The Secret Life of Lindsey

By , Mount Prospect, IL
I.
Standing at the register with a smile plastered to her face,
playfully swinging the blue pen from her fingers to her thumb,
waiting to assist the needy customers.
Greets them with a perky “Hello!” and a friendly “How may I help you?”
the beauty of summer breezes twisted with flowing waterfalls
streaming from her voice.
Makes them oblivious to her dark grey eyes, screaming
thunderstorms, losses of hope.
She intently listens to their orders, monotone voices streamlining
through her ears, scribbling their commands down
on a bland brown paper bag.
She reads the small screen and tells them their total,
then collects their cash and returns their change.
As if her mind is set on autopilot, she shouts out “Next!”
and repeats the process over and over again.
The line never fades away, never receives a break.
Never shows her exhaustion, except
it’s readable through her helpless, sad eyes.
Continuously glances at the big round clock on the white, chalky wall.
After five tedious hours of work, her shift is over,
and she closes up.
Walks slowly to her car, the stench of fries and burgers
seeping from her skin and uniform.
The brightness of beautiful golden yellow and vibrant orange
that had lit up the outside world when she walked in
had now faded to a dreary darkness.
Complete silence surrounded her as she settled in her car.

II.
Sliding the key into the ignition, she starts the engine.
The radio comes to life and plays a familiar song.
Memories rush to the surface;
memories that were supposed to stay locked away forever.
An unwelcomed heat rushed over her body,
a fiery pain that made her breathless.
Quickly turned the radio off, returning to the silence.
Shifted her car in reverse and veered it out of the parking lot.
Blankly staring at the road ahead of her,
not fully aware of her surroundings.
Arms stiff, straight out, tightly gripping the steering wheel.
Pulls into her driveway, and parks in the garage.
Turns off the car and just sits, zoning out with racing thoughts,
then decides to slowly open the door and step out.

III.
Inside her house, cold air, cigarette smoke, and
spoiled garbage fill her lungs.
Sees the dirty dishes piled up in the sink.
Opens the fridge door to feed her starving stomach:
expired milk, two eggs, a half empty jar of pickles, and a case of beer.
Takes a long, deep sigh and closes the door.
Walks through the living room,
television blaring a re-run of The Simpsons.
Rolls her eyes at her father passed out on his Lazy-Boy chair
with empty beer cans and full ash trays burying him.
Slowly trudging up the flight of stairs,
she reaches her bedroom and shuts the door behind her.
Collapsing on her bed, she reaches for a frame displaying a
picture of her and her mother taken two years ago.
The only thing in the house that glows,
beautiful golden yellows and vibrant oranges,
genuine smiles and pure happiness.
Suddenly returns back to reality and cautiously
places the picture frame back on the dresser.
Her room fades back to a dreary darkness.
A fiery pain fills her body and the hidden thunderstorms
in her dark grey eyes finally release their rain,
vicious waterfalls streaming down her sad, lonely cheeks.





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