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Romance Lesbian LGBTQ+

The screen dims as the credits roll down the screen. I try to turn my head without being obvious, but I can’t see her in the dark anyway. I tap my leg impatiently, waiting for the lights to come back on. 

“What did you think of the movie?” I hear her ask softly. I turn to face her in the dark, wishing I could make out more than a few shadows of her face. I’m not even sure if she’s looking back.

“It was um … really thought provoking.”

I think I see her nod. I have no idea what the movie was about. There were some action scenes and I laughed a couple times, because I was trying not to focus on how badly I wanted to lean over and kiss her.

I’ve always thought movie dates were stupid. I mean, how are we supposed to get to know each other by sitting in a dark room for two hours? It never made sense to me in high school, but I guess now I get why kids would sneak into movies just to sit in the back row and make out for a few hours.

She’s a film major though, and that is how we met after all. It was intimidating and shitty to be the only two girls in Film Philosophy 101, but we made fast friends. And then I wanted to be more than friends, but I couldn’t put it into words or risk ruining our friendship.

And now we’re sitting in a dark movie theater together and I wish I could lean over and just do it, but I also wish the lights would come back on, and maybe I could pretend this never happened. Maybe this was all a mistake, and I shouldn’t have invited her to this movie premiere. I thought it was clever, that it showed I cared, now it just feels silly.

When she said, “it’s a date,” I thought it meant something. I overanalyzed it to death and I’m pretty sure I just made up the fact that her tone of voice sounded excited, sort of mischievous in a fun way. She wasn’t being coy, just friendly.

I look up, willing for the lights to turn on, but they don’t. Around us, people start getting out of their seats, others sit there discussing their thoughts and feelings. Surely there are kids in the back row enjoying the last few moments of darkness.

I don’t know if we’re supposed to wait for an after-credits scene, I don’t know a whole lot about movies. I’m not a film geek. Frankly I kind of hate movies, especially the indie types. Film Philosophy would probably be my least favorite class if not for her.

I sat down next to her on the first day and she sighed with relief. “Oh, thank God. I thought I was going to be the only girl in this class, too. I don’t recommend being a film major.” She’d laughed, and then looked up as if to check if I was offended. I wasn’t. I’m not a film major, just needed the credits. I was a little stunned, because she’s very pretty, but then I chose to behave like a normal person and make sympathetic conversation. She probably had enough film nerds gawking at her all day.

“You know, the antagonist sort of reminds me of my ex,” she says with a chuckle. She’s still speaking quietly even though the people leaving don’t seem to care about their volume. I lean in a little bit closer to hear her better.

“Why?”

I see her silhouette shake her head again. “No, sorry, it’s totally weird to bring up my ex. Um, I’m sorry. I don’t want to be that person that brings up their ex on every date. She sucked, that’s all.”

“Oh, right. Yeah, no, don’t worry about it.”

She. That clears things up.

Also, this is a date?

She leans in, and I can see her face a little clearer. “You must know all about shitty exes.” She raises her hands and covers her face, shaking her head. “Oh my God, I did it again, I’m so sorry. Just, please make me stop talking.”

Make me stop talking? What does that mean? I wish I could, I mean, I like her talking, I think she’s interesting, and she always has something smart to say. I just . . . I can’t do it. What if I’m still totally misinterpreting this situation? I want the lights to come on. Our faces are so close.

“But, um, do you?”

“What?”

“Shitty exes. Or, God, we can talk about something else, I’m so lame.”

“Oh, no. Yeah, I mean a few. I didn’t date that much in high school, honestly. And, um, yeah a few bad dates freshman year.”

I’m speaking in sentence fragments. There’s butterflies in my stomach and I can’t tell if they’re bad or good. Please don’t think I’m a dunce.

“Yeah, totally. The dating scene can be so . . . weird. So, like . . .” She pauses, and brushes some hair behind her ears. Am I leaning in too close? I should lean back. Maybe my breath reeks. She’s speaking so softly. “Guys? Girls? Uh, or –”

“What?”

“I just, I wasn’t sure if–the dates, were they with–”

“Oh, girls.”

“Cool, yeah, me too. I just . . .”

She trails off and we fall into an awkward silence. Clearly she’s trying to get at something. Maybe she thinks I’m a creep. Or maybe she’s just questioning, and her ex didn’t work out because she doesn’t like girls, and I’ve just made that really clear for her, because I’m awkward and I can’t speak and I don’t have anything to say about the stupid movie. 

The lights still haven’t come back on.

She leans in a bit more. It feels like we’ve been listening to credit music for hours, and I realize we’ve been staring at each other for some time. 

She continues, “when you asked me, I wasn’t sure this was, like, a date. I just wanted to be sure.”

My brain is going in 90 different directions right now. Partly, it’s really hard to focus on what she’s saying when our faces are so close together. Also, what she’s saying is really crucial to the situation right now and I need to pay attention. And also she smells like clean laundry and strawberries and that’s a really good combination apparently.

“Because I like you.”

Wait, what?

Somehow there’s still space between us as she leans in even closer, still whispering. “I was worried I came off as this, like, film freak or something and I know you mentioned you’re not super crazy about–”

“You like me?”

“Yeah, do you…like me?”

“Can I kiss you?” I don’t even really think about the words before I say them. I freeze and more words come tumbling out. “I’m so sorry. That’s so–I didn’t mean to–um, nevermind.” I fumble around in the dark to stand and grab my bag, but somehow she finds my arm. Her other hand grabs my cheek, and she closes the miniscule gap between us.

The lights come on and our lips finally meet.

May 27, 2022 22:01

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1 comment

Emma G.
20:42 Jul 21, 2022

Ahh this is such a cute little slice of life. I like the back and forth of the uncertainty and how both of the characters are feeling the same thing without the other knowing. Great writing :)

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