The Troubles of a Teenager Trying to Drive and Also What I've Been Waiting For

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Scott and I spend time on the couch together, not making out like before, but cuddling. Somehow I feel guilty doing that with Lindsey in the next room. If she sees that, she’s really going to think that’s the only reason I’m here. But I don’t think I should have to stop because of her either. Yeeeeaaaah, I'm selfish.

Once I hear her moving around in the bathroom, I nonchalantly remove myself from Scott and go into the kitchen, pretending I’m thirsty so he doesn’t know the true reason I’m separating from him.

Lindsey walks out in pajamas and into her room, but I don’t hear the door shut.

“Lindsey,” Scott calls out, “You left Damian’s earlier than usual, everything okay?”

She comes and stands outside her door, leaning on the door frame with her right shoulder. Her arms are crossed, but I can still see the writing on her black shirt. Some band I’m probably too old to know. Matched with white shorts covered in pink hearts.

“Yeah, we finished our homework, and he got annoying, so I wanted to leave.”

Scott nods a little. “Oh, okay. What are you going to do now?”

“Why, are you keeping a journal?”

He gives her a look I can’t quite see from where I’m standing, but I know it’s there because the way his head tilts.

“Sorry,” she says, “Um, I don’t know, probably just gonna watch something on my laptop.”

I stay out of it, sipping at gross room-temperature water I didn’t even want.

“Okay. Goodnight.”

“Night,” she reciprocates and slips back into her room.

I give it a minute or two more of me staying put, but I feel like I’m finally here, and it’s probable that I won’t be coming back for a while, and I don’t think Lindsey quite understands that. So I set my half-drinken glass down on the counter and tell Scott to give me second, and then I knock on her bedroom door.

“Come in!”

I poke my head in. “Okay if I join?”

She shrugs. “Sure.”

I sit next to where she is on the floor, blanket wrapped around her shoulders, leaning against her bed that has no frame, computer out and situated on her lap.

“Do you want a blanket?” She offers. “You can take one from my bed if you do.”

So I do. Not because I’m cold, but because I want her to know I appreciate her care. “Thanks.”

“What’s up?” Lindsey asks, moving her finger on the touchpad to click on the Netflix icon.

“Well, I just kind of realized that it’s already Thursday night and I leave around noon on Sunday, so that doesn’t give us a bunch more time together. Um, we used to hang out kind of a lot so it's… it's sad that we haven't been able to. So if there’s anything you want to ask or talk about, I just wanted to open up this time for us to chat. Or, uh, watch a movie if you’d rather. Or I can just leave you alone if that’s what you want.” I find my fingers fiddling with the blanket, anxiously. Why am I anxious around her?

Netflix is open, but she’s not scrolling to pick anything. She’s just staring ahead. I give her the time to think because I just gave her three viable options. But seriously, she’s not saying anything, so I prompt with, “Is there anything you want to ask me? Say to me? Discuss?”

She crinkles up her face, deciding what to say. “You said you knew my dad. What was he like?”

We both look ahead, not at each other. “Well, he was fiercely protective over you, and he loved you and Scott more than anything, and he seemed supportive of all your ideas.”

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