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I snatch the phone away from him. “Why do you keep checking your phone?”

He takes it back. “No reason.”

Another set of riders are strapped in, eager to be scared out of their minds. We move up and I furiously bite my nails.

We’re next.

People are crowding around us now, and it’s really busy and hot so there’s a lot of body odor radiating off the crowd. I just focus on Trey and try to make everything and everybody disappear into the background.

Ugh, it’s not working. I still have absolute fear of going on this death trap.

Couldn’t it be called The Relaxing Journey instead of The Blitz?

“Next!” The employee with an official Wild Adventures nametag motions to us to get in the front row.

Front row? Oh, no!

I hesitate, but the guy waves us over again, seemingly frustrated at my hesitation. We’ve waited over an hour to do this. I can’t back out now. I want to though. But I don’t want to disappoint Trey, who’s tried to convince me for the past hour that I can do this. He’ll be by my side.

Taking a deep breath, I walk over and take a seat as the guy with the nametag orders me to strap in. I do it, then squeeze my eyes shut as the lockdown bar lowers.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I’m not going to regret it later.

But as I blindly reach over to clutch Trey’s hand in mine, something’s not right. Trey’s hand is soft and strong. The hand holding mine is rough, like sandpaper.

I squint my eyes open and glance at the guy strapped in next to me.

No!

I suck in a horrified breath. It’s definitely not my boyfriend, Trey. In his place is Matthew Bonk from our rival school, the guy who makes my skin crawl. I think he’s got the record for most high school touchdowns in Illinois, but that fact just feeds his oversized ego. On top of that, he’s friends with Zara.

“Hey, baby,” Bonk says in a slow drawl as his beady eyes roam over me and lock on to my cleavage.

Eww.

I snatch my hand back and wipe it on my shorts, then quickly glance over my shoulder. Where’s Trey? When I spot him, I’m shocked. Trey is still in line with his cell up to his ear. He flashes an angry glare at Bonk. The apologetic look he then gives me doesn’t help as the roller coaster starts moving.

What the…

So now I’m in the front seat of a roller coaster that’s moving slowly and torturously up and up and up the scary tracks. Well, I’m not really alone. The biggest jerk to ever inhabit the earth is sitting next to me.

I tell myself not to look at Bonk, but I do. My eyes go wide as I realize that the guy has actually lit a joint. He takes a long, hard drag, then holds it out to me. “Want a hit?”

“Are you kidding me? No! Put that out, you jerk.”

He laughs and takes another drag. “It’ll make you relax and forget that dickless boyfriend of yours.”

“I don’t need to relax, thank you very much. And I’m sure my boyfriend can show you up any day of the week.” I start doing Hail Marys.

I’m strapped in like a caged animal. There’s no way to stop this thing now. I’m going to die next to Matthew Bonk of all people. For all I know, the joint will fly out of his hand and land in my lap or face, burning me. If I live, I’ll end up with a permanent marijuana burn mark.

I squeeze my eyes shut once again and clench my body tight like I do in the morning when I get out of bed, waiting for this hellish ride to be over. Bonk’s massive ego, as well as the smell of marijuana, radiates off him. I don’t know where we are in the ride or how long it is.

I just pray it’s over soon.

Suddenly I feel like I’m freefalling to my death, then I’m being jerked from one side to another… and again another… forget being blasted in the face with marijuana ashes.

I’m.

Going.

To.

Die.

I hear Bonk laugh and say “whoa” a bunch of times, which doesn’t make me feel better. My joints are too stiff to hurt right now, but I’ll pay for it later.

I know that these rides last only sixty seconds or less. But it seems like forever. Or maybe I’m stoned from secondhand smoke, and it just feels like forever. Fear is taking over all my senses. I hate the feeling of my stomach sinking with every drop and turn.

Finally we start slowing down. Is it over or are they duping me?

I let out a breath and open my eyes when we come to a complete stop.

“That was dope,” Bonk says. He turns to me. “You’ve got to learn to loosen up so you’re not such a cold, rigid bitch,” he says, then steps out. “I’ll see you at homecoming.”

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