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Tlit - A - Whirl

When I was only 4 years old, I rode a tilt-a-whirl at the cheap amusement park near my neighborhood. As a 4 year old, the high walls, the shrieking people, it was all too scary to me. I regretted following my father onto the ride, trailing him like a sad puppy. He thought this experience would help me forget about my mom.
But once the ride got going, my perspective changed. It was actually fun, in a weird way, because of how fast we went. I loved the feeling of leaving the Earth behind, of catapulting into space and forgetting about all my 4 year old troubles. I felt like I was in an alternate universe. I felt like I could finally be different.
When the ride stopped, I was disappointed. Couldn't it go on longer? I thought it should. My dad dragged me off the ride so we could do other stuff, forced enthusiasm creating an almost visual aura around him. But the rest of the day, I was hung on that tilt-a-whirl. I wanted to leave the world behind.

***

It's 12 years later, and I'm on that tilt-a-whirl again.
Because of you.
I love you so much, but I'm tired of our life feeling like a constant blur. Everything is moving to fast for me to really appreciate it. Because you always want to keep going.
You think that school is meaningless now. You want to finish high school and see the world. Together. You and I, alone, traveling the world, spending all our time together. You want a big adventure before we settle down, preferably in a foreign country, so we can start a family. You want to do it all, see it all, have every experience in life.
You want me to elope with you, in exactly one month, the day when school ends.
But I'm not ready.

***

Don't you ever want to get off the tilt-a-whirl? Just stop, take things slow, be kids as long as we can? It doesn't seem like it. You just keep moving faster. We have one week left to us, and you keep urging me to pack my bag. You say we'll leave right when we throw our hats, just leave in our caps and gowns, laughing about how we forgot to give them back. You say we'll catch a flight you booked already, for two, straight to Paris. We can get married under the lights, you tell me, right next to the tower. You say we can spend the next five years earning enough money to go to our next destination, living in London or Barcelona or Rome, then jetting off to another city. Always together. You want to spend our younger years exploring and painting. But I don't want to go.
I think.
Your words paint such a pretty picture in my head, like the beautiful mosaics and portraits you say you'll sell. That's how you want to make your money, by selling art. Your true passion in life, the way writing is to me. We're the perfect art pair, just like you say.
And that's the reason I want to go. You and me, together, creating art and seeing the created. It's been our dream, to see all the best galleries all over the world. And we could do it.
But life's going too fast.

***

It's graduation day now. You keep looking at me expectantly, with an excited, loving gleam in your eyes.
Do I have that gleam too?
My suitcases are in your shiny red convertible, the one you're going to drop at the airport for a friend, so he can take it to the company you sold it to. That money bought our tickets. One for me, one for you.
Will I fly away on that plane?
Graduation goes by too fast. Speeches are made, diplomas passed out, and suddenly, we're throwing our caps into the air. You rip the hat off my head and pull me to you so we can kiss. Then you yank me to your car and jump in. But I don't get in next to you. I can't.
When you realize I don't intend to follow you, you burst into a hideous rage. You yell and scream and shout. You say I don't love you, that I never cared. You say that I'm a horrible person, and I will never love again.
You almost make it to the curb of the corner ahead before I'm waving you back. You stop and idle, then turn like I knew you would.
I tell you I love you, that I want to come with you. I say that I was just hesitant to leave everything I know behind. You let me in saying you didn't mean what you said, you were just really upset because you love me too.
As we screech off towards the airport, I desperately hold onto my cap. I shrug sheepishly to myself, still dwelling on my decision.
What can I say? I always loved that crazy tilt-a-whirl feeling.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 19, 2010 at 8:07 am:

This was great, I love the extended metaphor throughout the whole piece, especiallly the last sentence.  Amazing job!  Keep writing!

Btw, will you check out and comment on my work?

 
Stargirl212 replied...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm :
Thanks so much! of course I'll check out you're work! Actually, I think I read one of your pieces already... it was really good!
 
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