Listen. If your boyfriend, that you had a fleeting romance with, is suddenly diagnosed with leukemia and dies in the ER, it is probably not wise to go see a movie where the main character's boyfriend also tragically dies in the ER due to cancer. This is pretty basic stuff, folks. But I'm not a pretty basic girl.
Instead, this not so basic girl threw herself into the theater, forcing a few friends to go with her after several other friends told her that they would absolutely not go and see this movie with her and sh freaked out and panicked because SHE HAD TO SEE THIS MOVIE, so she drove to Birmingham and watched it with two friends that she knew would appreciate it as much as her insane self also would. (shout out to C. Graham and Yates, whaddup!).
And you're wondering: What does it look like for 3 grown women to struggle to not be the loudest criers in a theater full of teenagers? Horrible. Like the most horrible thing on the planet. Like as horrible as sitting down in a public bathroom stall to realize, too late, that there is no toilet paper times infinity.
But the truth of the matter is that I was exposed to this story in the summer of 2012 (coincidentally the summer I met Richard, but this is beside the point). The story I am referring to, in case you have been under a protective/unemotional/want-to-deny-yourself-beautiful-things rock lately, is The Fault in Our Stars. I read the book that summer and freaking fell madly, deeply, widely in love with the characters and the author. This author, John Green, has a way with words that I strive to emulate and channel when I write. He is witty and has a way of laying out exactly what you're thinking without even knowing that you were thinking it until you read his words and OH MY GOSH YOU WERE THINKING THE SAME THING. But he says your words way better than you could ever dream of. The depth that he is able to portray in a young adult book about two teenagers with cancer that fall in love is a thing of the cosmos. I can't even.
So, you see my friends, I HAD to see this movie. It wasn't even a question. NO, it did not matter that I would spend the entire movie tearing up, to only have the flood gates OPEN and to start SOBBING thirty minutes before the movie ended and to think it would NEVER END I SWEAR I DIDN'T KNOW WHEN IT WOULD END.
Because I was invested.
But truth be told, this movie-going experience would have been different if Richard had never happened. I still would have lost my composure in front of a multitude of teenagers, but the deeper heartache would not have been there. The deeper understanding, longing, and empathy would not have been there. But this is no surprise. Everything would be different if Richard had never happened.
Wouldn't have it any other way.