In response to my own challenge. Using Chapter 5 Hair Salon of 'Photo Albums'
She had said it would be fun.
He should have known not to believe her, he thought as he tried to keep his lunch down and, at the same time, maintain his expression of unaffected indifference. Of course, what he was feeling inside was not exactly what he showed on the outside. His mind was screaming bloody murder, and he tried to suppress the urge to escape. Especially since he was technically upside down in midair, and escape from his current predicament meant death by falling. He did not think that being splattered onto the asphalt a thousand feet below was a very nice way to die.
He winced as the person next to him emitted a high-pitched scream; a scream that expressed enjoyment at the torture they were going through.
The scream changed to a gurgled laughter at the end. Mikagami tried to snort derisively but it was lost as the strong winds blew the sound behind them. Ah well, he thought, there was no point anyway. After all, she had won. He had lost. And as result, he was here, with her, feeling very very very sick.
How could she laugh though, he wondered. How could she like it…enjoy it even? But the most important question was… Why was he letting her do this to him?
That, he decided, was a question that would have to be answered later because at that particular moment, all his energy would have to be focused on not plastering her or the people behind them with his partially digested food.
He closed his eyes. Blood was rushing to his head; how long were they in this position anyway? Logically he knew it could not have been more that just a couple of seconds at the most, but it had felt like eternity. Finally, he felt his hair fall back to its normal position; they were upright again. However, he knew that this temporary reprieve would not last long. The next loop was fast approaching.
The cart took a sharp left turn, and despite the fact that he was gripping the metal bar in front of him as tightly as he humanly could, his body (due to inertia he thought at the back of his head) was flung towards her. His shoulder, arm and thigh was pressed tightly against hers as her hair whipped into his face, causing his vision to be partially purple. This, he thought, was possibly the only saving grace of the entire time they were on the killer contraption. He saw their hands clutching the steel rod in front of them. His knuckles were white, he noticed, and so were hers.
And then he did something really stupid. Stupid was not usually a word associated with him, but this time, it could not be denied, it was stupid. After all, would you not think that taking your hands, or even one of them, off the only thing that separated you from dying from flying off a cart that was moving at probably 100km/h was stupid? But that was exactly what he did, take off one of his hands that is.
And put it back down on her right hand. Maybe that wasn't too stupid after all.
She turned to smile at him.
He would have smiled back (at times like this, he decided, his self imposed ban on smiling could be lifted), but unfortunately for him, the loop that he had predicted, had, just as expected, come.
The strange scream-laugh was heard again from her. He smiled inside (the wind was causing his facial muscles to be somewhat paralysed, and also because that was what he always did). The answer to his question was finally presented in his brain.
The answer was simple.
He was smiling, properly now, on the outside, because he had the answer.
He let her do this to him because she was who she was. Because he liked to see her smile. Because he liked her scream. Because he liked her laugh. Because… she was his girlfriend. Because he loved her.
And in that second, when Mikagami Tokiya was upside down, traveling at an approximate speed of 100km/h with only a steel bar separating him from certain death, he finally found the answer he was searching for (albeit unconsciously), the answer that so many others were so futilely searching for.
The answer to the question: What is love?
Love is believing when you know better. Love is riding a roller coaster so you can hear her scream and laugh. Love is hanging upside down, and hating it, to see her smile. Love is risking falling out of a roller coaster cart so you can hold her hand.
The ride slowed to a stop. Over. Finally.
They walked down the metal ramp, she jumping exuberantly from the unspent excitement of the thrill ride, and him walking slightly off kilter and looking a bit green. Not that he would admit it though.
Funny, he thought, how you could have revelations and answers to the world's questions just by riding a roller coaster.
She suddenly turned to him and engulfed him in a tight embrace.
And then he ceased to think at all when her lips connected to his cheek.