To jump or not to jump?
Lock The Door
June 10, 2006
"Don't look down," Andy whispered holding Lindsey close to his body. She used the cars parked on the street seven stories below to distract her from his arms around her waist. If Andy hadn't been pacing the length of the apartment using the silence to process the story Lindsey had shared with him, he might not have noticed his bedroom door close as wind from the open window rushed into the apartment. He wouldn't have questioned why Lindsey had completely disappeared out that same window, and he most definitely wouldn't have followed her up the rickety old fire escape.
With the way it shrieked under any pressure, the fire escape promised to be of no real help in a real emergency. Although he held his breath with every step he took, Andy made it up the four winding stories unscathed. The same can't be said for Lindsey. When he found she was teetering on the edge of more then just the apartment building. Her sobs broke through the night as easily as a needle through flesh. They hit him like a bat to his head.
Andy hoped that gulping down his fear of heights was successful as he wrapped both of his arms around Lindsey's waist. Her whole body stiffened. Andy took a deep breath. "Don't look down," He encouraged her although the words were really only a reminder to himself.
Lindsey did exactly as he advised against. She watched a single tear fall from her cheek and disappear into the darkness somewhere below her. Trembling with an emotion she just couldn't place she replayed the past few hours in her head. No words of Chad and Rachel Hawk had been spoken since the day she had been taken from her home by the police. She had been six then, and at twenty she had just accepted the fact that there was no one waiting for her. She could travel for miles, for days, for the rest of her life, but she would never find them. She would never find the family that had loved her all along.
Suicide had never been crossed her mind before; she had never been the self-harming type. As she shook on the edge of that building with Andy's arms wrapped tightly around her, she cried because she had no idea how she had gotten to that point in her life. She chose not to move because she was afraid of falling (not just off the roof).
"Lindsey, what are you doing?" Andy whispered from behind her. He tried to calm his shaking voice enough to feign bravery. If he could convince himself that there was nothing to be afraid of, then maybe, just maybe he could regain control of his limbs and move both of them off the edge of the building.
"I don't want to become my mother," She cried out into the night. Andy took a deep breath into her hair. The flowery smell was as much of a comfort as not seeing the concrete that would crush his skull if they both were to fall.
"Is that what you've afraid of? Is that worth jumping?" The very idea of jumping caused tiny beads of sweat to form along his hairline.
"Jumping would make me my father," She replied still facing away from Andy. A hint of resentment hid in her voice. It only made sense to blame her father; it was his drunken rage that started this mess (even though growing up with Chad and Rachel Hawk probably wouldn't have been any easier then the life that she had endured).
"I don't think I can make it alone," She admitted.
"Lindsey, your not alone. I'm here. I promise, if you need me, I'm here."
"Andy," She hesitantly turned to face him. "Can we go inside?" She asked trying to smile as best as she knew how. Andy nodded whole-heartedly.
"Lindsey," He whispered in the same tone she had used as they took the stairs instead of the fire escape. Stopping somewhere between the 5th and 6th floors she turned back and looked up at him questioningly. "I haven't been completely honest."
"I'm not sure if tonight is the right night to come clean," She admitted. When her head was already pounding with an overload of truth, the last thing Lindsey needed to hear was that the man she had come to trust was really just a lowlife jackass (see: every other man she had ever known).
"It's about what I do for a living," He explained, "I'm in a band. We do a lot of traveling, tours and promotional things, stuff like that."
"I know," She said simply. With his fist raised to knock on the door, Andy paused searching her face for an explanation.
Lindsey shrugged as Patrick opened the door, holding a guitar in his right hand. "One of the first days I was here, you went out with Pete, he had left MTV on..."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
She shrugged again, "I didn't want you to think I was using you. Or that I was staying here for the wrong reasons," She paused noticing Patrick watching both of them observantly as they continued their conversation in the hallway outside of the apartment, "I don't even know what the right reasons are."
"I told you she knew," Patrick chuckled before Andy could reply, "I swear she was humming Dance Dance the other morning."
"I wasn't even sure you noticed I was staying here," Lindsey said calmly, "I mean we haven't spoken at all."
"You haven't spoken to anybody," He replied coolly finally shifted to the side to let them into the apartment.
Andy wished he could simply wrap his arms around her to fix the hurt Patrick's statement had put in her eyes. "You three tip-toe around me like I'm sort of lunatic!" She screamed.
"Aren't you?" He asked shyly. Andy nudged his arm as a quick plea to shut his mouth.
"Lindsey," Andy followed her as she broke quickly away from where they stood, "Lindsey, don't listen to him, you're not a lunatic."
She stopped with a hopeful pause and turned back to Andy. Patrick hadn't been the first person to assume she was crazy. She had just as many former psychiatrists as she did former foster parents. She paused because Andy was the first who ever assured her that maybe, all of those people had been wrong about her. Maybe, for most of her life, she had been wrong about herself.
"You're a little unstable, but aren't we all?" He admitted. She searched her shoes for distraction, but they looked the same as they always did.
"Don't look down," Andy encouraged lifting her chin with his index finger. Her brown eyes were just rimmed with tears that slowly seemed to be disappearing. Andy smiled warmly; there was something captivating about her eyes.
"I just stood on the edge of a seven story building," She replied with a bit of a laugh, "I'm more then a little unstable." Her humor surprised him. It seemed like everything she did surprised him.