FRIDAY: Last Ride of the Night



Copyright is held by the author.

THE FERRIS wheel is your idea, our last ride of the night. You never knew when to leave or make a graceful exit. At slumber parties in high school, you were the last one awake, whispering in my ear until your voice infiltrated my dreams.

“One last ride,” you say, grabbing my hand and we are girls again, running away from the store manager when we stole the bag of Hershey’s Kisses from Kmart. You always made me a little wild.

We arc high into the deep blue moonless sky, clinging together for warmth against the ferocious wind off the lake, the breakers mere scribbles on the beach far below. Your skin is as familiar as my own, the smell of your neck, the grip of your hand. Your scarf unfurls like a banner, until I snatch it back and wrap it tightly around you. The city where we both live glitters on the horizon. The place where dirty dishes, mortgages, disappointments, morning commutes, late-night arguments, faltering hopes, and aching anxieties await us. The detritus of adult lives.

You whisper, do you remember, do you remember, and I remember it all. I remember you. We pause at the apex, swinging wildly, and you stand up, yelling the line from The Titanic, “I’m flying, Jack, I’m flying!” And we are captains of our own ship, released in space, with the stars to steer by. I jerk you down, before you can be seized by gravity and your own recklessness. But you awaken the thrilled teenager in me. I want what you want.

Your mouth touches mine, chilly lips tasting of cotton candy, sticky and sweet with youth and unclaimed possibility. A kiss of dreams. Afterwards, we won’t be able to remember who kissed who. Holding each other, we slough off the decades, growing warmer and younger until we radiate like the stars around us.

Then the wheel turns, and we descend toward the upturned faces of our husbands, their expressions tight with expectation.


Image of Bonnie Brewer-Kraus

Bonnie Brewer-Kraus is a former architect who lives with her husband and two aging rescue pups in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, in sight of Lake Erie. Her work can be found in River and South Review, Coffin Bell, The Sound of Us NPR, Gordon Square Review, and is upcoming in The Metaworker and Blue Lake Review.