We had dinner again at the Waffle House, and Janet ordered pecan pie and hash browns, which she ate concurrently. Afterward, we sat out on a bench by the quad. The mugginess hadn’t left with the sun, and it felt like the crispness of fall might never arrive. But as sultry as the evening was, I didn’t want it to end—ever—and would have held onto it with both fists if possible. Instead, I employed less metaphorical stalling tactics and started asking Janet the questions most pressing in my mind, questions about her, about her life prior to my first glimpse of her, her no doubt exciting life in a city I’d visited all of once.
“Hush!” She pressed a finger against my lips, which almost silenced me forever. “You’ll spoil the moment! Don’t you just love the air? It’s so different here. I can taste it—it’s divine, like ice cream slowly melting.”
A quiet moment passed during which I stared into the same patch of night as she, vainly attempting to discover whatever held her interest.
“I’m going to ask you a favor now.”
I wondered what I could possibly offer her.
“The Tate Theater is showing my favorite movie on Thursday and I’d like you to come with me.”
“What is it?” It was an irrelevant question. I’d sit through a John Hughes movie if she wanted.
“Vertigo. Have you seen it?”
“No, no, I haven’t…but I’m sure I’ll like it.”
She smiled a smile that was for me only.
“I’ve seen it about a billion times. My father would take me whenever it played somewhere. It was our movie, no one else’s.”
Her invitation flattered me so completely I would have said something to spoil the moment for sure, but perhaps sensing that, she stood, stretched, put on her sunglasses, and went back inside Myers.
–from Mahogany Slade, Chapter 3