I felt shaky and weak and deeply embarrassed just to exist as Rob walked up to meet me in the ticket line. His skin had turned darker, his hair blonder, and his freckles more abundant from the summer sun.
“Hi,” I said when he was in front of me, all my energy focused on keeping my voice from quivering. For as much as I longed to be there, I longed just as much to evaporate.
“Hi,” he said. There was enough space between us to fit a horse.
He stared up at the movie times for what seemed like forever, even though we had established five days ago that we were seeing the 7:25 showing of The Bourne Identity (his pick).
“How has your summer been?” I asked, digging my nails into my arm behind my back.
“Good,” he said. “Yours?”
This has been the craziest week of my life, I wanted to tell him. I’ve felt like an amateur tight-rope walker seventy feet up in the air. Equal parts exhilarated and terrified, as I lay awake in bed each night, knowing that I am yours and you are finally mine.
“It’s okay,” I said with a shrug. “Cleaned my room.”
He bought both our tickets and I knew, when he handed me mine, that I would be saving the stub for years to come. This stub was now the most important thing in my life.
I waited for some sort of banter to start up between us after we took our seats in the theater, but it never did. At one point Rob sighed, looked at his watch, and said “Good ol’ waiting.”
I couldn’t concentrate on the movie once it started. Partly because I’d never been able to follow the plot in any movie that wasn’t a chick flick, because I always got too distracted wondering about the actors’ personal lives or daydreaming about someday becoming famous for no reason. And partly because I was too busy keeping track of Rob’s breathing, the proximity of his body to mine, the angle of his limbs and how they paralleled my own.
I started wondering what would happen at that moment if a natural disaster struck and Rob and I thought the world was ending. I remembered that scene from Independence Day, where the teenage boy reaches for his beautiful girlfriend among the wreckage and says, “This could be our last night on earth. You don’t want to die a virgin, do you?”
I always wanted to wait until I was married to have sex, because the Bible said that was the right thing. But I also thought it might be forgivable (also wildly romantic) to have sex with Rob in a movie theater if it was a dire situation in which death was imminent. Because God wouldn’t want me to die a virgin either.
But then I started wondering what would happen if we woke up the next morning to find that the tornado/earthquake/alien invasion hadn’t ended the world afterall. Would I be able to find my way to a clinic to get the morning-after pill? Would Rob want to keep the baby and raise it together? What would I tell Mom, Dad, and Jenny? Would I go to hell?
“How did you like it?” Rob asked when the movie ended.
We walked silently to the parking lot.
“See ya,” he said when his mom pulled up.
I watched as he climbed into her van. He shut the door and I saw his mom say something to him. Then he opened the door, got back out, and walked towards me.
“My mom says I should wait with you until your mom gets here,” he said.
“Oh,” I said. “Thanks.”
And we waited, still as statues.
Struggling writer. Underpaid therapist. Iowa transplant.
Traveling Marla is unplugged for three weeks while she prepares for her move to South Africa. She put out a call for guest posts (see original request here), and is grateful to receive so much support! Please see the full list below.
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Love, MarlaColin of Uber Beast Mode Robyn, of You Think Too Much Baz – The Landy (Out and About and Having Fun) Brandon: my quirky, brilliant, dashing nephew Dallas, of Crazy Train to Tinky Town CultFit Caroline, of Currer and the Bells Dakota Garilli Trophos, of The Dancing Professor Leo, of Doggy’s Style Kayla, of Encounter Peru Benjamin Prewitt – Expression of my life – An evolution of art Kriscinda, of Heavy Metal Homesteading Lynne, of Home Free Adventures Jeff: my witty and hilarious ebberlubbinbrudder Jody, of Human Triumphant Julie of J-Bo.net Ingrid, of Live Laugh RV Ned Hickson of Ned’s Blog Rose, of On the Go Fitness Pierr Morgan Leslie and Amanda, of Survival is Relative