If he hadn't already been there waiting, Charlie wouldn't have known who she was looking for. Her memories of her father were hazy at best, and skewed with her own perception. Even if she did remember what he looked like, years in prison had not been kind to him. David Taylor's hair was thinning and grey, though the shadow of a beard was evident on his face, marring his pale complexion. Despite being seated in a chair on the other side of glass, it was evident his stature was sickly and the smile that pulled at his lips made Charlie's skin crawl.
But Charlie wasn't a scared little kid anymore, and her expression remained unbothered as she sat down herself and picked up the phone that hung on the cubicle wall beside her, continuing to stare at the man across from her, waiting for him to say something.
"You look just like your mother," he finally began after a long moment of silence, his voice just a tinge wistful.
Charlie's reply was immediate, her own tone betraying the bitterness she felt, "I wouldn't know." She continued to meet his gaze, hoping deep down that he felt as uncomfortable as she did, though she'd be damned if she let him see that on her face. "What do you want?"
David's expression softened, just slightly, which only made Charlie's anger simmer a bit deeper. "I just wanted to see you, Charlotte," he started, as if that would be enough explanation but the blonde across from him remained unmoved. "It's been a long time..." David trailed off, expecting some reaction, and though her hand tightened in its grip on the phone, she still stayed quiet. "Charlotte," he prompted, raising an eyebrow.
"No one calls me that," she insisted before clearing her throat. "You wanted me here, I'm here. So stop harassing Elise Whittaker," she said, her voice stern but without much inflection, her gaze unwavering in her seriousness. That had been the whole reason she'd come, to make it clear that he was not to reach out to Elise any longer, and while she didn't intend to ever come back she would be sure he understood that it was not a request and there would be no negotiation.
"I'm not harassing her," David objected, "I was just trying to reach you."
For her part, Charlie didn't believe one bit that he didn't know what he had been doing. He had to know by now that lawyers were getting involved. She still didn't believe that after all this time he just wanted to say hello. "Why?"
After a moment's pause, David seemed to decide that now was the time to come clean. He looked around him, as if taking stock of the place he was in finally, wishing this conversation could have been held somewhere else. He sighed heavily, his expression somber. "I'm sick, Charlotte. I probably won't be around much longer and I needed to reach out to you."
It wasn't what Charlie had expected to hear and for the first time since she walked in she stopped pretending that none of this phased her, unable to stop a brief moment of surprise from flashing across her face. Her father was dying and wanted to talk to her. "Oh." It didn't change anything, not really, but it brought her up short and left her momentarily without any other reply.
"But you could help me," he continued, scooting forward in his chair and leaning toward the glass with eagerness.
Unsure if she'd heard him correctly, Charlie asked, "What?"
David switched the phone to his other hand, running his other over his face, smiling earnestly now, like he was excited to have her rapt attention. "It's my liver, it's giving out on me. And I'm not really eligible for a transplant. By you're my daughter, you're probably a match for me."
There was a long minute of silence as Charlie stared through the glass at this man she hadn't seen in years, almost as if she was trying to decide if she'd heard correctly or was waiting for him to say it was a really stupid joke. But she'd seen where this conversation was going almost as soon as he'd begun to explain, and in a screwed up way it made sense. Of course he wanted something from her, of course that's why he'd wanted to see her.
"You've got to be fucking kidding me," she finally said, a reaction that actually set David back a moment.
"You're my daughter," he forged on, "You could save my life, Charlotte."
Charlie could feel her blood pressure spike sky high, her anger building with each word he muttered. "No one calls me that," she snapped back, slamming her hand down on the counter in front of her, like that would finally gain his actual attention. A guard on her side took a step forward, but she raised her hand in defeat and took a breath, trying to keep herself together despite the feeling of fire in her veins. "And I'm not your daughter. Do you think I don't know that you signed over your rights the second you could?" she spit out, staring him down, challenging him to deny it.
Instead, he changed his approach, his own temper flaring that she would dare to question him like that, "You're my blood. I gave you life."
Charlie actually laughed, a hard, forced laugh. "Are you saying I owe you this? I owe you a piece of my liver?" Shaking her head, the blonde leaned in herself now, "I haven't seen you since I was a kid. I haven't even heard from you in years, no Christmas calls, no birthday cards, no nothing. You're nothing to me."
David started to interrupt, about to interject by calling her Charlotte again, and Charlie shut him down by continuing to talk, her voice raising to nearly a yell, years of anger and bitterness leaking out with her words. No, not leaking, rushing like a damn broke and the water needed somewhere to spill, a city to destroy. Charlie got up too quickly, the plastic chair tipping over to the ground behind her, "That's what you've given me. And you think you deserve my help? After all that? I'm going to give you exactly what you deserve. The same damn thing you've given me my whole life, nothing."
Charlie was on a roll now, and despite the guards walking toward her, worried her erruption would spur something in the prisoners, she continued without noticing, slamming the pile of unopened letters against the glass that divided them, "Don't ever try and reach me again. Ever." The phone that connected them fell out of her hand and she pounded that fist once into the glass, bringing her face in close. She wasn't worried he wouldn't hear her, not with her voice raised to the level it was now. "And I swear to fucking God if you ever reach out to the Whittakers again, I don't care that you're in here, I will fucking kill you myself."
The closest guard had reached her, and with his hands wrapped around her arm, he pulled her back from the glass, a second guard standing to the other side in case Charlie lashed out, but she didn't. She finally saw them, her eyes focusing again, and she pulled her arm free, took a breath she had skipped, and let her adrenaline drop a notch. Realizing the letters were still in her hand, she caught the gaze of David again, defiantly tearing them the best she could and simply tossing them, not caring or even glancing to see where they landed, and turned and walked out without looking back.
She looked straight ahead, talking to no one and stopping for nothing, not when David called after her, or the guards, or the receptionist who wanted her to check out, not even when she made it to the parking lot. Instead of returning back to Kodi's truck, she walked right by without glancing at him, until she reached the end of the lot, leaned over and coughed up her breakfast.