“I’m going to take you on my favourite ride now,” said Shannon as we left Zoe and Jonah at the water park. “You know Zoe loves big-thrill rides like Top Gun, but she refuses to go on this one again. Think you can handle it?” She squeezed my hand.
“Of course,” I told her, squeezing back. “The scariest ride back at home was the dive-bomber. I went on it nine times in a row when I was twelve. I couldn’t afford a tenth time.”
Delirium is a giant pendulum that swings up beyond the horizontal as the passengers are simultaneously spun around on the end, legs dangling. Disembarking passengers looked genuinely shaken.
We reached the front of the queue and dashed for seats next to each other. Bars locked down over our shoulders. “No going back now,” she said. “Sure you can take it?”
“I’m more worried about whether you’re going to be able to take this,” I replied. I reached for her hand as we swung higher and other passengers started screaming uncontrollably. The fluctuation in g-force was literally breathtaking — taking us from weightlessness to face-sagging g-force and back with increasing rapidity. “This is what it’s like getting emails from you,” I said. She struggled to turn her head to look at me. “I have no idea what to expect. It could be loving, or you could be tearing a strip off me. It can be really unpleasant.”
She can’t free her hand from my grip. “You bastard — I can’t hit you because my other arm’s locked down.”
“See what I mean?” I replied. “Mood swings more violent than this ride.” We both howled with laughter as the ride hurled us upside down. “And that was last Tuesday morning,” I yelled.
We staggered off the ride, hand-in-hand. “You really meant what you said, didn’t you?” she said, wiping away tears of laughter.
“Yeah. But I wouldn’t have it any other way — you know that.”