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Walking through the crowded street, hand in hand, I wonder to myself how I could be at a downtown fair with the most amazing guy. Just me, him, and our two friends wanting to ride everything the fair has to offer. Everyone tells me long distance relationships don't work, especially when you're only 15 and can't drive, but I don't care. I know what Daren and I have is special, and different than any other guy I've dated. I'm not in love, just twitter-pated.
Lindsey, my best friend, and Josh, one of Darren's friends, walk behind Daren and I as we stroll through the street looking for the Cyclone. As we walk, Darren steals the smallest looks at me thinking I don't notice, but I do. I watch him from the corner of my eye as he does it for the fourth time.
“What?” I ask him, “Is there something on my face?”
Darren smiles and shakes his head no. He starts to laugh as I give him a pouty look. I wonder to myself what's so funny. I change my expression from pouty to serious, and he calms his laughing.
“I just love watching you. You're amazing and you make me smile, no matter what you do,” Darren says.
I feel myself blush all over, I can't help it. I just smile back and wish to myself that I never asked what. I feel so awkward, like I made a stupid mistake that I regret. I want to rewind time and just look back at him, and smile at him because I love watching him, too. I do, he amazes me, just like I amaze him.
“Now where is the Cyclone? We've been looking for it forever,” Darren quickly changes the subject from the awkward moment.
“I think it's passed the old time photos,” Lindsey says between laughing, the laughing caused by Josh tickling her.
“Yeah, that tall guy behind us just said that's where it is. Let's go, these wrist bands are only good 'til six and it's five o'clock right now,” I say.
Darren starts to pull my hands in the opposite direction, towards the Cyclone, the biggest ride here before I can add, let's get some cotton candy.
Josh and Lindsey stumble behind us, taking their sweet time on getting to the only ride we haven't ridden yet.
We finally get to the Cyclone and I get that feeling, the you're-gonna-die-on this-ride-because-it-looks-so-scary-and-everybody's-screaming feeling. Darren squeezes my hand, like he knows I'm scared, but doesn't say anything as we watch the ride spin around in fast circles up into the air.
Darren, Lindsey, Josh, and I sit in four empty seats while three girls, younger than us, an older couple, and a little boy all by himself occupy the rest of the seats. My heart starts beating fast as we buckle in. I watch the guy in charge of the ride press some buttons when I feel the ride start spinning slowly. I'm seated between Darren and Lindsey, Darren is looking forward acting all brave while Lindsey is in total panic mode, squeezing Josh's arm as tight as possible through her buckle. She hates rides but yet, she toughened up to ride the biggest one here.
Darren tries talking to me. He thinks it's funny that Lindsey and I are freaking out. I reply his silly, non sensible conversations as I try to breathe at the same time. The Cyclone starts speeding up and soon enough, we're spinning in quick circles around and around, making me dizzy. Lindsey is screaming from the top of her lungs while I'm just trying to catch my breath. The spinning goes on but then I feel the the ride tilt, it lifts us up into the air, swinging from left to right, like a pendulum. It gets higher with each swing. We approach mid air and I feel my stomach drop as we swing back down. I glance over at Darren, laughing his head off and shouting little “WOO!'s” here and there. Lindsey still screams and like Darren, Josh laughs as we swing. Back and forth, we fly into the air. I too, laugh, like Josh and Darren because of how fun the ride is. I look over at Lindsey and she catches on and joins the laughing party.
The ride slows down and we approach the ground in just seconds. My head is still spinning from dizziness but I feel accomplished, that I rode the best ride here, and for the simple fact that I rode it with Darren. We get off the crazy ride and I can tell that my hair is in every which direction. I know this because Darren gives me a funny look and tries to smoothen my hair.
"I know, I know. My hair is a disaster," I hear Lindsey say to Josh as we slowly walk away from the ride.
I don't even bother to complain about my hair. I know that it's a wreck but I don't care. I quickly pull it up out of my face to hide the mess.
"Where to now?" Josh asks Lindsey, Darren, and I.
I think to myself, that cotton candy sounds so good right now. Why couldn't we just get some before we got on the ride? I'm craving it. The feeling of blue and pink melting in your mouth. Pure sugar, that costs three fifty a bag. I don't understand how..
"Let's get some cotton candy," Darren cuts off my deep thinking.
Did he just say lets get some cotton candy? Can he read my mind? Am I crazy? Darren looks over and smiles at me, putting my stomach in an absolute twist. It's like a secret game that we play, messing with each other's heads.
"Thanks Darren, I have been wanting some cotton candy all night, let's go," I say.
"Yeah, let's go. I want some cotton candy too," Lindsey says as she pulls Josh ahead of Darren and I, on the search for the cotton candy booth.
We follow behind, locking our fingers through each other's hand, and talking about school, our families, and all the silly things you would use to stay in a conversation with somebody. We approach the cotton candy booth. Darren and I shove past our friends, cutting them in line, and Darren buys us cotton candy, to share.
“Why did you buy me some? I have money too ya know,” I say to Darren.
“I didn't buy it for you, I bought it for us, and it wouldn't be right if you bought it. I was being a gentleman,” Darren replies.
“Well, why would you want to share with me? I will probably take it all,” I say to Darren.
"I won't let you," he smiles and then changes the subject. "What time is it, anybody know?" I pull out my phone out of my back pocket and flip it open to glance at the time.
"It's seven o'clock," I hadn't realized we'd been walking around all this time, eating cotton candy and talking about the random things we were talking about before. "We can't use our wristbands anymore so now what?"
"I have an idea. My mom isn't picking us up until eight thirty, we could go down to the river and hang out at the park." Lindsey says.
"Okay, that sounds fun. Is that okay?" I ask Josh and Darren. They respond with a nod.
"Yeah, Darren's parents aren't picking us up until nine so we have time." Josh says.
"Let's go now then if we're going to because time's ticking," I tell Darren, Lindsey, and Josh.
After Lindsey and Josh call their parents, the four of us split into twos to walk down to the riverside park. Carrying a giant stuffed bear in one arm, won by Darren's strength in a silly carnival game, I put the other around Darren's waist as we walk across the street to the park.
Darren catches on and wraps his arm around my waist, too. We share secretive looks at one another until we get to the swings in the sand, next to the walkway along the river. I set my prize bear on the sidewalk and stand in front of Darren, with my back to him. The sun slowly starts to go down while a cool autumn breeze lifts the hair on my arms, giving me chills.
Darren seems to notice and wraps both arms around me from behind. He says nothing, but puts his chin lightly on my head. I break his embrace seconds later and go to sit on a swing. He follows behind sitting in the one next to me. Lindsey and Josh are sitting on a park bench, talking, keeping their distance from us.
“So, did you have fun today?” Darren asked me as I kicked my feet up to swing into the air.
“Yeah, I really did. The Cyclone was pretty awesome,” I replied.
“Oh yeah, it was fun. Your hair got the best of the ride when we got off. It was everywhere, kind of cute,” Darren said and then smiled.
I slowed my swing to where it came to an abrupt stop. I was just inches away from Darren. He smiled again as I looked into his light green eyes.
'Oh, thanks. I guess that's what happens when..” I started but didn't finish because Darren cut me off, but not with words.
Darren leaned in. My heart started to quicken its pace. I felt a rush of excitement run through my head, like the dizziness from the ride earlier today. Then it happened, his kiss was gentle and his lips were soft. I closed my eyes for what seemed like forever, but in just seconds, it was all over. I knew I was pink from blushing and obviously, butterflies flew through my stomach, but the nervousness that swept over me passed as Darren gave me his silly smile again. I love it when he smiles, takes my breath away, but not as much as when he kissed me did. That was a complete surprise, he knows I like surprises.
Our first kiss, and our fifth time seeing each other. It seemed right, neither of us knew what was going to happen in the future, and we didn't care. All that mattered was now and all I knew, was that the fair had changed so many things for Darren and I.