Anyone asked of Charlies character or demeanor, and they would respond similarly. From school teachers, to acquaintances, to family, they would say things like, “He is a good boy. Quiet. Keeps to himself. But sweet as pure candy”.
Charlie saw himself completely different. He was always hurting. Always alone. Rarely smiled, or rarely felt any joy. He never spoke much but not because he couldn’t; only because he wouldn’t. What good would it do, he figured.
Not a day went by that he didn’t yearn to have a father present alongside him. The one God had given was as useless as Halloween treats on November the first. Still sweet to have, but never there when it meant anything.
The few times Charlie had spent with his father, he knew what kind of a man he was…and what kind he wasn’t. He was unable to connect with his boy, and subsequently Charlie could not succeed at connecting with him. His earthly father buried himself in work and in substance abuse. This is the life he chose instead of being there for his one and only son, who so desperately wished to know him.
This bitter neglect, coupled by the outcast his mother makes of him and compounded by these morbid visions left little childhood inside of Charlie. None of it made sense. He would cry out, screaming at God, demanding answers and demanding help, often waking in a ball at the foot of his bed from exhausting himself late at night.
Thoughts of suicide lunged at him, as the cold demons whisper in the night. His home was his fortress but he knew their taunts still got to him like any other. He convinced himself he wouldn’t do it, that there was still hope and that there are answers if he would only keep on. But the days grew short, and as the darkness surrounded him, his hope would slither away, as though he could see it escaping his tight grasp. With tears in his eyes and pain burning his soul, he fell asleep, saying no to the forces that taunt him. In the morning he would try again. Living was this much of an effort, a bludgeoning blueprint leading downward.
That night he dreamed of angels, legions of them. Their majestic flashing of steel blue swam together in their perfect swarms of regimented power. In the dream, Charlie stood amongst them, amongst their light and it made him smile ear to ear…