Chapter 5: Fun and Games

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Chapter shoutout to: lillyqueeen,  humanly-, crucianellas, chaitialatte  - for filling The Exchange with positive feedback and for being incredibly kind human beings! :)

Whole ton of people who have been super supportive these last few days - also gon' spread it out in shouts over the next few chapters so keep an eye out ;) I really hope you guys enjoy this chapter - been working really hard on the writing style and on building Matt and Hailey's relationship so let me know what you think :))

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"It's going to be fun and it's going to be a surprise," Matt insists, as I look out the car window anxiously.

"I don't know," I murmur, "I'm usually the person who peeks under the blindfold and spoils the surprise."

Outside, a world of red brick buildings and tall trees pass by in a blur of colours. Though a few occasional billboards and small bright boutiques catch my eye, I find myself slowly drifting to sleep.

 But as soon as we pull into the parking lot, it hits me and my eyes flutter open in anticipation. The smell of funnel cake and buttered popcorn, the whoosh of roller coasters on metal tracks, the flash of neon signs advertising prizes to be won - among others, I zero in on a fluffy white and pink unicorn perched on the shelf.

"No way," I exclaim, my jaw dropping in delight as I point in the direction of the stand. "We're not leaving until I can win the giant unicorn."

"We can take a shot at it," Matt chuckles, before gently guiding me towards a ticket booth at the entrance. "But first, let's get in."

"Wait," I hesitate as we get our passes and the back side of our hand stamped with a red inked Snoopy. "I'm a little nervous about roller coasters though."

"There's a bunch of other rides we can go on," Matt reassures me. "Although we have to go on at least one roller coaster just so we can get a funny photo of you screaming."

He points to a massive arc of roller coaster track backlit by the sky and I tilt my head upwards, in awe at the size.

"And you won't be screaming?" I turn to him and raise an eyebrow. "Really, on that thing?"

"Nope, I'll probably be looking bored, you know me," he jokes, grinning. "I mean, I can bet you'll probably be gripping on to the handrests though - but with the whole "all hands inside the ride" thing, I'll volunteer as tribute." 

Matt extends out an arm and I swat it away.

"No way," I protest. "I guess I can add "macho" and "adrenaline junkie" now to the list of things I know about you."

"Ah so you're counting?" Matt looks pleased with this and I feel my face redden. "Store it somewhere safe."

"Hey, this looks like fun," I pause in front of a spinning teacup ride, grateful for the distraction. "Shall we line up?"

"Yeah sure, after you," Matt agrees, as we weave around the wooden posts and take a place behind a family of four.

When we reach the front and slide into the seats of a blue-green teacup, Matt turns to look at the center wheel, a devilish glint in his eye.

"Oh my god, don't even-" I start to say, but the ride begins and he grips the wheel, turning it around and around until everything around us spins into a dizzy blur.

"I'm really enjoying this," Matt shouts over the noise.

"I don't know if I can say the same," I shout back, an uncharacteristic shriek escaping my lips as the ride turns and our shoulders collide.

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