He’s perfectly silent. He cups his hands over his nose and mouth. I hold the metal wheel in place with both hands, but it keeps pulling into a clockwise rotation. It’s like the ride wants to spin. And it spins and it spins.
“Sorry,” he says, when it finally stops, and his voice is stretched thin, and his eyes are still closed.
“It’s okay,” I say. “Are you okay?”
He nods and exhales and says, “Yeah. I will be.”
We step off the ride and make it to the curb, and he leans all the way forward, tucking his head between his knees. I settle in beside him, feeling awkward and jittery and almost drunk.
“I just got your email,” he says. “I was sure I was going to miss you.”
“I can’t believe it’s you,” I say.
“It’s me,” he says. His eyes slide open. “You really didn’t know?”
“Not a clue,” I say. I study his profile. He has these lips that meet just barely, like the slightest touch would coax them open. His ears are slightly big and there are two freckles on his cheekbone. And his eyelashes are more dramatic than I’ve ever noticed.
He turns toward me, and I look away quickly.
“I thought I was so obvious,” he says.
I shake my head.
He stares straight ahead. “I think I wanted you to know.” “Then why didn’t you just tell me?”
“Because,” he says, and his voice sort of shakes. And I’m aching to touch him. Quite honestly, I’ve never wanted anything so badly in my life. “Because, if you had been looking for it to be me, I think you would have guessed it yourself.”
I don’t quite know how to respond to that. I don’t know if it’s true or not.