“Charlie? Charlie is that you?”
“Yes Mama Dee. It’s me,” Charlie answered. He had almost made it up the stairs when she called him, and he felt too high to come down. “Wash up for dinner and get your ass down here. You have some explaining to do,” Donna replied. “Yes ma’am,” complied Charlie. He wanted to eat and go to bed, but there was no way she was letting him off that easily. Charlie knew what he had to say; his only hope was that the conversation would go his way. If trouble was deep shit and deep shit was trouble, come hell or high water, Charlie was drowning in it. He wondered if he’d see his sixteenth birthday. All he wanted was to disappear, and get the perks of being a wallflower.
“I’m coming!” Donna called out. Someone was knocking at the door. Charlie came back to the top of the steps to look down and see who was there. Standing on the porch was a man with a bouquet of white lilies, roses, and a warm familiar smile. “Hey! What up Bix!” Charlie shouted and waved. It was Donna’s architect fiancé Matthew Bixler. Boy was Charlie glad to see him. He could fix anything! “What’s going on Little Willie?” Bix replied. He handed Donna the flowers and kissed her cheek. “I’m just washing up. I’ll be down!” Charlie answered. Oh it was bound to be a good night now! There was no way Donna was going off with Bix in the house. She was always A1 when he was around.
“Something smells good,” Bix stated as he entered the house. “I made Charlie’s favorite; lasagna,” Donna told him. “He’s been acting different lately. So before I keep bending my back for this birthday party, I’m gonna coax him into telling me what I need to know. Otherwise I’ll knock him into his seventeenth birthday, and in the meantime I’ll be celebrating our birthday on my own.” “Oh yeah, that’s right. Your birthdays are on the same day,” said Bix. “I’m sure whatever it is it’s nothing major. He probably has a girlfriend or something.” “Yeah well he better hope it’s nothing major,” Donna implied. “Because like I said, I will celebrate my birthday alone. It’s been seven years. I could use a little me time anyhow.” “Or a little we time,” teased Bix. They smiled, laughed at each other, and began to set the table.
“Here I come,” assured Charlie as he ran down the steps. “Ya’ll need help with the table Mama?” Charlie offered. “No. We got it. But what I tell you about running in this house Charlie Williams? Ain’t nothing around here going anywhere. Don’t make no sense racin’ and runnin’ in the house. You only run away from home when you don’t have what you need, and all you need is right here. Go on and sit down so we can say grace,” Donna scolded. Charlie began to think about his Mr. Charles. Was he in the park every day because what he needed wasn’t at home? He did have a home though right? At least Charlie could’ve sworn he said he did.
“Yes ma’am,” Charlie obeyed. He walked carefully to the table, sat down, and bowed his head.
Charlie and Donna have the same birthday. Could this be a factor as to why she chose to foster him seven years ago?
Do you really think the dinner conversation will go over well now that Bix is present?
Will Charlie tell the truth about his troubles at school?
Buns of Steel. You don’t want to miss what happens next!