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MY FIRST TIME: On a Roller Coaster
The scariest part wasn’t what I expected
David Shin
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My two older sisters love amusement parks. They are thrill-seekers and go on the scariest rides.

Every year, my father and I had the job of waiting on the line for them for their next ride or we’d go to the food court. But on this day, my older sister, Christina encouraged me to ride the roller coaster with them. Without any hesitation, it was a no from me. But both sisters continued to nag me.

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“You should try it you know. I think you’re tall enough now.”

“I will hold your hand when you sit next to me.”

“I don’t want to go,” I said shaking my head.

“Come on I promise you it’s really fun. I will let you keep my arcade prizes if it’s not. You’re going to regret it if you don’t go because this is our last ride of the day.”

I had to admit she could be convincing. After thinking for a while, I slowly took my sister’s hand.
She smiled and dragged me towards the huge line for the roller coaster.

My hands were shaking from the fear I felt. My sister assured me again that it was going to be OK.
Even my father encouraged me to go on with them. So I felt pressured to give it a try. Seeing the majestic heights of the roller coaster and other rides gave me goose bumps. I started to freak out and become pessimistic about the situation.

“What if those buckles unlock and I shoot out?” I thought to myself. I shook for 30 minutes as the line got shorter. As I got closer I could see the tremendous speed and height of the roller coaster.

“Why did I say yes? WHY DID I SAY YES?” I freaked out even harder (on the inside).

I turned around to look for my dad so I could back out. But he was already out of sight; he’d walked off to find a spot to wave to us while we were on our ride. So I clung to my sister and took a deep breath.

image by YC-Art Dept

When our turn came and a guy in a red polo shirt measured my height to see if I was tall enough, I knelt down slightly.

“Alright buddy you’re good,” he announced.

“Darn it,” I said to myself.

“I think the front seat will be the best so we can see everything,” my oldest sister suggested.

“Hey, don’t you think the back will be the scariest with all those hard turns?” I said.

They didn’t listen to me; the three of us piled into the front. We all raised our hands as the guys in red polo shirts locked us in with seatbelts that had yellow buckles. I double-checked to make sure they were locked. They didn’t make me feel safe at all. I shook from fear.

“Hey, it’s going to be fine, trust me,” one sister said.

Soon, there was a loud blaring noise to signal that the roller coaster was starting. It moved really slowly as we climbed up a steep incline.

My eyes were closed. As I was able to feel us going up, I heard what sounded like metal gears rattling. “Please stop, please stop going up!” I yelled. I opened my eyes for a second to see where the roller coaster was. But all I saw were endless tracks that we still hadn’t gotten up to.

In a few seconds, the rattling noise stopped. I opened my eyes, wondering if we’d stopped. But nope, it was at its peak getting ready to drop. Soon, everybody started screaming. I was caught off guard without any preparation when the roller coaster went downhill with grand acceleration. And that was pretty much it. Without realizing it, my eyes were actually open and I was enjoying it. I was enjoying it a lot.

Ever since that day, I challenge myself to go on the most scary and thrilling rides. Two years ago, I even rode Kingda Ka, at Six Flags Great Adventure without any reluctance which I’ve heard is one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in North America.

(NYC-2015-09-17)