Movie Night

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“Mom can we get a movie?” I ask.

“Hmm…I don’t kn-”

“Pleassee?” I gave her a grin. “I’ll get it for you if you want.”

“It’s not that Hun. I just think you should do some reading tonight.”

“Oh. Okay, but it’s just we haven’t seen a movie in a long time, you know?”

“I know Elena, but you should be doing some reading…You too Dane.”

I look over my shoulder and I see my brother peering from behind that living room doorway. He knows I always had a thing for convincing people and I can tell he likes to watch me work my magic. I winked at him and his head disappears, knowing that his presence will inspire my mom to use him as an excuse not to rent a movie. But I wasn’t lying, we haven’t rented a movie since “Joe Dirt” and that was a terrible movie for a ten year old to see. And besides Dane is a lost cause, reading wise.

“I can pay for it mom.”

“No, its okay, I can pay for it. But it’s getting kind of late isn’t it?”

“No not really. It’s only seven and it’s a Friday! Why not?”

“Alright, you can’t be watching movies tomorrow then, okay?”

“Okay!”

That’s good enough for me, don’t mind reading. I actually really like it. But I’d rather watch a movie, movies are the best.

“Here’s some money and take Dane with you, he needs to get out of the house a bit.”

“Come on Dane! I’m going to get a movie!”

“Yay! I’m coming!”

Dane stumbles out of his room and we go out the back door and into the night of our neighborhood. We walk down the sidewalk that runs along the side of our house and borders the busy street that leads to the shopping center across the street. Whenever Dane and I have nothing to do, we are bound to find something entertaining in the shopping center.

“I’m so excited to see this movie!” I tell Dane.

“Yeah? What’s it about?”

“I don’t really know. Some crazy black lady has to live with that Steve guy mom likes.”

“Oh, the guy with the white hair?”

“I don’t know. But it’s supposed to be funny.”

“Cool! Hey look its Stuart!”

I turn to see where my brother was pointing and I see our tomcat Stuart hiding behind a trash can in front of the hair salon. Stuart always liked to roam outside during the day but he would always come home when it was time to go to sleep. I had found him in our garden two years ago when he was a kitten.

“Whatchu doin’ Stu Stu?” I say.

Stuart creeps out from behind the garbage and walk towards us. He begins to run his body on Dane’s legs.

“We're gunna get a movie, kay Stu? Then we will take you home.”

We walk past him and he stares on after us. Dane and I continue on our way as we walk past all the stores in the shopping center; Lucky’s grocery, some Japanese restaurant, some Chinese restaurant, a smoke shop, and finally up to our destination; Top Video. As we enter the store, Tom the Asian owner, emerges form the back of the store to greet us.

“Hey kids! Where is mom and dad?”

“Hey Tom! They are at the house.”

“Oh alright! You tell them I say ‘Hi!’ okay?”

“Okay!”

Dane and I look throughout the store for the video; this is the first time I rented a movie by myself. Minus Dane.

“Hey Tom?”

“Yes?”

“Do you have ‘Bringing Down the House’?”

“I will see.”

Tom disappears back into the video storage room. He keeps the covers of the movies on the shelves in the store itself but places the actual video back behind the counter in tight alphabetical rows. He finally emerges with the movie in his hand.

“Here you go kids! Is that all?”

“Yep!”

“Okay then, its $3.50.”

We pay him and for the first time, I sign the little paper that authorizes the rental.

“Thank you very much!”

We exit the store and the bell on the doorknob rings, suddenly making me excited.

“Want to run home, Dane?”

“Yeah! Let’s Go!”

We race along the strip of stores, colors flashing past our whizzing heads. We dodge the people who are coming out of the stores with carryout bags and shopping cars. We finally reach up to UMART and we slow our speed as we walk across the parking lot. I see Stuart coming up from behind us.

“Hey Stu!”

I turn my attention on the street which got really busy all of a sudden. Everyone must have just got off from work, I think to myself. I look down the street and I finally find an opening to cross.

“Be careful, Dane. Make sure to go fast.”

We wait for a little red car to pass and I see a black truck coming down the street a ways behind it. We can make it, I decide.

“Okay…Go!”

I press my hand on Danes should to get him going. We dash across the street ahead of the truck. As I make my way across the pavement I see Stuart getting ready to follow after us. I frantically look to my right and I see the truck racing towards us. Stuart begins to dash across just as we reach the other side. My eyes are glued to Stuart as I watch him sprint across the street and disappear under the black truck. There was a sickening thump and I see Stuart on his side in the middle of the street. I begin to cry instantly as I run towards him. The truck didn’t even stop. Dane gets to Stuart before me.

Stuart is dead. We are crying uncontrollably and I wave the other oncoming cars to go around us as Dane takes Stuart’s lifeless body into his arms. Dane’s body is shaking as we make our way back to our house. I run ahead and I bang loudly on the door for my mom to come. She comes to the door with my little sister, Normandie.

“What’s going on, Elena?”

“Stuart got- got ran over, Mom.” I cry.

Normandie starts to cry as my mom walks over to Dane and gently takes Stuart from his hands. My mom grew up with cats. At one point she had eleven of them and she has had her fair share of cat deaths. She accidently drowned one once when she was four. She knew how to control the situation, although I can see that she was silently crying.

“It's okay kids. Go inside while I take care of Stuart.”

I don’t remember what happened throughout the rest of the night. All that was etched into my mind was the sight of Stuart disappearing under the truck and the thump noise that the truck made as it took way the only cat I have ever had. And nothing compares to the tremendous guilt I felt for not even taking the time to wait for the truck to pass. My impatience ultimately led to Stuart’s death and that was on my conscience for years after. I had always felt responsible and it felt even worse that my brother had witnessed it too. I did forgive myself though, but you better believe I never forgave the person who was driving the black truck. But, I will always remember Stuart, the great times I had spent him, and the night he pasted.





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