TOSOM: The Other Side of Me-Freshman

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Chapter 40: Movie Maker

Amarea stood in the shadows watching the happy couple. What did he see in her anyway? Maddie was back. Her mom was apparently clean and sober and qualified to be a mother again. Unfortunately, now they all had lunch together.

She’s cute, Joey grinned. He was sitting next to Maddie and across from Amarea.

I’m not having this conversation with you, Amarea spat back.

You thought it first, Joey smiled.

I wasn’t thinking to you, Amarea rolled her eyes and turned her back on him.

You were thinking of me, Joey laughed.

Shut up, Joseph, Amarea blushed.

Oh, Joey smiled, I struck a nerve.

Why do you have to be such a jerk? She said.

Maddie giggled. Joey was nuzzling on her neck.

PDA. Amarea pretended to throw up.

Jealous, Joey smiled.

You are not a good person around Maddie, Amarea said.

On the contrary, Joey said, I’m a great person around Maddie.

Maddie giggled again and playfully pushed Joey away. The bell rang.

Crap, Joey said.

What? Amarea asked. She stood up and dumped her garbage and returned her tray to the kitchen.

I’ve got class with you, Joey smiled.

Joey laughed and kissed Maddie on the cheek. He swatted her bottom as she passed by.

Seriously, you are such a pig, Amarea rolled her eyes.

“Oink, oink,” Joey grunted as he walked by Amarea.

Amarea took the seat farthest away from Joey. She hated and loved having health class with him. He was so different around Maddie.

“Eeek.”

Amarea looked up from her desk. Joey was busy working on something.

“Eeek.”

“Eeek.”

Amarea looked up. Joey had moved his desk to the middle of the room.

“Eeek, eeek, eeek,” His desk was now facing hers. Amarea couldn’t help smiling.

“Wanna go to the movies tonight?” Joey asked. Amarea smiled again.

“What’s playing?” Amarea asked.

“Something you’ll love,” Joey smiled.

What about Maddie? Amarea asked.

You ask that way too much, Joey said. Can’t we just be friends?

No, Amarea replied.

No what? Joey asked.

No, we just can’t be friends, Amarea said. She turned away from him.

Why not? He asked. He reached for her arm, but she pulled it away.

It’s complicated, she replied.

What’s complicated? Joey smiled.

Our relationship, Amarea said.

We have a relationship? Joey grinned, a wicked sort of grin.

Joey, what do you want from me? Amarea asked.

I want to take you to a movie, Joey smiled.

Why? Amarea shook her head.

Maddie doesn’t like horror movies, Joey said simply.

And I do? Amarea replied.

Only the old ones, Joey grinned.

What are you talking about? Amarea asked.

I start my new job tonight, Joey said.

New job? Amarea was genuinely confused.

I’m working at a movie theater, Joey grinned.

Movies 10? Amarea asked.

Nope, he replied, Aunt Judy’s.

What are you talking about? Amarea asked.

“Mr. Moore, kindly move your seat back to where it belongs,” Mr. Perez said. “Eeek, eeek,” Mr. Perez gave Joey a “look,” and Joey picked up his desk and moved it back to its original location.

Is it a date? Joey asked. He had a pouty frown on his face.

Is it? Amarea smiled.

What? Joey asked.

A date, she replied. Is it a date?

It’s a movie, Joey stated with a devilish grin.

Ok, Amarea said with a smile. Why did she do this to herself?

Joey was stringing a white sheet between two trees when Amarea arrived.

“What’s all this?” Amarea asked.

“Aunt Judy and Jimmy came up with all this,” Joey replied.

“Hey, Amarea,” Jimmy said. He was pushing a cart with an old film projector on it. “Tonight we have the original horror movie.”

“No way! Psycho?” Amarea asked.

“The Bates Motel in all its original black and white glory,” Jimmy replied.

“Wow!” Amarea beamed. “That’s one of the best movies of all time!”

“I thought you’d enjoy it,” Joey said.

“Joey,” Aunt Judy called. “Well, hello there, Amarea.”

“Hello, Aunt Judy,” Amarea smiled. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“You can find a place to sit,” Aunt Judy replied. “The crowd will be here soon.”

Amarea grabbed a blanket from a pile and laid it out in front of the screen. As it began to get dark, the lawn filled up with kids. Amarea was amazed at how many kids were there! She guessed there were around fifty or so. Several groups sat together, and quite a few couples were snuggling up in blankets.

Joey was in charge of going from group to group gathering money and stamping hands with a funny cow stamp.

I don’t have any money, Amarea said.

Joey winked at Amarea and stamped her hand. “I’ve got you,” he said. “You can go get something from the concession stand.”

Aunt Judy sold popcorn, candy, and drinks from her makeshift concession stand while Jimmy grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Some people just came for the burgers and hot dogs. Aunt Judy gave Amarea a huge burger, large popcorn, package of Twizzlers, and large drink.

Joey laughed when he sat beside her. “I told you I had you covered.”

“How am I going to eat all this?” She asked.

“I’ll help,” Joey said as he picked up the hamburger.

“I love the sign in the garage,” Amarea said.

Drinking, smoking, drugs, and cussing were not allowed. A large sign posted on the garage stated these facts.

“Aunt Judy’s favorite new past time is to hunt down smoking teens, especially boys,” Joey began. “She loves to walk up to a group of “cool” kids and ask, ‘Did you know that smoking stunts your growth?’”

“No she doesn’t,” Amarea said in unbelief.

“I’ve seen her do it,” Joey replied.

“What do the guys do?” Amarea asked.

“Usually they say something like, ‘Yeah? So what! Who cares?’ and then Aunt Judy tells them the facts,” Joey said.

“Facts?” Amarea asked.

Joey did his best Aunt Judy impression, “Studies have shown that the body part most affected by smoking is the penis. In fact, smoking can cause the vein in the penis to shrink, up to two inches, and make it difficult or even impossible to get an erection.”

Amarea choked on her popcorn. Joey swatted her on the back. “That’s not even the best part,” Joey continued. “Aunt Judy says, ’Smoke up, little boys,’ she emphasizes the word little, smiles broadly, and walks away.”

“Your aunt is so awesome,” Amarea beamed.

“I’m not sure if Aunt Judy’s information ever stopped anyone from smoking, but it’s kept me and Jimmy from ever starting,” Joey said. Joey moved closer to Amarea as the movie began.

“This is nice,” Amarea said, cuddling up to Joey.

“This is my favorite part,” Joey said, focused on the movie.

The killer pulled back the shower curtain and started stabbing the girl in the shower. Blood swirled down the drain. “Ewws” were heard throughout the crowd.

Joey laughed, “It’s so fake.”

“Is it?” Amarea asked.

“Yeah,” Joey replied, “It’s just food coloring.”

“No,” Amarea replied, “this.” She pressed her head against Joey’s chest.

Joey sat up and looked at Amarea.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“This, us,” she replied. “Is this real?”

Joey looked at her. “Let’s just watch the show,” he said as he put his arm around her, and snuggled her close. Maddie didn’t like horror movies. Amarea, however, loved old movies. She also loved Aunt Judy. Whenever they were together, they were like best friends. Monday through Thursday Joey could go out with Maddie. Fridays and Saturdays he could watch movies with Amarea. Joey wasn’t sure which he enjoyed more.

With Maddie, it was arm around her, holding her hand, laughing, talking, and kissing. With Amarea it was arm around her, head buried in his chest, trying to hide from the horror on the screen. On one hand he was the boyfriend, on the other, the protector. His lips brushed across Amarea’s head as she buried her face into his shirt.

Protector, he thought.

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