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Third Party Date

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        “And tickets cost the same?”



Cassie offered Ben a slight smile before moving to ascend the theater stairs. It was both of their first times at such a theater, and it was both of their first times to experience one so fancy. The chairs were wide enough to fit two people, could recline, had a footrest, and were made of a soft, velvety fabric. It was no wonder why the place had such high ratings on Yelp albeit its far location was a sort of bummer. Regardless, the two sat settled near the top rows and passed the time with some small talk as other people gradually trickled in until the lights dimmed and the last of the previews were showing.

Cassie shifted in her seat several times and even had to let go of Ben’s hand a couple of times to smooth out the creases in her skirt or check that her phone was on silent or even wipe her hand dry for fear of bothering her date with a potentially gross and sweaty handhold. The two had been dating a few weeks now and she was still nervous and almost sick to the gut that he said yes. Not a bad sickness but an “Oh my God how am I so lucky” sickness.
They barely interacted in school and the closest she probably ever got to him was when he passed her seat in the bus, only to sit three rows behind her, so the very idea that she could muster up the courage to confess her feelings and have him reciprocate them made her giddy beyond belief.

The constant adjusting, however, soon made Ben lean over and whisper into her ear.

        “Are you okay?”

        “Y-Yeah… I’m fine.”

        “Are you sure? If you’re not feeling well…”

        “No, I’m fine! I just… I’m kind of hungry and we didn’t get any concessions but I didn’t want to seem rude so…”

Ben laughed softly at her reasoning and moved his hand to give her thigh a little pat.

        “What did you want to get?”

        “I, uhm… Popcorn? Yeah, popcorn seems pretty essential to every movie date.”

        “Is that all?”

        “I think? Maybe something to drink in case the popcorn is too salty and… and we get thirsty?” She gave him a crooked smile.

Ben nodded in response and started to get up from his seat when she finished talking.

        “W-Wait! I’ll go get it, I also need to go to the bathroom so… just stay here.”

        “Alright, well here’s some money.” Ben pulled his wallet out of his pocket and proceeded to hand her a twenty-dollar bill.

Cassie gently pushed his hand away and shook her head.

        “It’s fine, you bought the tickets so this will be my treat.”

He smiled at her response and leaned in to give her a quick kiss that sent her heart thumping like mad and her stomach performing flips upon flips.

        “I’ll be back soon.”

She got up from her seat and hastily made her way out of the room.

        “This is so bad… I’m so bad at this.” She muttered to herself and began to walk to the main theater hall where concessions were being sold. After getting into line, her mind soon began to evaluate the situation.

Calm down, Cassie. It’s a just date, nothing hard at all! And you’ve already been on a few dates so why is this any different?

And what was that whole thing about popcorn being salty? What in the world was I thinking? God, I probably sounded so stupid. A groan fell from her lips.

        “Everything okay?” A voice broke her thoughts of self-degradation and pulled her back into reality.

Her face instantly lit up when she realized all the people in front of her were gone, leaving her a good seven feet of empty space away from the counter and the male behind it.

        “Uh… yeah. Sorry, I kind of zoned out there.”

        “I could tell.” He chuckled.

        “So what can I get you?”

Cassie approached the counter while looking at the large plaque hanging above the worker’s head. Her eyes widened a bit when she saw their ‘gourmet for a movie theater’ selection.

        “A bottle of wine?” She thought out loud as she read the beverage options.

        “I’ll have to see your ID if you want to order that.” The male replied, a smirk ghosting his lips.

        “No, I-” Cassie paused, the blush on her face grower hotter, and looked down at the ground.

        “I, uh… left it back at my chair. It’s… it’s kind of embarrassing to just order one glass of wine since I’m… alone.”

Okay. What in the WORLD was she saying?

        “Oh… Sorry I asked. You just look pretty young so I…” The male replied awkwardly, his voice dipping low with a sort of bashfulness.

        “No no, it’s fine! I, uh. Just thought it’d be nice to treat myself to a good movie and some wine.” What are you even saying?

        “I’ve been pretty lonely as of late so I felt like coming here would clear my head.” Shut up, Cassie.

        “But now that I’m here… explaining my lack of boyfriend to you… well. Uhm…” You’re such an idiot.

She instinctively looked down at the ground with her cheeks now a blazing, bright red.

        “Hey, well I’m off in a few minutes so how about I watch that movie with you? My name is Evan by the way… What are you watching?”

        “Oh! Uhm, you know… the new one that was released last Friday. Something about five… five tides or something like that…?” She looked up and narrowed her eyes.

        “And I’m Cassie… nice to meet you. B-But you don’t have to watch the movie with me. I don’t want to waste your time seeing as how you probably want to go home and relax and not spend time with a… loner like me.”

        “Nah, it’s fine. I don’t have much planned for tonight and I think I’d rather spend it with someone as pretty as you. I’ll even buy you the bottle you requested earlier.” He grinned and gave her a dramatized wink.

Cassie laughed softly and tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear. She honestly didn’t want to argue with Evan, but she also didn’t want him to find out the truth and figure out that she had another date to attend to. Gnawing on her lower lip for a few seconds, she caved in and simply nodded her head.

        “Cool, I’ll be done in just a few minutes so how about you wait for me in front of the room where your movie is playing?”

        “Okay, I’ll see you soon.” She replied quickly and left just as quickly.

She let another frustrated groan fall from her lips and ran a hand through her hair. Talk about a date gone wrong, though she had to admit that Evan was pretty cute…

        “Cassie! You ready? I got the goods.”

She looked up from her phone and clumsily shoved it into her back pocket.

        “Oh! Hehe, great. Yeah, I’m ready.”

When they entered the movie had already started and Cassie could see Ben staring down at the two of them. Surprisingly enough, a stupid grin was painted onto his lips rather than a disapproving frown she was expecting; he was finding the whole ordeal entertaining.

Evan led her to an empty spot among the audience, placing the two just a few rows in front of Ben. During the entire film Cassie swore she could feel Ben boring holes into the back of her head, and whenever Evan seemed really into the movie she would look back and find Ben just grinning at her.

At last, after one bottle of wine and an hour and fifty-two minutes later, Cassie finally admitted to Evan that she had come with a date and apologized for wasting his time with a poorly made up excuse.
Her stomach dropped when he asked to see Ben, and she feared that they might get into a fight. What she didn’t expect, however, was witnessing the two males embracing and laughing. Boys were really weird sometimes.

Ben returned to Cassie’s side after exchanging a few more words with Evan. She looked at him with a look of disbelief to which he simply responded with a kiss on her check.

Evan approached them and stuck his thumbs into his pockets.

        “It was nice meeting you two, and thanks for watching the movie with me. I thought it was pretty good, kind of cheesy at times but I liked it. I hope you two enjoyed it as well and again, I’m sorry for stealing your date.”

        “It’s no problem man, it was nice talking to you as well.” Ben replied happily.

Cassie continued to stare in confusion.

        “We should do it again.”

She turned her head to look at her boyfriend as if he were crazy. Weren’t males territorial or something? Didn’t they get jealous easily? And now Ben was offering to go on another date? The three of them?

        “Yeah, sounds good. I work here on the weekends from twelve in the afternoon to six.”

        “Cool, we’ll be back soon.” Ben smiled and reached out with his free hand to shake Evan’s hand.

        “I’ll be waiting.” Evan laughed, shook Ben’s hand without any sort of anger or jealousy, and then turned to look at Cassie.

        “I had fun.” He smiled and bent down a bit to kiss her on the forehead.

        “I’ll see you soon.” And just like that Evan walked away without any sort of protest from Ben.

        “That was fun.” Ben suddenly commented.

        “I…” She started, her mind still trying to sort out what had just happened.

Ben chuckled and leaned in again, this time kissing her on her forehead in the exact same spot Evan had kissed her.