Chapter 16: Perfect Timing
Do you know how many times you’ve called me in the past two weeks? Joey asked.
Amarea’s cheeks began to turn a bright shade of pink. She shook her head, “No.”
78, Joey replied.
No way, Amarea shot back, I haven’t called you more than a handful of times.
Joey took out his cell phone and opened the call log, beside her name was (78).
That’s not possible. The pink had reached her forehead and was creeping up her skull.
“Yup, proof,” Joey said putting his phone back in his pocket.
“Butt calls,” Amarea declared.
“But calls? What?” Joey asked.
“My butt,” Amarea said.
“But calls your butt?” I’m confused, Joey replied.
Amarea laughed, “No, my butt calls people.”
Joey peered around to look at Amarea’s butt. “What butt?”
Amarea playfully slapped his arm.
“My butt calls people,” she said. Joey looked suspiciously at her. “Here, watch.” She took Joey’s phone and put it in her back pocket. She wiggled around and pulled it out. The phone was dialing a number.
“Bueno, en que puedo ayudarle a?” the voice asked.
“Enter pudding on your date?” Amarea questioned.
“No gracious,” Joey replied and ended the phone call.
“You speak Spanish well!” Amarea exclaimed. She was impressed. They had only been taking Spanish for a few months.
“Not really,” Joey laughed. “Your butt speaks English though.”
Amarea laughed. “Butt calls; my butt just dials the numbers.”
Joey put the phone back in his pocket, “You’ve got a pretty talented butt.”
“Thanks,” Amarea blushed.
Hey, you want to go to the movies tonight? Joey asked.
No thanks, I wouldn’t want to be a third wheel. Amarea rolled her eyes.
Maddie is spending the weekend with her cousin, Joey replied.
Oh. I thought she had mono? Amarea questioned. Something just didn’t make sense to Amarea.
Something like that. She’s with her cousin now. I guess the mono went with her, Joey shrugged.
Don’t you find it odd that she always goes by her cousin? Amarea asked.
Not really. They’re really close. Joey changed the subject, anyway, my mom wants to go see the new Spielberg movie, so she asked if I wanted to go, and I’m asking you if you want to go.
I guess; what do you want to see? Amarea asked, silently hoping it was the new comedy she had seen an ad for.
How about that new comedy? Joey asked.
The one that’s three hours long? Amarea hoped.
Yeah, three hours of laughs sounds great doesn’t it? Joey hoped she wouldn’t object. It looked like a hilarious movie.
What time does it start? Amarea asked.
Joey exhaled. He didn’t even realize he was holding his breath. The late show starts at nine. Think you’re up to it?
Sure, why not? Amarea grinned, three hours with Joey; it sounded like a perfect date.
Mrs. Moore picked Amarea up at 8:30. The mall was pretty empty due to the curfew rule. Anyone under the age of 18 had to have a parent with them after 7:00. Amarea and Joey were one of just a handful of people in the movie theater. Amarea managed to stay awake for the first hour. She rested her head on Joey’s shoulder and slept peacefully. Joey wasn’t sure when he fell asleep; it was hard to stay awake with Amarea’s rhythmic breathing in his ear. He woke up with a strong urge to pee, having consumed a 44 ounce drink earlier. It was dark in the movie theater; the screen was blank. It was eerily quiet. Joey gently shook Amarea awake.
“I think they forgot about us,” Joey whispered as they left the theater. There wasn’t another person in site. The concession stands were clean and empty. Only the emergency exit lights were on.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if we were locked in the movie theater,” Amarea said.
“We would actually be locked in the mall,” Joey answered. The movie theater’s only entrance led into the mall food court. “Let me call my mom.” Joey tried several times, but no one answered. Amarea tried her parents, but again, no one answered. The big clock at the food court read 1:12.
“What now?” Amarea asked.
“I guess we can walk home,” Joey suggested.
“That’s like 3 miles,” Amarea said.
“The exercise will do you good,” Joey said, “But first we need to find an exit.”
Amarea grabbed his arm, “Bathroom first?”
Joey waited outside the women’s restroom. He didn’t know how he ended up holding Amarea’s bag. Was there some rule about bags not going into the bathroom he didn’t know about? He had taken her bag into the men’s room with him. Amarea giggled when she saw him holding the purple bag.
It’s you, she smiled. She put her arm in his, and they walked until they found the only door that wasn’t locked. They had to go through an “Employee Only” part of the mall.
Amarea was grateful to be outside. It was kind of creepy being in an empty mall. “Which way?” she asked unsure of where they had come out.
“Hey,” Joey said, “I’ve got an idea; let’s head to the Waffle House over by Target.”
“Good idea,” Amarea said, “I could use a bite to eat.”
Joey took Amarea’s hand and led her towards Waffle House.
Do you like me? Amarea was glad it was too dark for Joey to see her blushing.
Of course I like you, you’re my best friend. He squeezed her hand.
No, I mean like me like me? Amarea pushed.
Like more than a friend? Joey asked.
Yes, Amarea braved.
I never really thought of it to be honest, Joey replied. You’re my best friend.
But could you? She asked.
Could I what? Joey asked, not really wanting to hear her answer.
Like me more than a friend? She hoped.
Joey let go of her hand and turned to face her. He looked deeply into her eyes. He felt the uncontrollable urge to touch her cheek, so he did. He was leaning in to kiss her when a car horn made them both jump.
“Hey you two,” Mrs. Moore yelled, “I am so sorry! I went home after the movie and fell asleep on the couch!” She looked at Joey and Amarea and felt like she was interrupting something important. “Come on, get in. Amarea, your parents must be worried sick!”
“I’m sure they are sound asleep,” Amarea said sliding into the back seat. Joey sat by his mom in the front.
Your mom has perfect timing, Amarea remarked.
I guess, Joey shrugged.