“H ey, Dovid, wanna come to Fun Zone?” Chaim began as soon as Dovid answered the phone. “My family is going today, and my mom said I could ask a friend.”

“Awesome!” Dovid’s answer shot forward faster than a roller coaster plunging downhill. “What time should I be ready?”

The minute Dovid hung up, a cloud seemed to pass over his eyes. Why did I answer so fast? he chided himself. Now what in the world am I going to do? As the life-of-the-party type of guy, Dovid had a reputation. No one knew what else was lurking behind his ever-ready grin. If only he’d thought before saying yes, he wouldn’t be in this sticky situation. But… he hadn’t. Maybe he could call Chaim back and tell him he forgot that his Great-Aunt Chava was coming to visit today, and could he please take a rain check? But as he was picking up the phone to explain why he couldn’t possibly come today, a horn blasted in his driveway. Too late, he realized with a heavy sigh. I’m sunk.

“See you later, Ma,” he called hoarsely, plodding down the driveway.

“Have fun!” Mommy rejoined, and Dovid rolled his eyes.

Cheerful music wafted toward them when they arrived at Fun Zone, and Chaim’s eyes flashed as he took in the variety of rides. Dovid eyed the roller coaster warily, and his stomach lurched.

“Let’s do the mystery tunnels first,” Chaim suggested, and Dovid breathed a sigh of relief. How bad could some tunnels be?

Off they went, speeding into a dark cave-like tunnel with spooky figures popping out and eerie voices moaning and groaning at every turn.

Blinking at the bright light when their car finally slid out of the tunnel, Dovid jumped out. His hands felt cold and clammy, and he wiped beads of perspiration from his forehead.

“Neat, huh?” Chaim was enthralled. “That guy in the pirate suit was the best.”

Dovid’s stomach was still performing flip-flops, but thankfully Chaim didn’t know that.

“What a ride!” Dovid said, putting on a plastic grin.

“Ooooh, The Tiger! That’s the highest roller coaster in the whole place!” Chaim’s feet were practically off the ground as he tugged Dovid’s arm. “Come on, Dovid, let’s go! You’re gonna love it!”

“Mm-hmm,” Dovid agreed, if I live through it.

Shema Yisrael, Dovid davened, squeezing his eyes closed as they plunged from the peak at breakneck speed. After a few more terror-filled ups and downs, their car finally braked to a stop. Before Dovid could catch his breath, Chaim led the way to the Ferris wheel. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 665)