So there I was at the movie theater on a Saturday night…alone. (Yes, I’m one of those people.)
Since the theater was lightly occupied, I’d selected a seat smack-dab in the middle of the row. A smattering of couples sat here and there, the nearest being down the row on my right and one three rows down.
The movie was more than half over when I noticed the guy a few rows down get up, leaving his date. (A strange fact about me: I always notice when someone is missing out on the movie. I wonder what on earth could be so important to forego the foundational pursuit of answering “What’s going to happen?” I make up scenarios in my head…and end up missing that much of the movie myself.)
In my official deduction, Mr. Truant had consumed too much Coke, because when he returned, he did not have any additional concessions in his possession. (Go ahead; say that three times fast. It’s fun.)
As much as I thought I was tuned in to the movie, my brain was busy tracking Mr. Truant’s movements. Not because he was attractive or noticeable, but because even I knew he’d missed his turn. His girlfriend was three rows down, but he just kept coming up the stairs.
I kept my face toward the screen, even when Mr. Truant was squeezing past the people on my row.
By then, I was wondering if he’d been drinking beer rather than Coke. Didn’t he know he hadn’t bumped that many knees going down the first time?
But no; down the row he came.
My face was still pointing ahead, but my eyes sure weren’t. Totally oblivious, onward he pressed.
You guessed it: Mr. Truant sat down right next to yours truly.
I have to nip this in the bud before he settles in with his arm around me, I thought.
Then came the moment I knew was coming: he turned to look fondly into his adoring girlfriend’s eyes.
There instead sat Miss Less-Than-Amused.
“Wrong row,” I said flatly.
I wish you could have seen his face. Actually, I’m not even sure I got a good look. If it had been caught on camera, his face would have been a blushing blur. When he finally found the right girlfriend, I saw him telling her what had happened.
That’s when I realized he hadn’t been looking for clothing or a seating area, but rather for the only lady sitting by herself. Surprise was on him!
For the rest of the movie, all I could think was, 1) what did his girlfriend think when she saw him pass her? And 2) if I’d only kept my mouth shut a little longer, I could have had an ever better story to tell.