Carnival

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I love you. Why are those words so much easier to think, than to say out loud. It had only been two days since I realized that I loved him. I’d only seen him once between then and now, but we had a date tonight; he was taking me to the carnival. He knew how much I loved carnivals, the smells, the sounds, the rides. I had changed my outfit twenty times before finally settling on dark blue jeans, a lacy off- white tank top, and my favorite sweater. I stood in front of my mirror scrutinizing myself. I thought the words in my head. I love you. I love you. But I couldn’t say it out loud, not even to my reflection in the mirror.

I sighed. How was I ever going to say it to him, if I couldn’t even say it to an empty room? The doorbell rang, and I took a deep breath before jumping off my bed and flying down the stairs to get the door. I don’t bother to look through the peep hole, because I know it’s Mike. I turn the knob and pull the door open. He’s standing there in his faded jeans and plaid button up over a t-shirt, and he’s holding the biggest bouquet of sunflowers, my absolute favorite. I thank him and invite him in while I put the flowers in a vase.

After that, we hop into his car, and head for the carnival. When we arrive it’s still light, but the sun is painting the horizon pink and orange. It’s beautiful, and romantic and I can’t help but think how this would be the perfect time to tell him. I open my mouth, pause for a moment, before closing it again. Mike reaches out for my hand and I readily slide my fingers in between his. We talk. About everything, school, home, family, friends. Sometimes I forget how easy being with him is, how he never makes me wait, how makes me feel special, how he always know what to say and do.

Mike notices my attention wandering elsewhere and he asks me what’s up. I tell him, but not really. I say that I am just thinking, but not what about, even though I wish I could. The sun has set now, and the sky is dark, but the carnival games and flashy rides light up everything. Standing next to him in the warm glow feels magical, and almost unreal. After trying my luck at a few of the games, and losing all but one of them, Mike steps up and wins me a stuffed dog that I adore. He gently pulls me by my wrist out of the crowd and to a secluded corner with twinkle lights and candles. He asks me to dance, even though there is no music. I giggle and agree.

We sway back and forth gently; my arms are around his neck, my head resting on his shoulder, just breathing his smell. Mikes arms are wrapped around my waist, his hands on the small of my back. This moment is perfect and I wished for it to go on forever. After an un-measurable amount of time he pulls away slightly and looks seriously into my eyes. He takes one of his hands away from my back to push a few strands of hair out of my face. Mike rests his hand on the side of my face, and I lean into it, letting my eyes close. He kisses my forehead then my eye lids and my nose before he gets to my lips. His lips rest against mine lightly once, twice, three times, four times. He is gentle and the kiss is sweet our lips melting together. A soft sigh escapes my throat, and he pulls back, but only slightly. Our foreheads rest together, our eyes still closed.

In this moment I know that he feels what I’m not saying. I know that both of us have been thinking the same thing all night, and not been able to say it. I opened my eyes to see Mike looking at me, a gleaming smile in his eyes. I smile in return, and take a deep breath. This is it. I am going to tell him. I know there will never be a more perfect moment than this. I open my mouth, the words dancing on my tongue and begin to speak and at the same moment as Mike.

“I love you,” we say in perfect unison





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