It was a perfect night, Anette had decided. The weather was clear and cool, just like it should be at nine at night. The stars were twinkling bright, there was no wind, and there was a scent of summer and popcorn in the air. Her hand was warm in Chase’s, and their shoulders almost touched as they walked down the sidewalk away from the theater. Anette’s heart fluttered as he slowly rubbed small circles onto the back of her hand with his thumb. Yes, it really was a perfect night.
“That was such a good movie,” Anette said, squeezing Chase’s hand just the slightest bit. “Creepy, but amazing.”
“Yeah, it was… interesting,” Chase said a bit awkwardly. “I mean, when they said it was a psychosexual thriller, they meant psychosexual thriller.”
“But the metaphors! And the dancing!” Anette argued. “They were all fantastic! And I have to admit, that was the best movie I’ve seen Portman in in a while.”
“True. So… can you dance like that?” Chase teased.
Anette laughed, her voice light. “No, I can’t do ballet to save my life. But Noel probably could… I mean, she is dancing professionally.”
“Right.” They stopped near the back corner of the building, away from all the other people who were leaving the theatre. Chase pulled Anette against his chest. “Good choice on the date tonight. Nice and cheap and fun.”
Chase brushed some of Anette’s white blonde hair off her face and leaned down and kissed her. Anette immediately wrapped her arms around the back of his neck and their tongues met as her heart started to pulse faster and faster. Chase broke away from Anette’s mouth and started kissing down her neck, making her moan softly as she tried to catch her breath.
“Don’t fuckin’ touch me you faggot!”
Anette frowned, taken out of the moment. She had no idea where that had come from. Chase, however, didn’t seem to be too bothered by it, and continued sucking on her neck. Anette had just decided to ignore it when she heard a banging and lots of shouting.
“Chase, quit. Did you hear that?”
“Yeah, who cares? They’re not near us,” he said, and leaned in to kiss her again. But Anette pushed him away and started for the noise.
“I’m going to go see what’s up.”
“Anette,” Chase groaned, rolling his eyes, but he followed her around the building anyways.
The commotion was being caused near the big trashcans in the back. There were a group of boys there, all around seventeen like Anette and Chase. Three were standing, and two were on the ground. It was clear this was a fight, because the boy with the letter jacket and black hair in the center was pouring soda and ice onto the grounded boy with glasses and black clothes. The other two letter jacket guys were hauling the final boy with an afro to standing and started beating him against the trash can. Anette started to walk faster, determined to break this up. Chase followed her helplessly.
“Hey! Cut it out!”
Anette projected her voice much more confidently than she felt. She stood with defiance as the three letter jacket boys stopped and turned to face her. Anette recognized all three of them – they all went to school together – but she only knew the black haired boy’s name.
“What do you think you’re doing, Andrew?” Anette asked, stepping towards the group of boys. “I mean really, jumping people behind a movie theater? That’s low even for you.”
“It’s none of your business, Anette. And for the record, the nerd fag started it,” Andrew replied, jerking his head down to the soaking wet boy with glasses.
“I don’t care who started it, I’m ending it. So quit being a jerk and stop using that word. Go home, Andrew.”
Andrew’s friends looked at him, and he just shrugged. “Whatever. This isn’t over,” he added to the boy with glasses, and gave him a kick in the ribs before walking off. Andrew shoved Anette with his shoulder as he passed her. Chase grabbed Andrew when he did.
“Don’t you fucking touch my girlfriend, Andrew.”
“Whatever Chase, as if you would have the balls to do anything about it.”
Then they left, leaving Anette and Chase with the victims of Andrew’s cruelty and short temper. Anette immediately went for the one with glasses, trying to help him up. But he just shoved her hand off him and stood painfully. “I can handle myself. We were fine, you didn’t need to fucking butt in like that.”
Anette frowned even deeper now. “Oh yeah, you had it sorted all right. Fine, next time, I won’t even bother, if you’re going to be a jerk about it. Come on Chase, let’s go.”
Anette turned her back and started walking away. Just as she reached Chase, however, she heard a, “Wait.” She turned back around to see the one with an afro looking at her. “Wait. Sorry, we’re just… not used to people helping us out. So… thanks,” he said, offering her a bit of a smile.
Anette returned a soft smile. “You’re welcome. No one should have to put up with that kind of nonsense.” Then she and Chase left for his car.
“Jesus Anette, you could have gotten hurt,” he grumbled as they reached his car.
“No I wouldn’t have, Andrew doesn’t have the guts to do anything to me. If he did, his reputation would go down the drain,” Anette reasoned.
“Goddammit! Those mother fuckers!”
Anette and Chase looked over to see the two boys they had just left were only a few cars down, and the bespectacled one was kicking a car. “What the fuck?”
“Chill Mikey, I’ll just call your brother,” said the other one, pulling out a cell phone.
“Fuck that Ray, it’ll take him ages to get here!” the one named Mikey yelled.
“Problem?” Anette asked, walking over to them. Ray hung up his phone.
“Yeah. Those guys slashed my tires, and we’re stuck until Gee decides to pick up his phone.”
“Well, where are you going?”
“Across town. I live a few blocks away from the high school.”
“Oh, well, we’re going that way. We can give you a ride,” Anette offered.
“Wait, what?” Chase asked, and Anette turned to face him. “Anette!”
“Come on Chase, just help them out? Please?” She leaned in and kissed him. “For me?”
Chase sighed, and then muttered, “Alright, fine. Get in the car.”
“Thanks, my love,” Anette beamed, and she and Chase started for his car. Ray followed them, dragging Mikey, who was protesting quietly.
“We don’t even fucking know them.”
“Well, I know who they are, and they’re not with Andrew.”
“So? I don’t want help from fucking preps like them!”
“Fuckin’ chill Mikey, or you can just wait here all night with my car.”
That shut him up. They got into the back seat while Chase started up the car and Anette slid in the passenger seat. The drive was very awkward. No one talked, and Chase had turned off the radio. All they could listen to was each other’s breathing and the sounds the car made. Ray spoke a few times to tell Chase where to turn, and soon, Chase was pulling up outside Ray’s house.
“Thanks, we owe you,” Ray said as he got out of the car.
“No problem,” Anette replied. “See you at school.”
“Yeah… see you.”
And they left and Chase was pulling away for Anette’s house, which actually was only two blocks away.
“Thank you, Chase.”
Chase merely nodded.
“It was the right thing to do.”
They stopped outside Anette’s house. Anette leaned over and kissed Chase’s cheek. “Thanks for the movie. I’ll call you later, okay?”
And Anette walked up to her house, slightly confused about the night’s events. But of one thing she was certain about, and that was that the night hadn’t ended as perfectly as it had started.