"Mother has really outdone herself," I tell Izzy when we begin to approach the red carpet Mother had outside the party to make sure the press had a good picture of everyone who is anyone at the party.
"I'm ready if you are." She turns to me with a smile, so I took her hand and we stepped onto the scarlet fabric that our feet were too familiar with. Posing together in our Dior gowns the camera loved us. To be honest, they loved her more than me, but that's how it has always been and I'm okay with that. Once we were through the line of photographers we were finally in the party. A band was on the stage, playing as a soft background to the small talk and gossip that filled the room. I felt the pressure as soon as I walked in. Pressure for me to praise my sister and her accomplishments in every conversation. Pressure to dodge any questions about my father and his disappearance from the public eye since my parents divorce. Pressure to focus on everyone else except myself.
"Isabelle! My Dear!" Mother made a big show about coming over and kissing both cheeks of her favorite daughter. I slightly stepped aside as she threw her arms around Izzy. Stepping back she realized she should probably acknowledge me, so she barely touched me as she quickly tried to embrace me for show. This was the first time Mother has hugged me in months. "Isabelle, darling, let me introduce you with some of my new investors." Mother quickly wrapped an endearing arm around my sibling, tearing her away from me.
I was alone and unprotected from anyone who wanted to pry their nose into our lives and ask questions that were none of their business. As they came in groups I practiced my speech about how proud of my sister I was and how my mother was busy but still made time for me, too many of mother's friends whose names I began forgetting.
In the mixture of the music, champagne, and people's nagging questions, I grew very dizzy and excused myself from a circle of designers. Keeping my head low to prevent being spotted, I tried to find the closer way outside without being seen by press. I could just read the headlines if they got a picture of me: "Charlotte Escapes Sister's Celebration".
"Champagne, Miss?" A server catches me. Ignoring them would be impolite. Turning around, I found Marco.
"Charlotte?" His face turns puzzled.
"Marco, help me get out of here." I beg him in a whisper, looking around frantically to make sure no one saw us.
"Follow me." He orders, leading me away from the party and through a hall. Setting down his tray with glasses, champagne on a table nearby, grabbing the bottle in the middle of the tray meant for refills. He pushes a door open to a stairway. Grabbing my hand, he helped me up the narrow stairs while slightly tripping in my pumps and gown. Every time I stumbled Marco would turn around and ask if I were okay. I would just nod and keep going.
Finally, after the endless steps, we arrived at a door that led to a balcony. On the balcony was two chairs and a table. The railing that kept anyone from falling from a great height had twinkly lights wrapped around them and two candles unlit were sitting on the table. That wasn't the most amazing part, past the balcony was the city all lit up, making a heavenly glow into the night sky.
"Oh my gosh," I breathe stepping out and making my way to one of the chairs.
"It was decorated for a guy who was going to propose to his girlfriend, we haven't taken it all down yet," Marco explains, as I relaxed into the chair. It all felt too good at that moment. The cool air against my burning skin, the dimly lit area, and being in the presence of him.
"It's beautiful." I tell him. He sits in the chair right next to me.
"I didn't know that the party tonight was yours." He looks at me, but I was far too focused on the sight in front of me.
"More like Izzy's. Mother threw this whole thing for her "homecoming". Mother goes out of her way for Izzy," I said with intense hatred.
"Don't you enjoy parties like this?" He asks curiously. Turning my head to face him, I give him my real feelings on the subject.
"When you start going to these things when you're 8 and do this kind of thing maybe once a week, it wears off. Being instructed on what you can talk about and who you can talk to is far too demanding and knowing the politics of it all is confusing. Knowing that no one down there actually genuinely cares about me, other than my sister, makes me question why I even do it anymore. However, my mother on the other hand wants me to become just like everyone of those people in that party."
"Well," he sighs with a slight smile on his lips. "I'm glad you're not like any of those people down there." Pulling out the bottle of champagne, he pops it open before handing it to me.
"Can't you get fired for this?" I hesitate.
"I could have been fired the second I pulled you out from down there. Might as well enjoy it." He reassures me. I wrap my fingers around the bottle before taking a good drink from the bubbly alcohol. I continue to drink from the bottle while complaining about everything my mother had done to me since the moment we got on the plane a few weeks ago. It was when I started feeling tipsy that I realized I should maybe stop with the bottle over halfway empty.
"I should get back to the party before they begin to wonder where I am." I stand making my way to the door, but once I try to turn the handle it refuses to move. I try a few more times before panicking. "Marco the door is locked."
"Yup." He says as I turn to find him casually drinking from the bottle.
"Marco, seriously, help me get out of here. I need to get back." My speech was slurred...
"I can't do that." He says slyly.
"You knew it would lock the second it closed! Why?" I suddenly freaked, making my way over to him with the click of my heals warning him of my furry.
"You said you wanted to get out of there. Why are you in such a rush to get back?" I could tell he wasn't thinking very clearly either. I crossed my arms.
"I need to get back to my family. People might not find us up here for hours and I left my phone downstairs. Where is yours?" Holding out my hand he just stares at it.
"It's in the server's coatroom." He simply turns his gaze to the city.
"You are kidding me." I roll my eyes with a sigh.
"Come... sit down. Enjoy this moment with me, please." He begs of me.
"No, I refuse to." I drag the chair far away from him and sit down with my arms crossed over my chest. Kicking off my shoes I release the pain they created. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Marco composed and relaxed as if nothing could disturb this for him. This infuriated me.
A chilly breeze swept through making me shiver. He took note of this and stood, unbuttoning his suit jacket and shrugging it off. Coming to me, I tried to keep my eyes ahead as he offered it.
"You're cold. Just take it." He tries to grab my attention.
"No, Marco." I say stubbornly.
"Put it on, Charlotte." Tells me firmly. I reluctantly got off the chair as he held it out. I glared at him before turning around and sliding my arms into the silk lining of the jacket. He swiftly spun me back around to face him while he gravitated towards me while buttoning it up. We stared at each other before he dove in and kissed me. Something I had been yearning for all night. Just as he finished buttoning the jacket up, he started unbuttoning them, shrugging it off, letting it fall onto the ground. He picked me up, our lips never parting as all our anger was released into these moments right here.
We faintly hear a click but don't pay much mind to it until we hear:
"Marco?!" And "Charlotte?!" Yelled in amazement at the same time.
Alistear: No problem.
Erin: I like parties too. Hope you enjoyed the chapter!
James H: I had a fantastic Christmas. I always love suggestions. I hope you enjoy the chapter.
Who do you guys think was there?
Comment! Or e-mail email@example.com.
Unavailable Love - Chapter 10Let's get out of here.
By joslyn miller