Cotton Candy and Seafoam
The beauty of the mountains all rested in the twisty roads and the forest; the tall redwood trees towered above our car, the fresh air floating by, the thick foliage blocking out the sun, dappling everything under. The thick branches of the trees tilted upwards as if they were reaching for the stars. The beach hid behind the hills and trees; the faint crashes of the waves added a calming effect. The smell of soil and life wafted in the air; I inhaled deeply, relishing it again. As weird as it sounds, I loved the smell of nature and dirt; it reminded me that I was a small puzzle piece in the universe.
“You guys used up all the space. What about me?” somebody complained, snapping me out of my thoughts. I ducked my head back into the car and looked to my right. My two best friends, Katya and Anna, shoved each other jokingly, both wanting room. We attended the same school, sharing many memories there. I gave a sympathetic groan as Anna hit Katya’s stomach with her elbow. “Have you seen the space I have?” Katya gestured as her tiny middle seat. “You can manage,” Anna retorted, purposely scooting to the left, squishing Katya and me together. “Come on, you five-year-olds, calm down,” I teased.
Soon enough, we pulled near the boardwalk. As we walked down the small quaint streets, we ended up on a bigger street filled with more people and cars. We squeezed in between the crowds of people to get to the boardwalk. Katya sniffed the air. “I smell pizza.” she pointed out. As we walked towards the ticket booths of the boardwalk, I turned towards Katya, staring at her unimpressively. “I feel like you’re super ignorant of everything unless there’s food,” I arched an eyebrow. Anna snorted. “Who isn’t?”
“I am,” I deadpanned. Anna frowned. “Yeah, no. Arrête de mentir. You’re the easiest to scare.” Anna accused. I shook my head as we waited in line for the tickets. “Katya is.” Katya scowled in response. “No I’m not-” Anna took a step forward and yelled “Bah!”
Katya yelped, jumping backward. Anna and I, being the good friends we are, laughed. She stepped forward again, eyeing Anna and me. She pouted, looking as cuddly as a cactus. Anna cackled some more.
We finally got our tickets as we calmed down. I waved goodbye to my dad as soon as he snapped a picture of us and left. I took Katya and Anna by the hand started dragging them towards the tower. “We’re going on that?” Katya asked, incredulous. “I can’t do that!” her voice raised an octave. Anna rolled her eyes. “We’ll be fine.”
As we waited in line, Katya nervously fidgeted with the hem of her shirt. Anna teased her some more. I looked to the right, my gaze flickering along the line of the horizon. The sky looked magical with its nice clouds, punctured with rays of the sun. The ocean swirled with dark aquamarine and emerald green, the seafoam buffeting the sand. The horizon slightly blurred in the distance, as if the ocean didn’t want to let us know the mysteries beyond. Here, the smell of cotton candy and fried food floated in the air. Seagulls squawked as they flew by, their feathers ruffled in the slight summer breeze. I could feel it on my face. The oceanside held its own kind of beauty too.
We finally made it to the tower. Anna glanced up, taking in the tower. On the top, it read “125 feet drop tower!” in bright orange letters. Lights flickered around the edges of the tower as the previous group of tourists got off.
I picked the middle seat of a row that faced the ocean. Katya whimpered and Anna started to doubt her confidence. "Uh, maybe we shouldn't-" Anna said. "That's what I've been saying for the past 10 minutes!" Katya exploded. "Calm down," I soothed. "It won't be that bad."
"That's what they all say," muttered Katya. A teenager came over, buckled us in and went into his booth where he could control the ride. My eyes swung back to the ocean as I felt the padding around the seat. Fluffy. I like it.
“How do you enjoy these things?” Katya asked, frantic. “This is torture! This is-this is abuse!” I suppressed another laugh. “The thrill, you know? At least you know we’re not going to get hurt.” Katya looked like she wanted to run away far from this place. “What if the seats come off? The seat belt breaks? The-” I put my index on her mouth. “We will be fine,” I stressed out the last word.
On my left, I had Anna who let out a long string of colorful words. She realized how high this tower actually was. A bit too late for that. On my right, I Katya shivered. "Stop being so dramatic. It'll be fun," I promised them.
The ride slowly lifted us upwards. Katya screamed as soon as she saw her feet leave the ground. Anna laughed. "It just started. This isn't even the ride, Katya." I chuckled with her.
Anna teased Katya some more. "Katya, you're always so-"
Suddenly, our seats shot upwards. Anna gasped as Katya screamed for bloody murder. We arrived at the top fast. I relished that moment of weightlessness as we plummeted down again.
"I can't-I can't breathe!" screeched Anna. "OH MY GOD OH MY GOD HELP I DIDN'T CONSENT TO THIS-" Katya yelled. I giggled like a total psychopath as the wind rushed back to me, lifting my hair. I swung my legs as we arrived at the bottom and shot up again.
Up, down, up, down. I laughed some more as Katya and Anna held on to their seats for dear life.
The ride slowed down, slowly resting near the ground. With a loud clunk, the seats slowly touched the ground.
"I...I hate-ha...hate you," Katya panted. I cringed as her voice cracked. "Guess who doesn't have any vocal cords anymore." I laughed despite my friend’s disheveled composure.
Anna grimaced. "Remind me to never take your advice," she managed to croak out.
We hung out around the boardwalk, walked around the waves of the beach, ate a Mediterranean food...I went on all the crazy rides as Anna and Katya avoided it and waited for me. I squawked out chicken sounds, calling them des poules mouillés.
With lots of complaining, dragging and arguing, Anna and I finally convinced Katya to go on the Fright Castle. I’ve been on it before and it truly wasn’t that bad. Katya reluctantly stepped into the line.
After 10 minutes of us standing in line with Katya who complained impossibly loudly, we finally stepped into the little cart. Katya and I settled in the back as Anna sat in front by herself. As the cart slowly rolled forward, Katya grabbed my shoulder tightly. She gripped me so tightly her knuckles turned white and my shoulder ached already.
The double doors leading into the ride opened. It slowly rolled down through a hallway of fake plastic ghosts. Katya let out a strangled squeal before burying her head in my lap. She looked like an ostrich with her head in the ground.
Anna and I just laughed at the extremely fake ghosts. It seemed like they didn’t even try to make it look realistic. “Beedoo!” Anna yelled, the echo repeating her strange choice of words.
“ It smells like cheese down here!” I hollered truthfully. “Vive la France!” Anna screamed. Between our weird calls and laughs, the fake monsters around us desperately tried to scare us. The dry and musty air blew into my face; I wrinkled my nose. I much prefer the scent of redwood and the sea.
We finally got out. Anna talked excitedly about how terrible that was. Katya muttered to herself. And I just laughed along, because spending time with my friends brought me joy. The type of thrill I always craved for.
The love for that certain thrill started ever since childhood. The thrill that could make you forget things, that could make your heart pound a thousand miles per hour, that could tune your senses. Escaping everything for a few minutes helped a lot. It’s incredible to just live in the moment and only think of right now; no worries, no responsibilities, no goals, just the fresh air and screams.
The weird mix of cotton candy and seafoam made me forget it all.
Author Notes: hehe was that funny?
I also added some french. You know, culture appreciation?
I also want to say that Jimin Baby is an awesome writer, go check the profile out <3