"You're doing it wrong." Andy barked from the loft.
"You can't even see what I'm doing." Lindsey shot back.
Dana sipped her wine as she sat perched on a chair and chuckled.
Lindsey stood awkwardly over the stove as she sampled the spaghetti sauce. She made a sour face intensely. As she reached for the spice rack, Andy's voice emerged once again.
"Don't put anything weird in the food." He scolded as if he could see exactly what she was doing. Lindsey rolled her eyes before adding a dash of garlic salt to the simmering pot.
A loud thud thumped the ceiling above them, followed promptly by a string of obscenities.
"All this trouble to find a corkscrew." Dana murmured. It would have taken less time to walk down the street and buy one, but she knew her husband well enough to predict his frugal response to any duplicate item in the house.
"We don't need two of everything." He would scold while shaking his head. Dana could hear the tone in her head clear enough to avoid it in real life.
"You know," Lindsey said while sampling the sauce again, "I don't think Andy is playing with a full deck sometimes."
Perplexed, Dana asked why. Without missing a beat Lindsey lifted the corkscrew that had been resting on the side of the sink. The two women erupted with laughter, Dana's fog horn trampling over Lindsey's delicate giggle.
Andy emerged at the sound of the ruckus, frowning at the item in Lindsey's hand. He snatched the corkscrew and went to work on the bottle of wine, saying nothing as he waited for the delirious laughter to die out.
"Maybe you two should slow down on the wine."
"Maybe you shouldn't be such a grump." Lindsey chided, smacking him squarely between the shoulder blades.
The trio made an effort to eat as neatly as possibly on the living room floor for lack of a dining set.
"Andy doesn't want to spend the money on a new set." Dana slurred her words slightly, giggled and added with a flap of her arms, "Cheap-cheap."
"Andy doesn't spend money when he doesn't have to." Lindsey chimed in, clinking Dana's glass in a sloppy toast.
"Andy doesn't like being talked about like he's not here." Andy made a face at his sister. Despite their quick approach to thirty, neither of them hesitated to regress back to a teenage mentality when the other was around.
"I think," Dana interrupted before brother and sister could begin to wail on each other, "I'm a little jealous that you've got a sister to argue with."
"Aw, baby." Andy cooed. Lindsey pretended to gag.
"Alright already, I get that you like each other. Don't make me lose my dinner over it." Lindsey gulped the last of her wine before gathering their plates and marching into the kitchen. Dana followed in a wobbly fashion, steadying herself on the counter temporarily.
"When was the last time you had a date, sweetie?" Dana couldn't help but pry. Andy knew little more than nothing about his sister's personal life, as a brother should, but for the moment her curiosity needed to be satisfied.
Lindsey shifted her weight for a moment, letting the sink fill with water as she contemplated her answer. She knew she had to give some sort of answer, even if she wanted to cringe at the suggestion of it.
"I don't know, a while ago."
"I have a friend from college that would be just perfect for--"
"No thanks." Lindsey cut her off before the offer could be completed. Dana looked hurt but carried on, uninhibited.
"And why not?"
Andy scoffed from the living room.
"Don't make me come in there." Lindsey hollered. Andy laughed as he entered the kitchen, wine glasses in tow for the refill.
"Now you don't have to." He snickered, braving the glare she shot him.
"C'mon, Linds. We're all friends here." Dana smiled.
"Yeah, Linds. This is a safe space." Andy mimicked the thought by stretching his hands outward from him, as he himself made the space "safe". Lindsey blew an exasperated breath out.
"I don't like to date."
"I'll drink to that." Andy passed out the wine glasses, toasted, and sipped.
"You better." Dana snorted. "I think you are wasting your potential my dear."
"Potential." Andy laughed. "She's a fortress. I'm lucky I survived her all these years."
"Baby, that's just mean."
Lindsey kept her attention on rinsing the plates. "Say what you will, I simply have better ways of spending my time than parading around with a conga line of men."
"You've already been through the conga line." Andy elbowed her gently and received a swift smack in the back of his head, courtesy of his wife.
The banter regressed to a murmur. Lindsey listened mostly, not bothering to defend herself against what she knew to be the truth. Relief washed over her as the grandfather clock in the living room chimed eleven.
"Alright, lovebirds. I need to head out. Early day tomorrow." Lindsey lied through her teeth to escape the intervention.
"You alright to drive?" Dana balefully eyed her, her eyes reflecting a less than convinced nature.
"You know it." Lindsey swung the leather jacket over her body and prepared to brace against the chilly November air.
Nashville never seemed to quiet, even late into the night when work was a duty expected the next morning. Lindsey reveled in the bustle. She was grateful the city never slowed, it gave her more motive to keep on her pace.
Her ears listened to the thriving life; the bump of a car stereo, drunken laughter escaping a nearby bar. It was home in a way she could never be at home anywhere else. She felt reminiscent as she drove eastward to her apartment.