A New Experience

by Emmanuel Goh (P5 2022)
        “Tom! Clean your room at this instant, young man!” My mother screeched, forcing me to turn off the television. I muttered something incoherently about free will under my breath as I unwillingly trudged into my room, that had clothes strewn all over the floor, toys in every nook and cranny and a musty, dusty smell that hung in the air. I took a few toy cars and haphazardly stuffed them into the shelf. A leather-bound book came flying down and narrowly missed my head. I bent down to pick it up. From the faded letters emblazoned on the front cover, I immediately knew what it was. It was one of my numerous photo albums! I wiped off the fine layer of dust that it had been collecting on the cover and opened it, getting ready for a rush of memories. The first page contained a picture of me and my family standing in front of a roller coaster. I instantly recognised where the picture was taken…


       “Everybody got their tickets?” my sister asked, bursting with joy. We all replied “yes” in unison, raising our tickets for the theme park. Each and every ticket had a unique pattern that corresponded to the numerous rides. The holidays had just started and we were going to enjoy it to the fullest. After alighting the bus, we marched off into the theme park, embracing the holiday mood. The park was teeming with people and the smell of cotton candy wafted through the air. Some workers in hilarious beaver mascots waved at us, welcoming us to the theme park. In the distance, we could hear the screams of riders. The atmosphere was electrifying.


       That day, I only had one goal in sight. I looked around for a bit before locating it-the roller coaster. I made a beeline towards the queue, passing my sister. She was stunned and realised what I was doing. She started chasing me in an attempt to get there first. My sister finally caught up and teased, “Are you sure about this? I mean, it is your first time on a roller coaster. I’m not sure you can even take a boat ride, let alone a roller coaster.” Inside, I was scared out of my wits but I also wanted to impress her and hopefully end her onslaught of verbal abuse by calling me a “scaredy-cat”. I nodded my head, trying to look as courageous as a lion. My sister seemed to believe my charade and left me to face the roller coaster on my own. I joined the long queue and started to wait, and wait, and wait…
       15 minutes later and I was still waiting. Peering forwards, I could see that there was still a very long way to go. I could not take another second of this. The place’s decoration choice was bland and everything reeked of rotten eggs. I finally snapped. Running past everyone to get to the front, many people were enraged by my inconsiderate act. Thankfully, the people in charge did not notice.
       The roller coaster suddenly stopped in front of me. Those in the roller coaster poured out the moment the doors opened, leaving me to enter. I noticed that the wheels were rusty but simply shrugged it off. I put on the seatbelt and watched as the vehicle left the ground, groaning like an elderly man as it climbed higher and higher…
The roller coaster reached the top of the final hill. I was as tense as a bowstring after going through the previous rounds of ups and down. The roller coaster creaked upwards, slowing down… to a stop. I was utterly confused. Was this planned? A few seconds later, I started to panic. It wasn’t part of the plan! Fear gripped me with a vice-like grip. I was stuck on the hill, with no way to get down! Down on the ground, those lucky enough to not be on the roller coaster started to notice. Some pulled out their mobile phones to presumably call the management or rescuers. A few stress-filled moments and lots of nail-biting tension later, help finally arrived.
       The rescuers asked the manager to completely close down the ride in case the ride suddenly started again before asking us what happened. We were all extremely shaken and could not give very good recounts so the rescuers simply got to work. They, with the help of a fire engine, climbed up to the tallest part of the ride and saved us from our plight. Each step down was a huge relief. By the time I was saved, along with the others, I had calmed down. My parents came out of the crowd and rushed towards me giving me a big hug. It helped me regain my senses after the traumatic experience. Afterwards, we just settled for a simple pizza for dinner.
       “Tom, I said clean your room, not stare at this…” my mother barged into the room, bringing me back to the present day. She saw what I was holding and stopped. “Oh… Dear, I’m sorry,” she said in a hushed tone. “It’s fine,” I said in the calmest tone I could muster. Even though I was put through that agony that day, it did not spoil the mood of my birthday.
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