“Excuse me sir?” the teenager said.
“Mmm?” Titus replied, looking up. The kid was wearing the typical movie-theatre uniform, his black pants covered with some brown-grey streaks, a too-large t-shirt hanging off his awkward body.
“Sir, you can’t have outside food here.”
Swallowing, Titus replied, “Why not?”
“It’s our policy, sir.”
“It’s special food, for my allergies,” Titus said.
“Special chocolate cake, sir?”
“Yup. Gluten free. Corn free. You have anything in your canteen that’s both gluten and corn free? I’m allergic to corn, and am celiac, after all.”
“Do you really want to tell me,” Titus said, sitting up straight now, “that I can’t enjoy food with my movie? Because at the moment, the only thing your theatre offers is food I can’t eat. So either I come in and have nothing, have a bad experience, and never return, or you can let me eat my damn chocolate cake in peace.”
“Tell you what, kid,” Titus said. “You go get your manager, and we can hash this out. I know you’re just doing your job.”
“No, sir, it’s okay. Sorry to bother you. Enjoy your cake.”
“Thanks. And hey,” Titus said as the teenager was turning away. He turned back. “Here, have a slice of cake for yourself. It’s gluten- and corn syrup-free.”