@elizabeth-kate - here is your tag, my dear lizzie down under!
charlie harding│more than words
september 2nd, 2012
“Have you read the paper this morning?”
This was what I was greeted with at 10 in the morning, an unusually chirpy Laura awake and standing at my front door, a flask of what I assumed was tea in her hand. Looking at her clothes, she had clearly just gotten out of bed and made her way over to mine. I gave her a look of annoyance but moved so she could get it. She smiled happily and made her way into the living room, making herself at home in my seat.
“Move,” she did what she was told, moving over into the next before smiling again. “So, why are you here at this time of the morning? Shouldn’t you be dead in your bed?”
“Yep, but my mum was super noisy this morning with the kids so I was woken up. And when I walked downstairs, I saw this and had to come over.”
“Saw what exactly?” I was getting impatient now. I don’t like being woken up for no reason at all.
“This,” she thrust the paper out to me. I took it tentatively, frowning over the top of it at Laura. “Read it, now.”
Sighing, I straightened it out in front me, my eyes widening at the front page. “Is this for real?” Laura nodded and I sighed again. “This will be fun.”
“Maybe you and Mr Big-shot can rekindle what you had and then you can be rich and famous just like him.”
“Or maybe I could do that and then get you contacts so you can be rich and famous, is what you really meant.”
The Mr Big-shot who Laura was referring too was Freddie Carpenter. Yes, you have probably all heard of him but that’s not the Freddie I knew. He used to live not far from me and went to high school with me, Laura and Kat. A handsome but rather annoying boy, we were friends from around year 9 of school, having got properly talking in the dinner queue in the canteen; romantic, I know. After months of flirting, Freddie and I eventually got together in year 10 of school. I was barely 15 and I was completely in love with him. We were the school sweethearts and we spent almost every day together for 2 years, until we broke. It was a mutual decision, of course but I was still heartbroken and even more so when he upped and left for London without so much of a goodbye. Now he was a top actor in Hollywood, one of the best and most sought after of the moment and he was currently on his way back to his home town for a visit. St. Ives would not be able to handle this.
I would not be able to handle this.
Throwing the paper down, I closed my eyes and I imagined the likely scenes that were about to happen in the next week. Mrs Banner would have a field day with all the paps in the town and especially reporters. No doubt she will try and get her face on one of the news channels so she can brag about it. The same goes for Danica Brown, the town’s self titled ‘miss popular’. No doubt she will flirt her way onto television. And then the rest of the town will be divided into the rest of the fame hungry and then the fame shy, who were probably going to hide away until Freddie has left.
“This will be a nightmare for you. It wouldn’t surprise me if reporters and the paps know you’re his ex and will want to haunt you and stalk you for an interview and pictures. You should hire me as your bodyguard.”
“You just want to be in the magazines. I can see right through you, b-tch.” I laughed shook my head. “But I will hire you as back up, along with Kat, both of you are tall enough to hide little ol’ me.”
“So, guessing that you have read the whole article, when is he arriving in St. Ives?”
“Today but later on though.”
I frowned and buried my head into a cushion. “Just what I need. Why didn’t I stay in London? Why did I ever come back here?”
“Because you love me and couldn’t bear to be apart from me.” I rolled my eyes at Laura’s dramatics.
“Of course, doll.”
“Wow, today is busy.” I had just put some dirty plates on the counter underneath the kitchen access window when I saw Matt standing at the till.
“Well haven’t you heard?”
I frowned. “Heard what?” I glanced around the restaurant, it was buzzing, buzzing more than usual.
“Carpenter is on his way. He should be here in about 10 minutes. His agent call ahead to book a table.”
“Freddie Carpenter? Coming here tonight?” Matt nodded, a bored look on his face and I groaned. “Great, just what I needed on my shift.”
Matt laughed. “I thought you would be happy.” I rolled my eyes.
“Oh yeah, dead happy. My ex boyfriend, who just happens to be a world famous actor is coming to my place of work, which is a restaurant.”
“Fair point. That could be awkward.” I shot him a pointed look and he put his hands up.” Sorry, but I never liked the guy. He was always so, arrogant.”
“I can’t disagree with that one,” I sighed. “I guess that was what I liked in him.”
Matt didn’t say anything else and as I turned to look at him, the door opening caught my attention. Hearing the screams from the young girls I knew instantly what was going on.
He was here.
Taking a deep breath, I hid in the kitchens, peering around the side of the door frame, I watched as he walked in, a huge smile on his face, clearly loving the attention. I rolled my eyes at this, he always did love being centre of attention. He was born to be there. I watched as he smiled his way through the crowds and sat down at the best table in the restaurant. The guy I assumed was his agent sat down opposite him and had a displeased look on his face. Continuing to stare, I didn’t feel Matt come up behind me.
“Boo.” I jumped suddenly, causing me to jerk my head back, straight into Matt’s face. “Fuck, Charlie, I only said boo.”
I turned and gave him an apologetic look. “I’m so sorry. Here, let me get you a towel for your nose.” It was bleeding as he took his hand away and I felt guilty. Grabbing a tea towel that was on the side, I took his hand away again and pressed the towel tentatively to his nose, cringing as he winced at the contact. “I’m sorry.”
He shook his head. “Don’t be, it’s fine. I never knew you hated me this much though.”
I laughed and moved the towel away. Touching his nose lightly with my fingers, I looked up at him to see him staring at me. We stared at each other, neither of us saying a word. Not leaving his eyes, I took my hand away from his face. He went to reach for it as I brought it down but a noise at the kitchen door brought us back to reality and we jumped apart. I didn’t even bother to look who was at the door. I was more bothered about the fact that I had just had a moment with Matt. A moment with Matt Richards, the guy I used to walk to school with and the guy I barely like half the time.
“Was I interrupting something?” A smooth voice interrupted my voice and I whipped around the see who was talking to Matt and I. Seeing Freddie standing in the door way, I froze. We stared at each other for what seemed like a lifetime before he finally shot me one of his signature smiles and walked towards me. I felt him wrap his arms around me and I patted him on the back awkwardly. Spotting Matt over his shoulder, I watched him turn away and a sick feeling spread through my body. As soon as Freddie pulled away, I gave him a small smile.
“Nice to see you again Freddie.”
He gave me a small smirk. “Is that all I get after all this time?”
“Well, we didn’t part on good terms did we? I think that is good enough of a reason to not exactly be all smiles and charm.”
“Fair enough.” He shrugged before smiling again. “I don’t blame you. But how about I make it up to you, does that sound fair?”
Before I could answer him with a ‘no’, a guy appeared beside him, the one who I thought was his agent and smiled tightly.
“No can do Freddie, you have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow and you are fully booked for the next week. You have no spare time at all.”
Freddie frowned. “None at all, not even for this beautiful young lady?”
His agent shook his head. “Nope,” He popped the ‘p’ and I began to realise that I didn’t like him one bit.
Freddie nodded and sighed. “Fine,” He then turned to me. “So, maybe I can’t make it up to you,” he leant into me and I looked at him, a bit wary about what he was doing. “while he is around anyway. I’ll call you.” His whisper did not go unnoticed by his agent and Matt and I looked down at my shoes. He moved away then smiled, straightening up his shirt. “It was nice seeing you again Charlie.”
At the mention of my name, his agent’s eyes widened. He glared at me for a moment before dragging Freddie out of the kitchens. Unsure of what to say about what had just happened and seeing that Matt had his back turned to me, I walked out into the restaurant and spotting Andy behind the bar, I shouted over to him that I was taking my break. Not waiting for an answer, I left the restaurant and headed for my favourite place; the beach. Finding somewhere to sit, I watched as the tide rolled in on the sand and I sighed.
Today was the day my life got complicated.