They waited in the queue at lunchtime, smiling all over their faces.
“Oh God, I can’t believe we’re actually going to do this,” Paul said.
It was Anne’s idea. When the wheel arrived in Piccadilly Gardens, it struck her as the ideal place. Right in front of their office, in plain sight of the co-workers who had somehow failed to notice the two of them falling in love that spring. Quickly, spectacularly, right in front of everyone.
But they were both good people; neither had the stomach for an affair. An outrageous flirt Paul was, but steady. A family man. She wouldn’t love him if he wasn’t. And she lived with Simon, who she also loved. Next week Paul’s department was moving to the Quays office. A kiss was their parting gift.
A kiss is a light thing, they were thinking. It can be slipped into a pocket and carried to the grave. A kiss on a fairground ride is even lighter. As they stepped into the capsule, it sidled beneath their weight and he took her arm. Then they were shut in and swung up above eye level.
They looked at each other. The wheel began to turn.
“Now,” she said softly. “Where were we?”
He smiled, and folded her in his arms and they were kissing, rising up over the office block and Primark. They were kissing over Urbis and Victoria Station. They were kissing over Central Library and Beetham Tower. Kissing and kissing.
The wheel turned. Inside all the kissing, Anne realised what she’d let herself in for. Soon, this kissing would end. It did not seem such a light thing, now.
Just past the top on their final rotation, the wheel jerked, stopped. They heard a voice on the tannoy. Technical difficulties. Please be patient.
They laughed, and carried on. They would be there for almost an hour, and by the end of it the weight of those kisses would bear them back to the ground.
Photo: Ellie via Flickr