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Amusement Park

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It was beautiful. The whole scene; the bustling people working their way through the miniature town, the fireworks that lit up the sky, and the magnificent castle in the middle of it all; it made my eyes glow in wonder. I clutched my mother’s hand in one hand and my father’s in the other as we walked along the streets. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the picture. It looked like someone had painted it; like if I tried to touch it, it wouldn’t be real.

We had gone on so many rides that day. Some of them were really terrifying. But I tried every ride they’d let me on, being my size. My father had told me that if I were ever scared, all I had to do was close my eyes and wait until the ride was over. And I did, on just about every ride. It was so easy to close my eyes and hold on tight. And it was funny how well the solution worked, as if it could be applied to anything and everything.

They were so proud of me when I got off each ride.

“There’s my little trouper,” they’d say. “Not so bad after all, right?”

“You were so brave, honey!”

And naturally, seeing them so proud made me proud of myself. Not a single tear, I’d think, dabbing my face for any signs of an unsuccessful voyage.

When we had gone on each ride at least twice, except for the especially frightening ones, we sat down and watched the fireworks against the purple curtain, decorated with a few twinkling lights. I plugged my ears because the noise was often too obnoxiously loud for a little girl but I left my eyes wide open so I wouldn’t miss a single moment of the show.

As the show ended, the silent universal awe became the buzzing sound of a swarm of ants, all headed for the same small exit. My mother grabbed for my hand, but just missed it and we stood up trying to find each other in the crowd. In less than a second, I had lost both of them in the mess of rushing bodies. Panic hit me like it never had before and my heart started beating faster, causing a ringing sound in both my ears. I scanned everywhere for brown hair and a pink shirt- or was she wearing green?

I remembered being on the scariest of roller coasters, when you didn’t know where you were going, or what was lurking in the darkness. Close your eyes and wait. I squeezed my eyes shut, feeling the chill of my tears sliding down my cheeks. I jammed my fingers into my ears and curled up into a ball on the ground. And I waited. I heard the voices of people around me, though they seemed so far away, and let people touch me, try to shake me, to get my attention. I stayed, frozen, in my invisible shell, blocking out the world. I was safe.

Suddenly, I felt shaking arms lift me off the ground and I saw the tears in my mother’s eyes. She set me down and hugged and kissed my little body. I clutched my mother’s hand in one hand and my father’s in the other, totally recovered from the scare. We walked away from the scene, I, content in my wonderfully, blissful sanctuary.





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