It was just another ordinary day. I was young and so was my best friend. Looking up to the box office we discover the trek to the mall had been in vain, because to our dismay we discovered that there were no movies that we wanted to see that we hadn’t already seen. I start moving on because there isn’t anything to be gained from staying in one place dwelling on this particular disappointment when my best friend suggests something only an adolescent brain hopped up on hormones can come up with.
"We should see The Ring.”
"But, we’ve seen it already. It would be a waste of time and money, plus I’m not in a hurry to watch it again." I say this with the confidence that no argument can overturn my current conviction.
Then comes my friend’s brilliant rebuttal, “But if we go see a scary movie, girls will be in the scary movie. Girls like seeing scary movies!”
Seeing as we had nothing better to do I acquiesced as the possibility of girls in a scary movie beat walking around the mall aimlessly for another undetermined amount of time. We buy our tickets and go to the theater only to find that it is packed full of any number of random people. We make our way to the front seeing as those are the only seats available at this point. I settle into my seat with the understanding that we were here in a theater about to see a scary movie we had already seen, and these girls my friend spoke of were nowhere in sight.
The previews start rolling and soon enough a group of five young women approach my friend. Seeing as we had observed the unspoken rule of keeping as much room between us and the strangers surrounding us, we were seated in the middle of the aisle. This caused them to ask him to scoot over enough so that their group could fit into the seats. Seeing as my friend still didn’t want to sit next to strangers he chose the seat on the opposite side of me leaving me as a buffer zone between him and this as yet unknown group of young women.
Needless to say the movie begins and having already seen it I am more prepared for the thrills and chills to come. Something strange happens though when one of the first scares pops up onto the screen. The young lady next to me grabbed my arm. Keep in mind she is a complete stranger, but not one to turn away an attractive stranger’s embrace I allow it. I proceed to provide her an arm to grab and a shoulder to hide in throughout the movie with little to no dialog taking place outside of explaining that I am no braver than any other man, I was just gifted with the foreknowledge of the events to come in the movie. Full disclosure: I didn’t actually use those words.
The movie ends and we’re all walking out of the theater. I’m still in shock over the fact that I spent a whole movie in the fearful embrace of an attractive young lady, when my friend brings me out of my reverie to point out that the girl I had been sitting with is pointing at me and talking about me to her friends. Not expecting anything more I leave it as is, but then she approached me. She asked if I had a pen, a necessary implement in the days before cell phones, and I gladly handed her one. She proceeds to take my hand and write her number on it to my great disbelief. I’m standing there in shock yet again that this happened to me when she says, “Aren’t you going to give me yours?”
I would like to think that I was suave or that I had some type of couth at that point, but to be honest I looked up still in surprise and got out the only two words that I could think of, “Of course.”
As she’s walking away she turns around and asks me the only question that she had after getting my number, “How old are you?”
Considering that she was four years older than me, and I knew this, I told her the truth because that’s the only thing I knew to do,”I’m 13.”
She takes it in without a blink or a shrug and she says,” You look and act much older. Call me tomorrow.”
We never really went out again after that, but we talked on the phone for months after the whole scene. She was the one to call me first because I had expected that a 17 year old wouldn’t want a 13 year old kid bothering them, even if she had mistakenly given him her number. But apparently she did. I haven’t seen or heard from her in at least 5 years and I can only remember her first name, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget how I got my first number.