So I took a trip down Memory Lane while being interrogated by this kid with a camera in my Pit cosplay and I couldn't get it out of my head.
When that happens I have to write about it. I'm a slave to my own words.
Smile for Me
I have to admit, I didn't have much hope for this.
The moment after you said, "I don't like roller coasters" I realized why I am a terrible person when it comes to surprises.
I hated leaving you alone so when we saw that stupid parachute ride I jumped at the chance of you actually getting on it.
"It's not that bad." I said with a smile. "You don't even go that fast or anything. It's just up and down. Simple."
You looked uneasy. Your eyes flickered to the ride and then back to mine. I tried to give off the impression that I knew what I was talking about, because I had never ridden such a ridiculous ride before, and, thankfully, you bought it.
"Okay." You finally smiled. I cheered on the inside and we raced to get into line. You beat me and let me know it. Bad. A few people were ahead of us and I could see that you were almost ready to bolt.
I made a silly joke about something I can't even remember now, about your shoes, or your hair, and you finally loosened up.
"Next." Some stranger called.
We walked up to this metal bench with a parachute and a string attached to it and took our seats. You took a deep breath and rested your back against the cooling metal.
"Relax." I said. "It isn't a fast ride." I pointed to the parachute next to us and said as it went up, "See? Not fast at all."
"Oka—"But then we took off and you grabbed onto the metal bar in front of us for dear life. Your arms tensed and I could see the bones rise out of your hand.
I couldn't help it. I laughed. I laughed so hard that I grabbed onto the side bar as we flew into the air and didn't stop until we were floating in the sky.
You were angry and I knew it, but I still couldn't stop. This was the stupidest ride in the whole park; enjoyable only to those under the age of seven and to the romantically hopeless.
And you were scared.
When I opened my eyes and looked at you, your head was turned away from me. I put my hand on your shoulder, suddenly worried, and softly called out your name.
I stiffened when I was met with your brilliantly beautiful smile. The dim sunlight lit up half of your face and gave the gold in your brown eyes an entirely new glow.
I could feel myself melt and managed a smile. I slowly placed my hand on yours, still gripping the metal bar resting on our laps, and couldn't bring my voice any higher than a soft purr. "Are you okay?"
The smile on your face only grew wider and the sight was enough to make anyone disoriented.
Then the ride gave a sharp jolt and your free hand frantically curled tightly around my arm. Your smile faded and panic danced in your brown eyes.
"Heh." I tried not to laugh again as we descended back down to earth. With each passing moment your hold on my arm loosened and relief slowly spread across your face.
I almost regretted it.
We got off and you wanted to ride again. How could I say no when you smiled at me like that? So we got back in line.
Silence filled the waiting and we got back on in a matter of minutes.
You still tensed as we floated up and I tried to offer condolence. "You won't fall."
You gazed at me, silence spilling from your lips, and I gave a smile and turned away. I wish I could have said the same thing for myself. The entire time my heart was thrumming so hard against my chest that I imagined I could have choked on it.
"I won't let you." I muttered a few moments afterwards. I knew you couldn't hear me and I was just fine with that knowledge.
Soon, the ride became more fun. We would laugh every time we soared into the sky and could be found in a fit of giggles when we came back down.
We made fun of the man managing the ride and I knew he could hear us.
"Why does he wear sunglasses at night?" You asked as we went up. It was then that I realized the sun was almost setting.
"I have no clue. Haha, maybe his eyes are ugly?" That made you throw your head back with laughter and I couldn't imagine why.
When we came back down, the man had taken off his sunglass and smiled into our faces, "Have a nice day."
"Can we go again?" I said tightly.
"Sure." He lifted us back up and we both screamed.
"Oh my God his eyes!" I yelled. You howled and I did too. His eyes were a grayish blue with such dark circles all around that it looked like they had sunken in a long time ago.
"Why did he smile at us?" You yelled.
"I have no clue but it was so creepy!"
The next time we went up we spit our gum out and judged whose would fly farther. Yours spun into the bushes and mine flew into the freeway. Then you lost your sandals and we had to get off to search for it.
"Found it." You exclaimed, knee-deep in an itchy bush.
"Hey," I called, holding a water bottle.
"What?" You turned to face me, that smile still on your face.
"Think fast!" I roughly tossed the filled water bottle at you and you cried out as it hit your stomach. I burst into laughter and my hands fell to my knees.
Suddenly, cold water bit down my back and sent hot electricity up my spine. I cried out and stood up with a jolt. My hands grabbed at my back and all I could see was you on the floor laughing so hard you were almost crying.
I smiled, shook my head, and almost kicked you. I stole your bag instead and ran off into the distance cackling like a maniac.
"Hey!" I could hear behind me. Your steps were loud in my ears as you started to catch up and the sound of your giggling made me laugh as well.
I reached the end of the road, turned around quickly, and threw the bag into your face. You caught it with an 'oof' which made me laugh harder.
My family, not understanding why we had taken so long, walked ahead of us.
You stood by my side with a pout and I wrapped an arm around your shoulders, a giant smile across my features. You smiled and leaned into the embrace as we continued to walk through the park.
It was dark now but the light in your eyes was enough to keep us on track.
And now, when friends ask me to join them on that same ride, I decline with a thoughtful look on my face.
Because that ride is for you and me alone.
And I'll never forget the way the sunlight lit up your face.