CHAPTER FOUR

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After a few more rides, Amanda looks sick to her stomach. "Last ride, Max. What's it gonna be?" Max excitedly points to the Polar Express ride, the one with the carts that goes around really fast. I turn to Amanda.

"I think I'll sit this one out," she says and Max starts to pull on my arm toward the ride.

"You sure?" I ask.

"Unless you want to drive me home, I'll just wait here for you guys here." Although that doesn't sound all to bad, I comply. I follow Max over to the ride and she jumps up and down, having too much energy after riding like 10 rides.

When it's our turn, she sits on the inside so that I don't crush her when the ride starts going at full speed. The workers come by and lock us in. I put my arm around Max. It starts slow, and I look at her in anticipation and she just can't stay still, her legs wiggling.

    When the ride speeds up, she starts giggling uncontrollably, sliding in the seat into me and I dramatically put my hands up acting like her weight was crushing me. She laughs at me, putting her hands up as well as she shouts. As we go around, I see her wave to Amanda who waves back and I smile. Somehow, I had envisioned this moment before but then she moved away and she took that vision along with her. It was hard to believe that I was seeing the vision play out in front of me.

    The ride slows to a stop and the bars are released from in front of us. I pull it up, getting and out. Max stumbles a bit and I grab onto her, stabilizing her. She holds my hand the whole way out. "That was so much fun," she says to Amanda when we reach her. "You should've gone on it with us."

    "Next time," she answers and I cant help but catch the promise in her voice.

———

    When we reach the pharmacy store, Max hops out, excited to have the candy I had promised her. I was starting to regret that promise as to how she was already so hyper. But I couldn't take it back now. Max grabs my hand out of habit and the three of us head inside. Amanda leads us to the isle we need to go to, considering she knows her way around better than we would. I grab a bottle of peroxide and some band-aids, throwing them in the basket. Then she leads us to the candy isle, undoubtably Max's favorite part of this trip.

    "Pick two. One for now and you can have the other tomorrow," I prompt and she nods in response. She reaches for a 4-pack of Reeses and a Snickers. I smirk. "That's my girl. Grab a Reeses for me, too." She nods and tosses the items in the basket. "You want anything?" I ask Amanda who's standing behind me, just watching. She shakes her head and I give her a you're kidding look. Then I turn to Max. "Grab Amanda a Butterfingers."

    She looks surprised at me but recovers quickly. I can only assume that that means that Butterfingers is still her favorite candy.

    After getting everything, we go to the register and quickly pay for everything. At the car, I prompt Max to sit in the curb so I can take care of her cuts quickly. I let her eat her Reeses while I do it since I wont let her eat chocolate in the car anymore. Not since she rubbed her chocolate fingers all over my seat back at home. "Do you have any napkins in your car?" I ask Amanda.

    "Oh, yeah." She reaches into her glovebox, pulling out a couple. I place the first napkin underneath Max's knee. I then pour a bit of the peroxide onto the cut and it immediately bubbles. Max winces a bit. After letting it sit for a second, I dab it with a napkin, drying it up a bit. Then I take out one of the large band-aids and put it on. Then, I do the same with her elbow.

    "There we go. As good as new. Can you move them?" I tease and Max rolls her eyes at me.

    "Of course I can move them, you dork. Let's just go back to the hotel, I'm tired." I chuckle as she climbs back into the backseat, buckling up. I pick up my things and walk around, getting in the passenger seat. I hand Amanda her Butterfingers.

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