Everything happens for a reason. Atleast that's what Destiny told me.
Break Some Fragile Backs
May 25, 2006
Dawn had this way of pulling Lindsey away from her only comfortable state of mind. Early morning rays tugged her eyelids open and forced her to focus on the pain in each of her limbs. Swallowing the urge to gag, Lindsey crawled into the front seat leaving the empty bottle of Jack on the floor in the back.
She adjusted the review mirror tearing up at her own reflection. In one swift motion she pulled back the pieces of her hair long enough to tie up and secured them with an elastic band. Two deep breaths dissolved her tears but even after rubbing her eyes until they hurt the smudges of eyeliner would not disappear.
The stench of alcohol was strong on her breath as she started the car and pulled out of the abandoned parking lot. Mornings were the most difficult time for Lindsey to survive, because the streets in every city blurred the lines of the unknown and familiar. Mornings were and every day reminder she was on her own.
Chicago's morning streets seemed unnatural to Lindsey's usual traffic jam life. Nothing about that morning really felt natural. Not the way the sun was shining and definitely not the way she seemed to know exactly where she was heading. She knew there was something odd about this morning. You see, there are some things that are stronger than free will. Some things are more complicated than a young vagabond could ever understand. Lindsey was better off not understanding that on that specific morning the universe was working in her favor. Fate emptied Chicago streets and directed Lindsey exactly where she was meant to go. That's really where our story starts after all, in the same city that her happiness had left her to begin with. On that little Chicago street, Lindsey's life was destined to change.
Lindsey pulled up alongside a quiet looking coffee shop. It was homey, quaint, the kind of place where good people spent their time. The sign that hung out front read "Sip". This was not usually the kind of place Lindsey found appealing because good people had the tendency to stare. She sat outside in her car for ten minutes before she even thought of going inside. Lindsey never stopped in neighborhoods like this one. With quiet tree lined streets and apartment buildings that stood proudly alongside one another. This was the sort of place that frightened her, simply because she knew that a girl like her could never fit into a neighborhood like this. Even the coffee shop's lone employee looked intimidating to Lindsey, a girl who preferred to be alone in her own desperate shade of gray.
Once she opened the driver's side door and another car rushed down the street just close enough to spook her. Lindsey waited another fifteen minutes before breaking the seal of her little universe and breathing in the morning. An odd feeling somewhere between her stomach and her heart convinced her she must go inside. Lindsey didn't know it then, and she certainly doesn't understand it now, but there was a reason she was so drawn towards this place and his name was Andy Hurley.
Around this same time that Lindsey was drawing out the inevitable, Andy Hurley was getting into his car a few blocks away. He was turning on the ignition and driving to his favorite coffee shop. Any other morning he would simply walk to "Sip" but something about the way his feet were connecting with the sidewalk convinced him this was not a good idea. You see, Andy felt the difference in that morning too. He wasn't sure when, or why, or even how, but he knew he was standing on the edge of something too big to understand. And if he was crossing into any uncharted territory he was definitely not going to draw it out by trying to get there on foot.
Lindsey's steps were silent on the cement as she walked from her parked car. The only audible proof of her existence was the chiming bell above the door of the coffee shop that sang out as she entered.
"What can I get you?" The lone tired employee asked drolly. On her nametag "Sarah" was printed in block letters. It seemed like such a plain name. Sarah seemed like such a plain girl.
The bell above the door chimed killing the silence Lindsey would have killed to maintain. Turning to the door Lindsey and Sarah watched a man with long copper hair enter. Lindsey prided herself on isolation; something about the way this man looked at her destroyed that. She froze. She had been caught. She'd never be invisible again. It wasn't supposed to be that easy.
"What can I get you?" Sarah repeated. Each step that brought the man nearer made Lindsey's stare more uncomfortable. His lips were pursed into a smirk. He was watching her too. She turned away praying he would simply ignore her.
"Miss." Sarah said shortly, "What can I get you?"
"small.black.coffee." Lindsey mumbled. Sarah nodded.
"Your regular Andy?" She asked the man who now stood directly behind Lindsey. He nodded and Sarah hurried away to prepare the orders.
Lindsey pulled a handful of change from her pocket of her jeans to occupy both her eyes and her mind. She whispered frustrations to no one in particular as she counted out $1.39 in pennies and nickels.
Andy watched as this girl feverishly sorted through a handful of change. There were bags under her eyes and her hair and clothes seemed to be some sort or organized mess but something about trapped him into staring at her.
"Rough night?" Andy, chuckled out a voice the soothed the ringing in Lindsey's ears. Without even looking up at him, he became the topic of her whispered frustrations.
"Here's your coffee." Sarah said placing the cup on the counter and collecting the change Lindsey had left in neat stacks, "And Andy, your tea."
"Thanks," He replied watching Lindsey simply brush past him.
"She must have had a really rough night." He shrugged.
Sarah laughing leaning forward flirtatiously, "She's probably going to need more than just a small coffee then."
From his table beside the window of that little coffee shop, Andy watched the girl he concluded was ready to fall apart. Setting her small paper cup of the curb she opened the trunk to the shittiest gray car he had ever seen and pulled out an old beat up guitar case.
She checked in all direction nervously, more like she thought she was being followed than checking for traffic. He sipped his tea as she hurried to the nearest bench in the park across the street. Leaving the guitar case open in front of her she began to strum a song that didn't travel quite far enough.
He couldn't help but watch her. He blamed the same weird feeling that had woke him before dawn. He always made small talk with Sarah, who was frankly as simple as she seemed. He always ordered the same thing. He liked routine. He liked stability. He seemed to like everything that Lindsey was not.
On this specific morning, a morning only meant to draw her out of a lonely gray world, Andy was captured in the brown eyes of a girl whose name he didn't know.