The carnival was closing for the night. Vendors were packing up and counting their rolls of cash.
You are nowhere to be found.
The sun is sinking, nesting in the branches.
I call. It goes straight to voicemail.
Vendors and teenage girls decked out in short-shorts roll their eyes at me screaming your name.
She’s with me.
“It’s okay,” she says, wrapping her arm around my waist. “He’s probably at the car.”
I already checked. The whole parking lot was clear except for a couple cars, including mine, and some carny trucks.
I give her my keys. Tell her to pull the car up to the carnival’s entrance and wait.
She slips the key on her thumb like it’s a ring and smirks.
She pivots around and walks towards the parking lot. I want to throw one of the vendor’s cigarettes at her and let it burn her heels.
I want to scream, “Fucking move! I need to find him!”
But I let her walk; swing her hips as if she’s waiting for me to dance with her. She grabs a chunk of her hair and runs her fingers through. The keys jingle as they spin around her thumb.
The sun has left its nest.
I call again. Nothing.
I run past the packed up concessions, veer between the teens and yell your name. I keep running until I reach an open field and I keep yelling until my voice echoes.
I turn around to find her and hear my keys jingle. They probably haven’t left her thumb. She grabs my hands and we spin.
I let go of her hands and she turns away but then boomerangs back.
“Why are you still here? I asked you to get the car!”
“The walk back is so creepy,” she says taking my hand again. Our arms swing side to side like jump rope. “Besides, I can help you look for him.”
I imagine him finding us like this: stranded in the middle of a field, holding hands beneath stars that frost the sky like sugar.
I let go.
“Come on,” she hooks her thumb around mine. The ring digs into my skin. “Let’s go back to the car.”
I pull away and her fingers fold around my wrist. “I am waiting for him,” I say.
She laughs and tightens her grip. “You really think he’d wait for you?”