11 | wrapped around her pencil

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| 11 |

If there were any words to describe how beautiful you are, Webster would have to make a whole new dictionary just to describe your smallest feature.

A SHEEN OF sweat covered her face, her forehead, her slightly chipmunk-like cheeks, her neck... Her breathing was unsteady and quick, her chest heaving up and down, up and down...

Her nose was running, her eyes were red and puffy. Silent tears streamed down the curves of her cheeks and the brim of her rigid nose.

Charlotte dry-heaved into the small trash bin beside her bed, hoping she didn't wake anyone up. Retching and crying and rocking and hyperventilating.

Teddy. She needed Teddy.

Charlie wiped her lips with her forearm and quickly brushed her teeth, getting the disgusting taste out of her mouth. She began to steady her breathing, in and out, in and out.

Tiptoeing down the stairs she burst out of the door and began running, running to the place she knew he'd be.

It was dark, she could barely see where she was running. Houses blurred in her vision and she pulled her black hoodie closer to her body as she ran. Charlotte started to wheeze a little, due to slight asthma and also probably because she never ran.

It was around eleven o'clock, she concluded, and after a couple minutes of running, she finally made it to Dunkin' Donuts.

Peering in the window, she saw him hunched over the counter, a pencil in his hand, dressed in his work outfit that included a small visor.

Creeping near the door, she slowly pushed on it, walking into the brightly lit donut store.

Theodore looked at her, startled, slamming his notebook closed. "Oh, er, h-hey, Charlie, what's up?"

The door closed with a whoosh behind her, a small breeze nipping at her sore legs. Her lip quivered and she breathed out her nose slowly, slowly. Theodore seemed to notice her mood by her wavering lip and ghost track of tears down her cheek and her furrowed eyebrows.

"I... I... I-" she stumbled over her words, dropping her arms to her side.

"Shh," he murmured, taking off his visor and trudging over to her. "Come here."

He was much taller than her, and her head came up to chest height beside him. He cautiously stooped down and scooped her up, his arms slithering around her petite frame, drawing her closer to him like a drawbridge being closed, him roping her in like the chains attached to the bridge, slowly closing the gap between them.

Her fingers grasped the back of his shirt, her face shoved against his hard chest. Her arm hooked over his shoulder, reaching around his neck. Her nose was squashed against his chest, her cheek smushed, a couple stray, silent tears soaking through his work shirt.

"I'm s-sorry, I didn't know where to go, a-and I needed to see you, and-"

"Charlotte, hey- hey! Charlotte, look at me," Theodore murmured, letting go of her. "What's wrong? You can talk to me."

A breath rattled her body and she quickly whipped her head back and forth with a solid no.

Theodore sighed. "Fine. But one day, you'll tell me."

She gave him a grim 'sure' look and tapped her foot on the linoleum floor.

"So..." he started, scratching the back of his neck.

"Soo..."

She was surprised at how she wasn't freaking out over the hug. It wasn't every day that Theodore Orion Higgins hugged people. It made her feel strangely special inside.

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