Start at the beginning.

We couldn’t stand it. What the hell was she waiting on? Time was running out. The line was running short. We were next, but she remained behind, stranded on an island separated by a wide family. We stared at each other waiting for someone to volunteer a solution. The line moved. The metal dividers inched closer, cutting us off from her. As the entrance to the ride opened in front of us with the waving of the attendant’s hand the thought crossed our minds to wait behind for her, but we couldn’t. The open seats were disappearing, not one by one but in groups of two and three and four.

We rushed forward for the closest available set of seats. It wasn’t until the bar fell down that we looked around us, realizing there wasn’t an extra seat anywhere near. I craned my neck around the fire engine red enclosure, discretely covering one eye to peek out past our swinging car. I hoped I could see where she would sit without having to look her in the eyes but found them peering back at me from behind the metal railing outside the ride’s perimeter. I quickly looked away to quip with my neighbor instead, trying to forget her as she watched us.

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