She produces her ticket at the entrance. Yes, a ticket for one. The cinema employee separates the ticket into two and hands her back the stub. She quickly gets on the escalator, trying not to look at anyone around her. The cinema entrance is always the most awkward. Friends waiting for friends, dates waiting for dates, family waiting for family. Most people came in pairs or groups. In the bright lights of the outside world, her singular figure was most noticeable.
She gets off the escalator and scans the floor for the right theatre. There it is, right through those familiar heavy doors that frame every entrance. Heading up the steps, she finds her row quickly and seats herself down. The wait before the show starts is also awkward. With the lights dimmed but not dark, her lone figure was also noticeable, especially if flanked by groups of friends or cuddling couples. Hushed whispers, idle chat, displays of affection– all that white noise is magnified when you are sitting alone, waiting for the show to start. However, once the lights go off and the screen comes on, the awkwardness immediately disappears, replaced by eager anticipation of the movie.
But today was different. As she seats herself down, she notices that the seat to her left is already taken. By a boy. There is no one to his left. To her right is a couple and they were already engaging in big public displays of affection (to put it lightly). Maybe he’s waiting for someone, she thinks as she settles into her seat, taking her coat off and placing her handbag on her lap. She looks at him out of the corner of her eye. He’s sitting very still. His profile is quite good looking. She blushes and her eyes glance back to the screen, which is playing commercials. He’s most likely waiting for someone.
As she tries to stay very still and focus on the mindless commercials on screen, the couple to her right are now practically in full-on make out mode. It was a complete visual and aural assault; almost too much to bear. Gritting her teeth, she tries to remain calm and not be annoyed by the puke-inducing kissing noises. Finally, the lights dim. She breathes a sigh of relief.
“Thank god,” the boy to her left whispers.
She laughs quietly in agreement. He turns to look at her. She looks back at him in the dark. The seat to his left is still empty. They both smile.
The movie begins.
live, love, laugh,