If I Can Survive That I can Survive Anything.

Submitted into Contest #147 in response to: Start your story with two people sitting in a movie theater, waiting for the lights to come back on.... view prompt

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Fiction Happy

               I love independent movie theaters. I especially love the one in my city. They have the best snacks, they have fun movie nights, like fright night, and bring in speakers to speak before movies, like directors or actors. I had made a first date with a guy I was really interested. He was an artist and writer for a local publication, and we had decided to grab dinner and see an independent film at 5pm. However, I wanted to see an old 80’s movie on its original film earlier in the day, and just have a date with myself. I wasn’t dressed for date night. I just had on jeans with a big hole in the knee and a t-shirt that was hand drawn and screen printed of the crow. My blue hair was in a messy bun on top of my head, and I just had some mascara on. The movie had been as good as I remembered, and I was just as happy with it the 2nd time I saw it as the first few. I sat waiting for the lights to come on and could see my ex-boyfriend out of the corner of my eye. He was seated with his fiancé. I had a half-finished popcorn and nanaimo bar in my lap that I intended to save for later, so oh good, I looked scrubby and like a pig.

               Shoot, I thought to myself. How do I get out of here without being seen. I did not want to be faced with him. We had been through a lot in the months we were together, and he had really shown himself to be a narcissist, and megalomaniac in the end. He was all about appearances, all about pleasing his parents, all about his parent’s money, and being part of the local yacht club. He had in the few months we had been together, broken it off, and then decided he wanted to get back together, and because I was temporarily insane at the time, I went back. My parents couldn’t stand him and neither could my friends. I had finally been the one to say enough is enough. No. I was doing well since the breakup. I looked good, I felt good. I had writing of mine published in a large-scale publication, I had a lovely apartment across from the local art museum, and I had received a raise at work. I put on a deep red lipstick and decided to face him. I stuffed the leftover movie snacks in my canvas New Yorker Tote, got up, and walked over to him.

               “Hey Tom!”, I said. “How are you?’. He had gained weight. I was secretly happy about this.

               “I’m good. Have you met my fiancé, Beth?”. Beth, a bland name for a bland looking woman. She was bland. She had on a summer dress and her hair hung off her head pin straight. Tom seemed uncomfortable. After we broke up, and I briefly got back together with the person I had been with before him, we tried to be friends, but when he realized I was no longer available and wouldn't be at his beckon call, he stopped talking to me and ignored me when he saw me out. I finally just removed him from face book and acted like he was dead to me.

               “Nice to meet you, Beth”.

               “Nice to meet you”.

               “How have you been?”, Tom asked me.

               “I’ve been good. Finally got published in a book put out by PBS, just moved into an apartment in the neighborhood of the arts, received a raise at work, and was put in charge of a new grant. Life is good”.

               “Good” he said.

               “Well, I have a date to go get ready for. Nice to see you both”.

               “Hey, Maria”, A voice said. I looked up as I was leaving the theater.  Christian, my date was getting up to leave. He had on a pair of black jeans and a black t-shirt with a picture of Pete Steele from Type O Negative on it.

               “Hey there. It looks like we had the same pre-dinner idea.”

               “It looks that way!”, He remarked. I had survived running into my ex, and meeting his fiancé. I could survive anything at this point, including a date in which I do not make myself up. Here we were, seeing each other in our natural states. Our plan was to grab din at a nice steak house, attached to a local inn and then see a horror movie.

“I know we were planning on a nice dinner, but, how about we grab something to eat here. There is going to be some live music. We can enjoy some live music and a drink before our next movie. “

“That sounds like a great idea. I am going to run to the loo, and I will meet you in the café.”

“Great, I will grab us a table”.

Christian was someone that I did not feel the need to impress.  He was incredibly attractive, with brown eyes, and dark wavy hair. He worked out and had a bult looking body, but, he didn’t act like he knew how attractive he was. We met through friends, and he had been on my trivia team a few times on trivia night at a local bar and he had been part of a late night trip to the beach after a bunch of us had wings, and decided to strip down to our skivvies, and go swimming. I still redid my lips, reapplied mascara, and applied a perfume roller of cinnamon bun scented perfume, and applied a bit of coco butter to create a scent that is only mine. I redid my bun and joined Christian at a table. He had menus for us. 

“What looks good?”, He asked.

“I am going to get the salad niçoise without onion and a glass of cab.”

“I will go order for us”. I took my card out and handed it to him.

“I got this.”

“Then, I got dessert”.

“Deal”. He said.

Our food came to us quickly. A jazz trio was setting up to play. 

“It is so funny we both had the same thought to go to the movies, before going to see another movie,” Christian pointed out.

“It is. I had nothing really on my to do list before our date, so, I just thought I’d take myself out. I wasn’t sure 80’s movies were your thing.”

“I like movies in general. What about you?”.

“I do too. I like movies here especially because they do older movies.”

“You know who else does older movies?”.

“Who?”.

“The photography museum”.

“I love the selection of movies there”.

“That can be another date”.

“I like that idea”.

“Great”. Speaking of movies, I really like the Crow. I love your shirt”.

“Thank you. I found it online”.

“You have to send me the link to the site”.

“I will. He does a lot of cool shirts”. When we were done eating, we had some time before the movie. “Do you have room for desert?”, I asked.

“I can’t eat a whole desert, but, do you want to split something?”.

“There is a chocolate cake up there that looks super good”.

“Let’s get that”. I went up to the register and got us a slice of cake and to forks.

“This is good”, He said.

“It is.”

“So are you a candy person or a popcorn person?”, Christian inquired.

“I am both. Depends on my mood. How about you”.

“I like both too”. 

“Sometimes, I like to buy a thing of M&M’s and pour it into a bag of popcorn”.

“That sounds really good”.

“It is a good combo. If I wasn’t so full of dinner, I would likely get that”.

“We can do that next time”.

“For sure”. I checked my phone. “It looks like our movie will be starting soon”.

“I ordered us tickets”.

“You did? Thank you”. He showed our tickets to the usher, and we walked into the theater. We took seats towards the back. The movie was indeed a horror film. There were times I jumped and cringed. There also came a point where Christian reached for my hand. When the movie ended, we sat there, watching the credits, waiting for the lights to come on. This time, I wasn’t feeling a sense of dread. I had survived seeing my ex. I had had a lovely date night in which my date saw me without being all gussied up and seemed into me anyways. If I could survive all of that, I could really survive anything.

May 26, 2022 16:55

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6 comments

Eliza H
07:12 Jun 11, 2022

beautiful! I absolutely loved it!

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Laura Eliz
18:55 Jun 11, 2022

Thank honk you so much! Thsnks for reading :)

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18:26 May 28, 2022

This story is great! You did a really good job with character arcs in this one, amazing job! The pacing and flow is natural and human (as it is in all of your stories). Great job!

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Laura Eliz
13:52 May 31, 2022

Thank you so much!

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Anissa Waterman
17:06 May 26, 2022

This is good. I liked how she met and faced her ex only to see the guy she was going to go out with. You might want to reread the story. I found a couple misspelled words. This is a story I could relate to.

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Laura Eliz
18:32 May 26, 2022

Thank you for reading and thank you for your suggestion. I will re-read!

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