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"It was my money," retorted Sherri. In her haste to defend herself, she had temporarily forgotten her mother's threat of a year long grounding.

"When did she leave?" asked Angela, resigning herself to the realization that this was going to make her look like an incompetent mother in front of Chuck. There was no way that she could hide this from him. Charlie was going to show up in Twin Yucca. If she didn't call Chuck before she arrived, it was going to put her in an even more awkward position. It would look like she hadn't even noticed Charlie was missing. Sherri reluctantly told her mother which flight Charlie was on and when it was due. Angela promptly informed Sherri that she was grounded for a month. When Sherri heard this, she protested the sentence that had just been passed, at the top of her lungs. Angela interrupted her daughter's tantrum by hanging up the phone. Now to do what she dreaded-- call Chuck.

After spending some time in Scripture searching and praying, Chuck emerged from his room, armed with God's promises and ready to make the phone call. He was not going to take "no" for an answer; he was going to insist that Charlie come home; and he was not going to fear or be intimidated by Angela. To Chuck's amazement, as he wrapped his fingers around the receiver, the phone rang.

"Hello?" answered Chuck. He could hear someone clearing their throat, as if preparing to speak.

"Hi, Charlton. It's Angela."

"Is anything wrong with Charlie?" asked Chuck, sensing that she was preparing to break unpleasant news.

"Not exactly. It seems Sherri and Charlie have become close friends," lied Angela, trying to minimize the responsibility and guilt of herself and her daughter. "Sherri saw how much Charlotte missed you, so she decided to help her come to you," explained Angela.

"Come to me?" repeated Chuck, unsure if he had actually heard what he thought he did.

"Charlie... I mean Charlotte, is on a flight to Los Angeles International Airport. It's due in about half an hour," continued Angela, assuming the same unapologetic tone of her daughter. "It was my responsibility to take Charlotte in, but she is just not adjusting to her surroundings very well. I think it would be best if you assume responsibility for your daughter. If you can't handle her, I suggest you take her to a psychotherapist," advised Angela.

Chuck was shocked! Was Angela really giving Charlie back to him, without even a fight?

"I have done my best," added Angela, after a few moments of uneasy silence from Chuck.

"Thank you," Chuck responded, not wanting to make Angela angry and reconsider. "Please thank your family for their hospitality. It was very kind of you." Surprised that Chuck was not going to yell at her for being a bad mother, Angela didn't quite know what to do with the coals of fire Chuck had heaped upon her by his graceful acceptance of the news.

"Uh, you're very welcome, I'm sure," replied Angela. "I hope Charlotte arrives safely."

"Thank you," repeated Chuck.

"Well, I have to be going now. Take care," said Angela.

"You too," replied Chuck, hanging up the receiver. That was that.
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