When we got into line, my stomach started twisting into knots and my hands started sweating, more than they already were on the 90° summer day. As we inched our way up the line, we eventually were right at the front, watching the other people excitedly take off, cheering and yelling. I turned to my sister and nervously cracked my knuckles. “I don’t think I wanna do this, actually.” She chuckled at me, like I had said a bad pun or something, and looked at the people zooming back into the station-like thing. “You’ll be fine, c’mon.” She walked up to a seat in the middle of the coaster and sat on the left-most one, motioning for me to sit next to her. “You can sit next to me, we’ll be okay.” I anxiously stepped into the seat and st down, reaching up and grabbing the heavy plastic compartment that is being trusted with the task of keeping me inside a flying roller coaster. “I wanna get out, I can’t do this, oh my god does it go upside down? I didn’t know it went upside down, I’m gonna fall out, that looks so high up I’m not gonna make it, I might throw up, oh my god.” Once the lady grabbed my plastic belt to make sure it was locked in place, which I was almost certain that it wasn’t, everyone threw their hands up in the air, and then we started moving. I gripped the metal handlebars of the plastic harness harder than I thought I could, closing my eyes and focusing on evening out my breathing. ‘You’re okay’, I thought to myself. ‘People ride this thing all day long and they still live, you’re gonna be fine.’ My sister leaned over to me and asked how I was, getting back a sarcastic “I’m just splendid.” We were at the top of the slow, slow ascension, the coaster slowly cranking to the edge of the platform, slowing to almost a complete stop before the big drop. I looked out at the lake and my heart finally slowed, that is, of course, before I was suddenly thrusted down a gigantic slope. All the moisture from my mouth completely disappeared, along with my vocal chords as I screeched as loud as I possibly could, gripping even tighter than physically should have been possible, seeing as I was being plummeted to the ground. Next to me, my sister was laughing hysterically, putting her arms in the air and smiling as we rounded a corner and circled the few loops at the end of the track. I closed my eyes tightly, feeling the speed slow down significantly as we were back at the start. “Oh my god…” I uttered, nearly out of breath from all the screaming I had done. We climbed off the coaster and grabbed our bags, walking back down the stairs to explore the rest of the park. That was my first roller coaster, and as horrifying as it was, it will not be my last.
October 13, 2017