I Wanna Text You Up (Page 35)
Caleb: I know, and I’m sorry. I’ll explain everything more to you later, but I want to have that conversation face to face.
Me: Because I’m kind of dying over here, Caleb.
Caleb: When is your schedule clear next?
Me: Clear as in clear for me? Or clear as in coincides with yours?
Caleb: Shit. Good point. Probably with mine.
Me: I have all of Thursday off. No class, no anything.
Caleb: That will have to work then.
Caleb: Thank you for not hating me and for giving me a chance to explain. I miss you.
Me: I miss you too.
“Miss? Is this seat taken?”
I glance to the empty spot to my right and frown.
“No. It’s all yours,” I tell the stranger.
It should be taken, but it’s not.
I woke up this morning to a cold, empty bed and a text from Caleb that just said, We’ll talk tonight.
Then tonight came around and he never showed.
So, I left, because there’s no way I’m missing my monthly Rocky Horror date to wait around on a guy who keeps ghosting on me and standing me up.
The last week’s been reminiscent of when Caleb first moved in. We’re on completely opposite schedules, never having the chance to stop for a real conversation. He’s been busy making up the hours he missed while in Outer Banks, and I’ve been wrapping up my senior project.
If I’m being honest, I haven’t once rushed home to see him. I’m still a little peeved at him for ditching me on vacation, leaving me naked and alone in bed, left to fend for myself with my parents.
Since no real conversations have happened between us since he slunk home in the middle of the night, I don’t have any more information. I want some answers, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.
I’m mad, but I didn’t lie when I told him I still care. I really do, and that’s the hardest part of all of this—having feelings. It’s why I’ve always stuck to flings. They’re easy, no attachments. I don’t need to add to the list of heartaches I’ve had in my life.
Of course, the one guy I decide to give things a real shot with has commitment issues of his own.
I want to go back to running from feelings and hiding from all this bullshit. It was easier than whatever the hell is happening now.
“Thank you,” the guy says, squeezing into the seat beside me.
He begins digging around in the prop bucket provided by the theater, pulling out the instruction sheet and attempting to figure out what the hell it is he’s supposed to do.
The lights dim, the famous lips flash onto the screen, and a spark of glee flits through me. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen this movie, I still get excited when the credits begin to roll.
Except for this time.
As much as I love Rocky Horror and look forward to this night every month, something feels so off about it. I’m supposed to be here with Caleb. Everything with us is supposed to be fixed by now, but he’s gone, and nothing is patched back together.
The guy sitting beside me digs into his bucket again, trying to prepare for the audience’s first course of action.
“Rice,” I tell him.
“You’re looking for the rice. That’s the first prop you’ll need.”
He sends a grateful glance my way. “Thank you so much. This is my first time.”
“I know. I can tell.”
“You’ll get the hang of it. Just follow my lead.”
Someone kicks at my seat and I turn around, glaring at whoever’s sitting behind me. There’s plenty of room between the chairs and no reason mine should be getting kicked.
The theater is dark, but there’s no mistaking that he’s dressed in a full-blown Dr. Frank-N-Furter costume.
I give him a cursory glance before turning back around and putting him out of my thoughts.
The first song comes to a close and then we’re heading off to church to watch Brad Majors (Asshole!) and Janet Weiss get engaged.
The poor guy next to me is too nervous to really give his rice a good sling, so most of it ends up in the hood of the person sitting in front of us. He’s really the highlight of my night as the movie continues rolling and I walk him through his prop bucket.
A third kick of the night connects with my seat, and I’m officially pissed.
What is this guy’s deal?
I lean over to the stranger sitting next to me. “Is he kicking your seat too?”
He looks at me, eyes wide. “Who?”
“That jackass behind us,” I say.
“No, I don’t feel a thing.”
“The hell…” I mutter. “Maybe I’m just imagining it.”
I do my best to ignore his kicks the rest of the movie, noticing they only happen when I talk to the man next to me.
The lights briefly flicker and the virgin damn near jumps out of his seat. This is probably my favorite part of the show.
“Chill. They’re just requesting for everyone in costume to come down to the front for the burlesque number. It’s much more fun with about twenty or more Franks and Rockys on stage.”
I chuckle at his innocence. “Every theater does it differently, and this is where ours brings the ‘actors’ up on stage.”
He nods and focuses back in on the show.
I feel the guy behind me hit my seat as he gets up to strut his stuff in front of the packed audience, and I sneer in his direction.
He responds with an amused grin.
I resist the urge to throw something at him and watch as he moseys his way up to the front. I don’t understand at all how he’s walking in those six-inch stilettos. I can barely handle a four-inch heel.
The “cast” gathers on the stage, and I find myself drawn to the asshole who’s been sitting behind me the whole show. He stands tall above the rest, telling me he’s at least six-foot without the heels. His eyes flick about, and I wonder for a moment if this is his first time.
Then suddenly his eyes are on me and he’s grinning like a fool. Just before the music begins to play, he blows me a kiss.
Perplexed, I sink into my seat to avoid his stare.
“I’m going to assume that was meant for you,” the guy beside me whispers.
I don’t respond. I can’t respond.
Because something is making itself abundantly clear to me.
That guy decked out in briefs, fishnet garters, a red corset, and a boa is none other than the man I’ve been swiftly falling in love with.
A huge grin overtakes my face, and he knows I’m onto him.
I watch with amusement as they dance through the entire Rose Tint My World scene. The whole thing is complete with the inevitable trip and loss of wig. There’s not a dull moment throughout, especially with my eyes on Caleb and his eyes on me.
He’s up there, for me.
When the final scene plays, we all stand to cheer. The Franks and Rockys and Magentas and Riff Raffs take their bow before the audience swarms their friends and loved ones.
I wave to a few moviegoers I’ve come to know over the years and patiently wait for Caleb to stagger his way over to me.
The crowd is dwindling down when he finally emerges from the side stage.
One of the show’s organizers is with him, and I see the guy give him a big pat on the back. Their lips move but I can’t make out what they’re saying.
Finally, after what feels like ages, he walks my way.
My breath catches in my throat, my heart pounding away in my chest in anticipation.
“Hi,” he whispers when he’s standing about a foot away.
There’s a bit of lipstick still smeared across his lips, and my hands itch to reach up and wipe it away.
“How’d you like the show?”
“When in the hell did you find the time to learn those wicked dance moves?”
He grins. “That’s why I’ve been out so late this week—Rocky Horror practice.”
“You’ve been avoiding coming home and talking with me for Rocky Horror?” He nods. “I can’t even be mad at that.”
I point a finger his way. “That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook, you know.”
He sighs and takes a seat in the chair next to me. “I know. I have a lot to tell you.”
“Yeah you do.”
“How about we go home, huh? I’ll tell you everything over breakfast.”
He pulls his phone from his pocket. “It is two AM.”
My stomach growls as I contemplate his offer, and if the smile on his face is any indication, he heard it. I tip my head to the side and twist my lips, thinking.
“Can we have beats with this breakfast idea of yours?”
“Like you even have to ask.”
I unlock the door to the apartment and let us in.
Mittens comes prancing out of the bedroom and jumps straight into Caleb’s arms.
“He’s missed you, you know.”
He runs his nose through the cat’s fur. “I’ve missed you too, buddy.”
We settle into a flow in the kitchen, me setting up the music and Caleb gathering all the fixings to make biscuits and gravy.