Death Waltz
Author: Dalek Cruccibul

Chapter 6
Jesse

Hours turned to days, days turned into weeks, and time passed by for Charles. At the end of every day, he retreated to his bed dreaming of the academy. The academy was all he could think of, and was all he wanted. Each day was filled with daily life, and become more and duller in comparison. His hopes for the academy made normal life seem like something of drag. Still, weeks turned into months, and when 4 more months passed, and Charles was still stuck in the same place.

One day, will Charles was walking home from school, he looked up out over the cottages and the people to see the distant sea of blue. With a sigh, he submitted to his walk home. That is where he wanted to be. He wanted to be out there on Adamsula, fulfilling his family's legacy. There was nothing here for him, and nothing here for the generations before him. He felt the weight of tradition on his shoulders growing stronger every day that he stayed in Vargo. Transgressing the steps again, he met face to face with his father in the living room.

“Hello Charles, how was your day today?” his father asked with a smile that was hard to appreciate.

The smile was worrying to him.

“Good. I'm happy to be living life another day, I suppose.”

“Charles, you don't look so good. Is there something going wrong?”

“No, I'm fine. I'm just tired, that's all,” he said, trying to sound a little reassuring for his father.

“Well, you’re free to skip your chores today. Wouldn't want you falling over from exhaustion now, would we?” the man said with a smile.

“Thanks.”, Charles said emptily, trudging up to his room.

Originally, Charles was really surprised when his father had started acting like this. But day after day, the smiles on his dad's face started to feel lost. Charles couldn't help but think that his dad wasn't really happy when he was smiling all the time. It felt like his father was trying to compensate for the suffering he was feeling inside. That was what Charles was thought, at least. For the first few months, his father had been simply intolerable. Now he was just rainbows and sunshine all the time. But the drastic change seemed too inhuman to be true. It was like someone flicked a switch and his father had changed into a new person overnight. If his father was happy, so was he. But perhaps his father's “happiness” was nothing more than the effort to hide his suffering. Charles could feel it, but wasn't sure of it.

Yet his father still wouldn't let him go to the academy. Charles knew that he just had to give it time, but he was beginning to grow impatient. He felt hopeless, on top of feeling terrible for the position he was putting his father in. He was asking so much of his father. Though it was all for the best decision, he felt like he was only making his father feel more unnecessary guilt. All these feeling began to stir around in Charles' head, like some big stew made of black goo. He knew, then, that there was something he had to do about it.

 

 

As Charles started his walk to school, he decided to go down to the harbor for a visit. He came here every so often to see his good friend Jesse, who worked in the fishing business. She and he had met while he was walking in town with his mother a few years ago. His mother and Jesse had been good friends as well, so the two had a common interest that they shared. Jesse also had an interest in music and enjoyed hearing Charles talk with her about it. Before his mother died, Jesse would even come to see Charles play during his lessons. But now that was gone, Charles just went down to keep her company. Charles never had much to talk about, and neither did she. So, Charles just usually helped her out with a few chores before scampering off to school.

This time, however, things would be different. Charles wasn't here to accompany her, but rather to ask for a favor. With 6 months gone by, his attempts to convince his father were long over. He couldn't bear his father's pain. His patience had been pushed to the breaking point, and he would have to take actions into his own hands. He planned on sailing to Adamsula himself.

“Good morning Jesse,” Charles beamed as he frolicked on down to the harbor. He was deceiving her, then, with his smile.

“Well, morning Charles! I was looking to get your help today...”

“I'm sorry Jesse, but I'm not here for that. I'm here to ask a favor of you,” he said, looking around with an edge in his voice. “I'm looking to get a ride to Adamsula.”

“Adamsula? You must be joking Charles!”

“No Jesse, I'm not. I just simply have to get out of this place.”

Jesse frowned, “What do you mean Charles?”

“What I mean is that there isn't anything left for me here.”

“Of course there is, Charles. You have your father, and your piano, and...”

“I know this sounds selfish of me. But hear me out Jesse; I have an obligation to get out of here. I am done with my father, as sad as I am to say it. He is cooping me up, and I haven't the patience anymore to take it.”

“Charles, you sound ridiculous! If only you could hear yourself.”

“Don't say that, Jesse! My mother is dead, and I am her only child. It is my responsibility, my duty, to carry on what my bloodline has been doing for decades. You have to understand.”

“Is that the only reason you are leaving?'

Charles averted his eyes for a second, only just, then turned back to look at her. “It's my mother, simple as that...”

“I understand Charles. But this isn't just something you go asking people to do on a whim. It's a no from me.”

Charles abruptly turned away and made his way towards school. What was he to do?

 

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