Episodes Of Minneapolis: Alone Together

BY : JaxRhapsody
Category: Comics > Peanuts
Dragon prints: 111
Disclaimer: ...sigh... not my property to make money from...

Charlie reluctantly woke up, looking at his phone, turning off his third alarm, getting up groggy. How long had it been, felt like forever and yet just days ago, but it was years, years since he had to take the reins, step up to the plate, growing up so fast changed him… changed her, too. Charlie shambled in to Sally’s room, kicking her bed.

“Hey… Sal… get up, get ready for school,” Charlie kicked at her mattress.

“Fine, fine… I’m up… damn,” she growled, by the time she sat up, he was already gone.

Sally heard the coffee maker beeping in the kitchen, standing, taking a stretch, meandering to the bathroom in just her underwear.

“Morning,” she plopped down on the toilet for her morning wizz.

“Morning,” Charlie glanced at her, brushing his teeth.

Flushing the toilet, she joined him brushing her teeth, as he finished up. Separating back to their rooms, meeting in the kitchen for coffee. Neither talk much in the morning, scrolling through their phones.

“In your own bed this morning,” he grimaced at his phone, “must have been a decent night, tonight.”

“Mm’yeah, they’ve been getting better,” she sipped her coffee, “it’s been a while now, would be nice for the nightmares to stop.”

“Welp… that’s what therapy’s for.”

 

Charlie and Sally are called to the principles office two years ago, with urgency, both rushed to the office, waved in by the clerks and secretaries, they walked in to the principle’s office confused at everybody’s faces, to see more concerned, hurt faces. They themselves were getting scared, Sally actually grabbed Charlie’s hand and arm tight, which made him even more nervous, anxiety is starting to consume them. With the Principle were their perspective grades guidance counselors. After having been sat down; cautiously the news was delivered, the teens broke down- mostly Sally, Charlie didn’t feel like he could really let loose, though he did cry. Charlie picked Sally up in his lap, when she dropped from the chair, they practically broke the counselors.

They ran in to their friends, delivering them the news, they were all devastated, Lucy told the other girls and threatened them not to tease Charlie, but they cried instead, everybody cried. The news hit Patricia the hardest. Charlie doted on Sally so much, he hadn’t had time to really grieve, he spent many sleepless nights, making sure she was okay, his friends started to notice him being exhausted all the time. It really hit them both on the day of the funeral. That pile up on the highway took their parents away forever.

“You seem choked up still, Charlie,” Lucy assumed.

“What do you mean?”

“Well… I’ve been studying other aspects of people, like being able to read people and like chakras and stuff,” she explained, “have you really even grieved?”

“I have Sally to look after, and you know she’s a handful. I just- there’s no time to do it,” he sighed.

“Make time.”

“I gotta focus on school, I had to make all the arrangements, Sally’s still out of it, and keeps having nightmares,” he explained.

“You’re not alone, Charlie Brown,” she hugged him, “I can’t express how sorry I am for you and her, and I’m glad you’re trying to be better for Sally… you’ve always been a stand-up guy, despite everything, but you have to grieve… let it out.”

Lucy wasn’t aware of how much she cared for Charlie, or could care for him, until she had to. She had to be better, so he could be better, this isn’t the limit she wants to push, this isn’t horrible, alleged tough love advice, or trying to throw a baseball game, or pulling a football- it’s more, bigger, and those things need to be left in the past. She found herself doing something out of nature; hugging him tight in the hallway, kissing his forehead, while resting his head on her shoulder. They stood there a moment in silence, she didn’t know what else to say, but she did know what to do, hoping damn well it was the right thing for Charlie.

“Sally… c’mere girl,” Lucy greeted her with a hug.

“Hi Lucy,” she sighed.

“You’re still a wreck, poor baby,” she hugged her, “I know you’re lost right now, but you’ve gotta give your brother a break, everything is on him, now. He hasn’t even had a chance to grieve.”

“I’ve seen him cry,” she looked at her.

“No… not a real one, he’s so worried about you, taking care of you, I don’t think he can show so much in front of you, seeing as you barely had more respect for him, than I did. You gotta do better for Charlie, don’t make things harder.”

“What do I do?”

“Come with me after school, hang with the girls, we’ll get ice cream, or whatever, we can all have a good cry, or at least I’ll cry with you. Please, for Charlie?”

Sally was nervous being away from Charlie after school, worried if he was going to survive the drive home by himself, Lucy ran the idea by her friends, and then her and Violet told Charlie what she planned on doing, though reluctant; he submitted under peer pressure from Linus and Peppermint Patty. Tapioca stole some ice cream from her dads factory, meeting them at Violet’s, where she could let go, and not be alone with it, she had never seen Lucy cry before, or Violet. Despite it all; she had a good time. This left Charlie driving Linus from school, and Peppermint Patty tagged along, both agreed he should go where ever he wanted, so he drove to the park, they sat at the big oak tree, and just listened to him talk. Neither one really said anything, they knew where he was headed; to a much needed breakdown. Linus gave his friend a hug, exchanging glances with Peppermint Patty, surprised at the decorum that she had. Finally tears started to flow, they’d never seen him cry so hard, they both hugged him, she cried with him, Charlie held her close, laying to rest in her lap.

Sally eventually cried herself to sleep, cuddled up with Lucy on Violet’s floor. Patty took a picture and sent it to Charlie and Linus, the latter which got a small chuckle from it, Charlie didn’t look at it, until much later, he was just content with Peppermint Patty rubbing his back, as he calmed down in to convulsions, they told him if he wants to let go, they’ll be there, she leaned over, kissing him on the cheek. When he was ready to go, she insisted on coming home with him.  Linus hung out for a little while, with the both of them, giving Sally a hug when her and Lucy walked in, brushing her hair from her face, reassuring she could come to him, if she wanted. Eventually he left the four of them, going home. Charlie finally looked at the text from Patty; the first earnest smile he had, since that day in school, Peppermint Patty saw the picture, laughing and snickering, Sally and Lucy looked; Lucy rolled her eyes with a smile, squeezing Sally in a hug, Sally has a weak sickly smile. Both girls decided to stay the night, giving them a break from each other; Lucy slept with Sally, playing big spoon, same for Peppermint Patty.

 

Coffee finished, Charlie grabbed both their lunches, they stepped out in to the brisk morning, hopping in their dad’s old Cherokee XJ, headed to school. Two completely different people today, walk in from the student parking lot; a young man running the household and managing the barbershop, stepping in to basically a fathers role, keeping his sister in  line. A young lady who had just as much growing up to do, has to pull her own weight, and stand on her two feet.

“Morning, you two,” Lucy hugged them both, “how goes it?”

“Same shit, different day,” Charlie answered.

“Yeah… it does be like that, sometimes.”

“Hey Chuck,” Patricia greeted with a kiss.

“Morning, babe.”

“Oh, I almost forgot, big brother; Linus and I are going on a date tonight,” Sally said.

“Make sure you do your homework first, and it’s your turn to wash the dishes.”

“I will,” she went to catch up with Linus.

“They grow up so fast don’t they,” Patricia joked.

“I’m proud of her, you two know how hard it was at first, she thought she could just do whatever, and not listen.”

“At least I know now if we ever had a kid; you’d be a great dad,” Patricia smiled.

“I can’t take all the credit.”

“Damn right, we’re the ones who has to be big sisters to her, to fill in the gaps,” Lucy pat him on the back, in the way Peppermint Patty used to.

“I thank the both of you everyday, for your help, everything’s changed,” he rested his hands behind his head, “everybody else has changed.”

“Well it impacted us in ways we didn’t expect, we wanted to help you and Sally. We’re adults now in some way.”

“Lucy’s right; we knew you couldn’t do it alone in the beginning, I knew it, I had to toughen up and tell you how I felt, it was rocky, I learned my place, I didn’t want to lose you, Chuck, I couldn’t be that same brash, bossy, little girl, if we were going to work.”

“I’m surprised, and happy Linus came around, and stuck around through my paranoia- I had to remind myself my best friend wasn’t trying to take advantage of her.”

“We all know he’s better than that… however I admit; the thought crossed my mind, and I made sure my lil bro was being sincere,” she opened the door for them.

“I knew Linus was serious with her, because I saw him give her his blanket,” Patricia added.

“Yeah,” Charlie and Lucy said.

“All doubt out the window,” Charlie agreed, “funny how Schroeder came around, when you didn’t have time for him. This is a whole new paradigm.”

Charlie, and the two girls plopped down at the table after getting their breakfast, chatting with his friends, deep down he feels these are the end times, graduation is coming up, and there’s no telling who’s ending up where. He’s certain Patricia isn’t going anywhere, but what about the rest, should he prepare himself for Lucy, especially Linus, to go away? Or Sally to go to some college somewhere that won’t scoff at her G.P.A., leaving him in an empty house? No, everybody has a life to live, right now is what matters- today at these minutes, this day, let the cards fall where they may- nothing last forever, except memories. Slyly he dismissed the thought, laughing, catching a joke Franklin was telling. A surprise kiss from Peppermint Patty, they exchanged glances at each other, he followed her eyes to Sally, watching them with a soft smile. This is what matters, and Charlie is going to embrace it while it last, even if they do go somewhere, those two girls aren’t leaving his life, he thinks about a better future, not one of fear with everybody gone, but one where even if they are; the one that matters as much as his sister, will still be there, and the rest; they’ll all see each other again, you don’t spend your life together, just to throw it all away.

“Wha’cha thinking about, Babe,” Patricia asked him.

“Oh… just the future. Nothing bad.”

“Really,” Lucy raised an eyebrow.

“Really. I’m thinking that; everything will work out and…”

“Hey, our friendships won’t end just because we graduate,” Frieda said.

“I know, I’m not worried about that, what I was trying to say is that; everything will work out, and hopefully one day,” he looked at Patricia, “you can be my wife.”

Everybody gasped.

“Chuck… I love you a lot… yes I’ll be your wife! Whenever you’re ready,” she hugged and kissed him.

“The irony is everybody already calls you two husband and wife, behind your backs,” Marcie stated.

“I will be an ordained minister, when I finish this online course- if you can at least wait that long,” Linus instructed.

“Well, I guess I was worried about nothing,” Lucy shrugged.

“I think we all were,” laughed Violet.

“To quote Alfred E. Newman; ‘what, me worry’,” he said with a goofy grin.



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