Another part to my mystery / romance tale of Charli. You’ll really need to read Part One to know what’s been going on.
This is 903 words, enjoy!
“Yesterday was hell.” John muttered as the waitress filled a large mug with caffeinated coffee. Charli and Lucy were still waiting on the decaf. Judging by the shiny walls decorated by black and white photos of the area from years gone by and the decent reclaimed wood tables, the cafe they’d ended up in was pretty good. Lucy hoped the coffee would be just as good.
“It did take an insanely long time.” Lucy agreed.
“Least they didn’t lock you up on your own.” Charli sighed.
“And the alternative was better?” John said.
“Hell no, the boy cell would have been a nightmare of doom.” Charli stared at the street, the normal people passing by, the people not just held for eight hours by the police on suspicion of murder then as a witness to a murder involving the a manhunt based on Charli’s, admittedly poor, description of the man leaving the building.
“Charli? Hey?” Lucy promoted Charli as she’d spaced out so well minutes had of silence had passed. “John say something.” she urged. The waitress had even been by and filled up the decaf mugs, without even looking somehow Charli sensed the coffee and had started to sip at it.
“Something.” Replied John instantly.
“Now’s not the time, wise ass.” Lucy said, pinching his leg under the table. He winced but it hadn’t been a hard enough pinch as his particular brand of wit continued..
“Yay, I’ve a wise ass.” John said, deadpan. Lucy picked up her spoon, first wacked John’s knuckle then the cup in Charli’s hand. Charli jumped and scowled at Lucy.
“Charli, you’re too far in your head, what’s going on?” Lucy asked.
“What? Oh.” Charlie replied, her voice distant still, and wistfully sad.
“Are you OK?” Lucy said with genuine concern.
“No. Not in the slightest. How can I be OK?” Charlie waved her arms about, “You know, blood, gore, death.”
“Well they didn’t arrest you for it, that’s an upside, right? Ow!” John said, followed by another Lucy pinch.
“Not yet.” Charlie sad, resigned to the fact more police questioning was guaranteed.
“They can’t, you didn’t do it, the timing doesn’t work out. You’d have to be some kind of super ninja.” John reassured her.
“You know that, they know that, it’ll be OK Charli.” Said Lucy, she rested her hand on hers, Charli looked up in response and tried a smile. It was sad, managing to be as happy as a child’s fading sticker on rusting seventies playground equipment.
“You know they don’t like me anyway, they never understand me.” Charli said, wallowing in self pity so expertly, it was a phase she’d been through before and neither John nor Lucy wanted a return to that.
“Yeah.” John said, an undercurrent of anger in his voice, he hated Charli either feeling or getting hurt. That went double from people in authority who should know better but usually do more harm than good.
“I’m scared,” Charli looked at both her friends, Lucy wore a sad expression, John’s face had become hard and rigid, “if they can find a way to pin this on me, they will. You know it.” Lucy looked down, avoiding her eyes, John nodded. The waitress walked past, coffees were refilled, she didn’t ask if they wanted food, the conversation clearly intense enough that she left them be. Charli felt her hand squeezed by Lucy again.
“It’ll work out, it will.” Lucy said. She had adorable eyes, Charli thought, they opened to her soul and for a moment she believed her.
“Let’s Scooby Doo this shit.” John said, out of the blue with such conviction. Both women turned to him, he had a slight smile on his face, lopsided but cute.
“What?” Lucy said, her mind rejecting what she’d just heard.
“Holy fucking ducks of doom, yes!” Charli almost shouted but managed to tone it down as the old women at the next table scowled over her tabloid rag. It’s cover claiming x slept with y and it was such a scandal that the world would end! Like every other day’s tabloid lead.
“See!” John said, flipping Lucy playfully on the shoulder.
“If we look into this…” Charli started.
“It can’t get pinned on you.” John followed up.
“And I’d prefer to be doing something. It’s not that I don’t trust the police but I don’t trust the police.”
“Exactly. So we Scooby Doo it. I call Shaggy.” Said John, with smugness.
“Velma!” Charli and Lucy said at the same time.
“Hey, I’m no Daphne.” Charli said.
“You think I am?” Lucy said, indignant.
“Then rock paper Spock it.” John said. They women nodded, held up their right hand and on three Charli made Spoke and Lucy rock. Spock vaporizes rock.
“Yes!” Charli smiled and waved her arms.
“Damn it.” Lucy said, punching John in the shoulder, just because.
“Doesn’t have to be just one Velma, let’s be the Velma twins!” Charli exclaimed happily.
“Yay, Velma twincest!” Lucy said laughing.
“Now that has possibilities.” John said through a smirk.
“Let’s solve this shit. Who is the sketchiest person you know?” Charli asked John.
“You really have to ask?”
“It’s Reece, right.” Charli said. John stood, nodded and started collecting his coat and bag.
“First step, Reece.” John said. Charli and Lucy smiled, Lucy gulped at coffee while Chari stood and got mentally ready to see someone who scared the hell out of her.