the Table61 blog

Lindsey’s City: Chapter 4, part 2

by on Apr.09, 2018, under 'The Blog'

— Illinois – 7 Years Ago —

“How’s your head feeling today?”

Until last night, Jessie and Mitch had been hiding their relationship from her sister, no small feat since the girls lived together. Jessie was more private with her romantic life than her younger sister, who was sitting on the couch studying her favorite book, “Advanced Techniques of Kama Sutra”.

For the past few weeks, Mitch had been sneaking over to see Jessie late at night. Last night as he visited the kitchen for a glass of water, he found her roommate had done the same. Startled in the dark, she attacked him with the closest object she could find.

“It’s still pretty sore, but I don’t think there’s any permanent damage. When you warned me this may happen, I thought you were joking.”

Walking to her room, they heard advice being offered from the couch.

“Maybe next time don’t keep secrets from someone like that. Surprises never work out like you’d hope!”

— Fort Worth – Landmark Bar and Kitchen —

Even after 6 years, Mitch still recognized the dress, her favorite that only came out for special occasions. The slim, black fit stood out in contrast next to Lindsey’s bright pink ruffles.

“So, um… somebody say something,” Lindsey pleaded. They glanced at her before quickly looking at each other again.

“I think I need a drink… and you?” She nodded and followed him to the bar. “Shiner, and uh… Chardonnay?” Again she only nodded.

As they received their drinks, Mitch’s cousin came to tell them they were moving to the next location. They finished quickly without speaking, and Mitch threw $20 on the bar.

Lindsey, standing behind them, was starting to fear she’d made a huge mistake.

— Illinois – 6 Years, 9 Months Ago —

“Jessie, I know you’re in there. Get your clothes out of the drier. I need to do laundry.”

“Alright, fine, give me a minute. I need to get dressed.”

“Oh is Mitch here? You guys really need to start putting a sock on the door or something!”

Mitch groaned and shook his head.

“She really doesn’t have any boundaries does she?”

“No, but you sort of get used to her.”

“I know she’s your sister and all, but I don’t think I’d ever willingly choose to spend time with her.”

— Fort Worth – America Gardens —

” ‘Hey Mitch, it’s been a long time, how have you been?’ ‘Oh you know, I’ve been good’ ‘Cool. Me too. Wow it’s great to see you again, how long has it been?’ ‘Too long, we should do this more often.’ ”

Since they still hadn’t spoke since meeting, Lindsey was filling in their conversation for them, doing terrible impressions of both of them.

“Ok, I’m gonna go crawl in this big ball and have people roll me around. You two will be ok with each other… right?”

They continued staring at Lindsey as she nervously backed away. They both took another drink in silence and watched as she climbed into the 6 foot inflatable ball. Holding on tight, others started pushing her around like a giant beach ball. Neither would have denied it looked like fun, any other time.

They continued sitting in silence. After pondering the balloons next to them, she finally spoke.

“Balloons smell weird. I feel like people don’t talk about that enough.”

Mitch looked at her, took another drink, and finally found some words.

“If you were looking for a non-sequitur to break the tension… well that’ll do it.”

For the first time that night, they both laughed together. As Lindsey was climbing out of the ball, she saw them embrace. Still dizzy, she managed to walk back to join their conversation.

“So after 6 years, I finally get you to Texas.”

“And my sister beat me here, go figure.” She reached over to hug Lindsey, who was now visibly relieved that they were talking.

— Illinois – 6 Years, 6 Months Ago —

“I think I’m ready to get out of Illinois. There’s just nothing here that really interests me.”


“Well, almost nothing.” He smiled and pulled her closer. “Texas has always been my long-term goal… think that would be something you’d be interested in?”

“We only moved in together a week ago, and now you’re wanting me to move to Texas with you?”

“Well, not right away, but sometime in….”


Mitch was speechless, but smiled again.

“I mean, you’re right, there’s not much to keep me here other than my sister. So why not try somewhere more exciting.”

After several quiet minutes lying in each other’s arms, Jessie suddenly worried, “I wonder how my sister will take the news… Texas doesn’t seem like a place she’d ever appreciate.”

— Fort Worth – West 7th —

“I need a lasso on my wall. Never thought I’d see that as a decoration but I love it. Whose apartment is this again?”

“No idea.”

“And why are we here?”

Lindsey was suddenly worried she may be an accomplice to breaking and entering. Her two companions were quite drunk.

“For these!” Mitch pulled some gaudy fake crowns out of a box. “Can’t have a prom without royalty!”

Lindsey took pictures as her sister joined him and posed for their royal portraits. Instead of a scepter, Mitch carried the beer he’d carried out of the bar.

— Illinois – 6 Years, 3 Months Ago —

“I think I’m going to take it. I’d start in a few months, which would give us plenty of time to get moved down. That is, if you still want to join.”

“Definitely, let’s do it!” Jessie hugged him and congratulated him on the job offer he’d just received.

Mitch called them back to confirm he’d take the job and when he’d be starting. He’d also secured a relocation bonus to move both him and Jessie down.

“I guess we need to start thinking about how we’re going to break the news to my sister.”

— Fort Worth – Social House —

“She’s wearing Blue Velvet. I told her we’d come find her when you got back.”

Mitch was at the entrance handling the ticket sales for the event. This late, he didn’t expect anyone new to actually show up, so he had left for a quick restroom break. Apparently someone had arrived in the interim.

“It’s only $20. I’ll just pay for her ticket, I’m not going to go find someone in this crowd.”

“Oh… that’s so sweet!” Lindsey jumped up and hugged Mitch.

“Really, it’s nothing.” As they settled in at their station, Lindsey watched her sister dancing to the 80s soundtrack. She would have preferred some two-steppin’, but that didn’t seem likely tonight.

“Let’s shutdown and go get a beer.”

With an hour left, there was no sense in waiting to sell more tickets. They walked the cashbox back to the unknown owner’s apartment, locked up, and returned to the bar. Walking through the crowd, Lindsey recognized someone and ran up to her.

“Oh my god this is her. Mitch, this is Blue Velvet…. Blue, this is Mitch, he paid for your ticket.”

“Oh… that’s so sweet. Thank you.” She hugged him.

“Really, it’s nothing. Why is everyone making a big deal out of this?”

She did join them for a drink though.

“So he used to date your sister, then you both moved to Texas and now you’re dating each other? I’m not sure if that’s weird or ironic… or both? How does she feel about it?”

“She’s fine with it, or at least pretends she is. She showed up here tonight, so I think that means she’s fine with it.”

“Or she came to steal him back,” Blue joked.

“Well, first she’d have to move to Texas, and I’m not sure this is a place she’d really want to be. What do you think Mitch. Mitch?”

Staring at his beer, Mitch’s thoughts were in the past…

— Illinois – 6 Years Ago —

“So what’d your sister say?”

“I haven’t told her yet. I… I’m scared.”

“She’s going to handle it fine.”

“No, not about her… about us. There’s a lot of stress we’re going to be going through, finding a house, I need a new job, getting used to a new city… I mean, what if we move down and start arguing and break up a week later?”

“Well, I’m scared too. It’s normal, it’s a huge life change, but it’s what we both want, right? At least we will have each other to get through it.”

“It is what I want, and Texas would be awesome, but I just…. I can’t do it. I don’t expect you to stay here with me, you have your new job and it’s going to be great for you.”

Mitch sat on the bed next to her, staring at the floor. Several silent minutes passed. A tear in his eye, he managed to speak one last time before his voice gave out.

“Well, I know you’re going to change your mind at some point… just let me know when, there will always be a place for you when you decide you want to join me.”

He was scared though, unsure of where they may end up in the future.

Unable to look at her, he stared ahead at the only item in the closet not yet packed…

— Fort Worth – Walking back to the Hotel —

Carrying his final beer of the evening, Mitch followed a few steps behind the sisters who were trying to keep each other vertical. Only two blocks away from the hotel, it finally looked like they would make it without stumbling.

“This was amazing, thank you for inviting me down. I think we managed to surprise him too.”

They both smiled back at Mitch and continued on their way.

“I wish you didn’t have to fly home in the morning. You’ll have to come visit more often, we have a lot of fun down here.”

“Well, you see, that’s kind of the other reason I came down this weekend… I have something to tell you.”

Turning to face Lindsey, she suddenly looked very serious.

“I miss being around you. My company has an office here, and they are going to let me transfer down, so… I’ve decided I’m going to move to Texas.”

As much as had already happened, Mitch knew something was missing from this night, and here it was, the real bombshell. He smiled, finished his beer, and continued walking past the girls.

“Well, if nothing else, this should be an adventure.”


Based on more true events than you may believe. Or that I would even believe, had I not been there…


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