2nd part today.
Catchup: Day 1
The car jumps out of the turn and narrowly misses a parked car.
Robert’s task today was to pick up tickets for the new SpongeBob movie; he had promised his son they would attend after school. They had looked forward to it all week, and today was the day they had chosen.
A small tub of popcorn and a regular drink would be his son’s usual film-time snack; it always had been, ever since he had been to his first film. Old habits die hard, and Robert had introduced another tradition (as he called it), of ‘no food before the first line of dialogue’. Initially, this had been a hard one to follow for the young boy, but now, several years later, both would sit with a piece of popcorn in their hands waiting for that first line of dialogue. The upcoming film trailers didn’t count, nor did narration, only dialogue from one character to another. This rule was not
laid down in stone, but both knew it was the law. Smelling the popcorn was acceptable, but no tasting; a slurp of the drink was acceptable, but no popcorn. The two had followed these rules slavishly for the last four years, until now, when it feels just wrong to eat before the dialogue. Delayed gratification is difficult when you are six, but together, Robert and his son had written the rules and then stuck to them.
Robert found he enjoyed this aspect of their relationship.
Robert notices the driver, who appears to talking on his mobile phone.
The tickets would sell out fast. The draw of SpongeBob to children of a certain age was strong, and Robert didn’t want his son to miss out. The evening performance would be the busiest, just after the schools emptied out, and he didn’t want to disappoint his son; he had promised, and the two had been looking forward to it all week.
There was sure to be a crush for seats that evening, hundreds of screaming kids and their parents all wanting to get the best spot. Robert knew, and his son knew as well, that being in a wheelchair meant that you had a reasonable excuse to ask people to move from the seats that had been reserved for wheelchair users. The pair would go in ready to ask people to move, and when they had, they would smile and take their seats in the middle at the front.
Films had been something that the pair had shared for a while. They had started going to the cinema when Robert thought his son was old enough to sit through ninety minutes of a film. At first this was difficult, as his son’s attention span was perhaps long enough to last through the adverts and one or two of the trailers. Several times they had been forced to leave the cinema part way into the film, and once, before the main feature had even started, but that was ok, as they both found it amusing.
The car skips slightly as it bounces over the kerb and onto the pavement.
As he expected, there was a queue at the cinema when he arrived. It was perhaps only a dozen people deep, mostly mums and dads he supposed, doing the same thing he was – securing tickets for the performance that evening.
As he wheeled himself towards the front of the queue, Robert could see the large illuminated board showing all the performances of each film that day. Two of the early afternoon times were flashing, alternating between the times of the showing and ‘Sold Out’. His slot later that evening was not flashing, but it was impossible to say how close to being full it was.
As he moved forward with the queue, his eyes remained fixed on the electronic board. Two people had approached the counter and left, the board still displaying the time of the performance. As he moved forward slowly, Robert turned his attention to the composition of the queue; currently talking to the lady at the till was a tall gentleman wearing a suit. Robert put his age at somewhere in his early to mid twenties. Is that old enough to have a kid of Spongebob age? Robert didn’t know; if the man had a child when he was eighteen, said child may be old enough. But he didn’t think so. Next was a couple that were clearly past retirement age. They looked far too old to have Spongebob-aged children. Grandparents? Could be. There was no way to know. Next in line were two teenage girls. Both had their heads down and their mobile phone out. Their thumbs were tapping out something. They stood in silence, shuffling forward as the queue moved. He suspected they weren’t there to pick up Spongebob tickets. A younger brother? Nephew? Niece? Just stop.
That’s it for today. Final part tomorrow.