We shouldn't have been on this ride.

I knew it as we were in line, and I just as surely knew it while we were being strapped in.

It was a frenzied, whirling dervish of a ride, with multiple two-seat pods that twirled round and round; flashing multi-colored lights added to the confusion.

My 15-year-old cousin who isn’t really 15 was with me, but we weren’t in the same pod. We sat by strangers, and I could see the fury, frustration and fear in his eyes as they caught mine.

I should have known better. I did know better.

My cousin has autism. Despite his lanky frame and peach fuzz, his heart and mind resembled those of a person almost half his age. And he despised these sort of demented rides.

But I forced him anyway, cajoling him the entire time we waited in line. I figured we’d be fine, that perhaps he’d enjoy himself and thank me after the two minutes were over.

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