Snakes and Pills

170 - suffocate

The lobby was too cold. Outside, he was hot and sweaty, but now this strange chill passed over him. The lights were too dim as well. Everything made him feel uncomfortable. Even the layout of the movie theater itself. He had never been here before. Neither had she.

She approached him excitedly, skipping back from the ticket counter. She held two slips of paper in her hand, waggling them in the air. "I guess these took longer to get than our snacks did?" she asked.

"Yeah, and they were probably cheaper, too," he joked. "For such a small girl, you sure have quite the appetite for candy and popcorn."

"Jerk!" she said, playfully punching him in the arm. He moved to dodge her attack, spilling a few kernels of popcorn from the overflowing bag in his arms onto the carpeted floor.

"Easy, easy! So what did we end up getting?" he asked.

"Behemoth in 3D," she proudly answered.

"What?! I told you I hate seeing movies in stupid 3D," he complained. A disappointed look washed across her face, and he instantly felt bad for the remark. "Oh well. I want to see this movie anyway, so no big deal."

His attempt at walking his comment back was successful enough as she smiled softly at him, grabbing the bag of popcorn from his arms. "We should get in line," she suggested.

The movie theater was surprisingly empty for a Saturday. Neither of them knew what to expect, both on their first outing to the big city. Their show was the first of the day, and the masses had not bothered to wake up so early.

Pimply-faced teenagers handed them their oversized 3D specs as they entered the auditorium. She looked quite cute with her big glasses on, cute enough that he was now glad that she had bought tickets to a 3D movie after all.

The pair made random smalltalk while waiting for the lights to dim. They were still good at making each other laugh, even after all these years. He wondered if it could always be this way forever.

"I think this is the biggest screen I've ever seen in a movie theater," she remarked.

"You need to get out more, you really do sound like a hayseed," he said.

"Like you should talk. Who was the one marveling at every dumb new thing he saw this morning?" she asked. She was right. He couldn't get over the fact that when the summer ended in a month, he would be calling this place home.

She wouldn't. He thought about the two hour bus ride they undertook earlier this morning. Could he expect her to make the trip every weekend? And that was assuming she even stayed in their hometown.

He knew she had aspirations of places even further away. Distant lands where they spoke in foreign tongues. He had always been amused when she serenaded him with sweet nothings in a language he didn't understand. But those abilities would be her ticket. She wasn't destined to stay.

The theater went dark, and the previews started rolling. Unexpectedly, she pulled his arm around her, and placed her head in his chest. His heart was racing out of control. He tried to calm himself. Was this really happening, finally?

The palpitations, at least, were real. She raised her head, and whispered in a concerned tone, "Are you okay? Your heart..."

"Yeah, I'm fine," he stammered. He tried to smile, but he had no idea if his face obeyed. "I'm good."

Their two separate planets were about to rip apart for good, but for now, they embraced the gravitational pull.


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