"Maybe next time," he says, "I promise."
Disconcerted, I hand the phone to my mother; she yells at him, calls me "his responsibilty," and demands to know "why?"
He picks me up at seven on Friday.
The fair ground is alive and fluorscent; he holds my hand; he too, expresses adversion to the ferris wheel; he tells me he misses me, puts his arm around me, but my attention is diverted.
Teddy bears hang from a booth; a man yells "just a buck, try your luck, and see if you can knock 'em down," but my dad never stops; he pulls me forward, our eyes meet, and for the first time, I feel his shame.
"Maybe next time," he says while squeezing my hand, "I promise," and my heart breaks.