
“Okay, I will be back.” My father said.
My father got up and left the room. It felt quite awkward that this man Jeremiah wanted to get to know me for. I didn’t know where to look so I gazed the room but my gaze came back to Jeremiah as he started speaking.
“What do you like to do Charlotte?” Jeremiah asked.
“I like to paint, draw, anything artist, Sir.” I replied.
“That’s lovely. What would you say if I invited your family and yourself out for dinner tomorrow night?” He asked.
“We would be very grateful, Sir.” I said.
“That is a good answer.” The man said.
Was he quizzing me? I thought. I smiled again since I didn’t have anything else to say. I took another sip of my tea as the door opened. My father didn’t take very long to come back; as my father came back into the room, another man walked in behind him. He had short blonde hair and baby blue eyes. He wasn’t much shorter than my father; maybe a few inches shorter. He sat down next to Jeremiah as my father sat next to me.
“Brayden, this is Charlotte. Charlotte, this is Brayden.” My father said.
“Charlotte and Brayden, you two shall get two know each other as Maison and I talk.” Jeremiah said.
I almost choked on a mouth of tea when he said that. So, I nodded. I looked over at Brayden who was staring at me. It felt like he didn’t really want to do this as much as I didn’t. Jeremiah and my father walked out of the room with the door shutting with a bang making me jump. Brayden made himself comfy with his feet on the table.
“So, Charlotte. How old are you?” Brayden asked.
“Nineteen. What about you?” I replied.
“I am also nineteen. Do you know why you are here?” Brayden asked as he took his feet of the table and lent forwards.
“N-No.” I stuttered out.
“You’re here because my father and your father want us to get to know each. So, that means we are going to be seeing each other a whole lot. I seriously don’t mind at all.” Brayden said with a wink.
“Um, okay then?” I said.
“You do realize they might possibly want us to fall in love and such?” Brayden smiled.
“Are you sure? Maybe they want us to know each other because father is a good friend of your father?” I said.
“Sweetheart, I think I may be right but any way.” Brayden sat back and put his feet back on the table.
“If you think so.” I said.
“So, what do you wanna do?” Brayden said.
“What is there to do?” I gave a quick smile.
“I have an idea. Come on.” Brayden said and got up.
“Where are we going?” I said as I got up.
Brayden turned and faced me, “We are going to a magical garden full of fairies and elves. And it’s a place where everyone dances naked to hippy music!” Brayden laughed.
I raised one eye brow at him and laugh, “You are so weird.”
“Thank you, Charlie. We are going to go see our fathers and tell we are going out.”
“I do not know if my father will let me.” I said.
“He will say yes to me.” Brayden smiled.
Brayden opened the door and walked out. I followed him back to the room that I was standing in for the last hour or so. I saw my father and Brayden’s father sitting at a table talking. Jeremiah looked up first and then my father turned around and faced us. I stood behind Brayden as he spoke to them.
“Charlotte and I are going out. If that is okay with you Mr. Thomson?” Brayden said.
“May I ask where you are going?” My father asked.
“Down to the park. I shall bring her back to you at seven o’clock.” Brayden replied to my father.
“Seven-thirty at the latest Brayden. Okay?” My father smiled.
“Yes, Sir. Good bye Father.” Brayden said.
Jeremiah just nodded. I walked up to my father and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll see you tonight Father. Could you let Mother know where I am and who I am with?” I asked.
“Of course I can, Love. You know she will ask why I returned without you.” My father laughed, “Have a good night, darling.”
I followed Brayden out the front door. We walked down the streets with only the street lights giving off a faint glow. “I told you he would let you go.” Brayden chuckled.
“My father must have faith in you, Brayden.” I said.
“Do you ever call your parents Dad or Mum? Instead of Father and Mother?” Brayden looked at me.
“I’ve been brought up to call them that. The last time I call my father Dad, he yelled at me.”
“Whoa, your ‘rents must be harsh.” Brayden said as we turned into the park.
“Sometimes they can be but most of the time they are really nice.”
“Are you an only child?”
“No, I have an older brother.”
“What’s his name and how much older than you?”
“His name is Sebastian and he is twenty-two.”
“Is it only you and Sebastian? No other brothers or sisters?” Brayden said.
“Yeah, only me and him.” I sat down across from Brayden at the park table, “What about you?”
“I have a younger brother and sister. Their twins.” He smiled.
“Do they live you? I have never seen them at your house before.”
“Oh, no, they live with my mum. I see them every two weeks.”
“That’s because your mother and father spilt up?” I asked quietly.
“Yeah, I just think they were never meant to be really. Always fighting when I grew up. I was grateful when they spilt because I didn’t have to listen to them fight over stupid shit.” Brayden put his head back.
“Oh. So,” I said.
“So, what you do for fun? Or aren’t you allowed to go out?” Brayden said.
“I don’t really ever go out.”
“What? No friends?” Brayden looked at me.
“Um,” Was all I could say to him.
“You don’t have any friends?! I’m not picking on you or anything, darl. But how can you not have friends?” Brayden asked leaning closer to me.
“My father never liked the friends I brought home. So, I just gave up on having friends and kept to my art work and stuff.” I said looking away from him.
“Well, if you’re going to be hanging out with me. You’ll end up with a lot of friends, lovey.” Brayden smiled, “Come on, come let your inner little kid out!” He got up and ran over to the swings.
I jogged over; I wasn’t really wearing the right clothes to be playing but what the hell? I jumped onto the swing and started swing my legs back and forth making the swing move.
Brayden jumped off the swing he was on and came and stood behind me. I felt his hands push my back and the swing went higher and higher. I felt like I could touch the stars; a squeal escaped my lips as the swing came back down. I could hear Brayden laughing as his swing was going as fast as mine. I hadn’t had this much fun ever. I saw Brayden jump off the swing and land about two metres away from the swings.
“COME ON CHARLOTTE! JUMP OFF IT!” He called out to me.
“HOW?” I called back; I felt my cheeks go warmed as I blushed out of embarrassment.
“Just push yourself off and land on your feet!” He called back at me.
I pushed off the swing and went flying in the air. I let out a little screamed just before my feet hit the ground. When my feet hit the ground a sharp pain went through my feet into my legs and then faded away. Brayden ran over and stood in front of me.
“Easy, ay?” Brayden asked.
“Yeah, I thought it wasn’t that easy actually.” I let a little laugh.
“Come on! The round-a-bout next.” Brayden said, dragging me to the round-a-bout.
“You best not make me sick, Brayden!” I laughed.
“Sit here and hook your arms around the bars, Charlie.” Brayden said.
I sat where he told me too and hooked my arms around the bars. Brayden grabbed one of the bars and looked at me.
“Ready?” He said with the biggest smile I have ever seen someone do.
“Yep!” I laughed.
Brayden started running; he did three laps and then jumped on in the spot next to me. I watched the world spin pasted in a blurr. I was I laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe. I looked over at Brayden who was laughing as bad as me. The world started to come back to normal. I let my arms fall down beside me and my head fall back to look at the stars.
“We should do it again!” Brayden said.
“Oh my. No, not yet!” I laughed as I put my head between my knees.
“Is someone dizzy?” Brayden laughed.
“Just a tiny bit.” I said, I looked up at Brayden, “Wanna go get a bite to eat?”
“Sure why not?” Brayden said and got up, “Where do you want to go?”
“I know an amazing place to eat. Come on.” I said as I started walking.
It took us about twenty minutes to get to Billy Bob’s Burgers; when we got there we sat down at a table and waited for the waitress or waiter to come. I grabbed the menu and looked at it. Gazing up and down the menu; I looked up at Brayden who looked like he was studying the menu. The waiter came to our table and pulled out a notepad and pen.
“Hey Char. Ready to order?” Starr asked.
“Yep, can I get a double hamburger with the works but no bacon, chips, a garden salad, onion rings and a vanilla milkshake please?” I said.
I saw Brayden gawk at me, “Can I get the same as her please?”
“So two orders of double hamburgers, no bacon, chips, garden salad, onion rings and two vanilla shakes?” Starr said.
“Yep.” I smiled.
Starr walked off and Brayden stared at me again, “What?”
“Are you even going to eat all that?” Brayden said.
“Yeah, it’s my normal.” I smiled.
“Oh, how many times do you come here?” Brayden asked.
“I come here about two times a week.”
“Do you come here by yourself?”
“Sometimes, gets me away from my mother’s healthy cooking and my father’s lectures, it also gives me time to myself. I usually come here after Starr is finished work to catch up and stuff.” I smiled.
Starr came over with our orders and placed them down on the table; Starr looked at me and raised an eyebrow. “I’ll text you, babe.” Starr said and turned on his heel.
“Is he your boyfriend?” Brayden asked.
“Oh gosh! No way! He is my best mate, my only friend.” I laughed.
“Why did he call you babe?”
“He calls everyone babe.” I smiled.
“Oh, well that’s good. Don’t need you having a boyfriend. Since your father and my father want us madly in love and such.” Brayden laughed as he picked up an onion ring and took a bite into it. I grabbed my fork and started eating into my salad.
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