The Wrongdoer

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Chapter 10: Like a roller coaster with no end

Mike stared out the window. It was raining. For any teenager the weekend was a time for sleeping in, hanging out with friends, or just partying all night long, but for Mike it was a depressing and miserable time. He knew Cindy didn’t like him, so he needed to stop kidding himself. She had three friends and he had one. What girl wanted to date a boy with one friend? He knew he should just like someone else but he couldn’t stop thinking about Cindy. Maybe if he tried to follow Ian’s advice he’d find out on Monday.

Suddenly the phone rang. Mike picked it up. “Hello?”

“Hey, Mike.” It was Ian. “Wanna go see a movie?”

“Sure,” said Mike looking at the dreary outdoors. “Which one?”

“How about War is Hell?” Mike skimmed through the review section of the newspaper before he found the movie. “That movie’s three-and-a-half hours long!”

“Then how about The Devil Strikes Back?”

“Too violent,” was Mike’s reply.

Ian sighed. “Come on Mike, you used to not care what movie we saw as long as it was good. Those are two good movies. Who cares if one’s violent and one’s too long? Everyone needs a bit of blood in their life and it’s not like you’re doing anything else today so who cares if one movie’s longer than the other.”

“I’m sorry, Ian. I just don’t feel like it.”

Fine. What movie do you wanna see?”

Mike scanned the listings with his right index finger until he came to a movie that satisfied him. “How about Love Should Be Peace Not War?”

“A romance!” cried Ian.

“Yeah, I like romances.”

“When did this start?”

“I’ve always liked romances.”

Really?

Ian didn’t sound convinced, but Mike wouldn’t dwell into the subject further. “So do you want to go see Love Should Be Peace Not War?”

“Sure, I guess.”

At one forty-five P.M., Mike and Ian met at Antonio’s Pizza Parlour. They used to always eat at Antonio’s. According to Mike, he found that they had the best pizza and it was only a few blocks away from his house. Ian lived seven blocks away from Mike on Ranleigh Avenue. Mike still remembered the times that he and Ian would visit Antonio’s and have a slice before heading to see a movie. It was a standard tradition and Ian was trying to bring it back.

“So which movie theatre do you want to go to?” asked Ian. He was wearing a green hooded raincoat and had to talk fairly loudly to be overheard from the slapping rain. The rain seemed to be pounding on them. His hood was also too big so it covered his eyes and the strong rain just kept pounding the hood farther down his face.

“How about the one at Empress Walk?” Mike offered. “They have a show at two-thirty.”

“Sure, sounds good.”

Empress Walk wasn’t close, but it wasn’t far either. It was about a twenty-minute bus trip from where they were. The two boys knew it wouldn’t be long before the number ninety-seven bus would appear, taking them to their destination.

When they arrived inside the theatre, Ian spotted Cindy who was sitting a few aisles up. He deliberately chose seats close to her, but she was too busy with turning off her cell phone and didn’t notice them. The lights were off and so the two boys were like shadows sitting on chairs.

“I’m going to get some popcorn,” Ian whispered as he headed down the aisle stairs. Mike glared at him, but all Ian did was flash the thumbs up before he left.

“So,” Mike leaned forward towards Cindy and began, “where are your friends?” That was a rude question, he thought. And did he really care where her friends were?

Cindy turned to see Mike’s face smiling in the darkness. “Oh, hi, Mike. They’re out getting popcorn,” was her reply.

“You think this movie will be good?”

“Hopefully. It got good reviews.”

“Hi, we’re back,” Rebecca’s voice came through the darkness. But when she noticed Mike was sitting beside Cindy, she grudgingly led Sarah and Amanda to the next aisle. When they were gone, Cindy continued to be very talkative with Mike. She started talking about films she liked as the advertisements rolled and then spoke in a soft whisper as the movie started playing. The two noticed how flimsy the film was and how it hardly had a plot. There was only one time when a man turned his head to the two of them, a bit agitated, saying, “Will you two please keep it down? It’s not that exciting.”

The movie conversation was broken, however, when someone in the back cried “Shah!” for no apparent reason. That was when Cindy asked the one question that made Mike want to leave the theatre.

“Mike, I was wondering…do you have a crush on anybody? I noticed how you quickly answered the question in the circle at D.T. without giving it much thought.”

“Um…why don’t we watch the movie,” was Mike’s awkward reply, but he tried to sound calm. Cindy agreed and they viewed the rest of the film in silence.

After the movie, Ian was waiting outside for his best friend.

“So how’d it go?’ he asked when he noticed Cindy was out of earshot.

“What’s wrong with you? You made me talk to Cindy the whole time.”

“Yeah, I snuck into The Devil Strikes Back. It started around the same time as the God-awful one you were watching. Awesome movie by the way. I believe you would’ve enjoyed it besides the gore. Better than the trash you were watching. But of course, you probably didn’t want to see the movie anyway as I thought. So how’d it go?”

“O.K.,” muttered Mike. “And yeah, the movie was pretty shitty.”

“So does she like you?” They were now waiting at the bus stop.

“I don’t know,” said Mike. “All I know is that Cindy likes a lot of things I like.”

“Well, there you go.”

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