New York, New York

New York, New York

“Dad let’s take her on the newyorknewyork!” Monica exclaimed. She really said it like that, in a jumble of syllables I couldn’t distinguish. It was my first time being in Vegas, and I had no idea what my siblings (who I had met for the first time approximately 36 hours ago) were talking about.

“Yeah Dad, let’s go!” Brady agreed.

My younger siblings and I were sitting in the living room as my Dad came downstairs. As they tried to convince him to let us go on this crazy roller coaster known by everyone but me, whatever that was, I sat there very confused. It was my second night in Las Vegas, Nevada, seeing my Dad for the first time in nine years, and my siblings for the first time ever. I didn’t know what the New York, New York was, nor the Belagio, the Strip, or any other place they talked about.

“Call Brooke and see if she’ll go with us. If she says yes, then we will go,” my father said. Brooke was my seventeen year old sister, who I had also never laid eyes on. Monica, eleven, called her and confirmed, that (obviously) she would come. As I sat there and listened to all the commotion going on, I still didn’t have any idea what we were doing or where we were going.

“What’s the New York, New York?” I asked.

“It’s a roller coaster on the Strip,” Brady explained. Well that explains the New York, New York, but I still had no idea what the Strip was. Too late to ask. We were already our way out to my Dad’s little pick-up truck to start the half hour drive to the Strip. We rode along listening to the iPod nana connected to Dad’s radio.

“Brooke said she would meet us at the Belagio,” my Dad said to us. Instead of asking I decided I would see when I got there. We turned onto a very bright and lit up street. Was this the Strip? It only took me a second to figure out. At the stop light I looked up and saw the road sign. It said Las Vegas Boulevard / The Strip in big plain white letters on the green background. We pulled into a parking garage. When we stepped out of the elevator in to the Belagio, my sister was walking towards us. She was gorgeous, and when we embraced I felt like I had known her my whole life.

“I’m glad I finally get to meet you,” Brooke told me. I smiled and told her I felt the same way. It was overwhelming to finally meet my brother and sisters after 13 years.

We made our way through the huge casino. We followed a line to the place where you buy tickets to get on the New York, New York. My dad bought four tickets. Brady, being about 4’2, wasn’t even close to being able to get on this thing. It was massive. Monica was scared out of her mind so she didn’t go either. The roller coaster was in two seated rows, so we decided Brooke and I would go first. As we made it to the head of the line and stepped into the roller coaster, my heart started beating faster. I had never been on such a big roller coaster with loop-dee-loops and up-side downs. Brooke and I buckled ourselves in and held out her hand.

“It’s tradition to hold hands on roller coasters,” she said with a smile. I took her hand.

“I am really glad you came out Peyton. I’ve always thought about you and couldn’t wait to meet you. I just can’t believe your finally here after 13 years.”

“Yeah I know. I’m glad I finally got to meet you guys too,” I replied. I didn’t want to say much because we were headed up a huge hill. We were going straight down when we got to the top and I didn’t have much to say with that thought in my head. We waited for the big drop to come. It came and as I shot downwards with that feeling in my stomach, I realized it was the best feeling I have ever had in my life. Holding on to Brooke’s hand. Holding hands with what would seem like a stranger, but no, it all felt so…right. That feeling again, as if I had known her my entire life.

We stepped off the roller coaster, our hair just a bit frazzled. My Dad smiled and asked if I was ready for round two. I stepped into the roller coaster once more, buckled up and took Dad’s hand, because, well, it’s a tradition. There wasn’t any talking this time but as I waited for the plunge, I was ready. It came. And in that moment, and in the moment with Brooke, the New York, New York connected me to these perfect strangers, my family, more than I could have possibly imagined.





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