For the fourth time that day, I regretted not bringing a hat to Chessington. Although the continuous beat of the sun had proven quite effective in baking off the water I was covered in from Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks, it was still feeling quite oppressive as we stood patiently in the queue for Seastorm.
Lightsinthesky had left us a while ago, accusing us of living in “pencil-land” when we both refused to go on Rameses’ Revenge. Einstein and I were enjoying ourselves, however.
What neither of them knew was that I had had A Moment™ earlier that day. As usual, nobody had wanted to sit next to me on the bus, so I had a double seat to myself – most of the rowdy boys opposite me were more concerned with making V-signs at lorry drivers than haranguing me, so I had a quiet journey. As we pulled into Chessington, however, the radio blasted an Elton John track the instant the second bus came into view.
The first person I saw through the window was Zebra, the girl I had a crush on. Granted, she was the only one I’d been looking for, but the combination of the music’s swell and her long, dark hair (and beautiful toothy smile) had a profound effect on me. At that moment, all I felt was love, love, love, and the dark and difficult year I’d just had seemed to simply melt away.
As Einstein and I clambered onto Seastorm, she hovered into view again (and I mean that – her feet never seemed to touch the ground), accompanied by her short, cheeky friend and two tall, white girls with glasses. Eventually, I’d end up with a crush on all of them. But, at the time, I only had eyes for her.
“Look, there’s…” I started, but I never got to finish my sentence, as she faded into a blur when Seastorm started moving. I held on, let out a few whoops every now and again, and thought to myself, this is all right. Everything’s all right.
For the rest of the day, I kept an eye out for her, although the milieu of warm bodies throughout the park was too dense to make out her shape. I went on as many rides as I could, for sure, but I never did see her after Seastorm.
As it grew darker, the teachers corralled us and we were duly shepherded back onto our respective buses. I sat in the same seat, the multitudes prepared their V-sign fingers, and I trained my eyes on the window I’d seen Zebra sitting at that morning. As I’d hoped, she materialised in exactly the same place, smile fixed to her face, looking straight forwards.
She wouldn’t see me unless she turned to the right.
So I stared…