Chapter Four: Weepers
Charlotte pulled her car into Violet's driveway and killed the engine. As soon as the key was out of the ignition, she slumped forward and rested her head against the steering wheel. Charlotte tried to stay calm and keep breathing, but she felt like her entire world was crashing down around her. After realizing an hour ago that she'd left her diary at Cooper's apartment, she'd frantically rushed over there to recover it. In a cruel twist of fate, she had relinquished her set of house keys earlier that day, so Charlotte had no choice but to bang on the front door. There was no answer and it became clear that Cooper either wasn't home or didn't want to see her. She eventually left empty-handed.
On the drive back to Violet's house, it took every ounce of will-power for Charlotte to keep her tears at bay. She blamed herself. She'd been stupid and careless, and now she was going to pay the price. In her mind, it was a foregone conclusion that Cooper would find the diary. And because he had the emotional maturity of a twelve-year old boy, he wouldn't think twice about reading it. He would relish using her own words against her. Charlotte felt nauseous at the thought and decided she might call-in sick tomorrow. She would need some time to lick her wounds before she could face him and his laughing eyes.
Charlotte got out of the car, feet dragging, and walked up to the front door. She was just about to insert her key into the lock when the door abruptly swung open. Violet was standing there, still dressed in that ridiculous Snugee, looking like the cat that ate the canary. She quickly ushered Charlotte inside the foyer and pointed her in the direction of the living room. She gave her a little nudge and told her, "Someone's here to see you."
Charlotte walked into the living room and was completely caught off-guard by what she found; Cooper was sitting on the plush sofa waiting to talk with her. The diary was lying on the coffee table in front of him, and appeared to be unharmed. Charlotte immediately leapt forward and snatched up the diary. She hugged it against her chest, wrapping both arms around it in a protective gesture.
When Cooper saw her reaction to the diary, he told her, "I never would've pegged you as the type."
"There's a lot you don't know about me." Charlotte looked pained and had trouble meeting his gaze. "Although, I suppose that's not true anymore."
"It's still true."
Charlotte's head snapped up and she looked at him. Her eyes were round with wonder. "You mean-"
"I didn't read it." Cooper shook his head and admitted, "I started to, but then something stopped me."
Cooper shrugged and stood up. It was a classic brush off, so Charlotte thought she wasn't going to get an answer. He walked towards the foyer, but lingered just inside the doorway. He turned to look at her. His eyes held an enormous depth of emotion that left her feeling breathless. "I want to know all your secrets but I think trust is more important." Cooper managed a weak smile; the first one she'd seen from him in over a month. "I guess I didn't want to learn your old secrets at the expense of you never telling me any new ones."
Charlotte watched him leave without another word. She just stood there stunned and humbled by his display of maturity. Tears pooled in her eyes as she realized that she might have misjudged him. Maybe Cooper didn't need to be protected. Maybe he could handle her secrets after all.
Only time would tell.
A/N: If Cooper had read her diary, it would've been unforgivable. I think it's better this way...Thoughts?