My mom’s silver SUV rolls out of the Sherwood Farm’s driveway. We are not coming there to pick up “real fruits and veggies,” but my best friend Natasha. Sherwood.
As the car stays still on the entrance/exit of the farm’s driveway, the signal flashes green.
CLICK. CLICK. CLICK.
It points left until finally, my mom turns onto the busy road as it rests for a while, to let us go. The green illuminated arrow dulls. We were headed to the Fireman’s Carnival, which makes this quiet town a little festive for the few days the rides and tricked-up booths are here. Though, to me, it especially serves as a sad (,sad) reminder that glorious summer break is almost over.
School which will take place of relaxing days and fun nights. School, in which you have to sit behind a desk for 6 hours (more or less.) And school, where you get only 30 measly minutes to hang out with your friends. Yes, this place begins in less than a month. But that distant event will not waste the rest of my summer. It was the summer before eighth grade and I was going to make every second count…
“I’m gonna ride every ride this year!” I brag to Natasha, as we near the carnival grounds (aka the Fire Station’s property and the “Green.”)
In the rear mirror I could see an amused smirk filled with doubt, take up my mom’s face. We pull up to the grassy area leading to the fire house and I hop out with Natasha right on my tail. I slam the door, and my mom gives me the “are you trying to break my car?!” look. In response, I shout, “Thanks Mom!” as she pulls away, so does Natasha. Except she doesn’t say “mom.”
My mom reminds me of the basic safety rules… yada, yada, yada. And finally pulls aways. Completely. From there Natasha and I head to the ticket booth to purchase our wristbands, which give us access to unlimited rides.
“Wow, right when I thought they couldn’t get any higher they do! They do, just keep on going up. 24 dollars!?!… man.” I blabber.
Natasha nods her head in agreement, “I know!… ya’ know I used to get wristbands for free.” She goes on telling me about her uncle. We finally get to the front of the line and buy our bands and soon enough bump into some of our friends.
Anthony and Johanna approach us, seeing us before we see them.
I proudly tell them of my plans to ride everything!
Natasha scoffs. I sock her.
“Owww…,” she whimpers.
“Hey, we should go on the Ripcord now.” Anthony suggests.
“No way!!!” Natasha responds.
I back her up, but for different reasons. Natashas does not want to go on the Ripcord at all.
“I know I said I was gonna ride every ride this year, but there is no way I’m riding that thing in broad daylight!”
We compromise and decide to go on it later, but now head to the Favorite ride.
“Fine, let’s do Rockstar.” Anthony huffs. And so we did. Somewhere heading there, we bumped into Ryan and continued on our merry way. All of us.
During some point of the ride, we started screaming for the heck of it. Afterwards, we just did our thing going on a whirlwind of Easy Rides repetively. Sometime during when that was happening I realized I had a few unread messages.
where r u guys
They mostly read. I texted her our locations and she appeared.
From there we headed to what I like to call the Diary of a Wimpy Kid ride, due to the fact that it rewinded me of the Cranium Shaker. The ride I was the most scared to go on: Cages…
Ferris wheels which I hate with a passion, the rocking of the carts. The stops. The dreaded stops in which at some point you stop at the top…
I was more afraid of going on Cages–rather in the cages–than the feral ferris wheel.
We waited in the line to my doom. My stomach dropped lower and lower as we inched closer and closer to the Enter gate.
“Come on Senora!! Stop being sucha baby.” Natasha huffed, holding out her last syllable.
I know, I know… I thought.
Before I knew it, we were the next people about to be called to the gate. I was now yelling at Ryan to give my bag to Anthony (or vice versa,) because one of them kept on dragging it on the dirty dirt ground.
“And you better not take any pictures on my phone!” I warned, glaring at Anthony.
Natasha was first to go through the gate when the guys operating the ride signaled her we could come in.
I reluctantly walked up right behind her.
“Natasha, you are so lucky I am trusting you to go with me. Go slowly.” I muttered to her.
“Of course, Senora.” She retorted, as if she already knew.
Soon enough we were done being strapped in and the guy (one of the workers, duh) locked the cage, after double checking our belt.
After what seemed like eternity, the cage started vibrating, and was on its way to the top of the wheel, so the next cage could be loaded.
The cages squeaked to life, the rusty gears turned like there was no tomorrow.
Natasha and I arrived at the top, and came to a sudden halt.
She made an attempt to calm me. But I was hyperventilating a little on the inside. Okay, maybe on the outside too, and maybe: A LOT.
Zoe shouted from the so faraway ground, “Tabitha, Natasha, where are you guys??!!”
Natasha screamed back,’ This cage! On top.”
I opened my eyes, which were squeezed tighter together than pistachio nut shells, and managed to shout, “I AM FREAKIN’ OUT!!”
“You baby.” She “joked.”
“Well, I’m here. Aren’t ?!” I rebutled.
I kept my eyes opened and realized it was not that bad. Yet. We rotated back again. The machinery started squeaking (again.) Though we weren’t rotating, we were starting…
The ride had begun.
We started off slow, then the ride started picking up speed.
Natasha began talking, “Okay, I’m gonna spin it a little now.” She states matter of factly cautiously.
“No! Not yet.” I pleaded.
“Come on Tabitha, I know what I’m doing.”
I give in. “Okay, okay. A LITTLE!” I instruct her.
She gives the Spin Bar a little push. And that’s when we started going out of control.
“AHH!” I let out a yelp I could not help.
I help onto the other metal bar with my dear life, I tell you! We started rocking to
the back than to the front more and more.
“I CAN STEADY IT. I CAN STEADY IT.” She insists in a cry. Now, Natasha lives for the thrill of this particular ride , so I know she must have not been that sorry. Soon we came to a steady rock. Even though the crazy spinning lasted about 20 seconds, it felt like forever. And she wanted to go spinning again. Even more. Before I could respond her hands reached for the bar.
It seemed to move in slow motion. I watched in horror as the white rusted paint that was peeling from the bar grew closer to us. We started spinning every which way (at least it seemed like it,) and we showed no signs of stopping. Eventually the ride slowed down. Then soon enough stopped. My eyes opened,then closed right back shut realizing that we were upside down. The door rattled and creaked. Us suddenly rising rightside up. The door groaned as the worker fully opened it. I gave Natasha a helpful push out, then stomped towards the metal Exit gate. But of course not before murmuring a “Bless your soul!” to the worker for letting us out first.
I went to the gate and headed back to the barely there line, where Anthony was and took my bag, and started to head over to Zoe to convince her to go on Cages…
I will never forget how terrified I was of that ride, but when I think back I am so embarrassed. Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without me shouting to my dad, “Just one more ride!!!” Let’s just say it was a night well done and all ride were ridden. Well at least by me.
Next year I plan to go back on that same ride, with the same person. Again.
We’ll see how it goes…
1 thought on “The Ride”
I loved your memoir so much. I could relate to a lot of it (especially the part about having a fear of the Ferris Wheel). I thought it was really interesting how easily your actually personality is incorporated into your writing pieces. In the dialogue it feels as though your really speaking to me (sassy). I can’t wait to read more of your stories.