"Um...." I pulled my hair behind my ear. "Excuse me, sir."
I smiled nervously. "Can you look up a movie for me? I mean.... Do you think, if a movie wasn't in that box-" I pointed to the one I'd just walked away from - "it might be in the one you're using?"
"Yes," I replied, beaming. "I've been wanting to see it for a while now and didn't know they had it here. I've heard that it's a really good movie, and, I mean, it's got Russell Crowe in it and I loved him in...." I stopped and felt my face grow hot. "Sorry.... I talk a lot when I'm excited."
"Oh, really?" He took the movie out of the box and stepped aside. I tapped on the screen and he continued. "Weird as this may seem, Master and Commander is one of my favorite movies."
"Favorite genre ever," I told him. I took the movie out of the box and turned towards him. Grinning, I put my hand out. As he shook it, I said, "Well, it's been great meeting you!"
"Same to you!"
I grinned and nodded. "You got Master and Commander. What'd you think?"
"Oh, I just loved it!" she responded, adjusting her purse strap on her shoulder. "Except for the parts when main characters died. I've never done well with authors or screenwriters killing off main characters...." She folded her arms and smiled up at me, the sun slightly reflecting off the sunglasses that kept her hair back. "What'd you think about Pride and Prejudice?"
"I've never met anyone who did!" the girl joked. "Jane Austen writes a good bad guy."
She rolled her eyes in response and tucked her hair behind her ear. "I meant to say that she writes a convincing bad guy. You really hate him, but you kind of understand why he's so bad."
"Yeah, but that's more along the lines of Mr. Darcy, who was the real hero of Pride and Prejudice."
"True.... He's so prideful!"
"Yeah," she replied. "It drove me nuts the first time I watched it...."
"As was Russell Crowe. I think they portrayed their characters very well, don't you?"
Before I had a chance to reply, someone behind the girl coughed loudly. Someone else said, "Hey, can you carry on this conversation somewhere else? We've got better things to do than stand here and listen to you guys chat about movies."
The girl stepped up to return her movie and I stood beside the box. More than a little awkwardly, I might add. I didn't know whether to wait for her to be done or just leave.
"I'm Sam," he replied, chuckling. "And you're...?"
I almost couldn't stop laughing after I'd realized I'd never given him my name, either. "I'm April," I told him.
"Likewise." I shook his hand, then turned to Mandie again. "Mandie, this is my friend Sam. Sam, this is Mandie."
"Same here," Mandie replied, giving me a look. "What're you guys doing here?"
Sam nodded and put his coffee down. "I read the books when I was a kid. Loved them, but didn't really think of them as any more than a story. About, oh, five years or so ago, I re-read them, specifically to look for the allegorical connotations. I wrote a dissertation on it for my master's degree."
He smiled timidly. "Pastoral Theology. I've been working on it for a few years ago and finally completed it last month."
"I'm twenty-five," he corrected me, shrugging, "but people think I'm younger than I really am all the time. Always have, and my sister Liz says that they probably always will. Also, I've been working on my master's since I turned twenty. I graduated from seminary early." He grinned. "But enough about me. What do you do?"
"Well, I just finished my degree last year. Nothing fancy, just high school lit."
"Oh, you're the one who really loves Pride and Prejudice, right?"
Liz shot me a look that I could read blindfolded. It read: This is so a date.
"That's my favorite!" Liz told her.
"Teaching is so much fun," I told her.
"I'm actually a professor at Harrison Community College right now, and I'll be transferred to Madison State in a month or two."
"That's neat. I have a few of friends who were homeschooled," Sam said.
Liz smiled and nodded. "I have an older brother named Sam." They grinned at each other as she went on. "He used to be a real pain, but now he's shaping up to be a real Mr. Darcy."
"And, suddenly, I'm glad I'm the only girl!" Liz told me, smiling.
Liz laughed the whole way home, which, luckily for me, was only about ten more minutes.
"Me, too," I replied, smiling.
"Alright, what can I get for you two tonight?"
We placed our orders, both deciding on the same thing before even mentioning it to each other, which made her laugh.
April laughed and I smiled. If a laugh could be described as a trickling waterfall, April's laugh would be the definition's example.
"Okay," April slowly replied. She put her glass down and smiled at me. "And what might that be?"
"Are you...." I paused, wincing at the absurdity of the question. A random thought whizzed through my mind, but I decided to ask her anyway, in as quick a way as possible. "Are you married?"
"Am I...." April burst out laughing. "Am I married? What kind of question is that?"
I grinned. "I don't know...."
"If I was married, do you think I'd have accepted your invitation to dinner?" April asked me, her eyes twinkling.
"What?" April asked, furrowing her brow and cocking her head slightly.
I grinned. "Good. I'm glad. I mean, uh...."