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The bright yellow molding of the car still swings as we come whirling around again. The teenagers in the cars behind us start screaming--for joy or for real terror, I cannot decide which. An answering cry comes from the little boy who wanted off before, and now realizes that he is stuck until the ride is over.

Once you agree to something, you can do nothing except see it through. I shiver a bit, as the cold fear pours through me, too. I tell you this.

You say that agreeing not to do something is as much a decision as agreeing to do something. You have to go on living, you say. And you might as well have fun doing it. You hold me close and whisper more about the spaceship and the trunk. We will see every star on this side of the Milky Way first. Then hop through a black hole and never come back again.

It will be crowded in the black hole, I say. Then we will both have to sleep in the trunk, you decide.

I think about the time my father pretended to put me in the trunk of his car and drive off. What would you do, if someone did this to you? He asked me. Scream, I said. Not good enough, he said. And taught me karate each night for five years until I won a black belt tournament.

I tense into a stance now, and relax. This is not what my father was warning me against, not the terrors he prepared me for.

This is nothing to worry about. I tell myself.

And I believe me implicitly.

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