At 3:03 I get a text from you—
you’re wondering if I can catch a matinee at 3:25.
I smile, as I use my thumb to answer “sure.”
I log out of my computer, grab my coat, my empty lunch bag
and I head for the door.
I call it a day to be with you.
As I pull into the lot,
shimmering black from melting snow,
I do not even know what we will be seeing:
I don’t care.
You stand, just left of the ticket counter,
holding popcorn, tickets, and impatient smile.
I am early, but not early enough for you.
Entering Theatre 6 I follow you up two rows,
where we sit in our typical spot,
and the seats fit us perfectly—
they should, we are here a few days each week.
“Nicolas Cage,” you say aloud,
answering the trivia question that has been flashed on the screen,
“Edward Norton,” I correct.
You exhale slowly, grabbing the soda from me,
ignoring that I am right again.
I pass a Twizzlers—our white flag.
The lights dim, and then turn black,
and I turn to ask you a quick question.
But over your golden frames you silently scold before I speak—
They remind me how obsessed you are with previews.
So I turn front, pull my short legs under me,
and with buttered popcorn balanced between us
I realize, I still do not know what we are about to see.
Heather M. F. Lyke is a writer living in southern Minnesota. By day, she works in the world of K-12 education. On evenings and weekends, she creates—builds things out of nothing: sometimes with paint, occasionally with fabric, most often with words. Explore more of her works here: HMFL.