Just Friends

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The Movies

The next night, Jasmine and Leo had decided to go out to the movies, which was, in retrospect, a terrible idea because everyone and their mother had decided to go to the movies, seeing as it was a Friday night. Still, they had arrived at the theater and ultimately decided to stay, despite the long line.

While they were in line for snacks, Jasmine looked around the room and her eyes landed on a tall dark-haired man and a cute Asian woman, who was laughing at something the dark-haired man had said. As she watched them, she couldn’t bring herself to look away and she wasn’t sure why until the man turned and she realized who it was. “Leo, look.”

“What?” he asked before he saw what she was talking about. “Do you want to go?”

Jasmine shook her head. “No, we already paid for the tickets.”

“I don’t give a damn about the tickets. Do you want to go?” he asked again.

“No, it’s fine. I don’t think he’s seen me.”

Leo looked over at Ethan, who was acting charming enough for the Asian woman to laugh again. “What do you want to do?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I think- I think I want to talk to her.”

“How are you going to manage that?”

“I don’t know yet. I’ll figure it out later. Let’s just go watch our movie.”

After they paid for their snacks, Leo and Jasmine went into the theater and found their seats, at the very top of the stairs and in the direct middle. It was, unquestionably, the best set of seats in the entire room, largely because there were no other people seated behind them and their eyes were level with the screen. At least, that was Jasmine’s logic.

During the previews, Leo had been the one who spotted Ethan and his date, sitting a few rows ahead of them and to the left. “They’re down there. Are you sure you want to stay?”

“Would you please stop asking that? We’re staying.”

The movie was, like on their first date, a horror film, and while Jasmine constantly found herself clinging to Leo, she noticed Ethan’s date doing the same. With every jumpscare, the woman buried her head into Ethan’s shoulder, and Jasmine knew that Ethan’s hand was, more than likely, inching down to cop a feel.

Midway through the movie, Jasmine watched the Asian woman stand up from her seat, most likely to go to the bathroom, and she leaned towards Leo and whispered, “I’ll be right back. I found my opening.”

“What?” he asked, too involved in the movie to realize what she was talking about.

“I’m gonna go follow her.”

“Follow who? Wait, you mean-”

Jasmine cut him off. “I’ll be right back. Tell me what happens.”

Then, she rushed down the stairs and towards the women’s restroom. Her hands were shaking as she anticipated the conversation, but she waited patiently at the sink. When the woman emerged from a stall to wash her hands, Jasmine began to wash her own and she said, “Oh, I like your dress.”

“Thank you!” the woman said and a smile began to spread across her face. “I wasn’t sure if it was a good choice.”

“You on a date?” Jasmine asked.

The woman nodded. “Yes, I’m so nervous.”

“Oh, that makes sense. Well, if it helps, you look great. I’m Jasmine.”

“Christy.”

“Nice to meet you,” Jasmine said. “I hope you don’t mind, but I actually know the man you’re on a date with. Ethan, right?”

Christy nodded and narrowed her eyes. “Yeah, why?”

With a deep breath, Jasmine said, “I actually dated him.”

“Oh. You’re not, like, stalking me for dating him, are you?”

She shook her head. “Oh, God no. I came here for a movie and just happened to see you two. But I, um, I did want to talk to you about him.”

“Why?”

“You may not believe me, and that’s fine, but I just wanted to warn you a bit. He and I dated fairly recently and we broke up because he was getting jealous and when he confronted me about it, he hit me.”

Christy’s eyes widened. “Are you serious?”

Jasmine nodded. “Yeah. And I know you’re on a date with him right now, but I just wanted to tell you to be careful. Maybe he’d be good to you, but it wouldn’t be right of me not to let you know what had happened.”

“Thanks?”

“Yeah, I know, it’s shitty timing. I’m sorry about this,” she said.

Christy bit her lip and nodded. “Yeah, no, not ideal timing. Was he really that bad?”

She shrugged. “I mean, overall, no. He only hit me one time, so I don’t know if that was a fluke or not. Hopefully, but I don’t know.”

“Okay,” Christy said. “I guess I should get back in there, though. If I’m gone too long, he might get suspicious.”

“Christy, you don’t have to go sit with him.”

“I know. I just, I don’t know, I kinda want to hear it from him.”

Jasmine’s stomach sank and she nodded. “Okay. But, you know, if you decide you don’t want to stay with him, I’m sitting at the top of the theater.”

“You’re watching the same movie as me?”

“Pure coincidence, I swear.”

The woman raised an eyebrow but said, “Okay, I guess. Should we walk back together?”

Jasmine shook her head. “No, he doesn’t need to know that you were talking to me. I don’t want him to get mad at you for no reason.”

Christy looked more worried as Jasmine left the restroom, and as much as she felt guilty over concerning a total stranger, she also felt better. She had warned an innocent, and it was out of her hands now. Whatever Christy chose to do about Ethan was her decision.

When she sat back down in her seat, Leo leaned over and asked, “What happened?”

“I’ll tell you later,” she whispered back. “What did I miss?”

He quickly filled her in on the movie’s plot, but she didn’t pay much attention. Instead, she watched as Christy returned to her seat, though it was visibly noticeable that she wasn’t sitting as closely to Ethan as she had been previously.

Throughout the movie, Jasmine’s attention was constantly drawn down to the couple below rather than towards the screen. That said, she still jumped at every loud noise, more surprised than she would have been if she were paying attention.

As they left the theater, Leo nudged Jasmine and asked, “So what happened?”

She quickly explained, though her eyes were still following Ethan and Christy, anxiously awaiting some sort of reaction from either one of them. “I tried telling her she could leave with us.”

“Well, it looks like she’s still planning on going home with him,” he said as he pointed to the couple, who were now holding hands.

“At least I tried, right?” she asked, looking up at Leo with a defeated smile.

He nodded and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “Yeah, you tried. It’s not up to you if she decides not to listen.”

“I know.”

They left the theater and it wasn’t until Jasmine was sitting in the car that she got a text.

>>> Ethan: Nice try, bitch

She sighed at the message and read it out loud to Leo. “I guess she told him what I said and he talked her out of listening. Sounds about right.”

“I’m sorry, Min.”

“Me too,” she said before blocking Ethan’s number.

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