It was a sunny afternoon. My little five-year-old self observed the history class that my sisters were in. I sighed. Glancing outside, the warm sun beckoned to me. I fidgeted. My eyes kept being drawn to the door leading outside and to freedom from the history class with all of the stifling names, dates and events. Finally, I saw my friend, now the Pilot, playing outside. We often played together while our siblings were taking the history class. Tapping Mom’s arm and whispering my petition to exit, I was delighted when she said yes. Slipping outside, I closed the door behind me and asked the Pilot if I could play with him.
For a few minutes, we played some running and chasing games, but I soon tired of it, since he was taller than me and could thus run considerably faster. The Pilot got out their little red wagon and asked me if I wanted to take turns pushing each other in it. I quickly agreed. Why not? Sounds like fun. The Pilot climbed in first, so I gave him the handle for steering purposes and pushed on that little wagon with all of my might. He barely moved. “Faster!” He said. I tried hard, but without any luck. Exasperated, the Pilot finally climbed out and told me to get in. My five-year-old mind trusted him completely as I sat in the wagon and grabbed the handle.
“Now, Pilot,” I lectured before he started. “Do not go very fast, okay?” I turned around as he promised that he would go slowly for me. He had a mischievous grin on his face. I again made him promise to push me slowly. And slowly he went….for a few minutes. Before I knew what was happening, The Pilot soon had me tearing around the backyard at what seemed a suicidal pace. Terror filled my being as I clutched onto the wagon for dear life. “Pilot! Pilot!” I screeched. “Slow down!” The only response from him was a laugh in my ear. Not in the least heeding my terrified cries, he raced on. I thought for sure that my last moments had arrived. Instead of him slowing down, it seemed to me as if he raced on faster and faster until we had far exceeded the rate of a train. Never had I been so scared in my life! I knew that I was going to die.
While I waited for the sound of a crash, my scream, and the thud of my little lifeless body hitting the ground, I wondered why my mom didn’t look out the window and see my plight. The Pilot continued to speed madly around the yard. With a one last, valiant effort, I let out a half-hearted, “Pilot!” The pitiful tone must have made him realize his murderous speed, as he slowly brought me to a stop. When the world around me stopped spinning, I saw the Pilot standing before me, laughing. He helped me out of the wagon. After I had lectured him severely for almost extinguishing my life, he apologized.
And that is my first memory of my Pilot.