A pre-Covid continuation of a fictional story.
The auditorium doors swung outwards into the hallway. The balcony
audience descended the staircases that led to the lobby. Frank
proceeded down the final flight while trying to scan the area
for Brian and Celia. Recognizing that there was an abundance of
faces in the crowd, Frank stood on the last step above the tiled
floor and focused his gaze on a right-diagonal hoping that his
peripheral vision would catch a glimpse of the two if not seen
"Sir, sirare you looking for the restroom," asked
an usher, who advised Frank to keep moving as there were more
people cascading into the lobby. Alternatively, he was directed
to visit, "Perhaps the concession stand." The one way
conversation concluded with a, "Thank you, sir."
Frank acknowledged that he was an obstruction impeding the flow
of guests. With unease he veered within the crowded confines trying
not to exaggerate the sensation.
Brian and Celia were standing near the concession stand. She
was agitated that her uncle was checking his text messages from
his loving partner, Jeremy. Brian typed fervently. Celia huffed,
wishing that she never offered him the spare ticket. Not wanting
to feel like a tagalong, she tried to distract him from his digital
Trying to be equally indifferent, she asked while looking at
email on her mobile, "You don't see Frank, do you?"
Brian shot his niece a glance of disapproval before focusing
back to the task at hand, then spluttered, "I'm not
worried," and began thumbing letters again.
"Another spat," she ventriloquized through her gnashed
teeth as saliva pooled beneath her tongue.
Brian looked up from his phone audibly distracted, albeit oblivious
to the snide comment.
Celia sensed that she was being watched, and thought Frank had
spotted them. She caught a side-eye once-over from a similarly
aged woman who was chatting with her companion. The woman's
left index finger and thumb buttressed her cheek and propped her
chin in such a manner that prevented her face from turning. The
glance, for some reason, made Celia self-conscious about the appearance
that she was with an "older man" who showed her little
if any interest at all.
As if intently reading a book, Celia held the mobile to her nose
in an attempt to distract herself from the enticing iris. So not
to look like a bookworm, she released one grip allowing an arm
to relax. Fisted, Celia rubbed her thumb on the retracted forefinger.
Quickly becoming cognizant of her pitiful tiny violin performance,
she rotated her torso slightly trying to dismiss the non-verbal
incitation that implied a jeer. The woman, observing Celia's
modest recoil, moved her fingers from face to neck, and fluttered
a prominent wedding ring. Slowly she puckered an affectionate
air kiss, but instead smooched her trophy on the corner of his
lips ensuring that Celia could witness the whisper in his ear
and view his gleaming teeth when she leaned back to further entrance
him. She stoked his arm; his hands hovered above her hips.
Celia jabbed Brian with her elbow and snapped, "he must
be in a real tizzy, don't you think?"
"Texting is so lame. I need to call him."
Brian asked her to stay alert for Frank.
"Get him a drink or something. I'll be right back.
Her brow peaked then furrowed as Celia confirmed the request
with a bouncing nod. She started to think how to scuttle, "This
pseudo business deal," while continuing the machination to
end Brian's relationship with Jeremy.
Frank caught sight of Brian with phone, talking, walking towards
the doors that exited to the street. He tracked the path back
and saw Celia standing there smiling (happily disgruntled).