by CARRIE MILLS
Rollercoaster by Scott Cresswell | Flickr
The rollercoaster makes its ascent while I enjoy the view, waving down at Jan past Alan’s stupid bald head.
“Look at the view.” I try to lean to the side for a better perspective on how high up we are, but Alan insisted on being on the outside seat, just like when we’re on planes. He always pulls the shutter down, turning on the light to read, in case there’s a glare from a bit of sunshine.
“I don’t feel like making myself feel sick, thank you very much.”
It feels like we’re slowing.
Alan's knuckles are white from squeezing the life out of the bars. “Can we go for a coffee after this? I wore the wrong coat and I’m freezing.”
“No chance. It’s my fiftieth and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to enjoy every minute. We've still got to make the Big Splash. Why are you squirming so much, what’s the matter with you?”
“Damn thing is crushing my penis Alice, that’s what.”
“How can it be? We’re going up, not down.”
“Which is what worries me. This is going to get worse. I’ll be glad when you’ve finished your bloody menopause.”
I hope the ride does crush his balls.
“Jesus Alan, stop writing us off when we're in our prime; we need to make the most of everything that we can still do. You’re ten years from being able to retire, by which time we’ll be too old to do any of this stuff.”
“Speak for yourself. I’m looking forward to our little place in the countryside.”
“I’m not moving to some cosy cottage, Alan. I want to be where life is. Remember when we were young?”
“I remember being skint.”
I remember a bring-a-bottle party, Alan turning up with a jar of hotdogs because he was scared of getting drunk and being sick. Maybe this is my fault; the signs were there.
“Did Jan have to come?”
“She’s my best friend. Who else should I invite?”
“She doesn’t need to come back with us though. Let’s drop her at a station and maybe we could go to Pizza Express, to celebrate. I’ve got a half price code. What do you think?”
“Do you care what I think?”
“Don’t be like that. It would be nice, just the two of us. Go home and catch up on that series you like. What’s it called? With all those women in it.”
Nearly at the top and levelling out. Fuck it.
“Alan, I’m leaving you.”
90-degree bend and the tracks disappear.
He looks ill.
“I need to fly Alan.”
He turns to look at me and something switches on. Is it possible he has only just noticed my existence?
“We don’t fit any more.”
Tilting over we look straight down as the bottom drops out.
I can hear Alan screaming as we hurtle towards the ground. I brave taking my hands off and hold them high above my head.
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Carrie was born in Wales and is now living in London with her violinist husband and two children. Coming out of the fog of early parenthood she found her love of reading had bred a passion for writing. Her day-to-day life revolves around books, music and food. Recently published in Horrified Magazine and Terse Journal, Carrie writes poems and short stories alongside her novel in progress. She can be found on Instagram @carriemillswrites.