Wake The Sun
July 9, 2006
California was bright; brighter than Lindsey remembered anyway. California had been where she ended up after years of foster care and almost adoptions. No one wanted her once they really got to know her, which is why this time she stuck around. Andy would prove to be just like the others or the exception to the rule. At the moment she squinted at the sunrays that had managed to penetrate the blinds, he was leaning toward being the exception. She replaced her small frame with a pillow underneath the weight of Andy’s arm so she wouldn’t wake him. From the doorway she couldn’t help but turn back, as though to check that he was still there, his mouth still slightly ajar, his glass still sitting on the night stand. Maybe this time, California was the exception.
She soon found herself positioned at the kitchen island. She had four pieces of bread in the toaster and was using a fork to throughoughly mix the eggs into uniform yellow slime. The Lightley’s had taught her how to cook. That was precisely the reason she ever spent much time in the kitchen. With a tofu scramble cooking nearby for Andy, Lindsey came to a realization. She was the girlfriend cooking breakfast. She was almost completely domesticated.
An alarm went off on her phone, its vibrations shifting the several inches to the right of where she had placed it on the counter. It was a reminder, a reminder she had been ignoring for the past week. The title read “9-5 @ Sip”. Lindsey smiled to herself; she hadn’t been to work in a week. Sarah had been counting on her. Lindsey switched off both of the burners leaving the pans in their respective spot. She wasn’t domestic; she couldn’t be counted on; she still had it in her.
Her proud realization in the middle of the kitchen was interrupted by Hemingway’s soft whines from the in front of the sliding glass door. She marched across the kitchen sliding the door open just enough the still small bulldog could fit though. He gazed up at her with his big brown eyes longingly. She opened the door just a little wider. Hemingway didn’t budge.
Lindsey surrendered sliding the door completely open and stepping into the backyard herself. Once she was seated in a deck chair beside the pool Hemingway happily trotted outside. He looked back several times to be sure she was still there, sitting in her deck chair. If she hadn’t grown so attached to the pooch, she would have discouraged this behavior.
To restless to stay sitting for long, Lindsey used the net to sift leaves and dead bugs out of the pool. She had spent two summers watching her foster brothers, Brandon and Vincent, doing this very task. It was a chore she envied, it seemed relaxing and much more appealing than kitchen work.
“Finally, there’s a purpose for your god-forsaken life,” came with a chuckle from near the open sliding glass door. She quickly turned her attention to the speaker, regretting the action as soon as her gaze met Pete’s. She chose to ignore him. He didn’t buy for a second that she hadn’t seen him.
He reclined in the lawn chair where she had previously been sitting. Hemingway clumsily scurried over to his owner. Pete lifted him into his lap and Hemmy lapped at his chin. Once the puppy had settled into a ball at his side Pete spoke again, “It’s awfully early for you to be awake isn’t it?”
Lindsey assumed that would be the closest sentiment to ‘Good Morning’ she would receive. “I could say the same about you,” She shrugged continuing her task.
“I haven’t slept yet.” Pete said smugly.
Lindsey was tiring of the conversation quickly. It was sure to only end in him insulting her again and it was far too early in the morning for that. “That doesn’t surprise me, Andy’s mentioned your issues.”
Pete propped himself up on his hands, defensive. Lindsey smiled to herself; she could almost see the hair standing up on the back of his neck. He was ready to argue, she had basically beckoned him to fight.
Hemingway snuggled his face into Pete’s hand. He took that as a cue to calm himself down before replying. Anger was the reaction she expected, after all. If he had learned anything about her since she had infiltrated their band it was that she needed to be in charge. She’d lose control if presented with a mystery. It was almost too easy.
“I’m nothing of what you think I am.” Pete let his voice trail.
“I can repeat that sentiment.” She nodded in his direction, furrowing her brow.
“No originality.” Pete laughed, watching her flounder had proven to be more entertaining than expected.
“Just because I don’t pour my whiney little heart out in rhyme and meter doesn’t make me mediocre.”
“But you do, and you’re far more emo than eyeliner could ever make me.”
She glared at him, discarded the net in a nearby bush just as she had abandoned the breakfast she had started. Lindsey had perfected the art of running away, the rest of this ‘change’ seen in her was mostly just an illusion even she wanted to believe.
“You’re not completely talent-less though.” Pete jeered, “I mean, with Panic doing so well, the whole circus thing is pretty big, we could make you some sort of sideshow freak.”
Lindsey drew closer to him than he felt comfortable with. He pulled his extended legs off to one side of the chair. She sat where his feet had been. “I know why you hate me.” She tempted him. He looked away, that wasn’t bait he was willing to take, Lindsey continued anyway, “You hate the everything about me that you can relate to, because that would mean you’d have to admit that you’re still as fucked up as I am, and no amount of success or money can fix that.”
The sliding glass door closed with a ‘tuff’ sound. “Are you two actually having a civilized conversation?” Andy asks approaching Lindsey and Pete. Pete looks between Andy and Lindsey, he glares at them both individually, then as a pair. He’s muttering nonsense.
Lindsey touches his arm gently, “You’re not invincible, Wentz,” She told him in a whisper, “Looks like I’ve gotten under your skin too.”