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Chapter 10

Chapter 10

A Chapter by Jemma Packman

Perc led Charlie through the corridors of the hospital. He was speaking but she wasn’t listening. She focused on everything but him. She took notice of the white flecks in the cold, grey floor tiles, the drawings by the patients that hung on the blue tinted walls and, the thing she noticed the most, how few people they had passed since stepping out of the elevator. It was almost empty, and Charlie didn’t like it, it made her shiver. It gave her the same feeling as a graveyard.

            Perc noticed the uneasiness of his niece and put his arm around her shoulders, only to have it shrugged off immediately. He sighed not knowing what to do to comfort her. She had changed from the girl he knew, the girl that would welcome her uncle’s embrace, the girl that always had a smile on her face. He didn’t know the woman that stood next to him, and he blamed himself. He should’ve looked for her when she left, found her and took her home with him. He wanted to tell her of his regrets, but it wasn’t the right time. He was here for his brother. “Charlotte,” he called to gain her attention. Charlie hummed in response. “he won’t look how you remember him,” he warned.

            Charlie frowned. “I don’t know how I remember him,” she mumbled.

            Perc nodded in understanding, even though he didn’t. He wouldn’t push her. Perc stopped without warning, making Charlie raise a questioning eyebrow. He pointed to the door on his right. “He’s in here.”

            Charlie took a deep breath, stepped towards the door, and put her hand on the handle. Just as she readied herself to go in, she looked through the small glass panel of the wooden door. Her hand left the handle and flew to cover her mouth in an attempt to stop a gasp escaping. She saw her father laying in a standard hospital bed, head raised enough for her to see his face clearly, but Perc was right. It wasn’t the face she remembered. His once bright eyes were glassy and tired. His strong frame had withered, looking so frail that Charlie thought he would break if touched. She shut her eyes, fighting to hold back her tears. Regardless of the past, he was her father and seeing him like that upset her. Charlie opened her eyes and looked through the glass once more. This time she noticed the woman sat in a chair next to the bed. Upon seeing the tight, brown bun, Charlie’s hands formed tight fists and her jaw clenched. As if she knew she was being watched, the woman turned her head towards the door. Charlie stepped back and ran a hand through her hair. “I can’t do this,” she breathed.

            Perc looked at her, concerned by her sudden change in attitude. “What’s wrong?”

            “She’s in there,” Charlie hissed.

            Perc was even more confused by her reaction. “Yeah, so?”

            “So?” Charlie spat. “So, you never told me she would be here.”

            “She’s his wife. Where else would she be?”

            Charlie shrugged. “Eating the hearts of infants.”

            Perc bit back a laugh. His niece had always amused him with her jibes at his sister-in-law, but now wasn’t the time. “Look, she knows everything, and she’s seen you now.”

            Charlie shook her head. “I can’t do this.”

            Charlie turned to walk away but was stopped by Perc softly holding her upper arm. “Charlotte,” he pleaded.

            “I’ll come back later. I need time to wrap my head around this,” she explained. Perc nodded and let go of her arm. “Besides, I should prepare myself for a full family reunion. Just in case.”

            Perc rolled his eyes as Charlie walked away. He hadn’t considered how hard this would be for her, but now he had to tell his brother and hope he understood. He rubbed his face roughly and let out a small growl before he entered the room, closing the door behind him. “Lucas. Katrina,” he greeted.

            “Was that her?” Katrina asked before turning her attention back to her husband.

            Perc nodded sadly. Lucas attempted to sit himself up but failed. “Where did she go?” he coughed.

            Perc sighed and took a seat in the chair opposite Katrina. He could feel two sets of eyes on him, and he knew only one cared about his answer. Something about Katrina’s cold, dark brown eyes bothered him. Not because of how they looked at him, but because with one look they made his niece run away. He would find out why, but not now. Now he had to convince his brother that his Charlotte would return, when he himself wasn’t even sure she would.

© 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