A high school couple at a drive-in stumble into an important conversation. This excerpt starts just before the movie begins and ends just as the talking stops and 'other' activities commence.
Excerpt from Fear & Hope, Chapter 6 - Philip and Ruth are in at the drive-in in his car.
“If the movie ever gets started.” She rotated sideways and leaned back, which prompted him to wrap her in his tawny arms. She felt loved and protected. Ruth looked up at Philip and was pleased. Whatever his size and whatever bruising hits he delivered on the football field, he was a thoughtful boyfriend. “Anything interesting in your classes this week?”
“Funny you mention that. Our Lit teacher, Miss Murphy, had us go over Shakespeare’s Othello all week.” He looked down and smiled. “Do you know it?”
“My football boyfriend reads Shakespeare?” She laughed. “An athlete and a scholar!”
“I don’t know anything about that, but it does have me thinking.”
“What about it has you thinking?”
Philip frowned. “I’m not sure where to start. Othello elopes, secretly marries the love of his life, Desdemona. But, there’s this bad dude—probably the baddest dude I’ve ever heard about—called Iago that screws everything up.”
“What about that is so odd?”
“That’s what I keep thinking about. Iago was Othello’s trusted friend and fellow soldier for years, but, because Iago gets mad at not getting a title from Othello, he decides to destroy him.” Philip nodded. “And he does . . . as well as destroying a whole lot of others.”
“So it’s a classic tragedy. What’s the big deal?”
“That’s exactly what I thought until Wednesday when Miss Murphy started talking about context.”
“Context? What is context?”
“I don’t really know, but she was trying to have us understand the situation from their point of view. Hmm . . . maybe that’s what it is.”
She felt his strong arm cradle her back, noted his dark hair, still damp from his postgame shower, combed straight back, and stared in wonder at the perplexed expression on his wide eyes. “And that got you thinking?”
“It did. I got that Iago was Othello’s friend and fellow soldier for years. That’s why Othello trusted him. So, was Iago always bad? I also got that Othello loved Desdemona so much that he defied her father and everyone to be with her. He stood in front of the assembly and said, ‘We love each other!’” He sighed. “He was a good guy and was destroyed.”
“How did Iago destroy him?”
“He stirred up others with envy and lies.” He frowned. “And he got Othello to doubt that Desdemona was faithful.”
“Well, like I said. I’m not Gail. I’m only going with you,” Ruth said with a direct gaze.
He smiled. “And I’m only with you.” He leaned down and kissed her.
“So there you go. If Othello wouldn’t have doubted Desdemona, everything would’ve been fine.”
“That was only part of it. There were a lot of other things stirred up. But what I’m afrai . . . worried about is the idea of Iago.”
“The idea of Iago?”
“Well, yeah. You know my dad showed me this Teddy Roosevelt quote—that it is better to dare mighty deeds than to live in the gray twilight.” He looked at her. “The football field isn’t enough.”
She smiled. “Dare mighty deeds . . . I like that.”
“But what Othello has me worried about is that if I do dare mighty deeds and achieve some success, that an Iago will be there.”
“That’s what you got out of Othello?”
“It’s true. I felt it myself last season when Matt started throwing the ball well. The minute someone gets successful, there is someone who wants to tear him down.”
“That’s what you’re afraid of?”
“I didn’t say I was afraid. I’m just kinda worried about it.”
“But you said Iago lied and people trusted his lies.”
“I did.” Philip frowned. “So, I shouldn’t trust anyone?”
“I’d be careful of who you trust . . . but, Philip?”
“You can trust me,” Ruth said with a winsome smile.
He took her seriously, looked in her eyes, and kissed her. “Yes,” he said in a breathy voice, “I can trust you.”