Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or the quote used from the movie.
A/N: Ok. This is the sequel to "End of the Innocent." As much as I didn't really want to write a sequel to that one, I kind of felt it needed to be done just to tie some threads together, resolve some things with Charlie. If you haven't read "End of the Innocent," please do so! Make me happy!
Reviews always welcome and appreciated.
The Oompa Loompas that worked in the Inventing Room now made a single file line outside of what Charlie called the "Desolate Room." Charlie watched from a careful distance as the small people made their way slowly into the east wing room. It had been happening all day; Oompa Loompas entering to visit him. Six months had passed since Willy Wonka's death and today, this day, was his birthday, would have been his birthday. To somewhat celebrate it, the Oompa Loompas were visiting the gravesite to sing and dance around the burial mound. Every year on Wonka's birthday, they sang new songs, and even though now he was no longer alive, they felt it their duty to continue the tradition.
Charlie slipped away and quickened his pace. He did not know where he was going, but he had to get away from that room. He had not been back to Wonka's grave ever since he left it after the funeral. Something held him back. He had taken a week off after the memorial service, along with all of the Oompa Loompas, and then finally went back to work as if nothing happened. He pushed Wonka out of his thoughts almost entirely during each day so that he could focus on inventing new candies. He had been able to turn out new, successful chocolates despite his aching heart. The nights were the worst. It was when all the thoughts he suppressed during the day came to him all at once. It was not rare for him to see a picture of the chocolatier's cheerful face in his mind, past experiences he cherished and shared with the other man, and it was enough to make him silently cry himself to sleep at times. He never expressed his emotions of anger and sadness openly to anyone.
He entered the Chocolate Room and sat down near the river. He stared aimlessly at the brown liquid, as if it would tell him something.
"The waterfall is most important. It mixes the chocolate; churns it up. Makes it light and frothy……."
Charlie shook his head fiercely to get Wonka's voice out of his mind. He was trying so hard to escape him, but every room in the factory held some sort of memory of the pale, slender Willy Wonka.
Charlie turned around to see his mother standing behind him.
"Let's take a walk, darling."
Charlie got up and they started at a slow pace out of the Chocolate Room.
"Do you want to tell me what's on your mind?" she asked soothingly.
"It's nothing of importance; a few ideas for new flavors and such."
"What about Mr. Wonka?"
Charlie flinched at the name as if it stung him.
"Your father and I are very concerned about you. You haven't spoken of him since the funeral and-"
"That's because there is nothing to say-"
"-And you haven't been to his grave since then either."
"I've been busy."
"Well, what about today? You had the day off because it's his birthday."
"I didn't want to disturb the Oompa Loompas from their tradition."
His mother stopped and he did also. She looked at him, reading him inside and out. He knew he could not hide from her.
"I'm…….I'm scared. I don't know why, but I am. If I go there, then it's just the realization all over again that he really is gone."
"Yes, he's gone. But he'll always be with you. You have all those wonderful memories of time spent with him and this amazing factory that was his creation and joy. You get to live in his imagination."
She placed her hand on his cheek and wiped away a tear that strayed from his eye with her thumb. She then brought him to her in a warm embrace.
"Go to the man you love," she whispered in his ear.
He swallowed and pulled back from her. "What?" How did she know?
She only smiled and looked to her right. He followed her gaze and numerous emotions rose in him as he discovered that they had walked to the east wing, to the "Desolate Room." She squeezed his hand and then turned and left. He stood before the door with tingling sensations all through his body. He took a deep breath and opened the door.
The air was sweet. He closed the door behind him and wiped his sweaty palms on his pants, a trait that signified his nervousness. Walking at a leisurely pace, he strolled over to the far side of the room. There, all alone, was the grave of Willy Wonka.
Emotions of all kinds ripped at him from every side. He sat down in the soft, edible grass and looked at the ground where he knew Wonka was. He wiped his eyes and breathed in a shuddering breath.
"Hello, Mr. Wonka…….Willy," he whispered.
He had to pause to let several tears cascade down his cheeks and the odd feeling of his throat closing came with them.
"I'm sorry it took me so long to get here," he said a little louder. "I didn't…….The factory is doing great. I've done my best to come up with new ideas, and they seem to be selling well. I guess you were right about me after all. I can be a success on my own. But that doesn't mean that I'm better than we were as a team."
The awkward feeling of talking to practically himself was beginning to subside.
"We all miss you. I've noticed the Oompa Loompas aren't quite as mischievous as they once were when you were ali-"
He stopped himself mid-sentence. Another deep breath and exhale, and he was ready to continue.
"I wish you were here; actually here. Like old times. I……I grew up, Willy. I'm sorry. Sure, there is still some imagination in me and I can create new chocolates, but…….."
He glanced around the room and then at the plaque at the head of the mound. He began to sob. His body shook and he covered his face with his hands.
He finally came to terms with it all. The next day, it was no longer as painful to think about Willy Wonka as it had once been. He went to visit the grave as often as he could. Wonka may not have been there physically with him, but Charlie knew that he could enter any room and feel his presence.
And that was comforting enough to make him happy once again.
A/N: Please review with what you think about it.