26 | on her desk in SLP

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| 26 |

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis... Tumblr is a gold mine.

MALCOLM WAS RIGHT on time, just as expected. Charlotte had been early, knowing Malcolm's precision with earliness.

He slid silently into the chair across from Charlie. His figure slouched and hunched over, not the usual rigid and stiff person she was used to. His hazelnut-colored hair wind blown and disheveled. Hands folded, Adam's apple bobbing, eyes cast downward.

"What would you like to drink?" a smiling waitress about their age asked, flipping pages in her small notebook, grabbing the pencil slipped behind her ear.

Malcolm's head shot up at the voice, unclasping his hands. "Uhh, nothing for me, thanks."

"A water for me, please," Charlotte requested softly, nodding towards the waitress with lips closed tightly.

"Coming right up," she replied, stuffing her pad of paper in her pocket, sliding the pencil back behind her ear.

She left and Charlotte looked around. "Look, M-"

"I know why you called me, Charlotte," he gritted out, aggressively combing his fingers through his hair. "I know you like Theodore, and I know that he likes you, too. And I'm assuming you know that... That I like you, too."

"Did Teddy tell y-?" Charlie began, eyes wide.

"Nah, he didn't," he said grimly, a sad smile dancing across his lips. "It's really, really obvious."

"Malcolm," she whispered, her eyebrows slanted, her palms sweaty. She wanted to run from the inevitable. Cower. Cower, like she always did.

The waitress came back, placing a water in front of Charlie silently.

"It's okay, Charlotte," he grinned. "I'm fine, really."

No, it's not. You're not.

"Inevitable..." she mumbled. "No, Malcolm, it's not."

"Yes, it is," he insisted, shaking his head. Back and forth, back and forth, slow, slow, slow. Tick. Tick. Tick. Inevitable. "I see how he looks at you. I've never seen my cousin that happy. Once my uncle died, he's always been a closed off, reserved kid."

The insides of Charlie's cheeks were filled with torn skin from biting at it.

"He needed you, Charlotte. It was the right person at the right time. I'm just the odd one out, and that's alright," he continued, getting up from the chair in front of her. The jukebox was piercing her ears, the song It's Been A Long, Long Time playing dreamily. He pushed the chair back under the quaint table, smiling at her and then nodding at the waitress that came up from behind him. "I'll talk to you later, Charlie."

In a flash, he was gone.

•|•|•

"I can't believe you actually told him," Shane commented, shaking his head. "Crushed his poor, little heart."

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