I am loading a page and then clicking on an element in that page. Currently I am using sleep to click on it but I don't feel that is robust enough (also, it disappears after a while).
@myvariable = on(page2).target_link_element.wait_until_present().link.text
You should upgrade to the latest version of Watir, currently v6.8.4. Since v6.5.0, there have been a number of bug fixes that have addressed the issue you are seeing.