All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
We Walk Across Crosswalks Like It's Abby Road
Do you remember the night we felt invincible? Flashing lights and the familiar sound of carnival music drifted through the cotton candy air. The sun hesitated on the horizon as we walked over power cables and past green dumpsters. Wisps of cigarette smoke swirled into the sunset. I looked over at Elizabeth tucking her amber brown hair behind her sunburnt ear. With orange wristbands cinched around our thin wrists, we stepped towards the screams of roller coasters.
Within minutes, we were flying.
Well...not exactly flying, but as close as you can get without endangering your life. As much of a daredevil as I was… dying isn’t exactly my thing. With our stomachs pressed against the hang-glider, our harnesses carefully scooped us up like the giant’s hand, bringing us to the sky.
“Oh my god. Oh. My god. Oh. My. God.” Elizabeth mumbled with her knuckles turning white.
“Shhh. It’s okay. It starts slow,” I whispered as the hang glider began to tilt forward and we swooped down.
“WHAT ABOUT THIS SEEMS SLOW?” Elizabeth yelled, the ride pulling us back towards the sky. The ride paused and she said, “This isn’t so bad.”
“It’s even better if you open your eyes,” I laughed.
A millisecond later, we were whirling towards the ground. Elizabeth’s screams echoed in my ear as I pulled her hand off the handle and we spread out our arms like we were birds. Like we were part of something bigger. For a moment, the world fell away and it was just Elizabeth, me, and the color-dripping sky.
Well apparently the carnival worker was having only 12% of that moment so he pulled a Jack in the Beanstalk and yanked us back to Earth. With a hiss, the harness set us free and we walked unsteadily towards our flip-flops.
A stand of hair fell into my hazel eyes as I crouched over my phone, shielding it from the last few rays of sunlight.
“I’m almost out of battery, so we should meet up with my parents soon at the concert.” I said.
“One more ride? Pleaaasseee?” She begged, as I looked into her ocean eyes.
I sighed. Being the cute person I already am I, naturally, am immune to puppy dog eyes. But to make her feel better, I let her think it works. It makes her happy, but there was uneasiness in my stomach. I never wanted to disappoint her. I never wanted to disappoint anyone really. When I did fall short of what she wanted all she would do is say, “Oh. Ok,” and somehow that felt worse than any amount of yelling.
“Fine,” I laughed nervously.
Her freckled face cracked that familiar smile I know all too well and took my arm, pulling me towards the other rides.
“We really should head over though,” I suggested, running my fingers through my tangled red hair.
“The fun house is quick. We should do that!” Elizabeth jumped up.
“Alright, alright,” I genuinely smiled.
Our shoes clanged against the metal steps as we entered the mirror maze.
“THE STUPID MIRROR RAN INTO ME!” Elizabeth yelled.
“I hate it when that happens,” I smirked, trying not to laugh.
Elizabeth began rubbing her head as she said, “Owww...I don’t like mirrors.”
“Aww I thought you two were finally getting along,” I winked, stepping to the side with my arms out in front of me.
“You look like a zombie,” she muttered under her breath.
“I heard that!” I said back.
“You were meant to,” she said.
The maze of mirrors came to an end as we entered the staircase, climbing up the narrow chipped blue stairway to another row of mirrors. I watched my distorted reflection in the mirror, a slow smile breaking along my face, stepping forward and backwards. We finally came across a normal mirror. Knowing fully well what was about to come next I tried to pull her away.
"I hate how I look," she complained.
"You look fine!" I said.
"My stomach looks so fat!" she ran her hands over her baggy BG shirt that was a size too big.
"I said you look fine," I said softly, crossing my arms.
"No, I don't," she said before squinting her eyes, searching for flaws.
"You're beautiful," I sighed, "You just choose not to see it."
She was though. Her muscles were sculpted from years of swimming, and her hair shimmered in the sunlight, reflecting the different streaks of brown and natural highlights. Her eyes were the flecked with blue and green, swirling together into a pool of color.
I knew that I had to handle this maturely since it was the only way she'd understand.
So I poked her and ran away.
"I CAN SEE YOU THAT IT WAS YOU IN THE REFLECTION!!" Elizabeth yelled.
"YOU'RE IT!!" I called up to her as I scooted down the slide. My butt squeaked against the hot plastic and I cursed myself for not wearing longer shorts. Then again, these jean shorts do make me look good.
I got to the bottom of the slide when I heard a lot battle cry behind me. I quickly got out of the way as Elizabeth slid down on her shoes, kind of like an angry midget, and jumped onto the pavement.
Her eyes were squinted and her lips were tight and I was about ready to run like I was late for taco Tuesday when she poked me, breaking into a smile saying, "You're it!"
"Oh you little-" I laughed, running after her towards the stoplight.
We crossed that crosswalk like we were the Beatles and it was Abbey Road. I mean we went all out: sunglasses and everything. Heck, we even had Beatles music playing as we crossed the road.
Because we're cool like that.
And also American English was playing across the road.
We waltzed past the white carnival tents that were closing up show and headed under the puke-yellow food tent that illuminated everyone's faces with a oh so lovely yellow tint. With the taste of funnel cake on our lips, we left the tent with our stomachs heavier and our pocket's a tad lighter. Swerving around a 10-foot clown who at first I thought was just a scary statue, we made our way to the main stage of the concert.
"Over here!" My brother waved his skinny tanned arms.
"I see a lad down yonder in need of help. Care to join me m'lady?" I tipped my imaginary hat at Elizabeth.
"Oh why I'd be honored madam," she put her hand on her heart and looked at the twilight sky.
I only managed to trip on 2 people running over there. New record considering last time I almost face planted into the ground, but I had this charming chain link fence catch me. What can I say? The ground loves me.
We slid onto the blanket seats by my parent’s chairs and looked around. A couple blankets over Serena and Jon were romantically holding hands and enjoying the music. Elizabeth and I shared a look and yelled out, "Serena!!"
They looked around until they saw us making funny faces at them. Rolling her eyes, Serena dragged Jon over.
"Hello!!" I waved like an over enthusiastic puppy dog at them. Jon was my neighbor and Serena had been my longest friend I've known, so they were used to my bubbliness by now.
We sat down next to each other, huddled in our little blanket and sang along to Beatles songs that drifted into the darkening sky. A rumble trembled across the ground the crowd clapped louder. "Hey Jude, don't be afraid..."
The rumble wasn't from the drums though. The sky wasn't just getting darker because it was night. I could feel the wind slightly picking up and static in the air. Jude, this would be a great time to be afraid. I looked back at my family who had begun to pack up the lawn chairs, making eye contact with me. I glanced back at Elizabeth and pulled on her sleeve.
"We should go. A storm is coming. No. Not coming. It's here. Let's go," I said sternly.
"Relax, we got time," Jon said leaning back on the blanket.
A streak of lightning flitted across the sky. Praise The Lord for making my point.
"On second thought..." Serena trailed off.
The sound of sirens filled the air and a loud voice come on the megaphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, we've got to cut this concert short with a strong storm coming our way. We kindly advise you to follow us to the main buildings where we will wait this out. Please pack your belongings and move quickly."
That's when chaos broke out.
"I've got to find my parents," Elizabeth yelled over the commotion.
"Let's go!" my parents gestured.
I looked back and forth between the two. "Be right back!" I mouthed to my parents.
I grabbed Elizabeth's arm and ran towards a glimpse of her dad's baseball hat and her mother's lace headband she'd always wear. Out of breath, we stumbled into them.
"Thank you!" She said, wrapping her freckled arms around me and pulling me in.
"Stay safe!" I replied, tipping that imaginary hat one last time before turning on my heel and running back.
My dad had packed the last of the blankets into the bag, and we stepped out past the gate, past the yellow food tent, past Abbey Road, the fun house, and finally the hang gliders. This time, we kept going, past the green dumpsters, the creek, and the houses on Raupp Street. Taking a turn on Hiawatha, we piled into minivan, and drove home bound.
The skies may have opened up, but the Beatles music still echoed in my head.
And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me.
Shine until tomorrow,
Let it be.