“What do I do? What do I do? I don’t know how… tell me, tell me how to…Mark, how do I….ahhhhhAHHHHHHHHHHH!”
My legs were caught off the ground. The large pack on my back, filled with six books, a laptop, a jacket, and a blanket tried to use the law of gravity to keep me down – but to no avail. I had been scooped up against my will, flying madly toward the peaks in front of me, and I heard someone screaming.
It was me.
“I’m gonna die, I’mgonnadie, I’m gonna dieeeeeeeeeeee!” I heard through my ear-muffs, inside my mind, the faint murmerings of myself predicting my imminent demise. I saw my life flash before me, bright and white and looking an awful lot like snow. Then, I realized that if I were going to die, then my husband might die as well because he was sitting right beside me. It had scooped him up, too!
“WE’RE gonna die diediediediedie! WE’RE gonna dieeeeeeeee!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!” My screams were louder and growing louder. And then the handle came down.
I held onto it for my life. I heard something still screaming, still knowing it was me, and still not being able to control it. I turned my eyeballs slowly to the left.
My husband was there.
He was alive.
And he was laughing at me.
What’s worse than that, is that he was video-taping the last moments of my life. And laughing. Did I mention he was laughing at me???
We were on the ski lift, and it was speeding up, climbing higher, my feet dangling and my legs going sore from the dangling. I was still screaming. A family friend was on my other side. He seemed to still be alive as well. But not laughing as much as Mark.
We had come, for the second year in a row, to Mount Ruapehu with Mark’s dad. Last year it had been stormy and blizzardy so we didn’t use the ski lift. We had to climb up on our own, and I’m sure I almost met my Maker then. As I sat there near death on the ski lift, I couldn’t decide which was worse.
“Stop laughing at meeeeeeee… we’re gonna DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! We’re gonna diiiiiieeeeee…Why are you LAUGHING?!.”
But he just smiled, grinning more widely than before.
I began whimpering now rather than screaming. I was a puppy who had just been swatted for the first time by an annoyed elder cat. But now, we seemed to be okay. I had a bar in front of me. I hadn’t pulled off my husband or the family friend in my panic. We were all alive. We were all alive.
As we came closer to the end of the ski lift journey, another thought hit me. How were we going to get off this thing?!?!?
I posed the question to my husband as we drew closer, screams rising out of the whimperings once more, growing louder and louder and louder, and I was screaming again as the lift drew into the landing space. A nice man held out his hand, but I couldn’t determine what he wanted from us because I was screaming, “How do we get off, how do we get off, we’re gonna die, markmarkmarkmarkmarkmarkmark AHHHHHH!!!” And my husband grabbed my hand and ran off with me into the snow.
I was panting, having survived another near-death experience going 6% up Mount Ruapehu from the parking lot. The weeks leading up to the trip, I had fervently prayed that the ski lift would be working so that we didn’t have to walk up to the cabin in a blizzard like we did last year. You can read that delightful story here, on my old travel blog.
I looked up at my husband, wide-eyed, as though having just experienced a miracle of miracles. He was still laughing at me.
I looked at the other side of me and apologized for screaming in the other guy’s ear, still hearing Mark chuckle on the other side of me.
I punched him. Or swatted him. I may have missed. I was a little out of breath. It was hard to see with so much adrenaline rushing through me. But, at least I tried.
Thus concluded, and also began, another one of the many adventures of Mark & Ashley. How we survive each one, I will never know.
Mark probably knows, though. He just laughs. He must know something that I don’t. 🙂