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It has often been said that courage is only fear that's said its prayers. So it was with Charlie. She came out of the bathroom looking calm and determined. On the inside though, she was praying nonstop, all the way to Adam's hotel door, located on the same floor. In her arms, she carried a chess game and three video movies, while Vera had brought her knitting bag along so she could work on the sweater she was knitting for Charlie.

"Are you ready?" asked Bill, before opening the door, and showing Charlie and Vera inside.

"I'm ready," replied Charlie.

The door swung open. Inside, Charlie saw Melvin sitting on a couch against the left wall, his head bent forward as if under great emotional strain. When he saw the door open, Melvin got to his feet and walked over to Gary, nudging him in Charlie's direction.

"She's here," Melvin whispered. He then looked in the direction of the bedroom, apprehensively.

Gary smiled weakly, then stepped forward to greet Charlie and Vera.

"Thanks for coming," he whispered, in a barely audible voice.

"Where is he?" asked Charlie.

"In the bedroom," Gary pointed.

"What's he doing? Is he sleeping?" she asked, hopefully.

"Five minutes ago, he was watching TV," answered Melvin, coming in on the conversation.

Both men stared expectantly at Charlie.

"No pressure, right guys?" she smiled.

"What are you going to do?" asked Bill.

"Would you please take a peek in the bedroom door and see if he's dressed," instructed Charlie.

Without argument, Bill did as he was told.

"He's dressed," whispered Bill.

Charlie went to the bedroom door and looked inside. Even though she had steeled herself before coming, she wasn't prepared for what she saw. Adam was sitting upright on a couch, watching TV. It looked as though he hadn't shaved in several days. He was clicking through the channels when, all at once, Charlie saw him weep. He buried his face in his hands, and sobbed like a child.

Charlie shut the door, and tried to get a hold of herself. She covered her mouth, to stifle a sob. When she turned around, Charlie discovered that the entire room was watching her. Straightening up, Charlie beckoned Vera to follow her into the bedroom.

When the door opened, Adam looked up, his bloodshot eyes dimly seeing Charlie's form in the doorway. Thinking he was hallucinating, Adam shook his head and then squinted at her.

"Hello, Adam," said Charlie.

Suddenly, he realized that she wasn't a hallucination.

"What are you doing here!" he demanded, at once becoming angry. "WHY?!" Adam demanded of Vera.

"She needed to come," replied Vera, a little shaken. Charlie, on the other hand, refused to let Adam see she was frightened.
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One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!