“Let’s do it again!” they both chorused as we spilled out of the ride.
I hesitated, scanning myself for any emotion of fun. Did I enjoy it? Did I really want to do it again? Did I want to stand in line, sometimes with annoying people behind me? Did I really enjoy the thrill? Did I delight in the acceleration, the sudden drop, the jerk to the left and right? Did I want to go through the story again? But I knew if I said nothing, there would a chance that the little itty bitty knot would rise up and suddenly it would burst open. I had to control it right now. Right now, instead of letting guilt lead me through something. “No, I would rather do something else,” I said, letting guilt spill through my cracks. “I can wait if you want to go again.”
The black pool of guilt did rush through me, and it yanked me to and fro for the next twenty minutes. Perhaps I was imagining their disappointment causing me to apologize. And it kept itching and itching. But then we went to other places and…most importantly, food was suddenly available. My stomach untwisted and relished in the fattening love of corn dogs and lemonade. The meter of optimism shot up, and my lips curled in a smile.
“So what’s next?” I asked happily. “Let’s do it!”