Cliff Riding

April 20, 2009
By Katie Brown SILVER, Granite Springs, New York
Katie Brown SILVER, Granite Springs, New York
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Meghan sat in the backseat of the rented sea green convertible. Her eyes drifted over the majestic lush mountains behind her and the crashing blue waves below her. This was quite possibly the greatest car ride she had ever been on. Experiencing the island’s confidential beauty was something she had always dreamed of doing, but had never had the opportunity to. Nothing could ruin this serene moment for her, not even her sister, Kristen, who sat next to her flipping through an issue of Sports Illustrated and gabbing about how she could have stayed back at the hotel. Kristen was a master complainer, and if the adventure didn’t involve some sort of physical activity Kristen was sure to make it wretched for all. Like the sound of a crying baby, Meghan began to tune her out and focus on the magnificence surrounding her. Hawaii truly was paradise. The lush green plants and vibrant bursts of color captured her eyes while the scent of fresh sea water and citrus floated through her nostrils. Meghan’s dad slipped on the radio and the sound of eclectic tropical music boomed from the speakers. Meghan’s happy go lucky father and giddy mother began to bounce up and down to the energetic music filling the car. Wind blew through their hair as they continued down the road.
Light conversation about their trip followed as they continued on their road trip. Adventure and new wonders seemed to un-roll with each twist and turn up the crazy mountaintop road. What had once started as a quick trip to see the countryside had now turned into an adventurous ride through the unidentified jungle of the island. As time went on and the day grew longer the path seemed to become a road less traveled. It began to turn from hard reassuring blacktop to a minuscule and curvy path, barely big enough for their small car to get by. After passing a tiny remote village on their right Meghan found their trip had lead them to a treacherous cliff. Kristen was quick to mention the danger they were facing.
“SEEE! I TOLD YOU! This was not a good idea! Look at us now! We’re in the middle of nowhere, on the edge of a cliff with DAD driving!” Kristen yelled.
While Meghan was not one quick to fret, terror seemed to be gripping her now. Kristen did have a tendency to over exaggerate but perhaps this time she was right. Somehow they had found themselves on a towering cliff with crashing waves and sharp rocks below them. Meghan’s dad quickly turned off the music and her mom began to pray out loud, with hopes that a quick call to heaven could save them from crashing into the waves below them. The atmosphere in the car rapidly changed from the tropical and carefree feeling it once was, to solemn and life threatening. With hardly a foot to spare the tires seemed to grasp the very ends of the top of the cliff. One wrong turn or sudden acceleration from her father’s foot and their lives could quickly be over. Meghan sat still in her seat, wishing she was back in her spacious hotel room out of harm's way. She glanced over at her sister who had placed her magazine down and was now in a state of shock. Tears began to roll down her eyes as Meghan spoke words of encouragement to her distraught younger half. With a quick but slight press on the peddle Meghan’s dad began to slowly maneuver the car back down the cliff. Meghan began to see a different side of her dad; a side where there were was no comedy and only seriousness.
“Everyone stay quiet, don’t move. I need to focus on getting down this cliff alive.” Her father said.
Meghan could feel the tension rising in the car as it began to role slowly down the hill. She took a hold of Kristen’s hand, as she could tell her younger sister was now clearly more frightened than irritated. The two closed their eyes tight as they continued down the hill. Meghan opened her eyes for a split second to meet her father’s in the rearview mirror. His gaze on hers changed from the frightened look she had seen before back to the clever one she loved him for. At that moment she knew it was going to be alright. Meghan took a sigh of relief and they gradually made it down the cliff right back to the tiny Hawaiian village they started at.
“WE MADE IT!” her father yelled with excitement. His face filled with relief and ever muscle in his body beginning to relax again. Meghan’s mother swiftly turned the music back on and slipped right back into her slightly archaic “dance moves.” All was back to normal as Kristen began to grouse about how they almost died, her dad started to crack jokes and Meghan began to look out the window again. She watched as the sun began to set over the blue ocean lying before her and ever so slightly she began to drift into a soft sleep, this time, knowing she would make it home just fine.

The author's comments:
This piece was inspired by a true life experience I had with my family while vacationing in Hawaii a couple of years ago.

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