Charlie, Jesse, and Me

Charlie and Demi go to school together. Demi admires from afar- what makes charlie so popular with the girls? No one knows. But in sheer desperation, Charlie and Demi make a choice to get Lucy of his back, but will this choice give rise to feelings they never knew existed?

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5. The Charlie We Never Knew

I went to meet Charlie in the park. I met him at the gate, and he lead me to a park bench in a shaded, quiet part of the park.
"Demi, you don't know me. You've been honest with me, so I'm gonna be honest with you. And please, don't just make fun of me or laugh at me for this."
"Charlie, I would never laugh at you." I said in a kind voice. Something was bothering Charlie.
"When I was 7, my parents broke up, and my dad was arrested. He was abusive. He would hit me and my mam, and lock us in a room. He hurt us. He was also an alcoholic." He paused to gather himself, this was visibly hard for Charlie. "When I was 8, my mam left me. She was a druggie. She couldn't take care of me, so she put me up for adoption. The people I live with now, they're my adopted family."
"Charlie, I would never laugh at this." I said, putting my arm around him.
"Demi, it's hard, growing up in a broken home, and then going into care. It left me troubled, scarred. I've been attending counselling since I was seven. I've had it hard, just like you."
"Charlie, you really should have told someone other than your counsellor. It's nice to have someone else to talk to." I said, trying to cheer him up.
"Demi, there's one more thing." Charlie said, tugging irritably at his sleeves.
"What? Charlie, you know I won't laugh." I said. The more he told me, the better. Locking these things up is a bad idea. Charlie looked like he had lost a battle, between his heart and mind, and he started to pull up his sleeve, and suddenly I realised. Charlie never wore short sleeves. He always wore a white long sleeve top under his PE gear. Even in the warmth of summer, he never pulled up his sleeve. And then I saw his arm. The white skin, scarred in a million places. The red of the lines, like an art form. Like a tattoo of pain. He pulled up his other sleeve, and the same picture revealed itself. Charlie was cutting himself, as I did, and had been doing so for a long time.
"Charlie, I-"
"Don't say anything, Demi. I started when I was eight. When my mom left. When my adopted family found put, they were shocked, but understanding of my situation. So they sent me to counselling. I never broke the habit. I'm fairly ok now, I'm off depression meds, but I'm still cutting, and still going to counselling." Charlie explained. He looked like the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders. "Demi, I just want to make something clear. That kiss, it was nothing, right?"
"Yeah. Yeah, nothing." I said, disappointed at the remark of 'nothing'.
"Good. I don't want this getting out of hand.”  
 "Yeah. Yeah, I totally get you."
So with nothing left to say, me and Charlie went our separate ways. But before we left, I said one last thing to Charlie.
"Charlie, I'm here for you."

So monday came. An uneventful weekend. Classes, work, breaks. I was having a normal day. But I never get to have a good day.
"So. Charlie and Demi. How ro-man-tic. Secret lovers. Cute. We don't know what he sees in you, Demi. Being nothing but a fat, ugly, bad mouthed bitch." I heard the taunting voice from behind me. The Fantastic Five was enjoying some jokes, but David knows how to ruin the fun.
"You kiss your mother with that mouth, David?" I asked.
"You kiss Charlie with your fat mouth? More like eat his face." David shot back.
"Why don't you pick on someone your own size. You know, a toddler." I replied. David was lacking in the height department.
"Why don't you just go have your lunch, Demi. You know, eating all your friends lunches, then buying more." David hit back. The tears were starting to well in the corners of my eyes, and the Five decided to take a stand.
"Look here, shorty, you wanna get to my sister you go through me." Aileen announced proudly.
"And me." Kate added.
"And us." Amy, Clare and Molly said in unison.
"Ah here girls, let's make it a fair fight and let the whale join in."
"You sir just crossed a line." Aileen proclaimed, and slapped David square in the face. It left a big, red hand mark on his cheek. He looked aside at his cronies, who let out a low "Ooh" when she slapped him, and rubbed his cheek with his hand.
"Hey fellas, we got a feisty little bitch over here. I think we need to show her what's what." David announced to his cronies. Clicking knuckles, cracking fingers, flexing arms and stretching limbs approached Aileen. She was afraid, and they could see it
"Hey! The fuck you think you're doing?!" Charlie shouted, appearing out of nowhere.
"Ah. Lover boy. How nice to see you. Just in time for the show." David said playfully to Charlie. David didn't know when to stop. Charlie was twice his size.
"You lay a finger on any one of these girls, I swear to God, I will punch you so hard you'll forget your mothers name." Charlie said in a stern, hard voice to David.
"Ooh, I'm so scared. Lover boys gonna beat me up." David taunted Charlie.
"That does it." Charlie said, swinging his fist into David stomach.
"Oof!" David exclaimed in pain. He keeled over. His cronies backed away.
"There's plenty more where that came from, David, and you'd be wise to leave these fine girls alone." Charlie said, then he spat on David.
"Thanks, Charlie. You didn't need to do that." I said.
"No, Demi, I did. David was gonna hurt you, and your sister."
"David's all talk." I said. I knew I was wrong, and that Charlie was right. David had left me black and blue many times before.
"Look, we better get to class."
"Yeah. Let's go."

Me and Charlie decided to spend some time together, at my house, in my room. No, nothing happened. We just talked. It was good, made us more believable.
"So why did you hit him?" I asked. "There was something more to that, Charlie, there was anger behind that punch."
"I'm sick of people bothering you. And me. And any one else. I just think David should get a life." Charlie replied.
"Charlie, is that it? Like, if there's something, you can tell me."
"Ok. I'm a bad liar. I had anger issues, when I was younger. Sort of comes with adoption."
"Oh. So some things just tick you off now?"
"Yeah."
"That's nothing to be ashamed of, Charlie. That's just one side of you. There are so many other things about you, that completely redeem any badness."
"Thanks, Demi. Thanks." Charlie said, seeming genuinely shocked that I said that.
"Ooh. I gotta go. My mam wants me home." Charlie said.
"Ok. See you tomorrow." I said, bidding my fake boyfriend farewell.

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