Morning surprise. New Friend? Someone else to despise?
Enjoy Your Wait
May 26, 2006
The square room with walls a desperate shad of gray was the closest Lindsey had ever had to home, even if it was just another bedroom in the house of just another set of foster parents. It was no real home. They were no real family.
The night she returned to that house in the back of a police car to a family that only pretended to be grateful for her return that same gray walled room haunted her in the dark. The walls taunted her with the same growling that echoed from her stomach reminding her she still hadn't eaten. The room was hardly a comfort now that each of her limbs ached for freedom. Her head screamed for a new beginning. Her heart screamed for a bitter end.
The quiet sounds of shuffling feet dissolved into the night. Lindsey waited, but not for another escape. She hadn't enough strength to get away again just yet. No Lindsey waited for the stillness that assured her it was safe to leave her room.
Silence slipped under the door with an eerie uneasiness Lindsey chose to ignore. Instead she slid across the hardwood floor hoping if she didn't pick up her feet she could avoid any creaking boards.
She had hardly reached the base of the stairs when the bright eyes of two boys she called demons shone through the darkness in front of her. Sure, genetically, Brandon and Vincent were just as much human as the foster parents that tolerated them claimed to be, but Lindsey knew they were much closer to the broken heart of a creature she had become. Both boys were around her age and just like her had been abandoned by the state's adoption system. (No one wants haunted children).
She didn't know their stories, but it was obvious something deeper hid behind the anger in their eyes. Whatever that was Lindsey was happier not knowing, even after they began shoving her around the kitchen knocking at her air supply as fists connected with her stomach and throat.
Gasping for air made sharing her own story difficult. That was probably best though, tales of murder and molestation never made the right first impression anyway. People want to read about the underdog coming through, about success, falling in love, and happy endings. All Lindsey had was a pool of her own blood and the knife that Vincent had concealed until it was too late idle on the tile beside her.
Midnight scuffles were common for Lindsey. Her only conclusion: She was far less intimidating in the dark. It was no surprise Brandon and Vincent fled into their bedrooms either. She was used to muffling tears of pain. She was usually brave enough not too stay down for long, but tonight as the air prodded at the stinging gash across her shoulder blades she soaked up the coolness of the tiles beneath her.
There was nothing new about being stabbed in the back by the people who were supposed to love her, although it had never been quite so literal before. She reached a tired arm behind her, cringed as her fingers brushed the split in her skin, and prayed it would scar.
Lindsey caught herself whimpering as she slipped out of sleep. Wiping at the corner of her eyes with the smooth cotton fabric of the blanket she was wrapped in, Lindsey familiarized herself with her surroundings once again. The simple, yet cozy, room was her only reminder that she was already in over her head. She chose to ignore it.
Once she had balanced herself in front of the room's only window, she took a deep breath. There was no denying it was Chicago outside that window. That alone was enough to take her down. Chicago was never part of her plan. She'd never survive if she stuck around for long. If enough time passed her past would have the chance to catch up with her. The silence of that cozy room insisted she couldn't let that happen, especially not when her past was already invading her dreams again.
Lindsey tiptoed to the far side of the room and cursed the door as it squeaked open. Andy was asleep hanging half off the couch. Lindsey hadn't realized she had been such an inconvenience. She should have never allowed him to give up his bed for her. She wasn't worth the trouble. She was just another girl after all, just another face that would fade into a memory.
A door creaked open down the hall just as Andy shifted on the couch. Lindsey hurried into the bathroom dropping her arm full of clean clothes on the counter so she could fiddle with fastening the lock. Finally settled in the idea that the door wouldn't budge, Lindsey turned away from the mirror and tugged at the clothes that she wore.
Discarded on the floor like leaves in autumn, the clothes Lindsey left on the floor were old and crumpled. She felt just as dull and worthless as the warm stream of water hit her body. She couldn't help but relish in the sensation it left on her skin; her last hot shower had become nothing but a distant memory. Mostly she settled with a washcloth and a rest stop sink but even on lucky days when she had managed enough money to stay in a hostel for the night the long line of other guests exhausted the hot water supply much quicker than Lindsey could ever experience it.
Now that a sense of tranquility had washed over her, leaving the knots in her hair and thoughts untangled, Lindsey wrapped herself in a towel and managed to meet her reflection. The rings around her eyes were darker then she remembered, but that didn't bother her as much as the scar that ran between her shoulder blades.
Lindsey's life since she had been put in foster care turned out to be one scar or tragedy after another, not that life before that was any fairy tale. She had plenty of reminders of the horrors she had faced. Scars, dreams, and memories don't fade very well when they're accompanied by murder and rape. She had plenty of reasons to never be alive. There were a few people she could think of that probably wished she wasn't. She had plenty reactions kept inside. Secrets are easier to keep hidden when the truth can't find you.
Sick of her own reflection, Lindsey dressed quickly and took a deep breath unfastening the unsteady lock on the bathroom door. She had never been one to plan ahead. It was really only moments like this when it bothered her. Chicago was closing in on her, and she had no idea how to run without her car or any cash. She had no idea what she would tell Andy. She had no idea why she felt he deserved an explanation.
"Andy man," A stranger called from the sofa, "Let's go, Patrick and Joe are already waiting downstairs."
Lindsey gasped. The stranger turned to face her. He had an eerie sort of friendliness about him. She didn't like it.
"Oh," He said with a bit of a chuckle noticing it wasn't Andy who came out of the bathroom at all, "Where did you come from?"
Lindsey didn't reply. She didn't like the way this man was looking at her. She didn't like the way his lips turned up into a smug sort of smile. She hurried away from him, throwing the door to Andy's bedroom open. She gasped again as he stood shirtless in front of the closet.
He chuckled a bit as she just blinked at him. Before she could mutter any apologies he smiled warmly and any hint of intellect escaped her. "You have tattoos."
"You have very pretty eyes," He countered pulling a shirt over his head to cover the colorful ink on his arms and back.
"You ready man?" The voice from behind Lindsey made her jump.
"We've got an edgy one on our hands, don't we?" The man laughed. Andy did too.
"I see you've already had the pleasure of meeting Pete," Andy said nodding toward her. She turned to face the man behind her.
"Pete," She repeated, then paused trying to place where she had heard that name before, "You're the one who likes pressing buttons."
Pete chuckled, "Of all things, THAT'S what you tell her about me?"
Andy shrugged joining Lindsey to stand in the doorway in front of Pete.
"We have to go take care of some work stuff." Andy explained with an interested hand on Lindsey's elbow.
She brushed it away, "I'm going out anyway."