My first published short story. Enjoy!
Michael wore his favourite leather jacket and jeans to meet Said at a movie festival they both have planned for months. The French Movie Festival was back in town and the couple have been dying to watch their favourite Marion Cottilard’s movie. Heck, they fell in love because of their fondness of French movies and music and how could the gay Francophiles miss this event?
Michael reached first where hundreds of people have started to queue for the free movie tickets. The sky looked cloudy and Michael worried if it might rained. Said doesn’t drive, but he loves to walk. Michael knew Said will spend his time walking to the movie festival, enjoying the roads and the good weather in his own sweet time. “But, is it going to rain? Said wouldn’t like this,” Michael pondered.
Said arrived a few minutes later, searching for Michael, who was standing in the queuing line. “I am right behind you,” a text message from Said popped up on Michael’s smartphone. Michael turned his head around to see Said standing behind the long queue, but one thing about Said is that he always managed to stood out in the crowd. Today the 25-year-old decided to wear his flashy white bomber jacket and white pants. Yes, it’s an odd combination for Michael too. But, Said was in love with monochrome at the moment and Michael was not going to say anything about it.
The couple sat in the dark auditorium for two hours, without saying a word to each other until the movie ends. The two was so immersed in the movie, in particular of the French actress’ acting, that their interlocking hands went numb after a while. One of them pulled their hands away, while the other didn’t notice a thing.
“I thought she was flawless in the film. And that final scene with the machete? Wow. Just wow,” Said announced after the film.
The two walked shoulder-to-shoulder outside the auditorium, heading towards a small tent for fresh beverages and film’s merchandises. It didn’t rain that day, or maybe it did? Michael wasn’t sure, but when they walked towards the tent, it didn’t rain for sure.
“I loved Marion, but, what about the scene that she has to killed her lover and buried her head in the sand? That was kind of weird,” Michael replied.
As they approached the Mexican restaurant nearby, Said ordered dinner for two. “I want one Chicken Enchiladas, please, and he will have your Vegetarian Fajita,” Said told the doe-eyed waitress clad in a white uniform. Said and the waiter looked at each other’s outfits for five long seconds before he broke their eye contact. Both of them wore white-on-white.
Michael positioned himself comfortably next to Said. He was hungry and the restaurant felt cold even with his leather jacket on. He took Said’s hands onto his thigh and covered it with his two palms before Said pulled back and shot him the look: ‘Not in the public’ was his signal, and Michael reluctantly nod back. If Said had come out sooner he would feel more comfortable about holding hands like Michael did.
The two eat ravenously while discussing over Ta Tête – an aptly named film they just watched. Michael thought the movie has a sloppy script and directing, but overall it was saved by Marion Cottilard’s performance. Meanwhile, Said kept on raving about Marion’s “batshit crazy” performance as the lesbian who defend her lover in a post-apocalyptic setting. Michael smiled, a remorse smile, as he craned his neck numerously to see his five months boyfriend’s giddy face and caught his breath.
“Yes, yes, alright her performance was crazy, I agree. But, the movie could do better with the script and the directing. I mean, the black smoke looked horrendous in that scene and I still don’t get the connection with burying her lover’s head in the ground. What was that about?”
“But, babe, that’s the whole point of the movie, her lover’s head! Hence the name of the film, The Head, you dummy. Why don’t you get that?” Said speaks in a raised voice while eating his enchiladas in a lunatic manner.
Michael wanted to reply with a comeback, to defend his point of view for the film, but he knew better. So, he kept quiet and let Said had his moment before the two broke up later that night. Michael likes to think Said didn’t see the breakup coming, or maybe he did? He was the one who confessed a month ago that he doesn’t know where their relationship is going. Said loves the idea of “in the now”, while Michael thinks way ahead.
Whatever thoughts Michael and Said had on that night, one thing remains true: The Head ended up being the two’s favourite film of all-time. The one film they would not re-watch for the rest of their lives. The best film that will make them burst into tears and have a mini heart-attack when it crosses their minds. Marion Cottilard has long become an aching memory, a distant favourite. They will never return to any film festivals ever again, they would prefer to watch in the movie cinema or scheduled a stay-in night with future partners. For Michael and Said, The Head needs to only be watch once in a lifetime.
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