Charlie laid in bed, she was irritated by a shaft of sunlight coming through the curtains and shining on her face. She turn over but was still irritated but this was more to do with her being out the night before. She had been to her favourite club but one of her friends had told her that it had been taken over by a younger clientele and so she should move on to somewhere more appropriate. At this suggestion she had always replied with an expletive that also happened to be the clubs name.
She got out of bed and ran the bath, bath salts, her fave perfumed soap and a long soak that would do it. She lay there and it was bliss, so much so she was startled by the sound of the phone ringing, she must have nodded off. She picked up the phone from a cabinet alongside the bath.
She sat up in the bath, only one person called her Charlene by her proper name and she had broke up with him a long while ago.
“Who’s talking please?”
“You know who it is, don’t say you have forgotten my voice already.”
“How did you get my number its ex-directory?”
“No I damn well don’t know” she was now furious.
“Look Charlene I just want”
“I just want a chat then I will leave you alone, promise” and before she could say anything else he said “I’ll come round later” then put the phone down.
The bath water was now cold, she must have dozed for quite a while, so it was straight in the shower and the warm water soon soothed her irritation from the phone call and the night before.
What did he want? Charlie had got her life back after a split with Robert after an acrimonious parting of the ways over nothing more trivial that who had left the TV on. Robert thought it was best so to give the impression that the place wasn’t empty all day.
To Charlie it was an unnecessary expense and seeing as she was paying the bills it was an expense she could do without. Then there was his drinking, this was after he was fed up with work, he had a good job with computers or something, Charlie never knew what.
But in a fit of pique one day after being passed over for promotion in favour of the bosses son he told his boss, and his son what he thought of them and the firm. He was given half an hour to clear his desk and was then escorted from the premises.
This left Charlie as the sole breadwinner, but what did he want now? She decided to get ready and go to the shops, her provisions were low anyway. She brushed her hair, a bit of makeup, she wasn’t going to be long, and went to her car. Then she had a change of heart.
There had been some good times, sex was very good and there was even talk of marriage at one point. She came back to the apartment and started to tidy up, things had slipped lately, clothes put away or in the wash basket, pots washed, then through the window she saw this figure crossing the road.
Tall, with dark hair, swept back, black leather jacket and ice blue jeans, a throwback to the rock n roll era, yes she knew that figure. She was overcome with panic when she heard the first faint knock on the door, she looked at herself in the mirror.
“My god what a mess” she thought, “Why didn’t I take more care getting ready?”
She didn’t answer.
“Charlene you there?”
Still no reply, at that she heard footsteps walking away so she dashed to the door and threw it open. He stood only a few feet away, they gazed at each other, then Charlie said:
“Are you coming in all staying there all day?”
He walked towards the sofa, a light kiss on each of Charlies cheeks then took off his leather jacket.
“Coffee? Black?” his usual, she hadn’t forgotten.
“Tea please Charlene
“Charlie if you don’t mind”
He must work out she thought he looks in so much better shape than when she last saw him.
“You look great”
“I look a mess” was Charlies terse reply.
“Out last night, clubbing at Bollocks?” a slight smile crossed his face as he said this.
“I hear it’s been taken over by a younger clientele these days but it’s not my scene”
“What is your scene these days then?” irritated again.”
At that Charlie coughed and spluttered her coffee all over.
“That’s what I’ve come over to tell you and bring you an invitation” he puts an envelope on the coffee table then stood up and put his jacket on.
“We both hope you can come, oh and bring a friend or partner” and with that, two light kisses on the cheeks and he was gone.
Charlie was incredulous, she was half hoping that he had come over to apologise and try to mend their broken relationship but instead he brings over a wedding invitation, his, when at one time it was going to be theirs.
She put her coat on and made for the door, she really did needs some provisions, she also took a bit more time with her appearance. Just about to get in her car and a nagging feeling was gnawing away at her, she hadn’t touched the envelope on the coffee table but now wanted to know who he was going to marry, instead of her.
She came back into the apartment and snatched the envelope off the table, it read:
You are cordially invited to the CIVIL UNION AND MARRIAGE of MR ROBERT CORNELL to MR COLIN BAXTER at HULL CITY REGISTER OFFICE 28th July 2012.
Charlie didn’t move but read the invitation again and promptly fainted.