Well, this is rather early to be put up, but it's sort of my Happy Holidays to everyone before most of us get slammed by finals. I'm not too sure about some of the details, like whether or not you can still go on rides while it's snowing, since I live in Florida where cold is 70 degrees. Anyways I'm rambling, so enjoy!
He moved through the crowd, side stepping shoes and muttering apologies when he wasn't quick enough. He really hated crowds, they always seemed to stand still when you needed to get somewhere. Suddenly, the crowd parted and there she was. But, it wasn't her, just a stranger who happened to be the victim of his imagination. His eyes were constantly trying to peer around others; she had to be here, she had promised him.
The Ferris wheel, forever looming overhead, caught his eyes. Could she be waiting there? He rushed forward, bumping into a woman with bright green eyes. He stopped, startled by the feeling that time had been frozen for this one moment, before losing those strangely familiar eyes in the crowd.
Stumbling out and into a rail, he twisted around to peer back into the crush of bodies that ebbed and flowed. That couldn't have been her, was all his mind could repeat back to him. Losing hope and lost in memories he trudged over to a bench, snow falling gently all around. Sitting here, with the common sounds of the fair washing over him, it was all too easy to recall their first meeting when she had dumped dirt on his head for kissing her sister on the cheek. Or, when she had punched him in the eye for pushing her into her cake on her third birthday. Their first kiss in ninth grade on New Year's ever. Dating all throughout senior year. And, saying goodbye as they went their separate ways for college.
'Four years from now if you still love we, I'll be waiting for you. We'll meet on the last day of the fair, promise me you will come.' She spoke so confidently, but her show of strength was ruined by the tears coursing down her cheeks.
'Four years, that's not so long.' He tried joking his way past the ache that was building in his chest. They knew this day would come, they had even planned for it, so why did it hurt so much?
'Don't forget me.' She kissed him lightly on the lips before turning to run to the terminal. He had stood there, heart breaking, until his brother had come to lead him home.
They had tried to keep in touch, but, as with most long distance relationships, they had faded out of one another's lives. College had been impossibly busy, but he never once stopped thinking about her. It wasn't an obsession, he had dated a few women. They all just seemed to fall short though; they just weren't her, couldn't even compete with the memories.
Laughter, light and carefree and telling of teen romance, drifted over him. Glancing up, he could see young couples clinging to one another as the Ferris wheel began to turn. Before another memory could surface, he found himself walking to the ticket taker.
"One?" The old man glanced around. "You need a partner, son."
"I don't have one." He shifted uncomfortably.
"Yes, he does. Sorry it took me so long." A feminine voice murmured at his shoulder. "Let's go."
A hand, warmer than his own, pulled him into the bucket. Unable to contain his curiosity, he turned to his mystery companion. Green eyes captured his, shock and wonder spreading life into his despairing body.
"I thought it was you earlier when you nearly knocked me over." She smiled slightly, uncertainty trying to steal its brilliance. "I was worried you wouldn't come."
"Why wouldn't I? I still love you." He turned form her as a tense silence settled between them. Cursing himself silently for his blunt nature, he closed his eyes. If it was there on her face, he didn't think he could face the pity. He was such a fool. They had been kids the last time they had seen each other, feelings change. She could be married to some wealthy, handsome guy living in a mansion with plans of a family for all he knew. That thought struck him fast, like a punch to the stomach that stole the breath from his lungs. He didn't want to think about her with some other guy.
"I've been waiting for you to say that for so long." She choked back a sob. Confused by his own internal conflict, he looked up in time to see a single tear roll down and drop onto her clenched hands. "It's so selfish of me, but I had hoped you would love me, only me actually, for as long as we live." She smiled at him, a small smile that threatened to flicker out with any sudden movements. "I've missed you so much. I cried myself to sleep every night for months, dreaming of your face after I left you like that. And every year, I'd wonder what you were doing, if you still remembered me. God, I love you so much." She threw herself, or as much as she could without tipping the bucket, into his arms.
At the peak of the wheel, the ride stopped. Above them, fireworks exploded into what appeared to be a million different colors all at once. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a small, velvet box. She stared, speechless, as he took her hand in his. "Will you marry me?"
"Y-y-yes, of course." She gazed down, awe and disbelief shining in her eyes, as he slipped the diamond ring on her finger. "It's beautiful."
Heaving a huge sigh of relief, he smiled boyishly. "I had hoped you would like it. And…I know we're more like strangers than we've ever been, but I know we can make this work. I love you and I'm pretty sure I always will. I love you, Marie, always and forever."
"Oh, so you're only pretty sure, Aiden?" She swatted him on the shoulder. "After our whole hate-turning-to-love cliché, how could we not be together forever."
He sat back as the Ferris wheel began to turn again. "Yeah, you're right. After you dumped dirt on me, I knew I had found the one I'd spend the rest of my life with, if we didn't kill each other first."
"You've always been such a sweet talker." She grinned, holding on to his hand as if she'd never let him go.
"Merry Christmas, darling." He kissed her gently.
"Merry Christmas forever, love."