Balloons and Candyfloss

A very short story about a girl who has been stood up by her date and things just keep going wrong. Until she meets Zac.

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1. Balloons and Candyfloss

Where is he?

I stand surrounded by squealing young children trying to drag their parents to the nearest candyfloss stand, and teenage couples holding each other hands tightly as they wonder aimlessly around the carnival, not bothering with the rides, and just enjoying each other's company. 

Where the hell is he?!

I've been standing in this exact spot for over an hour waiting for my date. I spent so many hours getting ready; straightening my disobedient fringe, picking out a cute outfit, and finding cute shoes to match, and he doesn't even bother to turn up! I can feel my heals slowly sinking into the muddy ground beneath me. What was I thinking when  I picked these shoes? 

My phone vibrates in my pocket and I quickly pull it out to see who's calling. But it wasn't a call, just a text. A text from my date. I rush to open file titled "Alex" and run my eyes over the words on the screen.

hi babe. found someone else to go with. cya

I delete the message feeling the anger and hurt building up inside my chest. Shoving my phone back into my pocket, I make a move to stomp back to the exit but one of my shoes gets stuck in the mud and before I know it, I'm falling. Gravity yanking me down mercilessly. I can hear the squeals of laughter from the children; but this time it isn't for candyfloss.

"Why is that girl taking a nap in the mud, Daddy?" A high-pitched girl voice says, followed by burst of laughter.

I'm lying face down in the mud, not wanting to move until every single one of these people have disappeared . This is so humiliating. 

Not long after, I push myself up and pick up my shoes deciding to go barefoot. My face is hidden from the crowd by my thick blonde fringe and I make my way towards the exit of the carnival. I'm no longer walking on grass and I can feel the small stones stabbing the soft skin of my feet and I quickly sit down on the pavement to brush them off. 

Grr. This has been the worst day ever. Getting stood up by my own date, falling face first into a load of mud, and now sitting by the side of a road looking like a complete idiot giving them self a foot massage. When I get home I'm going to have a bath and make myself a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and plenty of whipped cream; or have I used that up? Maybe I could --

"You okay?" 

My head snaps up and my gaze focuses on the person in front of me. A boy with multiple pink balloons and a look of boredom written over his face. He has dark brown hair and light brown eyes and he's actually quite good looking. Until his eyes roam my mud-covered face and I can see that he is trying not to laugh.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I snap, not really in the mood for a conversation so I  turn my attention back to wiping the mud off my shoes and slipping my feet back in.

The boy sits down next to me, not noticing that when he sat down the balloons slapped me round the face. "You had a rough day too?"

I sigh loudly before deciding that I shouldn't be so anti-social. "Yeah, got stood up by my date."

"Hmm, boy trouble." The boy nods and lifts his free hand up. "I'm Zac and I think you'll be happy to know that I've suffered an equally bad day trying to force pick balloons on children who would rather throw their candyfloss at me than take pink balloons."

I crack a smile and reach for his hand to shake briefly. "I'm Lila. You've got a bit of..." I reach out to brush out the remaining lumps of candyfloss from his hair. "There you go."

Zac smiles at me before sorting through the balloon strings and offering one to me. "Here you go, pretty girl." I take it and stare at him with a puzzled expression. "Close your eyes and imagine all your emotions are in this balloon, and slowly let it go."

I do as instructed, and as I free the balloon from my grip, I feel my anger and disappointment go with it. 

When I open my eyes to thank Zac, he's already walking away with the pink balloons floating above his head. "Zac!"

He looks over his shoulder and grins. "Yes?"

I run up to him prepared to wrap him in a bear hug but deciding that that would be slightly strange and he probably doesn't want a hug from a girl covered in mud. "Thank you for that."

"No need to mention it." He replies, walking away again.

"Wait!" 

He spins around with an exaggerated humph. "You can't keep away can you, Lila?"

I laugh nervously before asking. "Will I get to see you again?"

"Sure, I'll be here tomorrow," Zac waves the balloons around in front of him. "Doing my thing."

"Would you mind if I joined you? I have a free--"

"Yeah! I would love the company! It gets really lonely working on my own." He smiles widely showing straight white teeth. "Meet me here at 10?"

I nod in agreement before moving back to my abandoned shoes at the pavement.

Maybe today hasn't been a total disaster after all.

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