submitted by emmanem
She stood up. Her head and eyes were heavy, clouded. It’s hot in here, Charlie thought to herself, and humid, it’s humid. “Charlotte?” the woman said, startled. “I…I” Charlie stuttered “I’m sorry. I just, I need air.” She ran to the bright blue door and flung it open. It slammed against the yellowish wall and sprung back, but she was already running down the stairs. Her heart was pounding, blood pulsing in her ears. Too many questions, the woman asked too many questions. Too many probing, personal, intense, thoughts-she-didn’t-want-to-think provoking questions. Charlotte flung herself out the door and into the cold breeze. her momentum sent her stumbling into a lamppost. The impact sent a vibration through her bones and she leaned her chest on the cold hard metal as she gulped air, begging it to cleanse her mind for her. A man walked by, about twenty-five she guessed. He wore dirty old jeans and a beat up leather jacket. A toothpick hung loosely from his lips and she saw him grin a bit. “Though night, sweetheart?” he asked, putting his hands in his pockets. Charlie didn’t answer, she closed her eyes and tried to slow her heat rate. “Hm?” he said, prodding her arm with his elbow. She jerked away and put her hands up between them. “Don’t touch me” she almost yelled. He held his hands up to mirror her. “Hey, woah. Okay, I’m sorry. No touching. Just trying to be nice” he said with a smirk, the toothpick bobbing rythmically against his lips. She glared at him suspiciously. “People are not inherently nice” she told him “you don’t actually care if I’ve had a rough night.” She turned and began to walk away from him. He jogged up next to her. “You don’t know that” he said defiantly. She stopped and turned to face him. She noticed his strong, stubbly jawline now. “You’re actually telling me you give a fuck what sort of night I’ve had?” Charlie asked sarcastically. He nodded and rolled the toothpick back and forth with his tongue. She saw his perfect teeth now. He was solid, very solid, he was real. He was clearing her mind better than the air and she was so thankful for his distraction. But still she was skeptical of his unwarrented friendliness. Charlie cocked her head and squinted at him. “What’s your angle?” she pressed. “Does being a genuinely nice and concerned human being require me having an angle?” he asked. He let the toothpick fall from his lips onto the sidewalk and replaced it with another, this one was green. “Well,” she answered, “in my experience young, goodlooking men aren’t that nice out of nowhere.” Charlie stared at the toothpick moving in his mouth. What a strange little object to turn into a habit. He broke into a slightly crooked grin. “Goodlooking, huh?” Charlie fought the urge to blush. But kept her voice evr “I meant other people probably find you attractive” “Do you?” he asked. She took a step back and looked him up and down. He struck a muscle man pose and then turned around. “You gotta get a look at the backside, too” he informed her. Charlie rolled her eyes. “Turn back around, Narcissus” she told him. “Greek mythology reference” he noticed “I approve” “Yes, I’m very intelligent. Eat your heart out. And as far as wether or not you’re attractive, I suppose you’re alright” she lied. Truthfully, she found him very very attractive. She found herself hoping this wasn’t the last time she would speak to him. “You’re lying,” he said with confidence, “and don’t try to deny it. If you knew me, you would know that I am a human lie detector. I can spot even the best liar a million miles away.” Charlie scoffed. “Yeah, right” she said “prove it” “Fine” he shrugged “two truths and a lie. Go.” She thought a moment. “I’ve been stung by a jellyfish, my favorite color is purple, and I have a dog named Edgar” she saidwith a steady voice and an emotionless face. Charlie was an excellent liar, years of practice with her overprotective mother had made it easy. She was sure he wouldn’t be able to guess. “You’ve never been stung by a jellyfish” he said immediatly. Charlie couldn’t help the surprise on her face. He chuckled. “How did you know?” she demanded. “Human lie detector, I told you” he stepped backward to lean against the brick building. He bounced the heel of his converse against the wall. “Speaking of you,” he continued “what’s your name, doll?” “don’t call me doll” Charlie sneered, she hated when strangers called her pet names “My name’s Charlie” His perfectly sculpted jaw dropped. “No way! Mine too” he said with a smile. “Really?” she inquired. He laughed. “No, it’s Axel” Charlie couldn’t help but smile. “Anyway, Charlie, it’s been a lovely encounter” he said and reached into his back pocket to take out a small white piece of paper “unfortunately, I’ve got a rather important meeting to attend. Here is my card” he passed her the paper “I would very much appreciate a call sometime” He winked. “we’ll see” she responded trying to play hard to get. He nodded with a devlish grin and walked away, humming. Charlie watched him go and then looked down to read the card. Axel Averick Proffesional Nothing Aspiring Writer and Avid User of Toothpicks and then his phone number and e-mail address. A writer, she thought, I just may have to call this boy. She folded the card in half and slid it into her back pocket, walking toward her car.