The Pirate Ship

(entry for herbravesoul’s April prompt: A Leap of faith)

‘I almost died’, that’s what I thought.

The night before my cousin died of cardiac arrest, the five of us was surprisingly happy. Festival nights weren’t the kind of thing she’s come to because of a bad anxiety attack. But since she heard a name come out of Jules’s mouth, she was compelled.

The pirate ship was her favorite. Swinging back and forth, and as high as it could, was not a bother to her at all. It was her thing. She’d tell me a lot of times that it was like drowning from a very deep swimming pool, but you still know how to find air.

After a moment of all the rides we had, we rested inside 7/11’s store. Buying 5 pairs of RC and a big bite with a few chips and candies that I pulled by the counter as she queued.

“Let’s ride the pirate ship again!!!!” she wailed in between her food and drink. The people behind us were looking at her, but she didn’t budge with their sights.

“You,” she said to me. Her arm was locked with mine, and then she started squirming like a child at 8. “Let’s ride the pirate ship again.” Her smile was bright, but I’m scared of heights.

“No” I said

“Why?” she asked to me.

“She might collapse after the ride, you know how serious panic attacks are when it comes to elementary students” my sister answered while holding the can of RC.

“Jesus!” she shouted. Everyone looked at us. She was standing, but her attention wasn’t about my opposition. It was someone.

We found the one Jules have said. With a someone she knows as well. She sat again, and faced me to say “I swear to be the happiest person in the world, if you’ll ride the pirate ship again with me.”

I looked at my sister. She wasn’t saying anything – not even a single sign of opposition. Her eyes were clearly saying that I should. If I should, maybe then they will stop forcing me to ride that ship.

“Okay”

The time the ship started moving, I was tightly holding her arm. Watching her laugh at me was one of the things that I hated the most. But she seemed calm when she told me “you need not to worry. This is like living.”

My bare legs were shivering from fright. My hands that seem strong became numb. I can’t find a way out of this ride. I needed air. I might not make it. I might die.

It got higher the time I let go of my grip. She rested her head on my shoulders quietly, and pretended to be sleeping. The people who are watching us are small. I even got surprised of the view. It was prettier than what I could always see every time I stroll in this little town I’ve lived with.

“Wake up” I said while shaking her arm, but she did not move.

“Kid, if you want to ride again, you should pay” one of the personnel who are waiting told me.

I shouted my sister’s name, and have immediately run to us. They started waking her up, but still, it did not work. That was the time we needed to call for 911.

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