“Yes that’s the one,” Gaby replied exasperated. They had been in the dress shop looking for a dress for the Valentines party for two hours now.
“You said that about the last one,” Bella replied.
“That’s because that one was lovely too. Anyway have you heard from Brendan recently,” Gaby asked trying to change the subject. “I heard him on the radio. He seems to be doing really well.”
“He is doing so well Gaby. But I miss him like crazy. He has been gone two years now and it feels like forever. K.C. says he doesn’t regret going touring with him but I can see sometimes that he does.”
Suddenly Bella’s phone started to ring. She wiped it out and saw K.C’s phone number. It had been two years since they had gotten back together and she could not wait to see him at the Valentines party that night. “Hey darling,” she said answering the call.
Gaby was listening in the background. Even though she could not see Bella’s face or hear K.C’s voice, she could tell something was wrong. “Please don’t do this K.C,” Bella cried. “I’m begging you. I’ll change. I’ll do anything…”
Bella did not say anything else, K.C had obviously hung up on her. She turned to look at Gaby and burst into tears. “He’s dumped me,” she cried.
Gaby ran to her friend. She was expecting this. She had been hearing rumours for a while now about K.C. and other girls but Bella had refused to listen to her. She cradled her best friend and let her sob into her shoulder for a while.
After a while she pulled Bella from her and looked her in the eye. “Come on Bella, let’s forget about him. Come to the party anyway tonight with me and Brian and we’ll have a great time. You never know, you might meet the man of your dreams!”
“I can’t,” Bella whimpered. “The party is for couples only. I can’t go as a singleton!” She erupted into a howling cry once again and Gaby had to gently get her out of the dress, hand it back to the unsympathetic sales assistant and take Bella home.
Bella woke up later that evening with the memory of K.C’s phone call hitting her smack in the face. She almost started to cry again but then pulled herself together. I will not shed one more tear for that man, she swore to herself. As she lay on her bed she looked up at her notice board and spotted something she had not noticed in a long time.
She pulled herself up and headed over to the board. Tearing the piece of paper off it she pulled out her phone and dialled the number.
It answered on the third ring. “Hello,” came the voice.
“Hello? Charlie? This is Bella. I don’t know if you remember me….”
“Bella, Camps Les Sims Bella?”
“Yeah that’s me. I was just wondering…I just came across your number all of a sudden and I was just thinking to myself… You know, Wow, I wonder what Charlie’s doing. I know that you’re probably busy tonight seeing as its Valentines, but I was just wondering if you wanted to come to a party with me?”
“Sure,” Charlie replied.
“Really?” Bella could not believe how easy this was.
“No problem, where are you? I’ll come over and get you if you like?”
Bella smiled and gave Charlie her address. She was excited to see her old friend.
She did not have a new dress to wear and she did not really care as she did not really have any one to impress. So she just had a quick shower, let her hair down and put on a little bit of make-up.
Exactly one hour after she had called him, the doorbell rang signifying the arrival of Charlie. “I’ll get it,” Bella called out to her parents and skipped down the stairs swinging the door open. She stopped short when she saw him.
“Hey Bella,” Charlie said letting himself in.
Bella just starred, he looked completely different! How can geeky Charlie be the guy standing infront of her. Eventually she spoke. “Hey Charlie,” she stuttered. “You look different.”
“Thanks,” Charlie replied chuckling. “I’m wearing contacts.”
“It’s good different,” Bella continued. “I like your hair.”
“Thank you, I like yours too. Now shall we get going?”
“Sure,” Bella replied taking him arm.
As Charlie drove them into the city they chatted all the way there catching up on each other’s lives over the past two years. Bella told him all about being dumped earlier that day and Charlie laughed as she had been in the same situation last time they saw each other. “Nothing changes,” Charlie chuckled. Bella could not help but laugh at the irony of it too, but that was not the only reason why she found herself giggling. When Charlie laughed he still snorted every now and again and for the first time since she opened the door to him she felt comforted. Thats the Charlie I remember, she thought to herself.
“So nice truck,” Bella commented.
“It’s not mine,” Charlie replied. “I borrowed it from a friend. I’m moving so he lent it to me. It’s also been really handy for my business.”
“What’s your business?”
“Don’t laugh but its selling eco-toilet rolls online.” Bella could not help but laugh.
“Yeah well it may not be glamorous but it’s environmentally friendly and it’s gonna make me a lot of money.”
“Oh yeah it’s all coming back to me now,” Bella replied stifling her giggles. “You’re going to be rich and successful.”
“That’s for sure. But I still have four years left till I win my $20!”
When they arrived at the Valentines party, it was already in full swing.
Gaby spotted them immediately and rushed over pulling Bella into a big hug. “Oh you made, I am sooo pleased,” she cooed squeezing her friend tightly.
“And with a young man in toe,” she continued turning to Charlie.
“Gaby this is Charlie, Charlie this is Gaby.”
“Nice to meet you,” Charlie said.
“I’m going to get a drink,” he continued turning to Bella. “Can I get you one?”
“Yes please,” she replied and her and Gaby watched him walk up to the bar.
Gaby leant into a Bella and whispered into her ear, “So…. who is he?”
“Just an old friend,” Bella replied.
“I wish I had an old friend that looked like that,” Gaby laughed. “He’s gorgeous!”
“Shhh,” Bella laughed back. “You’re engaged to Brian remember.”
“Doesn’t mean I can’t look,” Gaby giggled.
While Gaby chucked away, Bella looked over her shoulder and suddenly spotted K.C. dancing on the stage with another girl. “What is he doing here,” she moaned.
Gaby spun around too and spotted him. Just at that moment K.C scooped the girl into his arms and they started making-out for all to see. “Oh my god, I think I’m going to be sick,” Bella whispered.
“Please don’t look Bella,” Gabby said. “He doesn’t deserve that!”
But Bella couldn’t help it; she could not seem to tear her eyes away from him.
Charlie watched on from the bar. He saw Bella’s face and he saw the man on the stage she was looking at making out with a girl while looking back at Bella, a smug look on his face.
He did not have to think twice. Her marched over to Bella and scooped her into his arms. “What are you doing,” she gasped.
“Just go with it,” he replied bending her slightly backwards and lowering his lips onto hers.
At first Bella fought against Charlie, but after a couple of seconds, his soft lips melted into hers and she closed her eyes and surrended herself to him.
K.C. was watching the whole time and ended up storming out.
They fell through the door of Charlie’s apartment just after 2am. They were laughing so hard their sides ached but they were so drunk, they had no idea what they were laughing at.
Eventually Bella opened her eyes and looked around. “Oh my god,” she gasped. “Charlie you have been robbed!” The whole apartment was practically empty.
Bella walked to the centre of the room looking around in shock. Charlie walked towards her. “I’ve not been robbed silly, I’m moving! I told you.”
“You did,” Bella asked?
“Yeah, earlier in the car. My new business, it’s in Sim City!”
“When are you leaving?”
“Tomorrow,” Charlie replied looking very serious. Bella looked down, how could he be leaving her now?
Charlie lent down and pulled her chin up gently. He smiled with his eyes and then wrapped his arms around her.
Before they knew it they were kissing, and it was big hungry kisses like they were trying to devour each other.
With her eyes closed, the alcohol in Bella’s system made her head spin and all of a sudden she felt the twinge of nauseous rise inside of her. She pulled away and covered her mouth with her hand thinking she might spew all over Charlie.
“Excuse me,” she spluttered before running off to the bathroom.
A few minutes later Charlie gently rapped on the door of the toilet. “Bella, Bella,” he whispered. “Are you alright in there? Can I come in?”
When there was no answer, he let himself in anyway worried that she was ok. When he entered Bella was laying on the bathroom floor out cold, snoring her head off.
She woke up the next morning feeling like someone had taken a hammer to her head. Her mouth was dry as bone and tasted of sandpaper.
She dragged herself up and looked around. She remembered the night before and cursed herself for being sick. How embarrassing, she thought to herself. But the worst part was that Charlie had gone, the room was now completely bare!