I don’t which of us noticed first but every time he was on the screen, all I could see was Sam. The same arching eyebrows and plump lips. The same way his wavy hair sort of flopped over his eyes. The eyes were different though. Sam’s were grey but this actor’s were brown. Still, I caught my breath every time his character was back on screen, only realizing that I was holding it when he was on the screen for more than a few moments.
Just as I was trying to convince myself it was my imagination, Gelsey leaned over and said, “OMG, Linz. He looks like Sam.”
So it wasn’t just me. She saw it too. And then she sighed, exaggerating the exhalation. You know, how those fangirls do when they are oohing and ahhing over someone. The rest of the movie, I had to sit there as she giggled and gushed whenever the pseudo-Sam showed up on screen. I just followed along because that’s what we did.
We were friends, best friends, and this was our last movie together before school started. It was the end of summer and we’d be going to school together for the first time since we were kids. It was the end of what was supposed to be The Best Summer Ever. But it was a summer where things changed for me, for us, and she didn’t even know. Gelsey just sighed and giggled while I played along and all I could think about was how Sam hadn’t emailed me or anything. Not that I should have cared but I did care. I cared and I cared enough not to let my best friend know what I was thinking about. Instead, I leaned in and giggled and, when the movie credits ended, the theater lights came up, I sighed in sync with her.
And we giggled together again, like old times, like we did when the summer was starting and everything was different.