Yield to Your Destiny
July 12, 2006
“I thought you looked familiar.” He called after her with an arrogant chuckle, “Lindsey Hawk.”
If Lindsey had recognized him before the moment when he shouted her named across empty space she would have made a quick escape in the opposite direction. She should have recognized his voice at the first word that he uttered, she should have recognized that familiar glow in his eyes. He was a demon. Instead, she was surprised but how quickly the bartender, this stranger, became a demon.
“You are Lindsey Hawk, aren’t you?” He jeered just after the two glasses she had gripped firmly slid onto the ground, shattering at her feet.
“I’m sorry.” He repeated several time when she didn’t move from her place amidst the broken glass. He approached her, leaving the bar unattended. She never turned to face him; she was never supposed to see him again.
“Excuse me.” She pleaded as he circled her.
“Well, wasn’t I the reason you left?” He asked his sharp features softening as if to convey an emotion equivalent to concern, regret, or sympathy, “Don’t you remember me?”
Lindsey studied her face. She had spent just over two years staring at that very face from across the dinner table. The Lightley’s had called him her brother. She despised him.
“Brandon,” She spat her skin beginning to crawl thinking of nights he had touched her, nights he had raped her.
“Look, what I did to you, it was fucked up.” Started his apology. He placed a calloused hand on her forearm to personify his sorrow. Lindsey recoiled and Brandon hung his head.
“We were all fucked up.” He growled now that his good intention had been rejected, “You included.”
Lindsey squinted her eyes to avoid the liquid weakness that would escape from her tear ducts. She had been running to long to give into emotion now, she had been fighting to hard to give in to this wretched emotions.
“I didn’t think I’d ever have the chance to apologize to you, and it’s really detrimental to my recovery.” Brandon explained.
“Where’s your brother?” Lindsey asked. He had been the one she spent nights wondering, worrying about. He was the one who often found himself in trouble he couldn’t get out of. “What ever happened to Vincent?” She repeated.
Brandon hung his head. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his dress pants and muttered, “He’s dead.”
Lindsey choked on her next breath. Dead. Vincent was dead. While she hadn’t expected him to become a successful businessman, doctor, or lawyer, she had hardly expected to hear this, “What happened?” She demanded.
“Kept get getting caught dealing. He went from the group home to juvie. He was picked up on an assault and battery charge three days after he turned 18. He nearly killed a little girl who fought back when he grabbed her in a park. He was shanked in the prison yard 2 months later.”
Lindsey was speechless. Sure, Vincent had been the one who had left the permanent red line across her shoulder blades, but not even he deserved that fate. He could have been saved, they all could.
“You know Vincent really could have changed,” Brandon unknowingly echoed Lindsey’s sentiment, “I know I did, you couldn’t imagine the amount of therapy!”
“I couldn’t.” She stated, lying through her teeth. She had occasionally found herself as a temporary stay in a pysch ward. She would fail to elude capture, give them a fake name, and undergo a few days of therapy. She would leave with a prescription a few days later. All of those orange bottles were still full, they rattled around in the glove box of her car.
“It looks like you’ve done pretty well for yourself, anyway,” Brandon mocked, “Who’d you bang to get an invite?”
“Yeah, you’ve really changed,” Lindsey scoffed turning her back on her former ‘brother’.
As she did, she met Andy’s comforting gaze. He stepped over the pile of broken glass that had been the drinks that had never made it back across the ballroom, “Is everything okay?”
Lindsey nodded. “Rockstar, big surprise.” Brandon chimed in.
Andy’s features grew taut. Lindsey simply brushed his hand and shook her head, “Let’s go.” She whispered.
“You tore our family apart when you ran away!” Brandon shouted after her, causing nearby patrons to turn and stare. Lindsey hated being seen. Deep down, she still longed to be a shadow.
“We were all worried sick all these years, you know.” He continued, “We couldn’t even begin to imagine all of the horrible things that had surely happened to you.”
Lindsey couldn’t imagine the Lightley’s ever being worried sick about her, the god forsaken daughter of satan, as she had heard Mr. Lightley refer to her on occasion (mostly after she returned to that little grey room after another failed runaway attempt.) It was never something he said in front of her, of course, but the walls and floors were thin and even her demon brothers were quiet in the night.
When Lindsey imagined the Lightley’s after her final runaway attempt had been a success, she imagined them being angry. Even assuming disappointment would be a stretch considering that they were just biding her time until she turned 18. Unlike Brandon, who they had offered permanent residence as their son, she would no longer be welcome once she aged right out of the system. They would no longer be receiving the monetary compensation to care for her each month after all.
“I’d really like my guitar back.” Brandon called just before she was out of earshot, more party-goers turned to watch the yet unfolding scene.
Lindsey lunged, ready to tear him a part, but Andy restrained her with just a simple, “It’s okay.”
“I’d really like back the things you took from me too.” She replied sure he understood that meant what little wisps of innocence she had still held onto at that point.
Brandon laughed the same crooked laugh that had always made her skin crawl. It was how he laughed when he snuck into her room at night. It was the kind of laugh never more inappropriate than when he locked the door behind him (for privacy, he would say). It was the devious chuckle she focused on when he touched her, violated her, raped her. Now as he laugh, he tossed a light-hearted smirk in her direction, “What did it matter? You were already dead inside.”
Lindsey’s hands balled up at her sides. She wouldn’t hit him, she had vowed to never come in physical contact with him again.
“On second thought,” Brandon continued when she didn’t immediately fire back insults, “I’m not sorry. You deserved it each and every time, and I’d do it all again you fucking little whore.”
And before Lindsey even blinked those words into her consciousness Andy pounced. His fists flew fast and hard at Brandon’s face. Lindsey’s breath caught in her throat as she watched the world around her slow into a blur. Her head was spinning, her limbs felt heavy, her peripheral vision started to get dark. Joe and Pete came flying into the scene from opposite directions. Lindsey was sure her lips were turning blue from lack of oxygen but she could not look away from the action sequence to a particularly violent movie as it played out in front of her.
When Patrick reached her side she was shaking. “Are you alright?” He asked out of pure concern. Once he was sure her subtle head movements were meant to be nods he joined the crowd that gathered in attempt of breaking up the fight. Brandon was clearly the bigger opponent, yet Pete, Joe, and Andy came away virtually unscathed. Their group didn’t need to be asked to leave.
Lindsey walked, her hand laced with Andy’s, and attempted to ignore the way he had suddenly begun to favor his right side. Brandon, now back behind the bar, cupped his hand at the corner of his mouth to be sure his last message was heard.
“I’ll be sure to tell the Lightley’s you’ve been found. We can all meet for dinner or something.” And with that promise still ringing in her ears, Lindsey silently devised her most heartbreaking plan yet.