DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Okay, so I don't really actually watch Home and Away, but I was on YouTube browsing other videos when I came across the Charlie Joey Love Story, and got engrossed, and watched the whole thing. I literally lost my whole evening. Anyway I was so taken with the story I decided to write my own. As I say I don't really watch the show, so I have no idea what has happened since well I know Joey didn't come back, and I know Charlie got hit by Brett's car, and possibly died later on at some point. But needless to say my story won't be following the reality of the show because I really have no idea what that is!! Sooooo let me know what you think.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To debrafitzakerley[at]yahoo.co.uk
One More Chance
Joey's mind wandered. Three months have passed. Three whole month's since she had watched Charlie dissolve into tears at the end of the jetty. Three months since she last felt those lips on her own. She shuddered and closed her eyes as she remembered.
When she finally felt ready to open them, she was met with open blue waters. She's been staring out at these same waters for the last three months, and they've provided clarity. She had pushed Charlie too hard, she had expected too much of her in too short a time. No wonder she got scared and made such a stupid mistake.
But after three months of over analysing it, she knew she could forgive her. She could understand even why she'd done it. Don't get it wrong, the thought of Charlie and Hugo together made her skin crawl, and the bile rise in her stomach. But she understood now. She was ready to move past it.
She sees land on the horizon, for the first time in three months, solid actual land. Not just any land. Summer Bay. There's that bile rising again. Three months is a long time. Anything could have happened. Charlie could be over her, she may have already moved on. If that's the case, so be it. Joey knows she will only have herself to blame, she did what she does best, she ran away, and soon, she will have to face the consequences of that particular action. In an hour or so, she would be home.
Joey said her final goodbyes to the crew. They were a good bunch, they'd gotten on reasonably well in the three months they'd been together, obviously being in such a confined space for such a long period of time, had led to some tension, but they always moved past it. More than anyone she got on really well with the skipper, Mitchell.
He got Joey straight away, he could tell she was hiding from something, that the boat, the sea, the job was all part of an escape. They had often stayed up chatting after the others had gone below deck to bed. He told her she could run away from her problems, but that would never resolve them, that when she was brave enough to go back, her problems would still be there, probably about ten times worse than when she left them. He was right.
"You all set then kiddo?" Mitchell had watched Joey stand on the edge of the boat, just looking out across Summer Bay, never quite building up enough courage to take that last step, back onto to solid ground. He wonders if she realises she's been stood there for almost thirty minutes, lost in her thoughts.
Mitchell's voice brings her out of her reverie. She smiles. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be I guess."
She swallows the anxiety she feels, and just looks down at the ground. But still makes no effort to take that final step. Truth be told she's starting to panic.
Mitchell moves towards her and put's an arm around her, she doesn't flinch, she feels comfortable in his embrace, and leans into it.
"If you've learnt one thing while you've been stuck on this rust bucket with me for three months, what is it?"
Joey smiles as she answers. "Face your fears."
"Right" Mitchell squeezes her a little hoping to give her the encouragement she needs to take that final step.
Joey is still panicking she can't help but let it spill out. "But Mitch, there's so many to face. I mean Charlie is the obvious one, if she hates me, if she's moved on. Not to mention the fact that I'm homeless, I can't see Brett welcoming me back with open arms, that's if he's still actually here, plus I don't have a job, how I'm gunna live."
She's hyperventilating now; she didn't pause for breath throughout that whole sentence. Mitchell hugs her and tries his best to sooth her and calm her down.
"Hey, come on breath. I might just have a solution to a couple of those problems." Mitchell says it with a twinkle in his eyes, and can't help the grin that spreads on his face at the look of shock displayed on Joey's features. He decides to put her out of her misery immediately.
He sits on the edge of the boat, and Joey mirrors his action, waiting with bated breath.
"You weren't happy on that boat Joey, this is where you belong." He gestures out at Summer Bay. "But you're a damn good worker, and I'd be stupid to let you go."
Joey is confused, her expression conveys this, but she lets Mitchell finish.
"As well as the trawlers, I run a garage in Summer Bay, mostly boat maintenance, but we're branching out to cars and stuff. Anyway I digress. I'd love it if you'd come and work for me in the garage, as a trainee mechanic?"
Joey can't believe her ears, she practically squeals. "Are you serious?" Without waiting for a response she dives on him pulling him into a hug. He can't help but laugh out loud. Joey is a good kid, and after everything she's been through, she deserves a break, and he's more than happy to be the one that provides it for her. He hasn't finished yet.
"And as for somewhere to live, you can crash with me, just until you get something else sorted."
Joey pulls back from the hug. "I can't Mitch, that's too much."
"Nonsense, like I say it's not forever, but you are more than welcome to stay until you get back on your feet."
Joey actually feels pretty emotional, and it must show on her face, now it's Mitchell's turn to panic, he likes Joey, but he can't be doing with a crying woman. He tries to lighten the mood.
"Anyway, it might turn out to be more of a nightmare for you; my daughter can be pretty hard to take sometimes."
He jumps off the boat as he's speaking after a few steps he looks back. "You coming or not?"
Joey smiles, things are finally looking up. She jumps off the boat, and excitedly runs and catches up to Mitchell. One thing's for certain. The future is looking bright, whether Charlie wants to be a part of it or not.
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