Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ferris Wheel

It was July, maybe August.  One of those most perfect nights, warm with just the whisper of a breeze.  He picked her up on time.  He wouldn't tell her where they were going, but things had been pretty good recently so she sat back and trusted him.  Oh, that car.  1968, or was it a '69 blue Mustang.  It was a rough little thing, but they both loved that car. He even taught her how to drive in it.  Don't put your foot there, it's kinda a hole.  Don't rest your hand on the handle, it might fall off.

That night, the car was in as good of a mood as he was.  She rolled down the window and stuck her hand out, like it was riding a wave.  Of course, both were smoking cigarettes and singing along to the tape deck, or whatever was on the radio.  They both loved to sing in the car, they both loved music.  Once, he even wrote her a song.  It didn't have any words when he played it for her, turns out it never would.  But he had done it without her ever asking.  It was one of the greatest gifts he'd ever given her.
They weren't talking very much, but his right arm was casually draped over her seat back - the comfortable pose and silence of a couple who'd been together a long time.  It was a long drive, they headed out to some suburb.

When he finally parked, she was equal parts confused and delighted.  A carnival?  Really?  Just the two of them?  She didn't want to piss him off, so she didn't say anything.  They walked through the crowds and took it all in.  They didn't give a thought to how they looked - a couple of metal heads smoking and strolling through the grounds.  

Eventually, they ended up on the Ferris Wheel.  She hadn't been on one in probably five or six years.  It was one of those that the guy operating it would let you sit for a few seconds at the top.  She breathed it all in, the deisel fuel, the smokiness of themselves, the cologne she'd bought for him, popcorn, funnel cakes.  She looked at all of the lights below and said "This. This is the perfect night, and I want all nights to be this night."  He looked at her, a little like he was going to make some smart remark.  He looked away, and then back at her.  He touched her hand so she'd look at him. "I love you", he said "You DO know that, don't you?  I love you."  She looked back at him and kissed him.  It was a great kiss, one for the romance novels.  Plus, she kissed him -the ice queen was not really one to kiss first.  He kissed her back, and by falling in to the kiss, he knew that she knew.

This is what she thinks about now, 20 years later.  That she should have told him that she loved him too.  She thinks about how she only really said it to end an arguement or a conversation.  To prove a point.  To almost brag in front of her less lucky friends "I have a boyfriend and I love him!"  She doesn't think about all of the awful fights, the hurt feelings, the tears, the letters of regret. She tries to never think about the very last time that it was over for good.

As her life would have it, she still sees him from time to time, or someone from his family.  Every time she sees him, though, she's back on that Ferris Wheel, because life, it goes round and round and round, but it always brings her back down to the ground.  If only she could have that moment back "stuck" at the top, with someone who truly loved her, and wanted her to know only that.  She wants that moment back to tell him that she loves him too.  She loved him then.  She truly knows that she loves him now. She likely always will. 


Smut Clyde said...

Merry Christmas, Von! Thanks for the card!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post, Von.

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