Scare Kids Away
July 3, 2006
Warm rays of morning sun shone through the spaces in the old blinds of Andy’s bedroom. They sent dusty beams of a stirring light to wake the new couple from their slumber. With a quiet groan, Lindsey buried her face into Andy’s chest hoping no part of the past two days had been a dream. Andy, only hardly roused by her movement pulled her body closer into his.
When Lindsey could no longer feign sleep, she opened her eyes to reveal the bedroom she had fallen asleep in, covered in old faded posters that curled at the corners. A humble drum set sat in the corner, a few drumsticks laying about its stands and peddles. There were two extra cymbals and a knee-high stack of records in a pile by the door. It seemed like just like the bedroom she had left at six-years old, Andy’s bedroom was a time-capsule to who he used to be. She traced the tattoos on the arm wrapped around her waist and contemplated how much he must have changed since he spent every night asleep in this room.
“Morning, sunshine,” Andy croaked in a voice that hadn’t quite adjusted to the new day yet.
Snapped from the vision of a much younger Andy, Lindsey rolled onto her side to face him, “Morning,” She cooed in reply.
“Ready to face the day?” He asked.
Giving the room one last quick scan, Lindsey broke from his embrace. “I’ve never been more ready.” She said with an air of confidence she had found only since they arrived. Lindsey chose not to analyze the each she had been feeling, the warmth that allowing a day full of hugs and kisses brought. She didn’t want beckon any of her usual bad luck or breakdowns to these uncharacteristically tranquil, happy days. She knew they wouldn’t last forever, they never did.
Lindsey watched silently as Andy chose a shirt from the suitcase before they headed down the stairs smiling at a private joke that hadn’t actually been spoken.
“You’re awake already!” Anne beamed with excitement as the entered the kitchen hand in hand, “And I just started breakfast,” She sighed.
“Mom, did you just get home?” Andy questioned notice her eyes heavy with fatigue.
“Oh, don’t worry about me,” she told them as she mixed the batter of what was surely Andy’s favorite began pancake recipe.
Gingerly taking the bowl from his hands, Andy insisted after two night shifts at the hospital, she get some sleep.
“I’ll be fine, sweetheart. And besides I need to get to the grocery store to pick up a few things, and I’ll have more then enough time to sleep once you’re back with the band.” She yawned.
“Anne, Andy’s right,” Lindsey said joining them over the half stirred bowl of pancake batter, “We can pick up whatever you need at the grocery store, you deserve your rest, you’ve been waiting on us since we got here.”
“I knew I liked her,” Anne smiled hugging her son and Lindsey in turn. “The list is in my purse, but don’t forget to get some can goods for the food drive at the school carnival tomorrow night. And if you’d like…oh never mind, I’m sure you two can manage at the grocery store.”
“So, pancakes huh?” Andy joked looking down at the bowl that had been discarded on the counter throughout the discussion.
“I’ll grab a frying pan.” Lindsey shook her head in amusement.
“Bread, Lettuce, Carrots, Red Apples, Cinnamon, Pie Crust and Can Goods.” Lindsey said reading off the list as Andy grabbed a cart from where a line of them were corralled just inside the front door of the grocery store.
“Let’s start in the cereal aisle,” Andy chuckled.
“Way to stick to the list,” Lindsey joked hooking her fingers on the pocket of his hoodie to stay close.
“Mine!” A small toddler boy grabbed at several different boxes of cereal obviously out of his mother’s control.
“Mine!” He insisted when the very pregnant mother attempted to pry the boxes from his tiny hands.
“MINE!” The child shrieked as the protestant tears began to well up in his eyes.
“They’re going to need a clean up on Aisle 3,” Lindsey joked because it was far more acceptable for a toddler to throw this sort of tantrum.
“Shhhhh,” Andy hushed her quietly, diverging his eyes from the scene. He searched sheepishly for a box of cereal that seemed appetizing while trying to maintain a composed exterior. He wanted, no, needed, to put as much distance between himself and the events taking place in the aisle as possible.
With Lindsey at his side, the last thing he wanted was to run the risk of being…
“Andrew Hurley!” The woman called taking the small boy my the wrist and snapping him closely to her side in a silent order to “Behave.”
Recognized. With Lindsey at his side, the last thing he wanted was to run the risk of being recognized.
“You haven’t changed a bit!” The woman gushed placing her left hand on her rounded midsection, obviously showing off her pregnancy and the large diamond that was perched on her finger.
“I can’t say the same.” His reply was both curt and barely audible. Everything about her current condition informed him that she had settled down into a family probably only weeks after their split, although the affair had probably overlapped a great deal of their relationship.
“I’m Mia, one of Andy’s old friends.” She explained with a pretentious smile and a hand extended toward Lindsey.
“It’s nice to meet you,” She replied in a tone that hardly communicated the fact that her courtesy was an act. “I’m Lindsey, his girlfriend.”
“Oh.” Mia smirked snapping the toddler to her side again, “How nice to see you’ve moved on.”
As Andy’s blood pressure rose with anger, his face began to turn a bright red from behind his glasses. “As much as I’d like to catch up, Lindsey and I,” Andy said emphasizing the fact that they were in fact together “we’ve got some pretty important thing to attend to.”
“Likewise.” Mia spoke with her nose raised in the air. Her attempt at seeming refined only distracted her from the fact that her three year old had only stopped screaming because he had managed to rip open a box of Cherrios. He sat cross-legged on the tiled floor just between the two carts surrounded by a puddle of O shaped cereal pieces. With his fingers still in his mouth he smiled up at the adult with a toothy grin that would only work to avoid punishment for another year or two.
“I told you they’d need a clean up on Aisle 3,” Lindsey joking nudging Andy’s elbow after he made his selection and they slipped away to the next aisle.
He didn’t chuckle, he didn’t speak, he didn’t give any reply at all. His silence confirmed exactly why Lindsey avoided forging relationship, because eventually one would always go from needing to being needed. Thanks to the cereal aisle detour, their roles had surely been reversed.