And her past is finally revealed (part one)
Just Forget About All of the Things You Can't Save
June 10, 2006
Lindsey's gut was telling her to quit her job at "Sip" and disappear with her guitar while Andy slept at night. Her gut told her that if she didn't leave immediately she would be stuck in Chicago for the rest of her life. Chicago was where her story began. She was never supposed to end up there again. But as she waited quietly for the sun to rise at the edge of Andy's bed she already knew it was too late for her. It was too late for Andy too, although he slept through this realization.
"Lindsey," He whispered soon after dawn, "What are you doing?"
"I'm ready to give you a shot," Her eyes lit up with an apprehensive excitement as she stood beckoning him to do the same. "Get dressed," She instructed, "I have to show you something."
Andy hardly protested as he sleepily followed her instructions. Things between them had been tense since their small screaming match, so he wasn't going to take one of her good moods for granted by making her wait too long. She handed him the paper cup full of tea on their way out the door.
"You already made it to 'Sip' this morning?" He asked thanking her.
"I've been up for a while," Lindsey replied with a shrug. The truth was, she had hardly slept at all.
The elevator rang as they reached the ground floor and she took a deep breath before exiting. Andy followed close behind her, afraid if he didn't match her quick steps he'd get left behind. As they settled into her car, Andy checked his seatbelt three times to make sure it was secure. The automobile didn't exactly scream CRASH TESTED in a good way.
"Where exactly are we going?" He asked once the surrounds became less and less familiar.
Lindsey tossed her hair over her shoulder and turned down the radio, "The wrong side of town." She admitted, "I grew up not far from here."
Andy replied with a look of disbelief, "You've spent the last three weeks telling me you nothing about Chicago and you grew up not far from here?"
"Ah. Ah. Ah." She corrected nodded confidently towards him, "I believe I said I knew nothing about why I was here. Chicago isn't really a place that holds fond memories."
Before Andy could question why she never had any fond memories to share, the old gray car shook to a stop on deserted city block. Gripping her car keys tightly in her hand, Lindsey walked slowly from the curb, through dead patches of yellowish grass, and up the cracked sidewalk. Andy took a deep breath trying to memorize each detail of the neglected surroundings. He stopped only when Lindsey paused in directly in front of an especially ragged two-story house.
"This is the house I grew up in," She nodded quietly.
Squinting her eyes in concentration, Lindsey observed each window covered with a thick sheet of lumber. Andy just watched as her eyes moved across to the front door. Planks nailed down securely and the remnants of police caution tape announced no entry would be allowed.
"Come on," Lindsey instructed walking quickly towards the small gate off to the right of the house, "This way."
Andy followed obediently, although he was sure he could think of more then a few laws they were breaking, "We can't go in," He pleaded as she moved the back door aside. The hinges supplied no real function as she simply lifted the entire door and placed it back down three feet to the right.
"Of course we can," She said swallowing bravery, "We have to. You have to see."
Andy followed, just as reluctantly as Lindsey entered the house, through the back door. Her eyes were wide with fear and nostalgia for the days she lived in this house. Through the kitchen and halfway down the first hallway led to a doorway that concealed the stairs. Everything she remembered sat obediently in the places they had been left. The kitchen chairs somewhat askew after a mid dinner scuffle. The shattered pieces of her father's favorite drinking glass still lied among the rejected silverware telling a story that no one ever listened to.
"Upstairs," She orders in a voice barely audible. There was something in the walls she was trying not to disturb. Something that the house surely recalled better then her memory ever could.
Lindsey lost her footing as one step gave way to being devoured by the termites that had moved in after she had been taken away. Falling backwards, she shielded only her head knowing how badly the edges of the steps connected with her skull. Andy, who had only been two steps behind her, caught her before falling could do much damage.
"Careful," She encouraged letting the door at the top of the stairs shriek as it was opened. Andy could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. This was not the type of "give me a shot" adventure he had been expecting.
The hallway upstairs was just as dimly lit as the rest of the house. Doors that had been closed for over a decade stubbornly kept out the sunlight. Andy kept a hand on the small of Lindsey's back although he wasn't sure who it was there to comfort. Dust gathered in whispering clusters in every corner, in every shadow. He knew that they were mocking them. He had never liked to be the center of gossip.
"My bedroom," Lindsey explained letting yet another door creak its negligence complaints. They found nothing resembling what a little girl's room should look like. Teddy bears and Barbie dolls didn't line the shelves around the room and the walls weren't painted a practically sickening shade of pink. Glowering ash wallpaper pealed at the edges glaring hopelessly at the room's only accessories: an ugly tattered blanket and a mattress on the floor.
Andy stood awkwardly in the doorway as his curiosity became more and more consumed by the sinister aura that seeped from every pore of the drywall. Lindsey quietly dropped to her knees in front of the open closet, pushing aside the six-year-old sized clothes and box of forgotten belongings she peeled back two loose floorboards like she had done it a million times before. Rocking back to sit on her heels, Lindsey emerged from the closet with a simple doll in a moth eaten dress. She hugged it to her face letting two large tears cleanse feelings of abandonment.
With a cough, Lindsey let the doll slide to the ground leaving it to be forgotten about once again. Andy crouched down to pick it up as Lindsey wandered back into the hallway. The small toy in his hand had dirt marks smeared across its plastic face and one eye that didn't quite open right. It seemed as though it had seen better days then a decade trapped in a floorboard grave.
By the time Andy found Lindsey again she had stumbled into tears on the floor at the foot of a much larger bedroom. Although this one contain all the furniture common to bedrooms, it was hardly as welcoming as it should be. Clothes were torn from the closet and stood in heaping piles of ugliness and decay. Lindsey had collapsed at the foot of the bed much like she had in front of the closet. She was surrounded by broken bottle pieces and the thick tension of heartbreak. Andy helped her to her feet and encouraged her softly, "Lindsey, come on, you obviously don't want to here. Let's go, we'll find breakfast somewhere."
"No," She argued shaking her head through her tears, "You don't understand, after all these years I've convinced myself that none of this was true. That somehow I was put in foster care by mistake, that somewhere they were waiting for me."
"Who?" Andy asked wiping her tears, "That who was waiting for you?"
"There's only one more thing to see then," She told him, answering his question in a way he didn't understand quite yet, "We can take the front stairs."
And without another word, Lindsey took his hand, for the first time letting him feel her emotions through her fingertips, the way her guitar did. His breath hitched in his throat. He had told her to be honest, he had told her to give him a shot, but as she led him down the darkened staircase he wondered if he was ready to face her demons.