It’s cold and sweet and delicious. The strawberry ice cream we share is a glorious relief from the sunny day.
It’s cold. Not sweet. Not bitter. Just cold. All I taste is cold. I throw it in the trash. It starts to rain.
Your cone is piled ten scoops high, as if to challenge fate to ruin your day. You don’t cry when you drop it. Instead, you beg me to share. I laugh and we finish the cone together before leaving the pavilion.
It’s quiet. No one wants to be here. The carnies hide in their stalls. They try to stay dry. They fail.
I chase you through stalls containing various games, laughing as you win a dozen oversized teddy bears. I think I’m falling for you. We eat cotton candy and throw rings at ring games. We go to a weight guesser and you get mad at him for guessing correctly. Neon lights shine vibrant colors on everything, turning the carnival into a beautiful kaleidoscope. We hear the sounds of children cheering as we make our way to the bumper cars. The cars seem to move faster than light as we drive in circles. Then, everything stops as we crash into one another. You laugh and I know for a fact that I am falling for you.
The bumper cars are closed. Broken. I walk past them. Go to the house of mirrors.
We play hide in seek in the house of mirrors. Our reflections chase one another. A security guard yells at us, but we ignore him. We’re having to much fun to stop now. You try to sneak up on me. I turn around and kiss you. A dozen mes and a dozen yous embrace as time slows to a crawl, frozen into a single moment of passion.
I look at the man in the mirror. Unkempt. Dirty. Bags under his eyes. A mess. His eyes are black dots. Free from any joy or emotion. He’s a robot. He just goes through the motions. He pretends he’s alive. I pity him. I hate him. I punch him. He shatters. Pieces of broken glass fall to the floor. I’m bleeding. My hand hurts. Red blood drips down and splatters on the floor. I feel pain. For the first time in forever, I feel something.
You guide me to the tilt-a-whirl. I’m terrified of getting nauseous, but you somehow convince me to climb aboard. That’s what I love about you: the way you force me to try new things. The world spins around us as butterflies fly in my stomach. As we stumbled off the ride, you guide me to the nearest trash can. You laugh as vomit up pink sludge, the remains of strawberry ice cream and pink cotton candy. Still, because I’m with you, I don’t feel bad. You wipe my mouth with a towel and pass me a packet of gum. I pull out my pocketknife and carve our initials into the bench.
The ride is closed. Rusted down. Broken. Drenched in rain. Completely miserable and desolate. Just like me. I sit down on the bench and feel the wood. It’s faded, but the heart with our initials in its center still remains. I stare into the cloudy sky. In the distance, I see the Ferris wheel. My final destination.
As the sun starts to set on a perfect day, we make our way to our final destination: the large Ferris wheel sitting in the center of the carnival. The Ferris wheel lifts us into the sky as the world turns dark.
There is nothing lonelier than riding a Ferris wheel by yourself. It lifts me into the cloudy sky. I stare down at the crappy carnival that once seemed so beautiful. I cry.
The entire world is beneath us.
The ground seems so far away.
All that I can think about is you.
Would fall from this height would be enough to kill me?
I reach over and grab your hand.
I unbuckle myself.
I lean in for a kiss.
I know, without a shred of doubt, that I am falling.
Falling for you.