I sighed, knowing that since I was in this predicament I would just have to make the best of it. After a moment of thought, I sighed again and recited my chosen number.
“Alright!” I heard one of the voices behind me exclaim. “I get to go on a date with _____!”
I turned around and looked at my best friend, a smirk working its way onto my face. I grinned at him as I stood up from my seat. “So, I’m stuck with you, huh?”
Alfred laughed. “Yep! Now, c’mon!” He grabbed my hand in a friendly sort of way and pulled me along to the front door.
I looked back at the others. “See you guys later, I guess!”
I heard Gilbert cackle and say, “We won’t wait up for you~!”
I rolled my eyes as I continued to follow Alfred. “So, where to?”
Alfred smiled at me. “A movie sound good?”
I returned the smile, a bit uncertain. “Sure.”
The trip to the movie theater wasn’t very long, and Alfred let me pick the movie. I scanned the list of movies for a moment before saying with a wide grin, “Les Misérables.”
“What?” he said, a bit unsure of my choice in movies. “You sure?”
My grin morphed into a smirk. “Yeah. And besides, if you need any help staying awake”––I playfully poked his chest––“I’ll just whack you.”
He raised an eyebrow, a playful and almost competitive smirk crossing his lips. “Oh, yeah? What makes you think I’m gonna fall asleep?”
“There are a lot of quiet moments,” I said. “And a lot of monologuing. Plus, it’s more mental feels than fighting and explosions.”
“Are you trying to say I can’t sit through a sensitive movie?!”
I shrugged. “Maybe. Now, c’mon. Let’s get the tickets.”
After getting popcorn and drinks, we found seats in the theater and settled down, waiting for the movie to start. It started soon enough, and Alfred and I were digging into the popcorn as the opening scene began to play.
“Why’s that guy giving that other guy The Look?” asked Alfred when Jean Valjean was glaring daggers at Javert.
“That guy is Javert,” I explained. “He’s the policeman that arrested Jean Valjean”––I pointed at the other man––“nineteen years ago for stealing a loaf of bread.”
“What?!” he whispered loudly. “You mean he went to prison for twenty years for stealing a loaf of bread?!”
I nodded. “And it wasn’t even for himself. It was for his sister and her kid, who died a little while after he was arrested.”
He shook his head, grabbing a fistful of popcorn. “That’s messed up, dude.”
“I agree,” I whispered, almost inaudibly, and continued watching the movie.
The movie went on, and when Fantine was singing “I Dreamed a Dream”, my eyes started to water. I moved my head slightly to the side, and I noticed that Alfred’s eyes were filled with tears as well. I couldn’t help the giggle that rise up in me. “Are you crying, Al?”
Alfred blinked at me, then furiously wiped his eyes. “N-No! I-I just got something in my eyes!”
I couldn’t keep my giggles in any longer. I soon recovered after he glared at me, and turned my attention back to the movie.
So, a bunch of years went by in the movie, and Cosette was all grown up and randomly falling in love with some guy she’d just met. Then Éponine fell in love with Marius and started a whole love triangle––and then she died. Then Marius sang “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”, and Javert committed suicide. As the end of the movie neared and Valjean was about to die, I felt tears well up in my eyes again. He died, and the movie ended. When the credits rolled and the lights came back on, I looked at Alfred through watery eyes, and I saw tears in his eyes once again.
“Are you crying, Alfred?” I asked with a smile on my tear-stained face.
This time, he didn’t deny it; instead, he wrapped his arms around me and nodded. “Yeah. . .”
I laughed as tears continued to fall from our eyes, and we embraced each other through our sobs.
“Dude, this movie sucked!” said Alfred.
“I know!” I agreed. “But it’s so good!”
We released each other, and he took off his glasses and wiped his eyes with his sleeves. He sniffed and let out a loud and exhausted sigh. “Okay, I’m done.”
I giggled at him, and rose from my seat to leave.
We walked out of the theater and down the sidewalk nearby. Here’s the thing: We walked hand-in-hand. After a few minutes of walking in silence, I smiled up at Alfred. “Y’know, I may have cried like a baby, but. . .I had fun.”
He beamed down at me. “I did, too.”
My smile widened, and I stretched upward to kiss him on the cheek. However, he moved his head at the last second so that our lips connected. I recoiled instantly and smacked him on the back of the head.
He laughed happily. “Totally worth it!”