Chapter Six

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"Come on Charlotte." My mother shouted through the locked door of the bathroom. "Come out, we're going to be late."

I stubbornly stood my ground, refusing to open the door, despite how annoying my mother's constant pounding was getting.

I look ridiculous. I scowled at my reflection, trying to lengthen the pink summer dress I had on, without pulling it too low that it would give people who were looking an eyeful.

I didn't want to leave the house looking like this, and I certainly didn't want to attend the stupid BBQ that the Haynes were throwing looking like I did. I was certain the teens attending would get a really good laugh about it though.

Little Charlotte Grey, trying oh-so-hard to fit in again.

Poor Charlotte, actually thinking that by dressing the part she won't be such a misfit.

Nope. I definitely didn't want to go dressed like this. But I didn't have an option. Sending a death glare towards the door that my mother was once again hammering on.

With clenched teeth, I unlocked and wrenched open the door, a heavy scowl on my face. But that wasn't where my mother was looking. Instead she was scrutinising the outfit.

Slowly a happy grin spread over her face, and she clapped her hands in joy. "Oh Darling. You look stunning." She said cheerfully. "So much better than those dreadful hoodies you wear." My frown deepened. "I bet all the boys will lose their minds over you." She winked, and I rolled my eyes at her.

That was never going to happen. I'm pretty sure the guys at that party would rather publically get it on with a tree than ask me out. But there was no point telling my mother that.

My mother was practically skipping with excitement all the way over to the Haynes', whilst I, on the other hand, could feel the bile raising in my throat the closer we got.

"Now don't forget, no inappropriate behaviour tonight." My mother chided as we stood outside the Haynes' house. "I want to see you actually trying to socialise a little tonight."

She waited with her hands on hips for my response before she would ring the doorbell, whilst I frowned.

How was I meant to 'socialise' with these people? How was I meant to see Terra and not react to what she did? How was I meant to be able to hold back from punching in the very mouth she loved to gossip so much with?

I'm pretty sure that would fall under what my mother would consider to be inappropriate behaviour. She might actually have a full-blown heart attack.

"Charlotte Anne Grey." My mother hissed warningly, making me wince at the use of my full name.

Grudgingly I nodded my head in agreement.

"Good." She nodded her head, before turning to ring the doorbell. It didn't take long to be answered, and the door swung open to reveal a stout woman in a floral dress, and I recognised her instantly.

"You two made it!" Beamed Vicky Haynes, looking absolutely thrilled. "Charlotte, you look darling." She cooed like I was five years old, and spread her arms open awaiting a hug, which I couldn't resist giving her.

Vicky Haynes had been as much a mother to me as my own over the years. "You never come and see me anymore." She scolded as her arms released me from the death grip she had a hold of on me.

"How have you been?" She asked us. My mother gave her a huge smile.

"A lot better." She answered for both of us. "This whole affair has been hard on us all, especially Charlotte." Vicky gave me an affectionate smile, at the end of my mother's words, and brought one of her hands up to cup my cheek. I shuffled awkwardly on my feet, but felt it would be too rude to push her away.

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