What Are Best Friends For?

“Hey Hallie,” Marta, my best friend, plops her body next to me, hearing the sound of my bean bag chair. “What you doing this week since we are off school?

“I don’t know. I might just stay home and read.” I reply, thinking about the carnival that’s coming to town. 

“That’s not the correct answer,” she chuckles, revealing her perfectly aligned pearly whites. “We get the whole week off of school and you’re not even going to go to the carnival? It’s the reason we are off.” 

“Yeah I’m not a big fan of heights and you know people,” I laugh off. The anxiety flows through my veins when I think about how many people are going to be there. Bumping shoulder to shoulder with people you have no idea where they have been.

“It’ll be fun. Also, it’s a good way to step out of your comfort zone,” Marta says. It’s not like I hear that every day. I don’t exactly but still every time I do hear it, it makes my blood boil. What’s wrong with staying to myself? I mind my own business. I don’t get into any trouble. Unlike Marta. “Before you get defensive I just think it’ll be fun to face your fears for once.” 

“I know but maybe some other time.”

“Hey, you can’t tell a queen no,” She chuckles, resting her head in the palm of her hand.

“Fair enough,” I shrug, closing my book.

I guess I’m going. 

******

Marta and I walk through the entrance, waiting behind a line full of people. As we were waiting, I see all the bright fluorescent lights glowing off of the rides, the people screaming of enjoyment, and the smell of freshly popped popcorn. I almost forgot how much I love funnel cake. 

“Alright Hallie I’m going to make you a deal,” Marta continues, moving up a tiny bit further up in the line. I should’ve known there would be a catch to this. “If you say yes to everything I suggest such as rides, rollercoasters, talking to people, etc., I will let you read and leave you alone for two weeks.” Can it be that simple? All I have to do is scare my pants off myself.

“I don’t know, Marta that’s a pretty big deal for me,” I say, circling my fingers with each other out of anxiety. “You know my thing about heights.”

“Okay well I’ll start small and move our way up,” she says. “I’m not a monster. Your adrenaline is going to be so high that you’re not even going to notice the heights.”

“I don’t know about that.” I nod. “But to be able to read whenever I want without you trying to make me party with every senior in the school does sound pretty good honestly.”

“Hey, you should thank me for that. All of the seniors are hot even if they were ugly the year before,” She moves to the booth to get our wrist bands. “This one is on me.”

After letting the lady behind the glass wrap a paper bracelet around my dainty wrist, I follow Marta to look at the rides. 

“So, deal or no deal?” Marta smirks as her glitter eyeliner reflects off the fluorescent lights from the Ferris wheel. 

“Deal. So, what’s first?” I exhale roughly, waiting for the monstrous anxiety to take over my body. 

“We can start with the Carousel.”

We both jogged to the horses that were right next to each other. Once everyone got on and the ride started, the wind blowing through my freshly straightened hair felt amazing. Watching people get their funnel cakes, popcorn, and a bucket full of curly fries. Reminds me of when my dad used to take me and my little sister here. 

The ride stopped and Marta and I follow each other shoulder to shoulder to make sure we didn’t get lost in the crowd of people. Once the crowd cleared from my vision, I noticed a six-foot-tall guy by the whack a mole with the sharpest jawline I have ever laid eyes on. Marta’s ex. He’s cute but not my type. Abusive isn’t my type.

“Don’t look but Jake is over there,” Marta ducks her head down, pulling my arm just enough to go in the opposite direction. “thank goodness he didn’t see us. That could’ve ended badly.”

Yeah considering the fact we almost made eye contact.

“Let’s do the Ferris wheel next,” She suggests, pointing to it. 

“I don’t know Marta. It goes high and isn’t that ride for mostly couples anyway,” I say trying to avoid every which way to go on there even though I promised her.

“Hallie you’re my soulmate.”

She drags my hand, adding to the line of couples waiting for the next round of people to go on the Ferris wheel. I guess Marta and I are soulmates. In a platonic way of course. I don’t know what I would do without her trying to push me to live a better life. 

The ride eventually stops, and the crowd of people lessens as each couple got off. When it was our turn, Marta grasps my hand and pulls on to the seat with her. The ride starts going in circles slowly (as a Ferris wheel does) and when we got to the top, I admire the stars in the sky. I never realize how beautiful they are with the city lights. 

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” Marta notices, looking at them with me.

After the Ferris wheel ride, we start walking around and notice a ride I was hoping Marta would just skip. It makes me want to vomit just looking at it. Pendulum ride. 

“Don’t think for a second I didn’t see that ride,” Marta whispers in my ear, giving the most sarcastic condescending smirk I’ve ever seen on her face. “And you can’t say no. You have to be a yes man well, woman but still.”

Before I can even respond, she gently pulls my arm and the ride stops just in time for the people before us to get off and the next group of people to get on. Maybe it won’t be so bad. It only goes fifty feet in the air while swinging back and forth. Very fast. I might throw up.

“Don’t worry after this ride I get you a funnel cake,” Marta assures me. “Your favorite.” 

Marta and I take our seats and the ride secures us tightly as people sit in their seats. Once everyone else gets on, I take a deep breath and the ride starts swinging slowly. It’s not so bad. Then it steadily got faster as I thought that to myself. Way to jinx yourself, Hallie. The ride gets faster and higher and if I’m being completely honest I don’t feel scared. I feel almost alive. 

The ride ends and my whole body is like shaking but not in a bad way. My body is almost numb from the excitement. I need to get on more rides. I see why Marta is such an adrenaline junkie.

“Are you okay?” Marta chuckles. 

“Yeah I just never felt more alive,” I make eye contact with her, noticing her smile. “I can’t thank you enough.” 

“What best friends are for.”

Culled from blog.reedsy.com by Allie Paige

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