Another snippet of a story from VOICES.

Charlotte answer the phone groggily, “What?” She knew it was Carl as he was the only one to call her in the middle of the night. Plus, he had a different ring tone from the others in her contact list.

“Open the door.” He said.

“Yep.” She replied getting out of bed. Charlotte walked down the hallway towards the foyer not concerned she was half dressed. He long t-shirt barely covered her thighs and her lack of underwear didn’t bother come to mind either; she stopped at the closet and grabbed a robe. As she rubbed her eyes trying to free her contacts of the cloudy film of being sleep, she looked through the glass door and saw Carl’s face. Throwing open the door she screamed, “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE??”

Pushing past Charlotte, Carl walked through the dining room into the kitchen before he answered, “She had a boyfriend.” Carl packed some ice into a towel and put it on his face. Sitting at the kitchen table he looked up and around; Charlotte was in her room getting dressed.

“I don’t know who this broad thinks she is, but no one punches my friend and gets away with it. I mean seriously!!!” She pulled on sweaters, gym shoes, a hoodie and grabbed her cell phone. Charlotte turned towards her room door and looked at Carl staring at her.

“Where are you going?” He asked.

“I’m going to handle my business.”

“What business is that?” Carl sat down in the hallway chair across from her room; bedrooms were off limits for friends especially of the opposite sex. “You are not the one to go fighting anyone on my behalf.”

“You’re kidding me?” Charlotte started pacing, “How bad are you hurt? Was it one punch?”

Looking at his left hand Carl answered, “I think my hand is broken. My head hurts. I’m not sure how…I…got….here.” He ran to the main bathroom and started votimiting.

“I’m calling staff.”

“No….no.” Carl could be barley talk as he couldn’t stop throwing up. Charlotte was concerned as she went into the guest bedroom and called Peter while getting clothes for Carl.

“He’s been beat up, Peter. He may have a concussion. I’m ready to kill this broad……what?….she had a boyfriend or something.” On the other end, Charlotte could hear Peter getting up and getting dressed. He told her to call two other staff members and wait on a driver to take them to the hospital; they would handle the rest.

At the hospital, while waiting on x-rays, Carl laid in the bed allowing the pain killers to take hold of him. Before he could become someone he wasn’t, he looked at Charlotte texting frantically on her phone.

“Lottie…” He whispered. He only called her that when the time called for it; this was the time. Charlotte turned to him and smiled, “Lottie, you’re my best friend. You take care of me. You make sure I’m good.”

“Yes, yes, I do. We’ve been friends for a long time.” She replied to him looking back at her phone.”

“You were going to fight her weren’t you?”

“Yes. You stopped me.” Charlotte said frowning at him. “I’m not the little sister for just any reason.”

“Right, you’re my little sister.” He said with his voice fading. Carl was falling asleep fast.

Peter walked in before Carl could fully get to sleep, smiled at his friends and said, “No, buddy, she’s our little sister and she makes sure it’s handled.”

“So?” Charlotte started.

“It’s handled.” Peter stated looking at Carl fall asleep smiling. He looked back at Charlotte and continued, “No one is dead, but truly hurt. The girlfriend knows you’ll be seeing her this week.”

“Good. I have a lot to say.”

“Sis, we’re out of here in thirty-days. The business is moving. Do you understand? Don’t break any laws!” Peter stated walking out the door.

“I wont.” Charlotte whispered. “Maybe.”



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