The High Before The Drop

There I was, standing in line after a long day of drudging across shops filled with trinkets galore: bobble heads smelling of fake plastic, shakable globes with wooden, etched out designs you can run your fingers in between, scratchy t-shirts with some silly font splashed across the chest area.

She pushed to come here, kept telling me she loves theme parks and the thrilled drops from roller coasters. Her parents were too poor to take her and her brother as kids, so it was up to me now.. I suppose.

“Why can’t we go today? You have work off the whole week! You promised me we’d go someday and what better than now?” She spouts.

I avoid anything to do with crowds. But it’s those God awful death traps that I hate most. The ice cold metal, those soft, puffy pull down restraints that, let’s be honest, won’t do shit if some bolts decide to come loose and collapse the whole thing to hell.

What could I do though? I had to show her that I wasn’t afraid of nothing.

We’re halfway through the line and I overhear some bratty kids egging each other on about who will heave first on the ride. Man, I hate kids. Laura snaps me back out of it before I can tell them to shut up.

“Are you listening?”

“Huh?” I say, scrunching my face and whipping my head her way.

“I was saying how we should get some churros after the ride! Doesn’t that sound so good right now?”

Hell no, but I wasn’t going to tell her that. “Yeah, yeah. We can get some after.”

Ugh.. those kids just got on before us and it’ll be our turn soon. My stomach is turning itself inside out and the handrails don’t seem to keep me from swaying slightly from side to side.

“Which side do you want, Ant?”

“I’ll take the left,” I reply. I’d much rather bolt down the exit stairs and tell Laura to catch an Uber home.

The coaster comes up and to a stop for the next row of passengers. Laura steps on and then I follow shortly after, my hands shaking as a try to buckle my seat belt across my waist.

“I’m so nervous!” Laura looks at me, her smile so wide it’s creasing the makeup around her mouth. I just let out a huff in reply.

The coaster begins to move and the clicks from the gears seem deafening, almost as unbearable as a sharp piece of chalk against one of those old chalkboards.

Last thing I remember is the drop and Laura laughing as loud as she was screaming. I think I might’ve shed a few tears in the process, who knows. I fell into some kind of daydream the entire ride.

We get off, making our way down the stairs. The sweet, fried scent of churro wafts in the air. Laura tugs my hand, then looks at me.

“I think I’m gonna throw up.”

⌊ © Serena Delgado (June, 2018) ⌉

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