Over Fifty Years Later

I knelt down to tie her slightly scuffed saddle shoes. The laces had come undone as she skipped jauntily through the Midway. Toronto was beautiful, and so was she. The sky was clear as we drew near; a smile adorned her mouth and her welkin-blue eyes gleamed. It was a marvellous setting for a first date. It was just the beginning…

There it stood. It was majestic and mighty and right in front of us: The Flyer. Patty Conklin’s newest roller coaster was the talk of the Exhibition. To say she was excited would be a criminal understatement. She almost pulled my arm off as she moved us into line. I don’t think she stopped bouncing the entire wait – good, I thought, then maybe she wouldn’t notice my feeble attempt to stay calm. (My tight white T-shirt and dungarees represented the ideal, but James Dean I was not.)

We boarded, and I was nervous as hell. She, on the other hand, wore her giddy well. She wore everything well. We were off. I don’t know how fast it went, but I felt as though I’d been rocket-launched. As we twisted and turned, her auburn hair pranced in the wind, her face radiant as the sun serenaded it. I felt lucky. I would say that my heart fell into my lungs at the first precipitous drop, but it had already fallen, for her…

Over fifty years later, I still remember that day. The Flyer. My nervousness. Her eyes. My wife.

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