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There are not that many people in the ferris wheel line. You start
counting the couples and the empty cars. We won't have to wait very
long, you say. How do you know the people will
stay in couples? I ask. It is easy, you say. Just watch them.
The ferris wheel has begun to shudder to a stop. A boy about two with
a sticky lollipop gets off and starts running through the crowd before
his mother can extricate the remaining child--a larger girl with vacuous
eyes. She yells at the crowd to stop him, but they
You squeeze my hand and leave me to run after the kid. I
watch as you part the crowd, your hands spreading people
away like the shallow waves of the Red Sea. The child
stumbles and starts to cry, not very far from the ferris
wheel line. You offer him your hand and I think I can see
your smile from here. He cries louder and points to his
shoe. You kneel like a lord and gently tie the shoe up. The
mother arrives, breathless, carrying the girl half in, half
out of an oversized stroller. You talk with her, stroking
the boy's hair. Her back blocks my view so I cannot see your
smile now, but I imagine it. I imagine she smiles back at
I nod to myself, smiling, as you rejoin me.
Thanks, I say.
You would have done the same, you say.
No, I say. I would have been too afraid to care.
Are you sure? you ask.
I shrug my shoulders.