Hold Your Hand
We are in a dark movie theater, semi-crowded for a Thursday matinee. “We” consist of the usual suspects: you, me, and two of our best friends, both conveniently named Jeremy. I take sips from my strawberry slushie until my body grows numb from the cold, and then I sit it down and warm my hands with yours.
The screen before us dances with light and reflects off the ring, the one I have grown accustomed to wearing on my left hand. And just like that, with my head on your shoulder and the cozy darkness of the room pressing in around us, it is New Year’s Day again.
I still remember the clothes we wore—me in a teal peasant blouse and a sweater the color of oatmeal, a fake flower nestled in my false curls, and you in a purple button-down with a slash across the cuff, your hair still long and resting on your shoulders. I remember how your simple gaze unnerved me, the way your eyes cut through the wasabi-laden air and froze me to me chair.
The cold bit at our exposed skin like an ornery cat, forcing us to seek warm refuge in the movie theater—this movie theater. We sat next to each other for two hours staring at a film neither of us wanted to see. Details escaped me. You consumed me. I tried to breathe the poison-thick air, tried to push you out of my heart, but all I could think about was that Beatles song. I wanted to hold your hand.
The wave of nostalgia nearly knocks me flat now as you lace your fingers with mine. You can’t always get what you want . . . but sometimes you can. Sometimes you can.