Page 21 of RoomHate

“It’s more like I try not to think about what I’m missing.”

We drove through our old neighborhood and eventually made our way down the packed streets of the city’s East Side. When he turned onto a particular side street, it finally hit me where he was taking me. As if it were reserved for us, there was an open parking spot right in front of the little red theater. Justin parallel parked and turned off the ignition.

He sat there for a few seconds then turned to me. “It looks open. You think they still have a midnight show?”

“I haven’t been here in years. We could check it out.”

I never expected this trip down memory lane.

Justin walked up to the scruffy old man behind the counter. “You still showing indie films?”

“Whatever you want to call them.”

“When’s the next movie?”

“Ten minutes.”

“We’ll take two tickets.”

“Number one to your left.”

“Thanks,” Justin said before leading me into the dark theater.

Looking around, I said, “I’m so glad you thought of this.”

“Do you remember this actual room?” he asked.

“I do.” I pointed to the middle. “We used to sit right about there. It smells worse than I remember.”

“It does smell pretty raunchy.”

There was only one other person in the theater, a man sitting diagonally across from us.

The lights dimmed, and the feature presentation started. Within a few seconds, it became abundantly clear that while the little red theater looked physically the same, everything else had changed.

The opening sequence featured a musical montage of women sucking different men off. It seemed our little red movie house had completely lost its innocence in the years we’d abandoned it. It was now a porno theater.

When I looked over at Justin, he was laughing so hard he was practically crying.

I whispered, “Swear to me you didn’t know.”

He wiped his eyes. “I swear to God, Amelia. I had no clue. Did you even see a sign…anything?”

“No. But there never really were signs indicating what was playing, so I just assumed…”

“You know what they say about assuming things…”

“You make an ass out of you and me?”

“Close. Sometimes when you assume things, you accidentally end up in an adult movie theater watching anal.”

He pointed to the screen, which displayed nothing but a gigantic ass getting screwed. “Our little red theater has been corrupted, Patch.”

To make matters worse, the only other patron in the place seemed to be jerking his hand up and down under a blanket. We both stared over at the guy then erupted in laughter.

“Do you think that’s our cue to leave?” I asked.

“It might be.”

A new scene suddenly popped up on the screen. It wasn’t as hardcore as the other and seemed more cinematic, like an actual film as opposed to a cheap triple X video. The music was softer. The snippet featured two guys going to town on a girl slowly and sensually. She was giving oral sex to one while the other guy was going down on her. We were supposed to be leaving, but I felt frozen in my seat, unable to take my eyes off of it. I knew Justin was watching it too because he was quiet. The entire thing lasted about ten minutes.

When it was over, I looked over at Justin who was just staring at me. Had he been watching the movie, or was he watching me watching the movie? Did he know I was aroused by it? In any case, he didn’t make any snide remarks, and he certainly wasn’t laughing at me.

When he finally spoke up, his voice sounded strained when he whispered in my ear, “You want to stay?”

“No. We should go.”

“Okay.”

When I started to get up, he put his hand on my arm to stop me. “I need a minute.”

“Why?”

He just stared at me like I should have known why.

I figured it out. “Oh.”

I didn’t know what turned me on more, watching that scene or knowing that Justin was hard from it. It was all too much for me. He closed his eyes for about a minute then looked over at me. “It’s not going down.”

“Staying in here isn’t going to help.”

“Probably not.”

“Let’s just go.” I didn’t mean to laugh, but it was pretty funny.

We both got up and exited the theater. I tried really hard not to look down, but my eyes betrayed me as they wandered to the bulge straining through his jeans. Dirty thoughts flooded my mind. I wished things were different because I could think of a million ways I could help him take care of it.

The ride back to Newport was quiet. The sexual tension in the air was thick. My nipples had turned to steel, and my panties were soaked knowing that he was probably still hard. It occurred to me that certain situations could be even more arousing than sex itself, those situations where you wanted something so badly but couldn’t have it. My body was experiencing an impossible state of arousal.

We pulled up to the house. When he shut off the ignition, he leaned his head back against the seat and turned to me, looking as if he wanted to say something but couldn’t find the words.

Breaking the ice, I said, “Thank you for attempting to make my night better.”

“Attempt is the operative word. It was an epic fail.”

“No, it wasn’t.”

“It wasn’t? I accidentally took you to see a porno and got a boner in the process. What the fuck…am I fifteen?”

“I was turned on, too. It’s just not as obvious.”

“I know. I could tell. That was what…” He hesitated and shook his head. “Never mind.”

“Well, anyway. It was still better than the date with Dr. Danger.”

“I can’t believe that asshole. I should go to the hospital and beat the fuck out of him tomorrow.”

“He’s not worth it.” I glanced out the window. “Anyway, we should go inside.”

“Yeah.”

Back inside the house, we lingered in the kitchen. I wasn’t ready to go to sleep, even though it was well past one in the morning. Neither of us budged.

“Jesus, it’s so late, but I’m not tired at all,” I said.

“If I make some coffee fusion, will you have some?”

“Yeah. I’d love some.” I smiled.

I watched his every move as he prepared the coffee.

I love you.

God, the thought had just come out of the blue from my subconscious mind. From time to time, those three words would just play in my head when I was with him. I did love him, just as much as I always had. But I needed to control these feelings, otherwise I would be setting myself up for major disappointment.

His back was to me when he said, “Jade is coming back in a few days.”

My heart sank. “Really? Are you going back to New York with her?”

“No. After she leaves, I’ll stay an extra few days to fulfill my promise to Salvatore.”

“Oh.”

He placed a steaming hot mug in front of me. “Here you go.”

“Thank you.”

Over the past forty-eight hours, it seemed that something between us had shifted. Maybe his change in attitude was a result of the impending end of summer.

Sipping the coffee, I said, “I don’t think either one of us will be going to sleep anytime soon after this.”

“Might as well just stay up.”

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