The Ferris Wheel
Peter A. Weiss
Copyright © 2017 by Peter Weiss
All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
“I’m so glad you found me.”
“I didn’t know if you’d be here. You weren’t here last night. We opened yesterday.”
“Yeah,” said Paul. “I couldn’t make it last night.”
“With my eyelids.”
“Whoa. Didn’t see me in a year and didn’t come to see if you could find me the first night? I’m really hurt.”
“I can explain.”
“Well it will take a lot of explaining, mister.”
“Let’s get something to eat.”
“I only got twenty minutes. I get an hour at ten.”
“What time you get off?”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” said Lilly. “The BBQ is super. C’mon. I’ll show you where to eat.”
They walked hand in hand, Lilly staying close by him and leading him to one of the BBQ stands. They didn’t talk until they were seated under the big canopy under which was a boatload of picnic tables where the people could sit and eat. She sat next to him, flush against him.
“You grew your hair.”
“You lost weight too.”
“Yeah, but I put on muscle. You’re wearing a skirt and makeup.”
“Am I pretty?”
“You need me to tell you?”
“I want to hear you say it if you think so. But remember, no lies, no BS. We only have the time we have, and I gotta go in ten minutes.”
“You’re gorgeous, Lilly. I could eat you all up.”
“Just eat your BBQ, big boy.”
They laughed and they leaned against each other as they ate. Then it was time for her to go. She didn’t hesitate or dawdle. She insisted Paul walk her to the booth where she had to report.
“Ten o’clock, sharp, right here,” Lilly said. “Don’t you be late. And if I am, you wait here for me.”
Paul went to kiss her bye but she stopped him. “Not here,” she said as she walked off to the side door of the booth.
Elliot and the three musketeers came by where they’d said they’d meet at nine-thirty. They weren’t alone, and of course they didn’t bring a girl for Paul. The girls introduced themselves, not that it mattered, but interestingly one of the girls said she knew him, that he was in her lit class. She told her friends that he played for the college team, and she fawned over him till Steve, who she was with, pulled her to him and said they were heading off to go on some rides. As a courtesy, they asked Paul if he wanted to join them. Paul told the truth, that he was tired and was gonna sit awhile before he went home. “Long, long day,” he said. “Anyway, have a great night. Guess I’ll see you in class on Tuesday.”
Thank you God, Paul internalized as he watched them head away. Considering everything, it couldn’t have gone any better. He wasn’t angry, upset or resentful that his friends had taken care of themselves and not him, as they always did. He was happy and content. Happy and content, he sat and listened to the music till it was time to walk over to the booth.
Lilly was several minutes late. Paul watched her as she walked up to him, noted that she had eight ride tickets in her hand. “I thought we’d go on number nineteen on the Ferris wheel,” she said. “Okay with you?”
Paul smiled and took her hand.
to be continued