A/N- This is another one of those random one-shots that pop up occasionally. :) Pretty short. But Charlie can never be angsted enough…well, I think it's angst…but…I'm not really positive. Err, you can be the judge. :)
Disclaimer- I don't own the Mighty Ducks.
I stood in the small room staring at the man in the mirror. He was so different from the child he used to be.
I looked at the dark blue eyes and waves of curly brown hair. The high cheekbones and firm jaw. It was so familiar and foreign at the same time…I had seen it every day because it was me. Is me.
My eyes drifted to the photo of my mom and myself. It was taken about twelve years ago; I was eight, and my mom had taken me to the park with a few of my friends. The thrill of the day was still evident on our faces, bright smiles seeming to illuminate the entire room as well as the park scene in the photo's background. Things were so simple back then.
As I looked between our two faces, I realized we really don't have that much in common. A complete stranger would never place us together without at least slight uncertainty. Her eyes are hazel, mine are bright blue. Her hair is red, my hair is brown. She's 5'4 ½", I'm 6'2".
I never really knew my father, but I imagine that he must look like me…or rather, I must look like him. My mom tells me I could double for him any day, but she always says it with an undertone of sadness.
We left my father when I was three years old…I never really knew why. By the time I was really curious, I knew better than to ask. I could see how sad she got when she thought of him…angry sometimes.
It makes me wish I looked more like her. It hurts more than I can say to know that I resemble and remind her of something that brings her so much pain. She tries to hide it, but I can see. It's like she can hardly look at me anymore.
I remember when she used to cry at Christmas when I was really young. She never told me why, but I figure it had to do with him.
Why did we leave? What could he have possibly done?
I bet the man in the mirror knows. Every day he taunts me…knows all the answers and refuses to tell me. He grows older each passing year, but I don't. I still feel like the same kid looking for answers to unsolvable questions. Questions with answers I wasn't meant to know…can't know…and deep down, probably don't want to know. What good would it do me to know what a terrible person my father was? Whether he cheated, beat, neglected, emotionally abused us without me even knowing? Or worse, even, that he loved us. Didn't want us to leave.
That would hurt the most because that would mean I could've had a dad all this time. I love my mom with all my heart, but I've never had a real father. It's a role that nothing can really, truly fill. It can come close, but deep down if I boiled down what I felt, I wish I could have at least known him. That way I'd have the comfort of being able to hate him in peace if he was a jerk, or just feel a sense of sadness but still love him if he wasn't.
I looked at the man in the mirror again. He stared back with an almost expressionless face, his blue eyes probing right back at mine. The air always grew thick with silence when we were locked in a stare down - as if to see whom would blink first. A constant challenge. Game of cat and mouse. It seemed I was always the mouse. Or maybe I was the cat…I'm not even really sure.
A light knock drummed distantly in my ears. Someone was at my door. I gave the door an almost vacant glance before walking over, shaking my head gently and blinking my eyes.
Bright brown eyes smiled back at me when I opened the door. A small smile curled on my visitor's lips before cracking into a wide grin. "Hey, stranger. The others are all in town for the weekend, and we're heading to the coffeehouse to catch up a bit. You coming?"
I saw the eagerness beyond those brown eyes and remembered when we were all a bunch of kids without a care in the world. A day when I would have been the one telling Connie Moreau about the others being in town instead of vice versa. Things change, though. I just need to grab on and hope I don't fall off.
Her eyes brightened more as her childish grin grew. "Awesome. It'll be great to see everyone again."
I gave a small smile in return. "It will. High school seems like it was an entire lifetime ago."
She grinned and nodded, tugging gently on my sleeve as if to tell me to get my butt in gear. "It does, but another eternity's gonna pass if you don't hurry."
I couldn't help but smile.
She watched as I grabbed my jacket and walked back to the doorway where she stood waiting.
I paused and let out a soft breath, lingering for a moment. It was time to going back to being Charlie. I turned back as I stood in the doorway, giving the man in the mirror one final survey. It was time to be me.