It’s 4:03. I’m three minutes late for my dark room shift. I’m sure Luke is already there, waiting for me. He always gets there before I do.
I drop my cigarette on the ground as I hop off my bike. I pause a second to catch my breath at the door. I should really stop smoking.
“Jesus! Jesus…jesus, Luke, you scared me. Shit, I didn’t see you there.”
He pushes his long, brown hair back before throwing his sweatshirt over his head. It’s warm out here, but it’s cold in the dark room. His shirt gets caught. He catches my eyes lingering and smiles.
“You’re four minutes late.”
“Yeah, four minutes. Shall we?”
Our final film photography project is due in a few days. Luke is a cocky motherfucker, but not as some function of creative genius. He’s just one of those guys who’s apt to take classes he’s glaringly overqualified for (and then never let you forget exactly how overqualified he is). He’s hot, though.
Quiet competition heats the room as we handle our film in the pitch dark. This stage—the pitch dark stage—only takes about ten minutes, but ten always feels like thirty. Time moves slower in the dark.
I shift a few inches to the right when I hear something crash to the ground.
“What was that?”
“I…shit I don’t know.”
I hear Luke shuffling over to help me. We can’t turn on the lights until we’ve sealed our film in the containers.
“You dropped your container.”
He puts his hand on my hip as he reaches around. He sets my container on the desk. Then he waits.
He squeezes my hip. It’s a benign squeeze. Soft enough for me to pretend not to notice. But I do notice, and he knows. He waits some more. He squeezes.
My eyes open. I hadn’t realized they were closed.
“Oh…what? Is what okay?”
He takes his hand off me, laughing quietly under his breath.
“I mean…yeah. Yes it’s okay.”
He puts his hand back.
His hand feels big as it moves from my hip to my zipper. My whole body is tense with anticipation. I can feel the blood rushing to his cock. He pushes his hard-on into my ass, and a train of tingly energy shoots up my spine. He starts to kiss my neck. My head tilts back, resting on his chest, in silent ecstasy. This is happening. A minute ago, it wasn’t. But this is happening.
Luke starts to slip off my jeans, deftly navigating the curves of my body in the dark. I push my ass back, grinding into him as he takes my shirt off. I’m not wearing a bra. Still kissing my neck, he starts to massage my breasts. He pushes into me harder as I push back into him. With every push, I can feel my body settling more and more into his, until we’re moving back and forth in perfect, relaxed harmony.
He peels himself off me. I look at his phone. It’s 4:27. How the fuck is it 4:27? The next pair will be here to develop their photos in exactly three minutes. I pull my jeans up and feel around for my shirt.
Without saying another word, we roll our film onto our reels. Then into the containers.
“Yeah, I’m good.”
Luke turns on the lights.
“Do you want to…get coffee or something?”
I don’t want to get coffee. I move quickly towards the door.
I run down the stairs and light another cigarette to smoke on my ride home.