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Roller Coaster Ride This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     We are lectured about peer pressure in mandatory health education class. We are told never to give in to it. “Just because everyone else is doing something does not make it a good idea,” they say. Yes, I know that I shouldn’t smoke. No, I won’t do drugs even if all my friends are doing them. But what about those other things? For me, peer pressure has always turned out okay.

***

I had never been on a real roller coaster. Fear of speed, fear of heights: They just weren’t for me. The closest I had ever gotten was a kiddie-coaster when I was six. It was probably six feet tall, but I made them stop the ride before we even got up the first slope. Another time, I went with my family to Legoland, an amusement park definitely not known for terribly frightening and life-threatening rides. I had gotten to the first slope when the car stopped. Thank God for “technical difficulties.”

So, today I was tagging along with my dare devil, 53 mph roller-coaster-riding friends. As they stepped off the ride, they all tried to persuade me into following them onto the next one.

“Come on, Lisi!” Jennifer coaxed, “You’re so boring! Just come with us on the stupid roller coaster!”

This wasn’t the first time I had heard this plea. It had happened at the pool’s diving well, the Japanese restaurant, and even when I got my first bike. In every situation, my friends had been right there to tell me what a wuss I was, and convince me to try something new. Now, of course, I love diving, order sushi every time we go to a Japanese restaurant, and ride my bike to school every morning. But no, this was different. A roller coaster was just too much. Still, my friends worked to convince me.

“It’s not that scary,” added Jackie. “I’ll sit next to you.”

“Look: This is the slowest ride in the park!” Christina pointed out. “If it went any slower, it would just be a train on bumpy tracks.”

Finally, I gave in and agreed to get on the roller coaster, although I still wasn’t sure. Of course everyone had come out alive so far, but you never know what will happen.

They’ll see, I thought. They’ll be sorry when I fly out of the seat, catch on fire and land in a forest. They’ll be sorry.

As we stood in line, I got more scared. “I don’t know, guys,” I worried out loud. “It looks really big from down here.” Finally, we reached the front of the line. I sat in a seat with Jackie and vowed that I would not let go of her hand until we were safely off the ride.

I was getting more scared by the second. I squeezed Jackie’s hand so hard I was sure I heard her yelp. As soon as we started moving, I began to scream. Every single person on the ride looked at me as if to say, “What is her problem?” We started to climb the slope toward the highest point of the ride.

Ka-klink-ka-klink-ka-klink-ka-klink.

I squeezed her hand even harder. I squeezed it so hard that I can’t believe she still has a hand. I knew I couldn’t make them stop the ride now. I was done for.

WHOOOOSH!

It felt as if something in the tracks had snapped. We started falling - falling fast. The wind blew so hard it seemed like my face would blow off. I screamed so loud I couldn’t hear myself anymore. Oh my gosh, we weren’t going to stop! We would crash through the thin wooden paneling. I knew it. This had been a terrible idea. I closed my eyes and held on for dear life, never ceasing my high-pitched scream.

CLUNK!

The ride came abruptly to a stop. I opened my eyes. We were back where we started! I hadn’t died!

I stepped off the ride, stumbling slightly, weary and disoriented. My friends looked at me, searching for my reaction.

“Can we do that again?” I croaked.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

lala123 said...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 9:33 am
love it because it tought me a lesson  
 
IAmWhoIWantToBe said...
Apr. 18, 2012 at 3:13 am
I don't know but this article is kinda funny :))
 
Taphephobia This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm
When I went on my first roller coaster (I was almost 13) it was my crush that convinced me (big surprise, huh?) I actually bruised his arm and after having my moment of embarrassment when I started screaming before we dropped I ended up loving it. Just brought back memories....
 
CatherineK said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 10:24 am
My friends always try to get me to go on rides that go upside down. Next time I go to a park, I will go on an upside down roller coaster. :D Great job!
 
xAllegria said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 6:38 am
Haha. Great story, proves that there's a thin line between peer pressure and risk taking. Great descriptions too.
 
StarWorks replied...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 10:38 am
That's so true.
 
bluesky0728 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 11, 2010 at 10:08 pm
:) smile :)
 
madmadie22 said...
Jul. 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm
Ahhh!  This is written so well, I could almost feel like I was on that roller coaster! :)  This is exactly how I felt on my first roller coaster.  I was bawling at the end and then I wanted to go again again!  :D Nice job!
 
DanceAway This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm
I love this article. Its such a simple concept, but its so well written it makes it really interesting. 5 stars!!
 
^unshed.tears said...
Apr. 23, 2010 at 11:38 am
This is really good!! and that's how i felt my first roller coaster. I wouldn't ride them for a long time, but now I love them. You should definetly keep writing :) and can you check out some of my stuff please?
 
.:Echo:. said...
Feb. 15, 2010 at 9:39 am
Wonderful! I love it, your not the only one out there being afraid of roller coasters. I just don't like high heights and fast speeds, but once I ride it, I ride it over and over. I believe it's just fear of the unknown, which seems to happen a lot in my life anyways, but once I do it, I feel fine and survived afterwards. I must say, this was a VERY good job! Keep writing!
 
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