I thought maybe I had finally found him, the man
of my dreams.
It was fall, and the sky was the most beautiful
blue you have ever seen. The air was crisp
as we walked together through the amusement park
that afternoon. The maple leaves on the
surrounding trees were bright and beautiful,
going out with colors of glory as they fell
around our feet. He was…everything.
He had become my world. I smiled
contentedly as he held my hand; the whirl of
rides swirling around us, people laughing and
the smell of nachos and cotton candy made it a
perfect day. We had spent what seemed like
every waking moment together for the past year.
He felt like my other half and it was wonderful.
I had always been a slow mover…nervous in the
beginning to consider him. But now I was
ready. I was ready for him to choose me
and marry me.
I wondered if maybe it would happen soon, maybe
tonight. The sun went down, and it got
cold. We were riding the Ferris wheel, and
I was nestled up close to him. I noticed
though, he wasn’t holding me tightly at all.
“This has been a lot of fun today.” I
whispered, laying my head on his shoulder.
He half smiled. “Yeah, this was a good
idea.” His words trailed off in a drop,
and I looked up at him. “Are you okay?”
He looked at me. “Yeah, why?” He
adjusted himself in the seat, looking suddenly
The End of the Ride
“Well, you just seem like something came over
you just now.” He looked down over the
side of the ride and rubbed his hand across his
forehead. “Yeah, I’m fine.” He was
silent for just a second then spoke up again. “I
can’t see you anymore after tonight.”
My heart fell with a thump all the way down to
the ground below. I swallowed, immediately
stunned with confusion and disbelief.
“What? I don’t understand.” He
dropped his arm away from my shoulders and
backed against the wall of the seat, his eyes
cast downward at his feet. “I’ve just been
thinking for a while…about us. I don’t
think were right together. I think you
need someone that deserves you more.”
I interrupted with a teary choke in my voice.
“Please don’t give me that line; I don’t want to
hear it.” I instantly felt a million miles
away from him, though we were sitting side by
side. “Why are you saying this to me?
I thought we meant something to each other?”
I put my hand gently on his leg and looked
searchingly into his eyes, one of the tears
making its way down my shivering cheek as I
tried to hold whatever was left of his heart
from slipping through my hands. He looked
at me, guarded and undeterred by my heartbroken
expression. His gaze was hard and unmoved.
It Can't Be True
Desperation swept over me as I searched for some
kind of way to save what was breaking in front
of me. “I don’t understand.” “I’m
moving.” His words cut into mine like a
razor blade dramatically severing me away.
“I got a job in Cincinnati and it’s important.
I can’t not take this job.”
I looked around searching for answers. My
words spilled out in anguished emotion.
“You’re moving to Ohio?” He grunted.
“Yes, I just said that.” “But
that’s…that’s half the continent away.” He
looked exasperated and breathed out. “I
couldn’t just pass this up. See, you never
understood things like this. I mentioned
this opportunity to you half a dozen times;
weren’t you listening? This is
I shook my head. “But I thought I was
important to you?” I choked on my words
and longed for some kind of comfort but there
was none to be found. I didn’t say
anything and the silence hung like a deadening
plague, slowly wiping out everything I thought
we were to each other.
“When are you leaving?” I whispered,
barely able to talk by this point. He
straightened up as we noticed the ride was near
its end. “I’m leaving Wednesday. I’m
packing up what I can tomorrow and taking the
morning flight out.” I was silent.
He Seems Like a Stranger
The ride came to a halt and we climbed out.
I felt as though my legs would break beneath me.
One ride seemed to have changed my whole world
and sent me crashing out of control.
My body shook, but it wasn’t from the cold.
We walked slowly through the fair grounds to
make our way to the parking lot. The
smell of funnel cakes turned my stomach.
All I could smell were cigarettes and all I
heard were the screams of terror around me.
“Why did you bring me here tonight? Why
did you wait until now? Don’t you know what
kind of torture this is…” My words trailed
off into a choke.
He kicked a small bag of half-eaten popcorn out
of his path and put his hands in his pockets.
“I didn’t know how to tell you. I didn’t
want to hurt you. This is what’s important
to me right now and I have to do this.
I’ve got to get established out there. I
mean, I’ve got this school debt and all these
pressures on me…”
He continued to talk and explain himself but his
words trailed out of my ears. I heard all
I needed to know. He didn’t want me.
I wasn’t worth fighting for; I wasn’t worth
trying to work things out. My throat was
tight as I choked on my tears. We came to
a puddle and he instinctively held my arm to
help me over it.