Saturday, 26 November 2011

Charlotte's Tower - A Short Story

Charlotte woke up propped up on four fluffy cream pillows. The puffy Tower Hotel ones that you sink your face into. To Charlotte the Tower Hotel is her home. She has lived there since the age of five. She always felt like the missing kid in home alone as she slid down the banisters and nicked miniature bottles of shampoo off the room service lady’s cart. Her Dad owns the 'Towers' or 'Towers of Doom' as she affectionately calls the hotel. Charlotte has long caramel blonde hair and bright green eyes but the porcelain doll comparisons get very annoying when repeated so often. Truthfully, Charlotte feels lonely a lot of the time. Arriving back home from boarding school for the summer makes her feel isolated and agitated. Also, it doesn't help that her Dad is psychotically overprotective. He is so powerful and intimidating that at age eighteen no boy has dared approach Charlotte, let alone kiss her. 
Charlotte longed for the romance that she was enthralled with in Bronte novels as she was growing up and old black and white movies. Like an eightie’s pop song - I want you to want me. Boom. But no, life doesn't really work that way. I guess that’s the problem when your Dad runs a hotel Empire and your mother ran away with her Puerto Rican gym instructor. Your elitist father may, or may not become serially neurotic and paranoid. Charlotte pondered over her life reminiscing what it felt like when she was little and her parents were really in love. It scared her that it didn't last forever. In the movies the happy ending was imminent and comforting and expected. Charlotte sighed and decided a scrumptious breakfast was in order. She called up room service and decided she deserved something very fattening... ''Hi It's Char here, I'm in the Penthouse Suite, could you please ask Ricardo if he could muster me up a Tuscan grilled cheese sandwich with oyster puree. Oh, and a green tea. Thank you!''
Charlotte realised she hadn't let the lady at the desk get a word in edgeways, but it wasn't intentional. Charlotte hadn't mastered the fact that a telephone conversation shouldn't be a monologue.
She slid out of the bed in her pink silk dressing gown and fished for the TV remote. A movie day was in order. 'How to Marry a Millionaire' was on. She breathed a sigh of delight. She adored Marilyn Monroe, she was so glamorous and alluring but there was something mysterious about her. Charlotte had always wanted to be an actress; she had been born with her mother's good looks and a serious flair for the dramatic. She liked to pretend her life was a movie and she was the star in it. It was bizarre but amusing to her. There was a knock at the door and a husky voice said 'room service'. Her breakfast was very fast. Charlotte strolled to the door in a nonchalant manner then twisted the door knob and flung it open. Seriously dramatic. The boy who was delivering the order spilled the green tea all over his uniform including his formerly pristine white shirt. Charlotte couldn't help it. She giggled. He looked up and saw the most beautiful girl he had ever seen in his whole life. She had long, thick shiny caramel blonde hair and piercing emerald-green eyes. She was wearing a pink silk robe and had the most dazzling smile he had ever seen. Could this girl be real?
'Oh my god I am Charlotte! I mean, I am sorry! sorry' Charlotte exclaimed ' Please come in I will help you get rid of that stain...'
John followed the beautiful blonde into her suite and marvelled at the extravagance of the huge four poster bed, burgundy satin couches and most of all, the stunning mysterious girl who was definitely the most fascinating thing in the room. He took a seat on the couch awkwardly and waited for Charlotte to approach him. It's funny how people look like their names. This girl just looked like a Charlotte. She approached him soda water in hand with a towel at explained how this would draw the green stain out. 'What is your name?' Charlotte enquired batting her eyelashes. 'I'm John, I am new I just started working at the Towers a month ago. Are you on Holidays?' Charlotte smiled and whispered ‘yes I guess you could say that’. Their chemistry was instantaneous. It was like something out of a black and white film, but not in a clichéd way. John was tall, dark and handsome and clearly besotted and Charlotte was trying to be calm, cool and collected but gushed about her life, father, school, favourite colour. Every single thing under the sun basically. This made John like her even more. Her erratic personality, naiveté and natural beauty had John shell shocked. But she was the boss’s daughter. He was a glorified bellboy. How could it ever work? It was evident Charlotte didn’t care. John told her about school and how his Dad had lost his job and his Mother passed when he was a baby. He explained how he liked working in the Hotel because he felt not only independence but he could support himself and help his Dad. Charlotte gazed at him with adamant admiration and jealousy. She longed for freedom to be free of the clutches of her over protective Dad who resented how much she looked like her Mother, even though her would never admit it out loud it was constantly written all over his face.

Charlotte wanted to leave the Towers and live her own life. She longed to live somewhere with a garden with flowers and a residence where someone doesn’t change the towels daily or leave a chocolate on your pillow, a place where it is not essential to leave a ‘do not disturb’ sign to ensure a little privacy.
As Charlotte gazed into John’s eyes she saw a new path, a world of infinite possibility. And as she quickly dressed and went on her first real date with John to a quiet café. A cup of hot chocolate out of the Towers down a quiet street made her feel warmed up inside out. Charlotte and John strolled hand in hand and she realised not only did she feel liberated but finally found someone who not only inspired her, but who she could share her freedom with. It helped that he was cute too...

To Be Continued.....


xo L

Amelia's Dilemma - A Short Story.

Amelia looked in the mirror for what seemed like the fiftieth time that day. She felt a bit nauseous. She fluffed her auburn hair reapplied her mocha - coloured lipstick and with a sigh retreated downstairs. Her best friend Michelle was making more coffee. Amelia was more of a 'tea' person but she didn't like to say. Michelle poured and then pushed the coffee mug towards Amelia. In typical fashion the coffee mug was beige - like everything else in Michelles monotone mansion.
It had a slightly cold effect and made the place less homely. All of a sudden there was a high-pitched squeal ascending in the hallway. Michelles five year old son Ben was sliding down the banisters of the old georgian staircase. Bens small hands were encrusted with chocolate as was his freckled face. He smirked cheekily to reveal a missing front tooth. He looked so young for his age. Amelia just adored Ben. But she generally wasn't a fan of children. They were so loud,helpless and naive and even endearing but Amelia felt she didn't have the maternal gene. For that matter, neither did her own mother. Amelia took a big gulp of her lukewarm coffee and decided to think happier thoughts. She was married, she had a lovely house, a great job as a secretary - but why did she feel like something was missing?

Michelle had been Amelia's friend for years, but frankly Michelle could be very mean.Michelle and Amelia have a complex relationship and Michelle can be quite intimidating. Michelle has a blonde shoulder skimming hair cut and is immaculately groomed, she also has an accent that seems fake - just like everything else about her.  She made offhand harsh comments and sly digs constantly about Amelias hair, style, career, but it just didn't seem worth confronting her about. Amelia knew deep down their friendship was more of a facade or a routine than a two way train. The weird thing was even though Michelle flicked her blonde bob and adopted an accent to sound even snobbier, her one redeeming quality was her terrific love for Ben. Her 'lovely little treasure' as she called him. Even as he shrieked, and messed up her perfect house, and misbehaved she still gazed at him like he could do no wrong. Ben hopped up on to his Mam's lap and started making motorbike noises then he wiped his chocolatey hands in Michelle's blouse and she didn't even flinch. Amelia gazed transfixed by this.
She felt as though she was living vicariously through Ben as he performed his mischevious act. She suppressed a smirk with difficulty and kept up the pleasantries. The beige couches are also, of course, a lovely canvas for chocolate stains. Ben is usually running around screaming and rubbing chocolate, crayons or mud into the carpets as well as the garments of any guests so it wasn't a big shocker.

''Your wedding was just fabulous! I have never seen you looking so gorgeous!'' Michelle exclaimed. Amelia knew that a compliment in typical Michelle fashion would be echoed by a snide remark. ''But of course, it is miraculous what a good make- up artist can do! I rather the natural look myself..'' Michelle trailed off while smiling nonchalantly. ''I didn't wear much Michelle I just wanted to look the part in the photographs with John, because god knows there are millions of them'' Amelia retorted. The truth was Amelia couldn't believe she was lucky enough to marry such a great lovely guy that she didn't mind spending several hours smiling for the cameras. It seemed like only days ago but she had been a married woman for four months. Already the pressure was on with all the aunties and extended family on both sides waiting for a little bundle of joy to be on the way. Just being in Michelles house, looking at Ben jumping around playing with his toys made Amelia realise she really, really wanted a baby. She wanted the fairy tale. John would be a great Dad. He loved Kids. He spent an hour on the dancefloor at their wedding reception with his little niece Rebecca. It was the cutest thing to watch.

 Amelia decided she wanted to get home. She hadn't been feeling her best the past few days, probably the cold weather setting in. She had been eating all around her lately due to the boxes of chocolates that were scattered all over here home and had horrific heartburn. Since the wedding she realised a lot of the gifts she had recieved were edible which was bad news for her waistline. She decided to swing by the pharmacy and get something to settle her stomach. Her local pharmacist, a jolly elderly woman called Betty greeted her with a handshake and congratulated her on tying the knot. Elderly ladies generally don't seem to be a fan of long engagements. I guess it's because the likes of Betty are from a completely different era where it was unheard of for an unmarried couple in their early thirties to live together for fours years before taking the big step. ''What problem Amelia? How can I help you dear?" Betty enquired. ''I am feeling nauseous lately... Maybe I have a dose coming on. I also have stopped making me and John chicken curry because I am getting dreadful heartburn..'' Amelia trailed off. Betty shuffled off behind the counter and with a confident grin put some rennie and a blue thin box on the counter. 

Amelia realised it was a pregnancy test.

 It hadn't even occurred to her but in her heart she was hoping and praying that it was true. Her symptoms did add up. Amelia paid, told Betty to keep the change and bolted out of the pharmacy back to her car. She drove home gleeful but trying not to get ahead of herself. She ran to her bathroom and followed the instructions. Her hands were shaking. Nerves and excitement built up inside of her. Two lines meant pregnant where as one line meant otherwise. She had to wait five minutes. She heard a thud downstairs and the rustling of plastic bags. John was home. 

He bellowed upstairs '' Amelia I miss your curry so I got us a takeaway curry I bet it won't give you heartburn....'' Amelia didn't respond for four minutes......

She strolled downstairs to the kitchen, tears in her eyes an threw herself into John's arms and whispered ''we're having a baby''.

To Be Continued...


xo L