This is an excerpt from a larger body of writing I am working on. It is pure fiction, and any resemblance to a real place or person is only a coincidence.
Click. Screech. Like a collection of metal ratchets playing a musical interlude to my life. At that moment, I am whisked away by smells of cotton candy and popcorn. The lingering scents are a true sign of summer come and gone.
Our fingers are intertwined. Looking up with baited breath I can see him focused on making our way to the Merry-Go-Round. He knows it’s my favourite. The pastel colours and twinkling lights in the evening. It just feels like magic. This one was even more special though. I had rode it as a child, imagining the horse would take me to a far off land where I could be a princess. A princess who wore pink and could play in the castle all day. I had told him that story too many times saying he could be my prince. I couldn’t imagine a man of his size and stature would be too pleased to be perched high a-top a unicorn, but my smile is all that’s needed to drive him forward.
I’ve seen this view many times. Primary colours, flashing lights and bells dinging to signify a win. Couples embracing over stuffed toys that will soon become a harsh memory of a summer love that has disappeared. But here he is, with me, our fingers intertwined.
I couldn’t believe my luck when we met this time last year. It happened during that last weekend of summer before the crisp cool breeze of fall swoops in and stakes its claim. I remember being in the stands of a varsity football game, with a sweater draped on my shoulders for protection from that first bite of cold air. Cheering on the opposing team I barely noticed he was even there. I had seen him before, our mutual friends being very vocal about his existence. The legend, would he even live up?
His soft caramel hair swooped to one side, effortlessly being pushed out of his eyes in one motion. I was locked in. At the time, I was unsure of how I was going to ever catch his eye. Had he heard about me, too? He was so fixated on the field and I wasn’t the girl he would be looking for. I had never been the girl that any boy had been looking for.
In that brief moment that he looked over, my heart stopped. You always hear of that in love stories, “her heart stopped.” I truly had never understood the meaning until now. The definition: the wind is sucked out of you, everything goes foggy, he becomes brighter. He nodded, and smiled.
How did we get to today? How did we last? I wasn’t going to question the process, I was pleasantly content just being a part of it. As he squeezed a little tighter, inching towards our destination, I smiled at another woman who was sitting with a few girlfriends. That had been me a year prior. Content with being on my own. She didn’t seem sad or alone, but I hoped that my smile assured her of things to come – if she’d just let it.
Approaching the Merry-Go-Round, James placed his hand (two times the size of mine) on the small of my back. I was here with him, and just like our life together we were about to take a step up.
Pic found here.