The Song That Changed Your Life
That Friday by Stephen Barredo
This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge.
Video source: Youtube
It all seemed so perfect.
Sitting in the back seat of a tiny Daihatsu, I giddily daydreamed about her.
My fingers anxiously drummed away, in tune to The Cure, armpit stains more nerves than being crammed in a can of sardines with six other college freshmen. If it wasn’t for the Drakkar Noir poured on us, it might have smelled like the inside of your dad’s hockey bag, not that the overpowering odor of cologne was much better.
It was the first time that we would be outside campus together. Our trip to the best and only all-year-round theme park in the Philippines promised to be a day of unimaginable delight. It was called Enchanted Kingdom, after all.
As soon as I tumbled out of the clown car my game was on. I aired out my sleeves and skipped gleefully across the cobblestone pathways.
I didn’t care if Monday was blue, Tuesday was grey, Wednesday too.
She was there, conveniently waiting in line for Space Shuttle, the most exciting roller coaster on this side of the island.
Friday never hesitate.
I mustered up the courage and asked if she wanted to go on the ride with me. My heart must have been beating wildly in my ears because I didn’t hear her say yes. All I saw through my glazed over eyes was her mouthing the word.
I didn’t care if Monday was black, Tuesday and Wednesday heart attack. I wasn’t looking back.
Even if the next twenty minutes in line were just awkward smiles, fidgety feet, and the eerie silence of teenage apprehension.
Once we finally got on and were strapped in, the adrenaline rush was unbearable. Sparks flew as our white knuckles touched. We went at the interminable speed of youth.
Invincible and proud, I owned the world for those three minutes. Her fragile and vulnerable shoulder bumped against mine, strong and fearless.
I could never get enough. Enough of that stuff.
My shooting star burned bright and fast. The ride ended and we went our separate ways, lost in a throng of disheveled hair and crackling voices. With a sigh of acceptance, I realized that joy can be fleeting but everyone is the better for having felt it.
Monday I fell apart. Tuesday, Wednesday broke my heart. Thursday didn’t even start.
But that Friday?
That Friday I was in love.
Stephen Barredo is from Milton, ON.