Week 23: Scarlet & Dakota
(stuck on a Ferris wheel)
“Do you feel better now that you’ve won me a prize?” Scarlet asked.
“Yes,” Dakota said with a laugh. “I have to win my girl a prize.”
“For the butch points?”
“Yes. And she likes stuffed animals. Now, she has a bear that I won for her after only six attempts at knocking over those damn milk bottles. Are those things glued to the barrel or something?”
Scarlet smiled over at her girlfriend of two years and said, “I don’t think so, but there’s a science to it. I read about it once.”
“Yes. Like, the way they’re stacked and how many tries you get. You have to hit it a certain way to get them all down.”
“You knew that, and you let me try six times?”
“Yes,” Scarlet said. “It was cute, watching you try. You kept handing the guy your tickets, determined to win something for me. Who was I to take that away from you?”
“Oh, you’re paying for this,” Dakota told her with a laugh. “Ferris wheel.”
“What? No. Really?”
“Why not? We can get a nice view of the water from up there, and I can have my arm wrapped around you,” Dakota suggested.
“Fine. But after that, can we go home?”
“You’re not having a good time?” Dakota asked, looking concerned now.
“No, I am. I just think I’m ready to have the rest of the night in with you.”
“Night in?” Dakota asked with a hopeful eyebrow.
“Maybe,” Scarlet said.
“We can skip the Ferris wheel,” she requested.
“What? No, you’re getting on the Ferris wheel. It was your idea.” Scarlet pulled Dakota by the hand until they were standing in the short line.
Dakota held on to Scarlet from behind, and no matter how long they’d been together, every time Dakota held her, it still felt like the first time to Scarlet, and she loved that about their relationship. She knew she’d have forever with this woman and that every time Dakota kissed her on the neck, it would still feel new. Scarlet handed the man their tickets, and they took one of the cars, with Scarlet holding her white stuffed bear with a red bow around his neck in her lap as the bar was closed over them. Dakota’s arm went over her shoulders, and Scarlet leaned into it how she always did.
Slowly, the cars were loaded until Scarlet and Dakota were at the very top and Scarlet could see the water. She pointed to the spot where they’d gone to the fireworks a few years ago and Aria had reconnected with London, who was now her wife, and where Ellie had met Carmen for the first time, too. Dakota hadn’t been in their group yet, but not all that long after that, she’d walked up to Scarlet’s desk, and Scarlet’s life changed forever.
“What’s going on?” Dakota asked after they’d been stuck up at the top for a minute.
“I don’t know. Why?”
“We’re not moving. They only loaded, like, half the cars,” she said and leaned over the side.
“Dakota!” Scarlet pulled her back in.
“I’m okay, babe,” Dakota said and looked at Scarlet’s worried face.
“You can’t do that.”
“The bar is down. I’m okay.”
“We’re up really high, Dakota.”
“Ladies and gentlemen,” a voice came from somewhere surrounding them. “We appreciate your patience as we work to quickly adjust something down here. Then, we’ll get you on your way.”
“It’s broken,” Scarlet said. “We’re stuck?”
“There are worse places to be stuck,” Dakota replied and wrapped her arm back around Scarlet’s shoulders.
“What if they can’t get it to work?”
“They’ll get us down eventually. But, babe... It’s beautiful. I’m just enjoying the fact that I have the best view at this carnival.”
Scarlet turned because Dakota wasn’t looking out at the water and the park in front of it; she was looking at Scarlet. Scarlet promptly blushed.
“I love that I can still make you do that.” Dakota smiled.
“So do I,” she agreed.
Then, she rested back against her girlfriend and wrapped her arm around Dakota’s middle.