The second trip around the block revealed no car parks. So did the third. And the fourth.
“Try a different street.” Jane said through grit teeth.
“I always get one on this street.” Cameron sounded confused at the lack of parks and annoyed at hi girlfriend’s impatience.
“The movie’s going to start.”
“Fine.” He drove a block further and did a loop.
“Why can’t we park in the car park?”
“It’s too expensive.”
“It’s the principle of the matter.”
“I’d rather pay than miss the start of the film because we’re driving in circles. Trying to find a fucking park.”
“Hey, hey, now, come on. What’s the rule?”
Jane rolled her eyes. Cameron was doing an evening course in conflict resolution, and had insisted that they do a workshop with the teacher last week. What had come from this was the revelation that they were too aggressive toward each other (at least, Jane was too aggressive to Cameron) and they didn’t listen well (Cameron didn’t listen to Jane). So, they had established two rules. One, they were not allowed to swear at each other, which Jane found difficult. Two, they had to repeat back what the other was saying, which Cameron found difficult. Cameron wanted success. Jane was thinking about breaking up with Cameron.
“Ok, I apologise, but how about you tell me what I want out of this situation.”
“You want a nice night with your fabulous boyfriend.”
“What? OK, you want to see a movie and perhaps have some dinner.”
As he was thinking, he stopped looking for parks.
“You missed one! Go back!”
‘What? Sorry, honey, the car behind me got it. OK, I give up. What do you want from this situation?”
“I want to see the whole movie. From the start. In a decent seat. Without the stress of trying to find a park.”
Cameron had continued the loop and was back outside the front of the cinema. A parked car indicated, giving Cameron the perfect park.
“Ha! See! And still…” he looked at the clock. “Eight minutes til the film starts. Told you!”
Jane looked at him. She shook her head. “Sorry. I can’t do this anymore.”
“Do what? I found the park! We can stop looking.”
“It’s over, Cam. I just can’t keep fighting anymore.”
“I don’t understand. You wanted to see the whole movie. You will see the whole movie. No problem.”
Jane got out and walked to the bus stop. Cameron went to the movie. He sat in one of the last available seats, up the front, straining his neck. He missed the first two minutes buying popcorn. It wasn’t even a good film.