The shock of his bright blue eyes and his deep, husky voice pierced straight through her soul, and Stevie stood frozen to the spot in astonishment.
Was it really him?
Her mind raced to piece together years of moments and memories that would help to convince her that she was not dreaming anymore. She soaked in the sight of him, standing just a few paces away from her and nervously wringing his hands together. His hair was a little fuller than she last remembered it, but still just as curly as it always had been; his five o’clock shadow was dark and it highlighted his cheekbones and strong jawline; in all, he seemed older, or perhaps, more mature may have been a better way of explaining it.
“Lindsey…?” she whispered in disbelief.
“It’s me, Steph,” he offered, with a small half-smile.
It certainly was him; she would know those eyes and that smile anywhere.
“Lindsey I – What…? What are you doing here? Who…? How did you…?”
“Karen,” he stated, matter-of-factly.
Stevie’s face stilled and she did not know what to think. A million questions flashed through her mind like lightning bolts, too quick to register but just as striking and overpowering. Lindsey noticed the perplexed expression on her face and he began to understand her reaction.
“She didn’t tell you, did she?”
Her eyes widened in anxiety.
“Tell me what?”
“Can I come inside?”
Shaking herself back into the room, Stevie nodded and led him into the lounge, taking up a seat at the opposite end of the couch to him. She could hardly understand her own feelings. While on one hand, she wanted nothing more than to scream at him and release all of the pent up anger and frustration she had towards him, she was also fighting a constant battle to not just throw herself into his arms and cling onto him for dear life. When it came down to it, she thought to herself, perhaps she did not know how she truly felt after all.
Stevie eyed Lindsey expectantly, waiting impatiently for whatever it was he had to say.
When he began, his voice was just a shade above a whisper.
“I gave her a number before I left.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lindsey…”
“The day I left the band, I sent Karen a number to contact me on.”
“But I – I don’t understand. Karen, she – she would have told me about it...” the words tumbled out of her as she tried to pick up the pieces.
“I told her not to tell you.”
“You did what?!” Stevie spat incredulously. “Why on earth would you do that, Lindsey?!”
“Because I needed space, Stevie!” he bellowed.
“Keep your voice down!” she chastised, conscious of the fact there was a sleeping baby upstairs.
Lindsey took a deep breath and continued.
“The band, the producers, you…” he whispered the last word. “Everything that was going on at the time, it was suffocating me! I was losing myself creatively; I just couldn’t do it anymore. I needed some time…”
“So you took three years?!”
Lindsey hung his head in shame.
“Where have you been all this time?”