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I do as he says, leaning against the barrier and watching him. He points at his feet.

“See. One then the other in like a V shape,” he says.

He shows me another couple of times and then he comes over to me. He stands beside me and takes my left hand in his left hand, pulling my arm across the front of his body. He puts his other arm around my waist and holds my other hand at my side. I have to admit that as far as being on ice feels, this feels safer than I imagined it would.

“Right leg first,” Tyler says. “On three. One… two… three.”

I move my right leg the way he showed me and then my left leg. It’s kind of awkward and shaky but I am doing it and I am still on my feet which is far more than I expected to be honest. By the time we’ve done a lap, I’m confident enough that my knuckles are no longer white from clinging to Tyler so hard and by the end of the second lap, I’m confident enough to try only holding hands between us.

After a few more laps, if I’m honest, I feel as though I could probably do it myself now but I like the feeling of Tyler’s hand in mine and so I keep quiet and keep holding his hand. He makes no effort to make me release him and I think he probably knows as well as I do that at this point, we are just holding hands because we want to.

“Where did you learn to ice skate?” I ask as we skate around the rink again.

“My mom used to take me and Angela to a rink not far from home when we were kids. I think I was skating practically before I could walk,” he says. “I haven’t done it in a long time now, but it’s not something you forget how to do.”

I smile imagining a tiny Tyler staggering around on the ice giggling.

“I bet you two were so cute then,” I say.

“You say that as if I’m not cute now,” Tyler laughs, and I join him.

“You know what I mean,” I say.

“I do,” he agrees. “I just want to be sure you don’t underestimate my current level of cuteness.”

“Never,” I laugh.

When the bell rings and the announcement comes to say that the hour is up for everyone wearing a yellow band, I’m shocked. It doesn’t feel like we’ve been skating for an hour. After my initial fear dissipated, I have done nothing but smile the whole time we’ve been on the ice. I’ve smiled and laughed so much my cheeks ache. My legs ache a bit too and I think I’m going to be awfully stiff in the morning.

Tyler leads me off the ice and we sit down again and take our skates off. He picks them up and takes my yellow wrist band then goes to join the line at the counter leaving me sitting watching the people still skating around. Even though the line is fairly long, it goes down quickly, and Tyler is soon back by my side with both of our shoes. He sits down and hands me mine and we both put them on.

“Where do you want to get lunch?” he asks me when we have our shoes back on.

“I don’t know,” I say. “I don’t want anything massively heavy though.”

Tyler nods to the food stand and the tables at one end of the ice rink.

“Do you want to just go there? They make a surprisingly nice burger,” he says.

“Yeah sure, why not?” I ask.

We walk over to the area and Tyler asks me what I want.

“I want you to sit down. This is my treat,” I say. He opens his mouth, but I laugh and shake my head. “I wasn’t asking you; I was telling you. Now either tell me what you want, or I will just get you something.”

“A cheeseburger and an orange soda please,” Tyler says finally.

I go up to the counter and order the food – Tyler’s cheeseburger and orange soda and my cheeseburger and banana milkshake. The woman shouts my order back to the workers in the kitchen area. She pulls a tray up and puts it on the counter. She goes off and gets the drinks and straws by which point, someone else has my food ready. They all end up on the tray at roughly the same time and I pay the server and then go to sit with Tyler.

I put his cheeseburger on the table in front of him and put mine in front of me and then I do the same with the drinks then I put the tray on the ground under the table for now so it’s out of the way. I unwrap my cheeseburger and take a bite and I have to admit that Tyler was right. The cheeseburger is surprisingly good. I was expecting a fast-food type of burger, but it doesn’t seem like it is. It seems like a decent quality of meat and if it’s seen the inside of a microwave, I’d be shocked.

“It’s nice, isn’t it?” Tyler says and I nod my head.

“Yeah,” I say. “I was just thinking that. I’m surprised at the quality of it.”

We eat and Tyler tells me a story about him and Angela ice skating when they were little and how he came to break his wrist. Angela wanted to join the end of a line, they were all holding hands and skating in a big circle. She grabbed Tyler’s hand and took him with her. He said it was fun at first – being at the end of the line made it really fast. But then he started to feel a bit sick, so he decided to let go of Angela’s hand. Instead of coming to a stop like he had thought he would, he went flying, hitting the barrier and going straight over the top of it and landing awkwardly on the other side.

“Ouch,” I say when he is finished. “I’m surprised you dared go back on the ice after that.”