I look at the grass art, leaning towards me at a 45-degree angle. Six flags are overlapping one another so elegantly, every blade of grass not surpassing the one next to it. I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and let the wind sweep me away into a dream-like haze. I hear the rustling of the trees and smell the nature around me. The breeze feels like it’s pulling me with an invisible string toward wherever it wants to take me. I’ve always been enamored with nature and how every sensory feeling has a place in my heart.
“Are you going to walk or just stand there with your eyes closed like an idiot?” My stepsister, Kendall asks with a sarcastic undertone. A smirk grows into a smile on her face.
I take another deep breath and open my eyes. I turn my head over my left shoulder and look at her with slightly squinted eyes from the sun.
“Do you always have to be so mean?” I smirk, my snark coming out clearly in my quick remark.
“We’re talking about Kendall, the answer is very obviously yes,” Aidan, my brother says with a smile. He stops running towards us. “Also, Brooke, are you always going to run in front of us when we get here?”
“It’s Six flags we’re talking about, you know how calming this spot is for me,” I say as I look at the grass sculpture in front of me.
“It’s true, she’s been running ahead of me since she was 5. Funny to think about how that stuck,” My dad comes walking with my step-mom Heather.
“She’s done it for the past 4 years that I’ve known her,” Heather says with a smile. We all start to laugh as we look at the grass art.
“Can we go on some rides now instead of talking about my habits?” I ask playfully, my smile beaming with excitement.
“Nitro first?” Aidan asks as we all start walking toward the entrance.
“Always,” Kendall and I say simultaneously with a comforting sigh. We get through security and start making our way to the chained rows that form lines. We go all the way to the left where the member lines are as we get our phones out that have our passes.
I go first as the worker scans the barcode on my phone. Kendall goes, then Aidan as I realize that we went in order from youngest to oldest. I smirk to myself quietly as I wait for Dad and Heather to get through.
I turn around as I look at a fountain bigger than some of the small buildings in the park. A smile exploded on my face as I looked around at all the gift shops and restaurants in the first starting area of the park. With all of us in the park, we start making our way to our favorite ride, Nitro.
We go on ride after ride, adrenaline pumping through our veins as we walk around with smiles on our faces. The electrifying atmosphere gets put on pause as we take a break for lunch.
We eat more and more as it feels like our stomachs are bottomless pits, our bodies desperate to replenish all the energy we have used up. When we are finished, we leave the restaurant and break into groups, Aidan and I in the front and the rest of the family a few steps behind us.
“I love coming here with the family. It’s nice that we all love rollercoasters so much,” I say with a pleasant smile on my face.
“Six flags have always been our family bonding spot. We’ve been going here since I can remember,” Aidan says with a nostalgic smirk on his face.
“Yeah, I remember when the parachutes used to be my favorite ride, god I have come a long way,” I laugh as he looks at me with reminiscent eyes.
“Man, I used to be so mad when dad forced me to go on it with you,” He says playfully. We both laugh as I lean my head against his shoulder. Silence falls upon both of us as we keep walking.
“Can we stop pretending that we are okay when you are moving away in a week? I know that it’s only to Pennsylvania but that is still three hours away. I’m proud of you that you are going to college but the moving part sucks,” I say despondently, my eyes struggling to hold it together.
“I was wondering when you were going to say something. It’s sad to think about, but this is the last time we will be going to Six Flags with me living in the state. I can’t believe that I’m going to be a freshman in college soon and you’re going to be a freshman in high school,” Aidan says as he leans his head on top of mine.
“It sounds silly but always referred to you as my rock, I’m going to float in the air now that I’m losing you,” I say as I hold back tears. I sniffle as my nose turns a little red.
“Hey hey hey, first off don’t cry, we’re in public, and you’re not losing me. I’m coming down for the holidays and I’m going to try to visit as much as I can. I’m always going to be here for you and I’m just a phone call away if you need me. You can’t get rid of me that easily you know,” He says with a smile, trying to cheer me up. I put the sleeve of my shirt up to my eyes, drying them out.
“I love you. I know I am annoying at times, but I think that is my job as a sibling,” I say with not quite a sad face but not cheerful either.
“I love you too kiddo,” He says as we arrive at our next ride. The rest of the family catches up as we start to get on the line. Sometimes I forget to cherish family time. It’s a bad habit that I hate I have. We start to go on the rides again. A feeling of calm flushes over me before the adrenaline starts again.
We finish out the park with Nitro again, as much of a tradition for us as starting with it. My family and I start walking to the exit, satisfied with the family trip. We pass by the grass art on the way out and I turn to look at it. As a kid, it has always been a calming symbol, something that represented fun. I still see those things in the flags but as I got older, I saw something new. I now see family as an emblem of my childhood, something that I will always remember forever.
Brooke Castillo is a high school student. He has been writing short personal narratives since he was about 9 years old and have loved it ever since.