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Abigail Ritter
by Helen Cooney
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Abigail Ritter
Original Fiction by Helen Claire Cooney
Getting ready for a date with a boy you aren't supposed to be seeing in the first place is no easy task.
But since I met this boy while I was all “glistening” on the treadmill at the gym, I figured he wouldn't care much what I showed up in, as long as I showed up. But, I wore something worthwhile, just to be on the safe side. And let’s see…I took, of course, a matching purse packed with a girl’s first aid kit: cell phone (to call for help if things are going…mediocre), wallet (in case he’s cheap), eyeliner and compact (for obvious reasons), and the girl’s secret weapon: lip-gloss (except Blueberries and Cream flavor, which is way gross—ya, it’s blue.)
I showed up at the theater, about as nervous as I was pretty, not scared that Chad wouldn’t enjoy his date with me (I mean, of course he would, it was with me) but that Brad would see me out on a date with someone who wasn’t him. Wow, Brad and Chad. That rhymes.
While I was pondering how to greet "the new man" in my life (Hey Chad, Chad! Hi!, How you doin?) I saw my real boyfriend, Brad, waltz by all high and mighty holding the hand of…No, it couldn't be!
But yes, sadly, it was. His lady was Jessica Winberry, a platinum blonde Barbie doll (with the intelligence of a sack of potatoes), who giggled at all the things he was saying—things he should have been saying to me! I like to giggle too, Brad!
He started to walk (or rather be dragged by his pet potato) toward where I was standing, so I did the first thing that came to mind—the first thing that any girl in that situation would do: I dove behind the popcorn stand in order to keep myself hidden. And my craftiness was achieved with great stealth, I must brag.
"Eww!" I screeched to myself, slowly lifting up my arm. "Hey, hey! Down here!" I whispered at the vendor currently manning the Pepsi machine.
"What are you doing down there? Your not allowed to be behind the—”
"Please--shh! Can you hand me a napkin?" I asked pathetically. He gave me a few and I wiped off the melted butter I had landed in. Unfortunately, I couldn't do anything about the enormous grease stain my shirt was experiencing, and simultaneously my cell phone started to ring. "This is all just peachy," I thought to myself.
Who could be calling me at a time like this? What an inconsiderate world we live in, honestly.
"Hello?" I answered as cheerfully as I could, considering the circumstances.
"Hey Abigail. Are you okay?" Chad's voice rang through my ear, but also around the corner. Great, we were talking to each other on our cell phones about five feet away from one another. No, I'm not strange at all.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just running a little late, that's all," I breathed hurriedly. "In fact, I'm walking in the door right now!"
And with that, I ran to the door and turned around again, only to run right into Chad. "Oww! Oh dear, sorry," I said, rubbing my nose (which I had just slammed against his chest) and noticing the huge grease spot that had transported itself from my shirt to his. But it really wasn't my fault. I mean, if he hadn't asked me out after seeing me all sweaty and stuff, we never would've been in this sticky situation (no pun intended).
Chad made a frowny-face at his marred shirt, and attempted to wipe it off.
You know, he really needs to get over himself. Because, if I don't care about the huge butter smear on his white shirt, then he shouldn't either. Who else is he trying to impress? Who does he think he his?
"It's fine, don't worry about it," he said. That's more like it. Glad to see he's had an attitude change. Brad always had a nice attitude. I miss Brad—wait I still have Brad. Sorta.
"Let's go. We've already missed the opening credits," he said, taking my hand.
"What a tragedy," I said sarcastically. I slipped my hand out of his. Brad's hands were so much, well, better. My thoughts drifted back to him.
"Hey, I really like you, but, I'm getting kinda mixed signals here," he said, stopping me. Wow, he has really green eyes. I like green eyes.
"Sorry, I'm a little distracted. I really like you, too," I said. And that seemed to be enough for him. I swear, men are so easily manipulated.
So we walked, together, into the dark movie theater. Chad had forced his clammy little hand back into mine again, and I let it stay there out of pure politeness. He led me up and up…and up, until there was no mistaking where we were going—the back row. Everyone knows what goes down up there…can you spell M-I-S-C-H-I-E-F? Wow, mischief has a bunch of letters in it.
Anyway, it was all fine, and I was totally into letting good ol’ Chad put the moves on me, when what happens? Only the worst thing in the world! Brad walks in with his way-too-thin-and-pale “just friends” girl. Oh, and boy did they look like they were something more than just friends. What nerve! Cheating? On ME?!
I was about to yell out his name across the entire movie theatre, but decided against it. The movie was starting and I kinda didn’t want to miss the beginning. That’s usually the best part of the whole thing. But while Tom Cruise jumped on the back of his motorcycle, all I could think about was Brad. Was he even watching the movie now? I resolved to find him and make sure he kept his eyes on the screen, and off his little “friend”.
So I excused myself from Chad and started to make for the door—or at least that’s what I pretended to do. Actually, I dropped to ground and started crawling down the stairs to Brad’s row. OH! Just as I had imagined…he and Jessica Winberry were way too cuddly. They were so close she could be suffocating him or something! And I could tell he wasn’t really having a good time. That smile and laugh were defiantly his fake smile and laugh. I would know. I am his girlfriend. Oh, don’t worry Brad! I’m coming to save you!
Okay, I had to think fast. How could I rescue my darling Brad? Maybe I could sneak into their aisle and bump her soda from below. Or maybe I could persuade the manager that there was a fire hazard, so he would stop the movie. Oh! I know, I could pretend to be an usher, and ask to see their tickets, conveniently giving Brad a chance to slip away if he wanted—what am I saying, if? Of course he would want to leave, the poor dear—and then he could go wait for me in his car…I always liked that car…
I was so deep into my fantasy, I didn’t hear Brad calling my name in that soft yet loud whisper yell you use in theaters. When his voice finally registered with me, I jumped up and said unconvincingly, “Oh looky there, it’s…that thing that I dropped…and…now I’ve found it, so I’ll just…umm…I’ll be going now, y’all enjoy yourselves…” Oh man, I was flustered and embarrassed and WHY did he have to see me? Ugh, now I remember why I was cheating on Brad in the first place. He was just so darn selfish!
Brad looked too stunned to say anything, and kept starring at me with his stupid mouth hanging wide open, until I turned to walk away, when I was met with the lovely sight of Chad. Dang it.
“Oh, hi Brad. Have you met Chad? Brad, Chad, Chad, Brad.”
“Abigail, I’m Chad.”
“Yeah and I’m Brad.”
“Right yeah, that’s what I meant.” Whatever. They don’t have to be so defensive about everything.
“Abigail, were you spying on me?” Brad asked.
“Well…yes. What are you doing here with…that?” I asked, angry and humiliated, pointing at Jessica Winberry.
“Abigail, are you jealous?” he asked, smiling.
“No!” I lied.
“You are! Ha! I knew you would be. Come on, babe. Let’s ditch these kids and go get dinner,” he said getting up. He grabbed my hand and led me out of the theater, leaving what’s-his-face and what’s-her-face standing together. Awkward! And Brad’s hands were better. They just were.
Meanwhile, Chad looked nervously at Jessica Winberry and asked, “You like the back row?”
She said, giggling, “I love the back row!” She would.

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