Chapter 1: An Enlightening experience
I woke up from a groggy, restless sleep. Today is the day me and my friends go to Adventures amusement park in brooklyn for the first time. I'm so, so excited. My overprotective ass parents wouldnt let me walk out the house without being watched like a hawk. I mean I'm 16 years old, for fucks sake. That's surely gotta mean something to them right? I'm only getting older, I cant be stuck inside forever. I think to myself.
There must be something I can do to convince them I can go by myself. After all, it is a freaking Sunday.
I got up and brushed my teeth, and walked downstairs fully confident i can convince my stubborn parents to let me go. Things havent been the same since my elder brother died a few months ago due to his own accident at a theme park. My dad blames me, because well....I pushed him to go that day even though he was reluctant to. A faulty seat on one of those big hammer swing things costed him his life. He got flung out of his seat...and well....you probably know the rest.
but I cannot, will not let it be an excuse to not continue living life. If Elton was here, he would want me to go. Regardless. He always told me, live life, by any means necessary.
"Morning mom, morning dad". I say to them as I make my way down the stairs. They're sat together in the living room, as usual. I never not happy when they're together. It gives me a warm feeling inside.
"Morning TaeTae!" My mom and says. I hate when they call me that, yet I still smile when they call me that. It's so funny. Their smiles make me blush.
I pour myself a glass of orange juice ans face my parents. It's time to ask the million dollar question. I need to be allowed to go to that theme park.
But there it is again. That feeling of your stomach churning. And the anxiety bubbling up inside me. Wondering how my parents will react because this must've been the 1000th time I've asked them. Wondering about what my friends will think of me because I promised them I'd be with them this time. The anxiety bubbles up to my throat and now my hands are shaking. Fuck. Thank god I got this orange juice, drinking something always helps me distract myself from the nervousness. I gulp a large portion of the orange juice then look at my parents. A worried look flash across their faces.
"I--i um can I go to the theme--". But it's as if my dad already knew what I was gonna ask, because he was the first to get up and jump right into my face and begin howling at me. A little too loud for 7 in the morning.
"TEANNA! WHAT DID I TELL YOU A FEW WEEKS AGO ABOUT THIS SUBJECT?!"
My heart skips a bit. It surprised me because he never reacted like that before. I see the burning rage in his eyes and begin to back away. Now my heart is beginning to burn with fear. I back away until I back into the fridge door.
"Teanna, ANSWER ME!". I close my eyes and try to calm myself down. My entire insides are churning, and I begin to flash hot and cold. A shaky breath comes out my mind as I try to convince my mind not to fall into panic mode.
"DO YOU EVEN REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO ELTON, DO YOU EVEN CARE--"
But before he even says another word, my mom steps in.
"Darren! We talked about this already! Now get away from our daughter!
I opened my eyes, and hot fresh tears began surfacing at the back of it. The environment begins to choke me and I just had to find space to breathe. My dad continued yelling and rambling on and on about My brother and how I was at fault, but I turned him out. My head turned cloudy and all I could focus on was to escape before I collapse like a pile of bricks. I push dad out the way and make a run for the front door, out into the rain. I didnt care. I heard my mom yelling my name but that too I ignored. My dad, calling out for me to come back, still ignored. I made a beeline for the nearest bus shed and sat at it. Finally let all my emotions come flowing out, I dropped my head into my hands and began to cry. All the memories of the day elton died come flooding back to my head. And I keep thinking to myself: "WHY WHY WHY!" Why do I put up with this, in every living second of my life?! Then I remembered I'm 16, it's not like I can pack my things and make a run for it.
My whole crying episode was interrupted by a tap on the shoulder. I assumed its my dad. By then I was far too emotional to entertain anyone, let alone my dad.
"Dad just leave me the fuck--"
A fine, yet raspy voice responded to me. In utter confusion, I whirled around and my eyes meet a familiar face. Its allan. One of my friends who's ment to be at the amusement park later.
I was so ashamed he found me cryIng in my hands. At a bus shed. During a thunderstorm.
"What the hell you want?" I asked, clearly not in the mood for anyone to talk to me.
"Well, it's a thunderstorm, and you're out here at a bus stop crying for God knows reason, you're soaking wet and you're pushing me away." He laughs, and walks across to sit next to me.
"Why are you out here?" I ask.
"I went to pick up some supplies. Why are YOU out here?" He asks
I turn my head away and look across the road and ponder
"Why do you even care?
"Because that what friends are for, dumbo!". He laughs. I jokingly scoff and shake my head. No matter what mood I'm in, he never, ever ceases to make me laugh.
"I should take you home--"
"Uhh no thanks." I put my hands up in desperation. Not especially after I just walked out on my parents, and my dad who was literally howling at me. It will just open another bottle of emotions I'm not ready to let loose yet.
"I was thinking of going to that amusement park today, I'm thinking Maybe you could take me there"
"Does your parents know?"
"Why do you think I'm out here?"
"You're out here in the middle of a thunderstorm because mommy and daddy told you you cant go?" Allan stutters a laugh as if I was being just another childish brat, but I cant help but get agitated. It's much more than lashing out because I cant go.
"Its not even about that!" I get up in frustration and throw my hands In the air.
"You dont even understand what's been going on in that house, allan." I look away, breaking eye contact. I hate when everyone just assumses everything is what they seem it is. Just fucking ask!
I pause, and suddenly the feeling of pent up emotions start juggling around in my stomach again. I dont want to feel them again. Not at this time. Tears begin to prick at the corners of my eyes.
"Look, forget it. Let's just go." I quickly walk past him, trying not to show him that I am crying - again.
"Teanna just tell me--"
"Allan just shut up and let's go! You wouldnt understand anyway!" I yell, my voice wobbly and my eyes glistening with tears I dont want to release. Anger is the only thing I use when I dont want to be emotional. It's better that way. I grab his hand and forcefully pull him with me out into the rain, towards the train station.
The thunder crashes in the sky line, and flashes of lightning continue to spark in the clouds. The heavy pour of rain doesn't affect me one bit, and it doesnt seem to affect Allen either. We enter the train station and start checking the timetables.
"Which way to scream zone?" I ask myself.
"Its in brooklyn." Allan says. I almost forgot I was holding his hand. I pull away.
"Nigga I ain't ask you." I give him a side eye and look away. I ain't in any mood to talk.
"Tea, you gotta tell Me what's going on with you". He steps closer. I cross my hands. I really hate opening up to people, especially when they dont understand, wouldnt understand or just refuse to. My heart Is something I must protect at all costs. I have spent months mending it and I'm not about to break it again.
"Allan, please..just leave it."
"Because you wouldnt fucking understand!"
"Teanna I'm your best friend!"
"What does that have to do with anything?
"Because I am your best friend a d clearly you're hurting from something and you're not telling me!"
I stop for a bit, because it is actually true. I am hurting. I've been hurting since elton died and all I've been doing Is avoiding the grief. I hate to feel. I hate to feel these emotions, I run from them the moment that feeling comes on.
"Are we going to stand here in the middle of the rain all day and argue about my feeling or are we gonna get on a train to go have some fun?"
"Let's go have some fun." He purchased the tickets, and soon we on a train to brooklyn. Rain or sun, come what may, I was going to have fun today.
Meanwhile...back at home...
Mom: I havent seen her anywhere. She ran out into the road and disappeared in the rain.
Dad bangs his fists on the counter. It's been 45 minutes since Teanna had ran away.
Dad: have you tried calling her?
Mom: she hasn't been answering her phone.
Dad: where do you think she wouldve gone?
Mom: I dont know...teanna doesnt really speak about her friends to us, shes very reserved about her personal life--
Mom stops, and a realisation came to her head. Dad stares.
Mom: THE FUCKING AMUSEMENT PARK, SHES PROBABLY HEADED THERE!! OH SHIT NO WONDER SHE RAN OUT!!
Mom frantically runs up stairs, and comes running back down with her hand bag. Dad frantically gets his car keys.
Dad: oh fuck! And Teanna loves those big tall rides, our girl is as stubborn as a mat stuck under a door, she will go on one of those big crazy tall rides and put herself in danger!
Mom: we gotta go! Fast! Who knows how fast she can get there!
Mom and dad hop into the family vehicle and speed off to brooklyn to find you.
On the train...
Me and allan sit across from each other. I look out the window, watching the trees and city buildings fly by. I watch the rain patter on the windows, watching rain drops racing down to the bottom. I sit and ponder, trying to figure out how will I sort out my situation at home. It's all a mess. It's been a mess since elton died. But I need distractions, more distractions.
I get so lost in thought I jumped when Allan called out my name. I look into his eyes and I see desperation.
"Talk to me"
"Kmt allan we already had this discussion." I look back at the window.
"No. We didnt." After a few longing seconds, he softly touches my fingers, which sends sparks flying through my entire body. I turn to him, and pull my hand back slowly. I look him dead in the eyes and my stomach begin doing somersaults. I look away again, I feel uncomfortable and nervous
"Look, tea, I dont know, what goes on in your head, but I know you care, and I know you just hiding your feelings to act like you dont, because you're afraid of opening up, because you think that I will hurt you right? That I wouldnt understand what you're going through? The fact that you're brother died, it hurts you still, right?"
A lump forms in my throat. He does not know how much hes right about it. I turn my face further away from him to hide the tears welling in my eyes. A balloon of grief and emotions begin forming in my chest and it's only a matter of time before it bursts.
"So tea, I just want you to know that I wont misunderstand you, I wont misjudge you and I dont ever want to hurt you".
I turn back to him with grief and tears in my eyes. I take a deep breath, and try to swallow the lump in my throat.
"O-okay". That was all that I can force from my mouth, because the grief began tearing me up from inside and the only thing that came out next was a burst of tears.
"Oh..tea.." allan reaches over and grasps me in a hug, which is what I really needed, and I finally let it all out on his shoulder.
"I cant take the pain anymore..I-I cant.." I utter into his shoulder. He rubs my back, which soothes me.
"Sometimes Tea, in life, the best way to get over pain, is to go through it. Hiding it, running from it and distracting you from it wont do anything. It will always be there no matter how hard you try to run.
And hes right. The more I run, the more the hurt invests inside me, yet I didnt see it that way. In order to let go of this pain of losing my parents and my parents blaming me for it, I will have to face it head on. I rest my head into Allan's shoulder and close my eyes. I feel a wave of comfort and trust and love emitting from his body.
The train screeched to a stop at our destination. And to be honest, I did not want to let him go. The feel of his touch, the way he rubs my back and how the sparks fly between us every time he touches my arm makes me feel so good. He is my best friend, but it feels like we can be more.
We reluctantly let go, with desire in our eyes and disembark, and head towards Luna park.
After a long, long silence walking down the bustling brooklyn streets, allan finally says something, which surprises me.
"You sure you dont want a umbrella, tea?" He asks with actual genuine concern.
I dont mind being wet to be honest, although I'm shivering. I just want to get where I want to be.
"No-no I-I'm okay tha-thanks" I say as I wrap my arms around my body trying to keep warm.
"You shouldve brought a jacket with you."
"I-i wasnt t-thinking of that when I d-dipped out the house this morning."
"Here. Take mine." He pulls off his jacket, and wraps me in it. I I'm immediately feel the warmth.
Later that afternoon...
We finally arrive at the amusement park. Lightning and thunder continue to rattle the grey and gloomy skyline as the rain continues to pour. I call my best friend, Jessica and her sister hailey to tell them I arrived. Me and allan move under a roof to take shelter
"Yo, J where you at? We just arrived at Luna park!"
"*gasps* no fucking way, teanna! You're actually there right now?
"Yes yes I am!" I jump up and down in excitement.
"How did you convince your mom and dad to let you come out, even in this weather?"
I pause for a little bit.
"Girl it doesnt matter, just get here ASAP!" I said. I hang up, and sit and wait for the rest of my friends to arrive.
15 minutes later...
I notice 2 familiar looking girls walking towards us. I'm so excited. Yet I feel a pit of guilt and pain in my stomach. It's the same place my brother died, and I promise myself I will not even look at the ride which took my brother's life.
"Yo wassup Jessica? Aye bailey what's good?" I walk over to them in the drizzling rain and hug them both.
"Hey Tea tea!" They both simultaneously say. I roll my eyes. It bothers me so much when they call me that as if I'm some hot sweet beverage.
"Ready for some fun?"
"Hell yeah!" They say.
"Let's go!" I lead the group to a hotdog stand, and we make our purchases.
Munching down on our tasty hot dogs, we think about the ride we plan on taking today. So many to choose from, so many to see.
It's still raining, it's still thunder and lightning in the grey sky, but it did not kill our mood, neither did it stop us from going on as much rides as we could, until we finally chose to ride the big one.
Breathless me, I ask,
"So, last ride for the day, what we gonna ride?"
"Well theres only one ride Left!" Said Allan. He looks up, and we all follow his eyes to the towering structure of the Soarin' Eagle. I immideatly shake my head.
"Nu uh". I step back and immideatly turn around. This is the same ride my brother had died on, I was not prepared to suffer the same neither was I prepared to ride it while the memory is still fresh. I begin to walk away fast, trying my best to hold back tears.
"Hey teanna, where are you--"
"Allan just leave me the hell alone." I slap his hand away as he tries to reach for me. The pain and the grief gets too much and I begin to run in the heavy rain.
"Teanna, stop!" I see all 3 of them take off after me. I run even faster, tears rolling down my cheeks.
I dont know where I'm running, but all I know is I need to get away before my friends see me crying. I skip and dart through the crowd, and realise that it's only allan following me. I pick up speed, until I see the opening. And that's when I saw them. My 2 parents coming this opposite way. I attempt to skrrt to a stop, but I slip and fall and hit my head on the ground. A ringing pain floods my head, and I'm sure I have a concussion. My vision goes slightly blurry for some reason, and through the blurry vision I see my parents come towards me. I get up and make a run for it. All of a sudden it feels like the air is getting tighter in my lungs, and the entire world is closing in on me, and my heart begins beating at such a violent rate I fear I'm about to have a heart attack.
I skip and dart through the crowd, tears still rolling down my cheeks. I come face to face with allan again. While running I grab his hand and told him.
"Let's fucking go, I'm ready."
"On the ride you fucking idiot!" Then I hear a familiar voice in the background call out my name.
"Teanna!" I turn around and my dad and my mom are both chasing after me. I squeeze Allan's hand and drag him with me.
This is the one moment in a lifetime I can prove to both of my parents that I am not afraid. That I am able to still live life, that I am able to enjoy myself, that I can live my life the way I want to live it. We eventually reach the entrance to the soarin eagle, and ask the others if they had paid.
"Teanna, where did you--"
"No time lets hop on!"
We shove past the ticket collector and entered the ride.
And then that's when it happened. The pit of guilt begins the churn in my stomach. The fear of losing my life on this God forsaken rollercoaster that my brother died on a few months ago begins to take control. But it's too late. The seats are already locked in place. I begin to push and tug at the seat and suddenly I dont want to be here anymore. IWhat the fuck is wrong with me?
I suddenly hear my parents voice.
"TEANNA!" I hear my dads voice.
"GET OUT FROM THERE RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!"
But then, I remember. All the abuse, all the name calling.
The blame games.
And a ball of anger grows bigger inside me, bigger than the ginormous fear I have of riding the soarin eagle. I look to my dad, and with a shaky hand, I hold up my middle finger, and through tears I utter a soft and shaky "fuck you".
And then the ride begins to move. Faster and faster. I close my eyes so I dont watch the world spin, and so that the fear doesnt take me. I hear my friends scream next to me and it's all I can do as I feel the rain hit me in my face at 100000mph in the air.
We reach the top, when suddenly the ride jerks to a stop. The thunder and lighting continues to crash above us. I open my eyes and realise how high we are in the air. I feel my stomach doing somersaults inside me, and my heart quickens its pace. This is not how I imagined the day to go. The ride moves forward a little more, then it stops. Abruptly.
"W-whats happening..?" I utter with a shaky breath.
"I dont know." Allan answers, I turn and open my eyes and I see the fear etched on his face as well.
Suddenly, the thunder and lightning in the sky gets worse and worse, and the lightning flashes more frequently. My chest tightens, my breath gets shorter and suddenly it feels like I'm having a crippling panic attack.
The lightning flashes even more frequently as I look up. It's so scary its almost as if I feel the lightning will strike us.
The lightning strikes the top of the ride structure
And then the lightning hits our seats...
Suddenly, everything went pitch black....
(Teanna is struck by the lightning, and is rendered unconscious. The ride continues on, until the 4 of you reach back at the bottom, where a large crowd has formed. You, Jessica, hailey and Allan are all unconscious. The lightning has scared burns all over your body, and it has done the same to your friends.
Your parents in absolute hysteria wondering whether you're alive as the paramedics arrive to free your lifeless bodies from the carriage.
Your parents try to break past the paramedics to attend to your body, but there is no point.
Panic ensues all over the ground as many wonder whether 4 innocent teenagers were killed by a unfortunate strike of lightning . Your bodies are taken to a nearby hospital, where you will be examined.
Did your friends survive the ordeal? Find out in the next episode!)