Journal 21: Surprises Past and Present

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A/N: Hi everyone! Thanks for checking out the newest (if a bit late) update on Brandon's journal. This chapter goes straight to Chapter 26 of TMMM as this is a more prominent part in Charlotte and Brandon's story together. Some people have complained that they skipped past all the Championettes stuff and I agree that it's not the most exciting part or the part that makes you go 'Aww' but  the small blocks of the climax of the story were embedded in them. It was also an important showcase of Charlotte's struggle as she tries to find her place among Boston's elite and make the most unlikely of friends. 

Anyway, enough ranting. Enjoy!

***

I planned it to be a week of surprises.

It turns out I wasn't the only one with that plan.

First, I was notified of a house going up for sale in the Back Bay area.

It'll be my present to her on her twentieth birthday—no, not the house exactly, but a home.

Since Charlotte told me how she used to walk around that neighborhood when she couldn't go home, admiring the many grand houses and the fabulous lives that occupied them, I knew I wanted to find her a place there. She wasn't just going to be a spectator any longer. She'd have her own grand home and her own fabulous life, with a husband who loves her and the bright, happy children they'll have in the future.

The house is old but every bit as elegant as it once was. I'm tempted to have it upgraded so I could present it to Charlotte in perfect condition but I have a feeling that she'll appreciate the flaws, especially if she could turn them into something wonderful later. So I left it as is. It'll be our home, our project—bare bones and scuffed hardwood and all.

The other surprise was the birthday party at Marlow's. I've signed up Felicity and my sisters on it. It's still several weeks away but I wanted everything planned out perfectly. It's going to beat out every birthday in Charlotte's history. It's her first one with me and I want her to know that every birthday after this is going to be special. I mean, it's a day I'm extremely grateful for. I won't tell her because she doesn't need me to be any more cheesy than I already am but I think the world became just a little extra special when she was born into it.

The next surprise caught me off guard.

Filbert informed me that he'd tracked down Louisa Samuels. Well, actually, it's Louisa Weller now. She has her own scrapbooking supply business now and is married to a man who owns a furniture shop in Cedartown, Georgia. She has two children with him, both girls, one of which is named Natalie whom Charlotte had seen on a televised spelling bee once.

I'm still debating what to do.

On one hand, I want to run to Charlotte and tell her that I found her Mom for her. I know that the short history they share is ugly but I've always thought that we all need a mother in our lives in some shape or form. At least that's how I felt, having lost my mother and then Evelyn. Many times over the years, I've heard Mattie or my sisters say that they wished their mother was alive. So I think there's some value in at least reconnecting the two women.

But on the flip side of that, I'm worried that Charlotte may have never wanted to find her in the first place. Once or twice, I've observed that deep flash of anger I rarely see from Charlotte and it makes me think that somewhere, under the sunny surface of her strong personality, there's still something that hurts and festers. Scars are nasty but I think she'll prefer them over a wound that never closes and heals. I personally don't have a high opinion of Louisa Samuels myself. Compared to the mothers I've known, she's missed the mark by an incredible margin when she abandoned Charlotte. But then I've also seen her pictures with her family, with her daughters. And I wonder if her past mistakes were just that—mistakes. Mistakes that Charlotte wouldn't have to keep paying for her entire life. My interest in this is to patch up what I could of Charlotte's broken heart and fill whatever little chips and gaps that I could in it. There's not a whole lot left of her past that I can work with except her mother. And I know it's a risky proposition which is why I plan to take it slow.

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