As soon as he got to work, Trevor would ask him what he thought of the movie. He had been insistent that he see it, and had even bought him tickets. Two tickets in fact, though Jacob hadn’t used either. While he had had every intention of upending his life last night for the light, affirming conversation they were supposed to have this morning, Jacob couldn’t push himself out the door when the time had come.

He leaned on the door to the lobby, preparing himself before going in. He pulled the door and stepped inside.

“Did you love it?” Trevor asked. “Wasn’t it something else?”

“It was alright,” Jacob replied, trying to seem evasive. A neutral opinion seemed best. If he said he loved it, Trevor would want to commiserate over favorite moments, and if he hated it, he would have to defend his position. Apathy needed little proof.

“‘Alright,’” Trevor repeated, scoffing. Jacob shrugged.

“You know, it was well-made, but predictable.” This seemed safe. Most movies were well-made and predictable. “Thanks for the tickets.”

“No problem,” Trevor said. The way he said it sounded like a problem. They rode the elevator up seven floors, not talking about the movie. As they dinged to a stop, Trevor waited behind, curtseying for Jacob to go first.

Jacob stumbled out, all the way to his desk. He heard Trevor talking.

“I guess I was wrong. I didn’t like it. Jacob said it was boring.”

He felt like he should say something, but he couldn’t.

“What should I have for lunch today, Jacob? Should I eat the sandwich I packed, or something more exotic?”

Jacob promised himself that he would see the movie soon. As soon as it wasn’t important.

#agoraphobia, #critic, #leadership, #microfiction, #sycophant