“Charlotte, you are missing dust. Don’t skip the corners.”
Charlie nodded towards her mother, but refrained from eye contact. This was her punishment, cleaning. A couple of weeks ago, she had neglected to leave a note with her whereabouts when she went out for coffee and yes, she was still cleaning.
“Charlotte! You are moving like a turtle. Are you even here today?” Her mother stood with her hands on her hips and a dish towel over her shoulder.
With a sigh, she shrugged. “No really.”
Her mother let out a frustrated groan and stomped out of the room.
Despite the trouble that she was in, Charlie smiled at her mother’s actions, thankful for the silence they brought her, because her mind could now wander.
He had become her central thought ever since their first date. Charlie didn’t know if it had been a date, but she enjoyed calling it one. She enjoyed calling them all dates.
Mostly, she liked how easy everything seemed to be. There was always a laid back atmosphere that came with him. It was refreshing. Evan was very persistent with her, too. He always filled the empty silences and never failed to make her smile. She liked that.
Almost every day since the first coffee date, Charlie had spent time with Evan. They never really talked about their lives, although she had found out he lived with two parents and a little brother and sister, and instead talked about nonsense. It was nice and quite a change for her.
Her head whipped around at the sound of her dad’s voice, the momentum nearly taking her body with it.
“Charlie, you should apologize to your mother.” His voice was tender and paired with soft eyes.
She rolled her eyes and turned to him. “I know, Dad.” She may not get along with her mother, but she never liked the awkward tension that grew without an apology. “I’ll go when I’m done.”
He nodded with a smile and left, presumably back to his study.
The cleaning was finished within a few minutes, and Charlie found her mother in the kitchen, sitting at the counter. Her head was still and she stared out the window.
“I’m sorry, Mother.”
She turned to Charlie.
“I’m all done cleaning,” she continued at her mother’s silence.
“All right, Charlotte,” she sighed, “thank you.” Her soft words were followed by a hasty exit.
Charlie shrugged and went to her room. Her relationship with her mother just didn’t bother her like it used to.