Chapter 19. Faith

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The piping hot water from the sink heated up the entire bathroom and covered the mirror in a thin layer of steam. Charlie wiped it off with a baby pink towel before wrapping it around his waist, pinning his Walkman onto the side of his hip.

He looked himself in his pale blue eyes as George Michael's newest album played over his headset. George Michael; the man, Charlie could not help but sing along.

"Well, I guess it would be nice... if I could touch your body, I know not everybody has got a body like you... oh..."

It looked to be an alright Thursday morning.

Charlie continued to rub his chin with thick shaving cream, quite excessive for the sparse facial hair he possessed. There was just something about assessing one's manhood that mattered so much.

Alma left at six-thirty each morning to work an eight-hour shift as a pharmacist at the local Fred Meyer supermarket. The perks of having half your family slaughtered, was no one listening in as he went through his morning routine with the bathroom door half open, while mimicking George Michael's high notes.

He had found quite the happy place in his morning maintenance, but it would soon be interrupted.

Sam and I tiptoed from the birch staircase to the bathroom in the eggshell-white foyer, surprised he hadn't caught us as the heavy wind outside slammed the front door shut.

We exchanged a nod just before I kicked the bathroom door open, removing all the color from Charlie's face, except the firetruck red acne that embellished his cheeks.

"WHAT THE HELL!" he yelled, instinctively jumping after a bathrobe by the sink, "DID YOU JUST BREAK IN?"

"I didn't break in... I had a key," I said, walking further inside the citrus-colored bathroom to hand him the spare key Alma asked for weeks ago, "here's your key back, by the way."

Charlie's quick breathing was made annoying by the outstanding Adam's apple bouncing up and down his throat.

Sam came in after me with a wooden baseball bat he had brought from home, we were just planning on scaring him.

"Alright, Crispin Glover, we're here to get some answers," Sam announced, I was caught off guard by the bite in his tone. The confidence from the past few days seemed to have stayed with him.

"W-What do you mean?" Charlie asked, looking over at me as he tied the bathrobe up with a double knot, "I paid you to give me answers!"

"Well, I've done some thinking," I said, reclining on the damp, tiled wall, "and I'm pretty sure you didn't provide the best info before I said yes to this."

Charlie turned off the running water in the sink, and shut his Walkman down.

"You can't just barge into my house and expect me to take you seriously!" he complained.

Sam lifted the baseball bat.

"I feel like we're pretty serious," he said, sharing a look with me, "what about you, Marcia?"

"Oh, we're very serious," I confirmed, getting the picture Charlie left on my windshield out of my pocket, "so, tell me, Charlie: who is this chummy guy here?"

The steam-filled air didn't do the job well enough to let Charlie breathe, and instead he led us downstairs to the wine-red dining room on the first floor. He was the only one to sit down by the wooden table.

"How should I know?" Charlie asked, getting me to half-heartedly wonder if he got off on pretending to be stupid.

"Last week you said you found the picture with your Dad's stuff and... what was it? You've... seen him lurking around Peachbode?" I reminded, "and you thought the photo was scary enough to get me curious?"

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