Forgive and Forget

Chapter 2: Bitter

Charlene frowned as she went through the pictures online. Each image mocked her, telling her that she didn't have friends. Reminding her of her strange personality and unique appearance.

She stopped at a picture. Levine, her ex, was smiling proudly in the background of the image, a lime slice between his teeth. A girl Charlene recognized was laying on a dinner table, dressed pulled up to just below her chest. The girl's panties were a baby blue color.

Charlene wanted to throw up.

Body shots.

She didn't expect a lot from the other high schoolers around her. Didn't expect that any of them would get very far in life, or would even change the world. There were, of course, those that had potential, but she just didn't believe in any of them. Her high school was filled with people that simply settled.

Settled to go to a college that was local. Settled to marry some guy that was always there. Settled on everything and anything.

Charlene didn't settle. Never once, in her entire life, had she ever had to settle for anything. She always got was she wanted, for a reasonable price.

But… Levine had showed Charlene a whole new world. A world with more color than the earthy tones she surrounded herself in. There were blues and oranges, yellows and reds. Levine was the sunshine Charlene tried so hard to avoid during the summer.

"You'll sunburn even under the shade, Char," he'd say on a hot summer day. "So just get out here and have some fun."

He was encouraging of her, respectful of her, and thoughtful of her. Levine had been the perfect boyfriend, but Charlene felt off after a while. She felt as if she was settling.

They had gotten into a routine and their personalities had been set in stone. She was the moody dark girlfriend, and he was the optimistic popular boyfriend. They were the perfect cliché.

When Charlene had realized her role in the whole high school play, realized what character she was, she realized she was settling-- settling into a role that doomed her for the rest of her life.

Charlene disrupted her thoughts and memories and glanced at the screen again.

Levine had had sex with that girl in the photo, whose dressed was pulled up and whose panties were on display. Charlene knew.

She was bitter, and she was angry but she wouldn't bitch and moan about it.

They'd been broken up for weeks. Senior week was supposed to be the time of their lives. Charlene had spent it in her bedroom, painting the walls brown. She had spent it watching old movies from her bed, and going through old pictures of her time with him. Charlene had been a mess, because she was supposed to be spending the week with Levine. Instead, some girl with baby blue panties was spending the week with him.

Because Charlene never settled.

"Fuck this," she cursed at her lap top screen. She slammed it shut. She didn't even bother to think about senior week. She hadn't gone to visit her "friends" down the shore because they weren't really her friends. They were acquaintances that didn't like her but smiled politely. Her only friend was popular among all the senior week shore goers. So, her only friend had gone and abandoned her. Charlene was alone, and alone she would stay.

She wouldn't let another Levine breech her walls.

Even if that meant she would have to cross off "blonde, intelligent, optimistic, cute," boys off her list.

So be it.

She wouldn't settle.