Sandra shows up to Lindsey’s downtown studio apartment at 10 a.m. Lindsey had asked for help moving her stuff out to her new house in a suburb south of the city.
Lindsey opens the door and embraces her former college roommate. Despite several promises of meetups and hangouts, they haven’t seen each other in the year and three months since graduation.
“Where’s all your stuff?” asks Sandra.
“This is it,” says Lindsey, holding out her hand.
It is three boxes, two suitcases full of clothes, a couch, and a single lamp.
“Did you already move your bed?” asks Sandra.
“Haha nope, I guess I never got around to buying one,” replies Lindsey.
“A whole year in the city without a bed…I thought you were making the big bucks at the consultancy?”
“I’ve hardly had any time to spend it. I probably only sleep here three or four nights a month anyways.”
In truth, Lindsey has had all the time in the world. She was fired from her job two months into it after one of the principals discovered she had used her company card to purchase the couch Sandra was now staring at in disbelief. To scrounge enough rent money for the last several months, Lindsey had developed a first-class pickpocketing prowess, which she leveraged against the endless supply of upper-middle-class professionals who walked the streets below her apartment each day.
Sandra shrugs and grabs the top box. “They must be working you to death,” she says.
“It’s a lot of travel, but I’m enjoying it,” Lindsey lies.
Together, they load up the smallish U-Haul, which they really only need for the couch.
“I think we could’ve fit everything in my car if it weren’t for the couch,” says Sandra.
When they pull up to Lindsey’s new house, Sandra is confused. “Is this it?” she asks.
“Yep, this is it,” says Lindsey, looking away from Sandra’s searching eyes.
“Daylight Bed & Breakfast,” Sandra reads aloud. “What’s going on, Lindsey? This can’t be your place, there’s guests here…”
“Alright, you’re right. I haven’t been completely honest with you. I uh, I don’t have a new house. This place is my new job and the owners are letting me live here.”
“What about your consultant job, Lindsey? What happened? Why didn’t you tell me?”
Lindsey stares at her worn out Vans sneakers and covers her eyes with her hands. “It’s a complicated story and I feel really dumb.”
Sandra reaches out a hand and starts rubbing Lindsey’s back. “You don’t need to feel dumb, babe…how about this—let’s grab lunch and we can talk it out before we move your stuff in, alright?”
Lindsey nods slowly and reaches in for a hug.
They walk in silence down the block to a diner. Lindsey isn’t sure how much she should tell Sandra. Sandra’s mind is running wild with scenarios. She’s wondering how it’s possible she fell so out of touch with her best college friend.
Once they get seated, Sandra gets back up to go to the bathroom.
“I’ll be right back. If a waiter comes, tell him I want a black coffee.” She leaves her purse on the table.
Lindsey knows Sandra likes to keep cash on her.
As soon as the bathroom door swings shut, she unzips Sandra’s purse and counts $303 in cash.
She takes a breath, puts the money back, and zips the purse up.
“I can’t steal from Sandra,” she whispers, trying to convince herself.
But it’s a compulsion.
Lindsey unzips the purse again and grabs the cash, failing to notice Sandra returning from the bathroom.
“What’re you doing?!” questions Sandra, reaching for her purse.
But it’s too late. Lindsey is already up from the table and halfway to the door, cash in hand.
“Where are you going, Lindsey?!”
Lindsey turns her head back as she opens the door to leave. “I don’t know, Sandra. I’m a thief.”