...And the Angels Wept

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Determined to give up her curiosity and somehow force herself to be content with nagging questions, Charlotte finds herself in the unlikely company of a young man whose words and actions resonate with those she has and wishes to make and chooses to follow her curiosity to wherever it would lead her.

Chapter 3 (v.1) - Determined

Submitted: December 31, 2014

Reads: 45

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Submitted: December 31, 2014



Charlotte continued on the way she always had: reading the numerous books her family owned, learning and studying their content, taking Sam for walks through the city, or spending much needed thinking time on her hill. It is on that hill that she found herself once again, a few days after she had voiced her thoughts to her mother. The past few days following that encounter had her mind focused entirely on that one question. She had determined that she could wait whatever amount of time she needed to know the answer. Her mother was trustworthy and she could rest in that, couldn’t she? It was possible for her to continue on, forcing her curiosity to sleep for now.
“Can I go on without knowing the answer?” she asked herself once again as she frowned at the city below. Why was it so hard to be content with her curiosity? “Curiosity isn’t a bad thing. It fueled every great invention!”
“But those inventors did not choose to stifle their curiosity,” said the voice in her mind. “They pursued it and caught it and brought forth beautiful things. What would have happened if they hadn’t pursued their curiosity?”
“What will happen if I don’t pursue mine,” Charlotte’s face went blank. “Will Mom remember to tell me?”
“Probably not,” the voice chuckled. “She has much on her mind and plate. You can’t expect her to remember to tell you a small detail about life.”
“And if she never tells me, I’ll never know. If I never know…” she couldn’t continue.
“Take responsibility,” it hissed. “You can choose for yourself! You can go after curiosity with a club and find out for yourself!”
“NO! I have to trust Mom!” Charlotte said, pressing the palms of her hands against her ears. She quickly stood and raced down the path and onto the highway. Her thoughts were getting dangerous. She didn’t want to do anything stupid and she needed to keep herself in check. She wished with all her heart that Danny would come rolling down the road and ask if she wanted a ride the way he’d done a couple days ago. Instead, he was cooped up in his home a couple streets down with a bad cold. Her mother had gone down to make sure he was doing okay. Of course, him being a guy, it seemed worse than it was. But nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad thing for him to take a day off from work…just a bad thing for Charlotte.
“Hey! Watch it, lady!” yelled a voice.
Charlotte jumped and realized what happened: apparently a young man had been walking on the same side of the road with two suitcases in each hand and one under his arm. Neither had been paying attention to who could be in front of them and so, like any absentminded set of people would do, they ran into each other…literally. It didn’t help that when they collided, the suitcase fell out from under his arm.
“I am so sorry!” cried Charlotte.
“So sorry, so sorry,” muttered the young man as he attempted to pick the third suitcase back up. “You should be! Not watching where you’re going! People like us are constantly getting run over by you!” He angrily grabbed the handle after three separate tries and as a result, broke it off and the suitcase burst open.
Charlotte’s hand flew to her mouth as she said, “Oh dear!”
“Oh dear, my fanny!” he yelled in frustration. He dropped the two other suitcases so he could pick up all of his things. With them dropping, they burst open as well. “Noooo,” he moaned. “I don’t have time for this!”
“Would you like me to help?” Charlotte asked. He continued muttering to himself as he stuffed all of his things back into the one suitcase.
“This is what happens when you decide to settle for less,” he said, ignoring her offer. “You buy perfectly fine suitcases, but when you try to stuff ‘em,” he glared at the other two behind him. “They BURST!”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have stuffed them so full,” Charlotte offered. She took initiative and began reloading the other suitcases.
“I only have three, Lady,” he spat. “And believe you me; if my stuff can’t fit in three, then it’s time to seriously downsize! I didn’t even buy half of this!” he yelled in frustration, raising his arms over his head. He couldn’t get the buckle to click in place on the ancient suitcase. Granted, half his laundry was sticking out.
“Who did buy it, then?” asked Charlotte as she reached over to fix the suitcase. She had finished the other two, so the young man chose to stack them and sat right down.
“My mother,” he rolled his eyes. “She says that a man can’t live without this, this, and this,” he wagged his head on each this. “Hey, I lived 23 years without it, why should I start now?” he shrugged his shoulders. “Well, clearly she disagreed. So now, I’m heading off. I’m leaving. Done with that city, I am moving on!”
Charlotte successfully buckled the suitcase and sat on it, “Where are you going?”
He raised his eyebrows. “Where am I going?”
Charlotte nodded.
He grinned. “I’m going to the famed city of Psevdaisthisis, that’s where I’m going,” he said proudly. “And listen, Lady, you’d be smart to do the same.” He nodded his head. “That’s right, you just do the same. Because let me tell you something: you will find everything there. And when I say everything,” he looked both ways, then whispered: “I mean everything.”
“What are you looking for in that city?”
“Money,” he said promptly. “I need lots and lots of it. I’ve been poor my entire life. Mom is always like, ‘You’ll be able to live on less, dear!’” he said in an exaggerated high voice. “Nope, I certainly cannot! So, I’m off to find more money than I’ve ever had! I’ll get a fancy job that will give me fancy money to buy a fancy house and a fancy car and fancy clothes that come with fancy shoes and that’ll make me attractive to a fancy girl and she’ll become my fancy girlfriend and everybody will see us together and say,” he opened his eyes wide and said in a funny voice, “’How fancy!’”
Charlotte laughed at his little speech.
He smiled a little shyly, then regained his forwardness and said, “My name’s Nigel.”
They shook hands. “Charlotte.
“Charlotte,” he repeated. He looked carefully in her eyes, then said, “Well, Charlotte, I got a job offer in Psevdaisthisis and will be meeting a lady outside the gates, so I’d best be getting along.”
“You can’t possibly mean you’re going to walk all the way there with three suitcases? After this mess?” she asked dubiously.
He shrugged. “What’s a man going to do? No pain, no gain!” he said, hoisting his suitcase under his arm and then grabbing the other two in his hands.
“Let me help you, then,” she said, beginning to realize the opportunity she had in her hands. “It’s not far to the city and you can’t expect to make it there on your own.”
“Well,” he said in fain reluctance, “If you insist.”
She took the suitcase out of his right hand, “I do.” She smiled.
He smiled back, “Well then, Charlotte,” he let the suitcase under his arm fall until he could catch it with his hand, trying to impress her, “Let’s go then!”
Nigel wasn’t one to do a whole lot of talking. He openly admitted that he was awful at multitasking, so their walk toward the city was a very silent one.
Finally, she was making her way toward the city that had captured her attention for so many years. She really did want to help Nigel get there and attain his dreams, but her real motive, whether she admitted it to herself or not, was to go and see the inside of the city. She wanted to see the beautiful houses that lined the beautiful streets, inhabited by beautiful families who ate (literally) beautiful food.
“Besides, only a peek couldn’t hurt anybody,” she thought to herself confidently. “Looking never hurt a soul and it could even be fruitful.”
Charlotte began to gain more and more confidence as they continued their walk toward Psevdaisthisis. She did her best to keep her question at bay. She didn’t want to go behind her mother’s back to get her answer, but how else would she get it? How would she ever find out? Mom would inevitably forget, and that’s understandable. She couldn’t live without her question being answered and if it originated in Psevdaisthisis, then in Psevdaisthisis she will find it. Curiosity will finally be appeased and maybe then she will be content and truly happy.
“How good it will feel to know I know the answer and can continue on with life,” Charlotte thought happily as she swung Nigel’s suitcase into her other hand. She looked at him and realized that he certainly was an attractive young man. Not bad having a good-looking traveling companion.
“Fix your curiosity,” said the voice in her mind. “Who else would do it for you, except yourself?”
“Nobody,” she thought. “I can’t wait for things to be done for me.”
“Grab the bull by the horns.”
“If you want it done, do it yourself.”
“And then the answer will be yours,” the voice whispered.

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