Lark(5)

By: Erica Cope


And, well, let's face it, sometimes I do.

We clock in and begin our opening duties. I get the cash register ready and he helps with the concession stand. Greyson is an usher, which doesn't require much prep work since that job consists mostly of tearing tickets and directing patrons to the correct screen. In fact, he doesn't even have to be here this early, but for some reason, he always comes in with the rest of us and helps us with whatever he can. While he really is a genuinely nice person, I secretly suspect his perfectionist nature may also have something to do with his willingness to lend a hand.

The day proves to be just as busy as I’d feared; I hardly get any reading done at all. Darn those big blockbuster hits. If it’s this bad in October, I don't even want to think about how busy we will be next month. November is one of the busiest months for big movie releases. The good thing about hardly getting a break in the perpetual line of movie-watchers is that I don't have much time to contemplate the awkward incident that happened this morning with Brian. Although I swear, every time I glance over at the concession stand where he is working, I catch him watching me. He doesn't even try to look away when I notice, which unnerves me even more. Why does he keep doing that? Has he always done that and I am just now noticing? Why doesn't he at least have the decency to act embarrassed when I catch him? He looks like he is expecting me to sprout wings and take flight or something.

Grey walks me to my car at the end of our shift like he usually does. The guys we work with have teased us about our obvious closeness before, but when confronted over the matter, he always responds with “We're just friends.” Which is completely understandable since he is, well, Greyson. He could have any girl he wanted at school. But it’s so unbelievably frustrating for me because, sometimes, he doesn't act like we are just friends.

Take today for example. Whenever it was time to clean up between showings, Grey would somehow find a way to get me to help him. It seems like whenever we work the same shift, even though there are always several other willing employees available, he specifically requests my assistance. I don't mind at all, of course. It's a welcome break from my regular duties, plus the extra one-on-one time with Grey is icing on the cake.

Sometimes, as we are waiting in the back of the dark theater for the last of the patrons to finish watching the credits, he will press up right behind me, so close I can feel his breath on my neck. The boy always smells amazing, like apples with a touch of sandalwood. I just want to turn around, lean in, and inhale his sweetness. The odd thing is, I could almost swear he feels the same way about me. Though, of course, nothing ever happens. The occasional casual brush of his fingertips along my arm or back is about the extent of our physical contact. Casual or not, these secret moments with him send my heart into a fluttering fit. A warmth comes over me and spreads through my chest until I feel like I can't breathe.

With a sigh, I remind myself that these fleeting secret moments are all I have with him since he has made it abundantly clear to everyone that I’m “just friend” material. And even though I feel like I have come to terms with the fact that friendship is all that’s in store for us, on the drive home from work I find myself daydreaming about the "what ifs."





Chapter 2



The weekend never lasts nearly as long as it should. Monday always ends up sneaking up on me. At least I only work the morning shift on Sundays, so I had the rest of the afternoon to lounge around in my comfy sweats and do my homework. I tried to work on my English essay, but my mind was racing back and forth between trying to come up with a logical explanation for Brian's disturbing staring problem and day-dreaming about what would happen if one of those times Grey and I were alone in a practically empty, dark theater room he just happened to lean in and...well...to say the least, it was hard to concentrate on my homework, but I somehow managed to finish it.

I stifle a yawn as I drive down the main road in town that leads up to the school. I’m exhausted this morning, but not because I stayed up late reading. Nope, last night I actually was responsible and went to bed at a decent hour, but I had another really strange dream that caused me to lay awake for hours after it roused me. It was the same dream I had before where I wasn’t able to see anything because it was so dark and then all of a sudden there was a burst of light surrounding me. It’s so weird. I heard the same voice calling my name, but I still have no idea who the voice belongs to. All I know is that it was the most beautiful sounding voice I have ever heard, sweet and perfect, almost musical, like a bird or something. She spoke to me again, but this time when I woke up I couldn’t remember what she said. I stayed up for hours trying to remember what she told me. The words were right on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn’t spit them out. Usually when I get like that I try to Google it, but for some reason I doubted typing in “what is the mysterious thing that the beautiful voice in my dream said?” would answer the nagging question.

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