Paul sat alone in the front seat of the roller coaster and waved to Laura as it began to move. Laura waved back, smiling for him.

He gripped the bar in front of him as the ride started up the hill, the clicking and clacking always an off-putting sound to his ear as it built the excitement of the coming fall.

Laura would love this, he thought. Her fear of heights really shouldn’t be such a downer to her, if only she’d just show a bit of back bone and try it once, she’d love the ups and downs and going through it all togeth-

Paul didn’t have time to finish his thought as the car arched over the top of the hill and began its downward course. It picked up speed, faster and faster. They reached the bottom of the hill. The car curved upward, lurching Paul’s stomach down. Up a shorter hill, then down again, faster this time. At the bottom, the track curved. It climbed. It fell, curving down under the last climb. Paul was thrown to the side as the cars turned.

Another climb, helped this time by the clicking and clacking, and he could see Laura sitting on the bench. She looked so sad, all alone, staring off into the distance. Or maybe she was watching a squirrel or something. Maybe when he was done, they could go on the Tilt-A-Whirl, or something else she liked. Or maybe I can get her on this –

The car started down again, the hill they had climbed even higher than the last. It shot down like an out-of-control skier, before climbing up and to the side, over another hill, then down down down and looping up, over, around. Paul hadn’t seen this part of the ride. He was dizzy and excited, gripping the bar harder as the car climbed again and fell, climbed and fell. Finally it leveled off at the station, and when the bar lifted, he stood.

Paul stepped off, looked at Laura just standing from the bench, and said, “Again!” She sat down as he jogged to the line.


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