"Charlotte?" I flinched when I was torn out of my thoughts.

I hadn't answered the question yet and my therapist was looking at me expectantly.

My eyes widened as I realised that this was the first time I had ever even considered answering 'yes' to that question. My stomach turned again, making me feel like physically sick again.

No. I violently shook my head. I wouldn't. Couldn't.

"Okay, Charlotte." She said, not hiding her disappointment well, but she could see that it wasn't the time to press the matter as she watched my reaction to her question closely.

I stared intently at the swirl-patterned carpet, refusing to look up again. Throughout the rest of our session I slowly loosened up again, feeling less and less nauseous as time passed.

"Okay, this has been a good session Charlotte." Dr Bran said as our hour drew to a close. "It seems to me that over the last month you've been making serious progression with learning how to cope."

I winced.

"Your temper has definitely improved, and if you keep showing these kinds of improvements we may be able to lessen the dosage of your medication." She beamed.

Fantastic. I thought sarcastically.

Now if only I could stop coming to these therapy sessions.

As I exited the room, I kept my head down, walking towards my mother's favourite spot to sit. She looked up at me, before glancing down at her watch. Silently she bent down to retrieve her bag that had been resting at her feet.

"How was your session?" She asked, standing to her feet.

I shrugged my shoulders, and she sighed. "Still not talking I see. I wonder what we even pay that women for sometimes."

I rolled my eyes at her. Did she honestly expect anything else? It'd been eight months now. Did she think one more hour was really going to make a difference? Sometimes I questioned this woman's sanity.

"Let's not hang around then." My mother said, brusquely turning on her heels, motioning with her chin for me to follow. I rolled my eyes, just glad to be leaving. I wanted to get back home already.

My mother exited the building and I followed after her, my head still hung low as my thoughts buzzed about.

"Darling, I'm going to pull some money out of the bank. Wait by the car for me." She ordered me about. I scowled nodding my head. I hated being told what to do, and part of me wanted to make a rude comment at her, but my throat wouldn't open up to allow it.

Instead I followed her instruction, stomping my way to the car, only to be distracted by someone yelling my name.

"Charlie! Charlie! Wait up!"

My insides squirmed at the old nickname. I debated ignoring whoever it was, but I had already stopped now. Turning around I saw a flustered Miles jogging towards me, panting slightly.

My brow wrinkled in confusion. "Oh good it is you." Miles said, grinning in relief when he got close enough.

I stayed silent, staring at him expectantly. After all it was him who had chased after me.

"I saw you..." He gestured over his shoulder to about where he had been when he had spotted me. "And I wanted to come over and apologise, you know, for making such an ass of myself at the barbeque." He explained, his face going a little red as he remembered it.

I didn't let any feelings show on my face.

"I mean...I didn't know about you being...you know..." He struggled to find the words. "Mute." He finished lamely.

I shrugged my shoulders, feeling awkward as the silence hung between us on what was meant to be my half of the conversation.

"And," Miles continued. "I wanted to tell you how sorry I was that I couldn't make it to the funeral." My spine stiffened.

Of all the things he could have mentioned. He had to mention that?

"I know it was a long time ago." He said. I nodded sharply in agreement. It was a while ago now, but that didn't mean the wound felt any less fresh to me, and he was jabbing at it with every word he spoke.

"I truly felt awful when I heard what happened." He said quietly. "I would have some back for the ceremony if I had had the chance."

I shrugged my shoulders, trying to let him know that he hadn't missed much. That day had been one of the worst days of my life. It hadn't at all been the respectful send off it should have been.

People that had never even been close to my dad had turned up, all to keep up with the latest gossip. I had felt the stares of everybody, especially when it came the time for me to say my speech – everyone had waited, all knowing I how close him and I had been – and I literally couldn't say a word.

Guilt brewed in my stomach just thinking about it.

Just as the quiet grew to be unbearable, my mother appeared, stuffing her purse back into her bag as she walked. She stopped when she saw Miles with me, her eyes brightening instantly.

"Miles!" She shrilled, her arms opening wide as she pulled him in to an embarrassing (for me) hug. "It's been too long!" She exclaimed pulling back to look at him.

Miles smiled kindly back at her. "Hello Mrs Grey." He said politely.

She waved her hand in the air dramatically. "You're still as charming as ever." She praised, a large smile printed across her face.

Miles looked slightly embarrassed as her eyes darted to me. "You know what." My mother said her eyes sparking as an idea came to mind. I felt the horror pooling in my stomach. "It's been so long that I absolutely insist on you come over for dinner sometime soon. I just know my little Charlotte would be delighted." She grinned.

I closed my eyes in mortification, knowing perfectly well she was trying to play matchmaker. She wasn't even trying to be subtle about it!

My mother didn't give Miles a chance to disagree, pushing him with invitations until he accepted one to come over the next week.

I silently wished for the ground to open up beneath me and swallow me whole, to save me the pain of embarrassment.

My prayers went unanswered, as the plans were finalised, my mother beaming the whole time before bustling me into the car, telling Miles we had to leave, probably as to not give him enough time to change his mind.

I sighed burying my head into my hands as she started the car.

"Oh don't be so dramatic, Charlotte." My mother said shaking her head. "You should be grateful." She said pointedly, putting the car in reverse to pull out of her parking space as I leant back closing my eyes.

I sighed out loud, wishing to be anywhere else right then.

Muted LoveRead this story for FREE!