Angela had taken a walk in the first place to get a little adventure. And yet she felt unsatisfied. Should she have walked further? There was no chance of getting caught in the rain. She looked up and fully appreciated the clear San Francisco sky. She sighed and turned up the street. Her ribs began to ache from the steep incline. An unfortunate New York Seltzer bottle was smashed into a wall by her restless feet. She watched the purple label unravel and then glanced up at the building. “Wicks Cinema” was written on the flashy old-Hollywood style sign. A “Closed for Renovations” sign was pasted below it. The mismatched fonts aggravated her. Or was it the fact that the sign was irrelevant since the theater hadn’t been operating for years? She shrugged, and decided to move on. A sound drifted out of the spooky wooden doors that made her stomach flop. She stood completely still and listened as a struggling record player whined an Elvis serenade somewhere inside the old theater. But what stood out to her the most was the voice singing along. It wasn’t deep and smooth like Elvis’, but wasn’t unpleasant either. She smiled at the sweet lyrics.
“Take my hand, take my whole life too. For I can’t help falling in love with you.”
Hardly realizing it she walked through the doors into the lobby and soundlessly made her way to the auditorium. A step stool was leaning against one of the chipped walls, and a young man was standing on it. He was scraping away at the old paint, belting out the song with all his might, and trying to avoid dropping anything on his record player. She didn’t want to disturb the peaceful picture in front of her before she needed to, so she let the boy finish his song. After a few moments the music stopped, the record rejected the needle and made that familiar, nostalgic sound. The boy jumped off the stool, his poofy brown hair bouncing as he did so. With methodic movements he put the needle back on the record.
“Ahem!” She cleared her throat gently, thinking it was time he was aware of her presence. The boy jumped and turned to face her, making his large frame glasses jolt out of place. A deep red coloring made its way up his cheeks in a matter of milliseconds. Great, now he thinks I’m a creep.
“Hey, uh, sorry I scared you. I just wanted to say, your voice is pretty rad!”
The boy pushed up his glasses in a way that reminded her of Christopher Reeve in a Superman movie.
“Wow, uh, thank you…”
She stood there in silence for a minute, not able to think of anything to say but hating the awkwardness.
“I’m Angela,” finally blurted out of her mouth. She stuck her hand out as far as she could. He wiped his hands on his paint stained Levi’s before taking hers and shaking it briefly.
“I’m Christopher. Well, uh, Chris.”
Chris’ voice had a nervous shakiness to it, and Angela couldn’t hold back a little laugh.
“It’s nice to meet you Chris.”
They stood there in silence again. Chris turned his head and looked at the stool he had recently been standing on. She took the opportunity to study him. Behind his glasses he had greenish brown eyes and thick brown brows and lashes. His nose was a manly one and his lips were large and had a defined Cupid’s bow. His funky-colored sweater reminded her of something Bill Cosby would wear. Chris turned then and their eyes met. Suddenly the record player came back to life.
“Wise men say only fools rush in. But I can’t help falling in love with you.”
And Angela had the feeling that this was the beginning of a lifelong adventure.