Chapter 9

Chapter 9

A Chapter by Jemma Packman

Charlie pushed the glass door of a small, corner café open and entered, ignoring the stares of the other customers she passed. She knew she looked a mess, black sweatpants, red T-shirt, dirty sneakers, and unbrushed hair, but she didn’t care. She wanted to get this over with as quickly as humanly possible. She saw the man that had called her and made a beeline to his table. She hadn’t seen him in a long time, but she still recognized him. How could she not? They used to spend every weekend together, until that day. Charlie gritted her teeth and pushed back the memories. She didn’t need them, and she didn’t want them. She sat silently next to the man and waited for him to notice her. When he didn’t, she spoke to get his attention. “So, Uncle Perc, what do you want?”

            Perc jumped and almost fell off his chair, making Charlie smirk. He looked her up and down, and smiled widely. His blue eyes shone with joy at seeing his niece. “Hello, Charlotte. Look at you. All grown up. How have you been? What have you been doing? Do you want anything? Whatever you want, it’s on me,” he rambled.

            “Look at you. All old,” Charlie mocked.

            Perc laughed. “I’ve missed you.”

            “Don’t,” Charlie barked. Perc gave her a questioning look. “Don’t pretend you care. You haven’t bothered with me for how long? Now, you call my home out of the blue, asking to meet. Just tell me what you want and how the hell you got my number so I can leave.”

            “Your father wants to see you,” he stated. “And you’re listed. Along with about thirty or so other C Robinson’s.”

            “He wants to see me?” she asked suspiciously. Perc nodded while drinking his drink casually. “Then where is he? Why didn’t he call?”

            Perc puts his cup down and turns to fully face Charlie. “I’m going to take you to him. You ready?”

Charlie frowned and folded her arms across her chest. “No. I’m not going anywhere until you explain what the hell’s going on. Even then, I’ll think about it. I’m not going to agree to something without knowing all the details.”

            Perc sighed. He wasn’t used to this side of his Charlotte, but he knew it existed. He had no idea why she was being so distant, but he didn’t like it, and he blamed himself for not finding her sooner. “He needs your help to find a woman.”

            “What?” Charlie half yelled, earning them a few stares from people at nearby tables.

            “That, that came out wrong,” Perc chuckled nervously and scratched his bald spot. Charlie raised an eyebrow and motioned for him to continue. “Ok, so, your father had an affair and got the girl pregnant. When she found out he was married, she disappeared. He wants you to find her.”

            “Why me? Why not hire a P.I like a normal person?” Charlie huffed.

            “Charlotte, your family is asking for your help,” Perc pleaded.

            “I’ve not been a part of that family for years,” she snarled. “Try again.”

            “He’s your father,” Perc stressed.

            Charlie slammed her hand on the table. “No. You can’t pull that card on me, not after what happened,” she snarled more aggressively.

            Perc was confused but he was on a time scale. He had one last option before he resorted to begging. “Look, I don’t know what happened between you guys, but if you come with me he can explain things himself.”

            Charlie pulled at her dirty blond hair in frustration and let out a low growl. “Where do you keep trying to take me? Where is he?”

            “St Katherine’s,” he mumbled, closing his eyes and bracing himself for the reaction.

            “What? Why?” Charlie breathed out. All her emotions drained from her being. “Is it bad?”

            Perc nodded. “He’s dying. So, are you coming with me or not?”

            Charlie rubbed her temples with her thumb and forefinger. “I can’t say no now, can I?”

            Perc smiled sadly. “My car’s outside. Follow me.”

            Perc stood up, throwing a few notes from his faded blue jeans pocket on to the table before heading out of the café. Charlie followed him silently. Once outside, Charlie laughed. “You still drive that?”

            Perc nodded and opened the door of his Cadillac Coupe DeVille. “Of course. Not only is it a classic, it’s also the first car we worked on together.”

            “I remember. You picked it up for one hundred bucks at a salvage auction.”

            “I definitely lucked out,” Perc chuckled as he rested his arms on the roof of the subject of their discussion. “Do you remember why I wanted this one, above all the others?”

            “Yeah,” Charlie nodded. “You said no-one in their right mind would buy it in the mess it was.” Perc waved for her to continue. “And because I pointed out it had a patch of paint the same color as my eyes,” she sighed. “Did you have to paint the whole thing that color?”

            “Yep. Reminds me of you,” Perc smirked. “Will you stop hating and get in?”

            Charlie chewed the inside of her cheek. “Uncle Perc, why would he think I can find this woman?”

            “I’m not sure,” he shrugged. “Your dad probably just wants to see you. Don’t panic though, I have faith in you. Knowing your old man, she’s got to be a looker and, as I remember, you’re quite the babe magnet.”

            “Babe magnet? Jesus, you’re old,” Charlie teased.

            Perc put a hand on his chest and faked hurt. “Shut up and get in.”

            Perc and Charlie climbed in the car. As Perc started the car, Charlie called out to him. “Uncle Perc?” He hummed in response. “You did say looker, right?”

            Perc rolled his blue eyes playfully and drove towards the hospital. He wanted to take the long way so he could spend more time with his niece, but his brother was waiting and time was not something he had much of.

© 2018 Jemma Packman

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Added on April 21, 2015
Last Updated on January 16, 2018

Charlie's Girls


Jemma Packman
Jemma Packman

Hull, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Prologue Prologue

A Chapter by Jemma Packman

Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Jemma Packman