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“Mommy, mommy, mommy!” Aadi cried to her mom from the backseat. They had arrived at the parking lot of Carowinds and her mom was busy trying to find a good parking spot.
“What is it Aadi?” Her mom finally asked. But Aadi said nothing; she just stared out the window. The tall, ruby red and twirling rollercoaster amazed her. She was determined to ride it. John, her brother told her that she was a little baby still, and she couldn’t ride it.
“Wow!” She exclaimed. “Please brother?” But her brother looked just as amazed as she did. He never would have thought it was so huge. This was Aadi and John’s first time coming to Carowinds. Their mom, Candy found a close spot to the park beside the entrance. Everyone crawled out of the van; each wearing a matching red shirt.
“Okay, are you guys ready to go in?” Candy asked in an exciting voice. The kids nodded excitedly as they entered the entrance. Their mom took them to the kiddy land; so Aadi could ride. Because Aadi was only five years old; her mom thought she was too little for the bigger rides. She was very petite and short for her age. Her mom watched out for them very closely as they went in, thousands were in the park not paying attention to where they were going.
As Aadi was riding the little sailboats, she could only stare, and think of the red rollercoaster. Her mom would try to wave at her and take a picture of her with a smile. Aadi had decided she would sneak away and ride it; as she grinned at her mom. Her mom thought she was smiling at her because; she was having fun. But her mind was having an image of her riding the red rollercoaster.
When she got off she was dizzy with thoughts. Candy took Aadi’s hand and her brother’s hand, walking towards the other rides. Aadi told her mom she wanted a drink and a snack. A shop with cotton candy, nachos and many other sweets; is where they stopped. Aadi seen a crowd of people coming their way as Candy was ordering.
Aadi’s mind had been made up; she was slowly inching away from her mom. Candy wasn’t paying attention, nor holding her daughter’s hand. John was in his own little world, not paying attention to anything going on. Aadi quickly turned away from her mom and brother making it a fast movement into the crowd.
Stumbling out of the crowd and falling into the mud; she rolled repeatedly till coming to a stop. Tears dropped from her cheek to the ground. “Oh what have I done?” She said to herself. A croaky, old voice came from the bushes behind her. It startled her so bad that she screamed softly.
“So sparkly, just so sparkly.” The old voice said in a whisper tone. Aadi peered around, looking for the man.
“Sparkly? What’s sparkly?” She said looking at the man looking at her; coming from out of the bushes. Aadi stood up, wide eyed staring at him. The man was tall, skinny,, and he had long arms. He had ragged clothes, and twinkly eyes. His eyes were staring at her hair, and he wasn’t saying a word to her. They stood staring at each other, with a frightened look on Aadi’s face, but his was with a grin.
“What is it? What are you looking at!” She screamed at him. He motioned at her hair with his wrinkly fingers trembling as they pointed. She covered her hair bow with her hand; the one from her grandmother made of real rubies. What could he want with my hair bow, she asked herself.
She had many thoughts running through her head of what to do. Could she run? Or maybe that wouldn’t work with her short legs. Aadi started to step away from him, looking at him up and down. But, she lost her balance in the mud and fell on her knees. A shadow casted over her and, she stared downwards at the mud.
“Can I have?” He sounded like an old little baby; he would never complete his sentences. Ha, she thought and John said I was a little baby. These rubies were important to her and she couldn’t give them to him.
“No.” She replied with a snappy tone. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, what if he tries to hurt me now. With all these thoughts; she found an idea that seems the best to her. Aadi turned to him and said “Wait, I’ll make you a deal!” He gave her a mixed up look; like he was confused with what she had said. She could use this exchange to prove her brother wrong and ride the red rollercoaster. “Take me to the red rollercoaster and I will give you my hair bow.” She gave him a huge grin, staring into his twinkling eyes. Aadi waits for the man to answer her; she was getting impatient. Without a sound he grabbed her by the arm walking to the other side of the park.
Aadi supposed he was taking her to the ride; until he stopped when he seen the police standing with a woman and a child. The woman was drenched in tears and the child looked like he was filled with worry. She finally noticed it was her mom and John. Oh, how ashamed she had felt.
But, she had this weird feeling running through her head. It was if she wanted to stay with the old man and get to the rollercoaster. She pointed the other way as they started to walk. Aadi was filled with as much energy as an energizer bunny. “Please, let’s hurry.” She told him. A little guilty of walking away from her sobbing mom, she looked back with a glance. It would be okay, she told herself. The old man peered around; I suppose he noticed the 10 police officers or more surrounding the park.
“Hide,” he said to her. As she looked at him; she thought I can do this myself, and I don’t need him.
Tugging away from him, she got loose. He tried to grab at her hair bow and barely missed. Aadi ran as fast as the speed of light. The man already seemed out of breath. Why was he tired already and why did he want the rubies? It’s like that’s all he was after and he didn’t want anything more.
Wait she thought, if he wants something as much as she did; he knew he must want them very badly. Aadi thought and the more she thought, the more the slowed down. The old man wasn’t far behind her, his face turning red. He had been running also. Coming to a stop, she went back to check on the old man.
“Are you ok?” She asked him. He grabbed her with a tight grip and carried her on his shoulder. She kicked and pounded on his back; Aadi was now starting to scream. Until, the old man pressed his hand over her mouth. He took her to the middle of the park and hid in the bushes. He pushed his hand against her mouth the more she screamed.
Now, Aadi feeling more guilty for leaving her mom and brother. Why would she be so stupid, and how come she didn’t know better? She felt tired, and she was sure the old man was just as tired, if not more. The way his face was west from sweat, and he was breathing harder and harder. He seemed to loosen his grip on her and took his hand from her mouth.
Why is he letting go? She thought to herself. Aadi peered out of the bush; she noticed they weren’t moving or at least he wasn’t. But now what? She thought and thought; if I kick him now he seems weaker than last time.
She brought her foot back and kicked him straight into his stomach. He made a huge sigh and fell backwards; letting go of his grip on her. As she stood up she stared at him. His eyes were squeezed shut, as if he was suffering a lot of pain. He just laid there softly groaning.
All of a sudden his eyes opened in a flash. Oh know, she thought. The anger on his face showed he wasn’t happy with her. She had to get away from him quickly. Taking off, almost falling on her face; Aadi ran as fast as she’s ever ran before. But where? Glancing behind herself, she tripped on her own feet.
Falling down, she was exhausted. She thought she had been defeated. Till she heard a voice coming from over her. Who could it be now? Looking up at the person standing over her, it was a woman.
“Are you okay sweetie?” The woman asked with a gentle sweet voice. Was this woman safe or was she like the man that had talking to her randomly also? Aadi was confused as to what to say and do. She just silently stared at her. “Baby are you okay?” The woman kept asking. Aadi couldn’t take a chance again; so she took off running towards a ride.
She ran up the steps, stepping up the two at a time. Many thoughts ran through her head while she was running. But none of those thoughts were about what ride she was climbing up too. But as she looked back down she saw the old man coming up them quickly. Hurriedly she and the other people strapped on and got ready for takeoff.
As the ride began to start up a huge hill; she looked over and noticed it was the red rollercoaster. She gasped, I did it. I really have made it; I have proved my brother wrong. But she didn’t notice what was on top of the rollercoaster seats. When she heard a familiar voice; it made her turn around and look to see where it was coming from. She started squealing, while mostly everyone was in silence. Everyone looked at her questioning what was wrong.
Aadi motioned towards the old man hanging from the rail on top of the seats. They were almost to the top of the hill, Aadi braced herself. Thoughts ran quickly through her head before going down the hill. Was he going to fall off? Will he die? How much longer can he hold on? What if he dies? How can she live with herself knowing he died, because she wouldn’t give him her hair bow?
She looked back at him and she reached out to him. “He can do this, I know he can.” She whispered to herself. The man shook his head at her, as if to refuse her help. What? She thought he was crazy, and he was just as stupid as she was. She saw the similarities between him not taking her hand and her leaving her mom. They were both dumb ideas.
She put her hands back on the seat, holding on tightly. When looking down she noticed they were very far up; the highest she’s ever been. Staring at the ground below; the roller coaster took off down the hill. Her hair blowing back in the wind; she felt as if she was flying. The curves scared her though; she felt like she was going to splat on the ground. The ride made her feel free and alive.
When the ride came to a slowing down point, she turned her head back to see if the old man was still there. Aadi’s face went white as a ghost as she gasped. The old man was not hanging on anymore. She looked at the people behind her asking where he had gone; and where he had landed. Aadi only got an answer from one person with a familiar voice. Turning around she saw the same old lady that had stopped to and asked if she were okay. She told her that she had not seen where he had gone.
Aadi smiled at the woman, and said “I’m fine now by the way.” The woman looked at her with shock, but before she got to say anything back to Aadi; she had took off down the steps. She had to go see if she could find her mom and brother. Aadi ran through so many crowds of people; not one single one seemed to noticed she were lost, and had not parent with her. She searched for hours and hours, but found nothing. “Where could they bed?” She whispered to herself.
Suddenly, something caught her eye. It looked like a body lying on the pavement. Oh no, she thought. Slowly she walked over to it; it was the same old man that she had been chased by all day. He wasn’t moving and his eyes were closed shut.
Why hadn’t anyone else seen him and tried to save or help him? Aadi stared at the body for a while; not knowing what to do. Should she turn it in? Or maybe she should leave it there and let someone else find it.
In a flash the eyes of the old man flew open, he wasn’t dead after all. Her face turned red and breathing was getting harder to do. Aadi couldn’t get any words to come out or any noises at all. She stood in amazement that he was alive. He reached out his hand, which contained the hair bow. What? She thought how did he get this? And why was he giving it back? With a confused look on her face; she took it back, and looked at him.
He just said to her in a weak voice, “sorry.” His eyes closed back again. He had stopped breathing, she could tell it from his stomach.
Aadi stared at him for a few minutes and quickly ran away to tell someone. She peered around for someone she could trust, and could tell. She glanced over everyone and luckily seen the old lady. Running as fast as she could; she ran towards her. “Help, help!” She tried to say calmly. Others gathered around to see what was happening. “A man that’s been following me has fallen off the red rollercoaster and is dead on the pavement!” She said in a quick voice, words just came pouring out. She stood and was trembling with fear of what would happen next. A few men ran over to where the man was and called for help.
“Where’s your family?” Asked the lady. Aadi shook her head and shrugged her shoulders. Her head down; because she was ashamed of leaving her mom. As the police arrived, she felt guilt hanging over her head. It was dark and freezing outside now. Surely her mom and brother had left by now.
The policeman walked over to her and asked for her mom’s number to reach her. But, before she could say anything; her mom and brother came sprinting to her. The only thing she could say to her mom was “I love you.” Tears running down both of their cheeks.
The policeman told her that they would have to come with them and answer questions. Her mom told her quietly, “Everything will be okay.” The ambulance took the old man away and they took Aadi and her family in the police car.
Aadi will always remember all the trouble she has went through; just because of her hair bow. The rubies were so shiny like the red rollercoaster. They both made her have a bit of a twist in her life.