After finding a vintage Polaroid photo of Cedar Point from 2006, Natalie is reminded of the summer when she was ten years old and visited the amusement park with her grandmother…
In Cedar Point, Ohio, where Jacob worked as a ride operator, he often saw a young child with her grandmother, who had only ridden the carousel once. when he discovered their financial difficulties.
He decided to buy her tickets every day after learning of their financial difficulties. The young girl looked for him sixteen years later with great surprise.
One Day, Natalie combed through them trying to find something she thought she had stored in one of her old boxes.
She was in the basement of her house, and a single small light hanging from the ceiling cast daylight. She often sneezed because of the dust that swirled around the room and tickled her nose. Yet she was relentless in her pursuit.
She removed a ton of stuff from those boxes, including papers, outdated equipment, outdated books, and much more. Age had turned some of these things beige and the space oozed a musty smell. Natalie wanted to get out of the awkward situation right away but resisted leaving until she discovered what she needed.
Natalie was looking for an important thing in the basement – a memory from her childhood.
Finally, she placed it at the base of one of the last boxes in the attic. She hoped the old Polaroid was still in good condition. Fortunately, despite being so poorly stored, the image was still intact. Natalie looked at it and smiled. “Cedar Point, Summer 2006,” was written on the back.
“Why do you think so?” the elderly woman asked, placing her fingers on her chin carefully, “It’s too much money.”
Even though she hadn’t thought about them for a while, memories began to rush through her mind like a beautiful movie that she would never forget.
As a child, she went to Cedar Point, an amusement park in Ohio. As a ten-year-old, she remembered the mechanical hum of the rides, the delicious smell of cotton candy in the air, and the screams of excited children running around.
Everything was perfect at the time and she was largely grateful. In order to take her there every day that summer, her grandmother set aside a small amount of money every now and then. However, when someone else heard her story, everything was different. That’s why she was looking for that polaroid in the attic. She wished she could remember the kindness the man had shown her.
16 years ago…
“Grandma! Look!” When they first got to the park, ten-year-old Natalie was yelling at her grandmother. The young girl’s eyes widened with joy as she saw the children floating around, munching caramel popcorn and blowing bubbles. She understood that they didn’t have money, but she still wanted to do all those things.
She begged her grandmother to go to the merry-go-round, where they actually went. Natalie had a special obsession. She loved horses and completing this ride had been her fantasy for a long time. Natalie couldn’t believe they were there, even though Grandma Gina assured them they would go that summer.
They were always close to the park, so Natalie often heard the screams of those who rode the roller coaster, watched the worn-out children as they left with their parents, and even looked longingly out the window at night at the lights. She longed for all those rides, but she was hooked when she once saw a magazine with a photo of an old carousel in a park with beautiful white horses decorated with plastic flowers.
When they finally reached the road, Natalie felt like crying because of the emotions she was feeling. It looked like something straight out of a movie, just as she imagined it would. Can you believe it, grandma? she asked, turning to the older woman and holding her tighter.
Grandma smiled warmly at her and knelt down. “Sure, I can,” The ride operator gets a ticket, so go ahead.
After letting go, Natalie hurried off for a ride, stopping to pick out her horse on the way. To a ten-year-old, choosing one of them felt like a once-in-a-lifetime decision because they were all so attractive, yet they came in all colors and had different looks on their plastic faces.
Naty, hurry up! Her grandmother laughed at her granddaughter’s uncertainty and shouted, “The ride begins!”
In the end, Natalie decided on a horse with a pink mane and a blue saddle. She’ll never forget that particular instance or the look on her grandmother’s face as she waved for a ride every time she drove by.
The most beautiful period of her life had just passed. a moment of this nature that you will always remember and that will stop time. Natalie briefly lost sight of her family’s plight. She was just one of the young people who were free to play in this luxurious environment.
However, the carousel ride ended too quickly and she jumped off the horse with a bittersweet feeling about the whole thing. As she waited, her grandmother took her hand.
How have things been, Naty? asked the elderly lady.
The little girl replied and looked at her grandmother who was sighing softly, “That was wonderful, but I wish I could go again.”
“Honey, I’m sorry. That’s all we can afford right now. But I can guarantee you that we can come here every day from now until the end of the summer and give you one ride.” Natalie smiled widely in response to her grandmother’s question, “How does that sound?”
Natalie got the thing she wanted most at the time after accepting Jacob’s incredible offer.
“Really? She kept clutching her grandmother’s hand, jumping around and calling out, ‘Yeah!’
Gina was really good at keeping her word. They came every day and somehow it never got boring. Natalie only used the carousel, but over time she also discovered the name of the ride’s operator, Jacob Salas, who consistently wore a red hat with his park uniform. He looked like he belonged to the older generation, though he must have been in his late 20s.
One day when Grandma was in the bathroom, Mr. Salas approached her. While you’re waiting for grandma, why not take a second ride?
I’m really sorry sir. We have enough cash for one day ticket. My mother is the only one who provides us financially because my father died many years ago and my grandmother no longer works. Natalie informed the operator, who nodded in agreement, that it wasn’t enough to spend driving.
Still, she noticed a glint in his eyes as he leaned down to peer into hers.
Following? I’ll buy you tickets for as long as you want. How does that sound?” he smiled at the young woman who opened her eyes in surprise.
He chuckled and invited her to take another ride, “Seriously!”
Jacob urged Gina to accept despite her resistance and said Natalie was thrilled.
When Gina returned, Natalie was riding the merry-go-round when she asked Mr. Salas about it. “Ma’am, don’t worry about it. He can ride as long as he wants today and forward. It’s my fault.”
“Why would you act this way?” the elderly woman asked, placing her fingers on her chin in concern, “It’s too much money.”
Jacob shook his head. “No. I don’t have that much to spend, and besides, that girl is the only one in the park who’s having as much fun as I am.”
“No!” After a few seconds, Jacob cried out. “No! It’s too much for me, young woman. The amount is excessive.
Natalie was able to ride the carousel as often as she could that summer because the ride operator kept his word. Sometimes Gina would buy them caramel popcorn or drinks with the money she saved from ticket sales. To repay Jacob for his thoughtfulness, they always shared them with him. At one point, a Polaroid photo was even taken of the two, with Natalie wearing Jacob’s red hat and beaming brightly into the lens.
That was Natalie’s sweetest childhood memory. When the summer ended, she was tired of the park and the merry-go-round.
One day she said goodbye to Jacob and that was the last time she saw him.
Present day… Natalie started looking for that polaroid after she dreamed about that summer for some reason. She realized that she had brought it with her in the past when she left for college, but somehow it got lost in the chaos of life after Natalie married a rich man, completely changing the course of her life from her upbringing.
And she experienced a different result. Natalie attended Philadelphia University on a scholarship where she met Anthony, who came from a ridiculously wealthy family. Not having to worry about money or anything else was intimidating. Even better, her husband bought a house in Ohio for her mother and grandmother so they would never have to pay rent again.
It was amazing. She has put in a lot of effort throughout her life, but she has also been surrounded by wonderful, giving individuals who have been willing to support her in many ways. Natalie believed she had paid it back.
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So that’s the end? Did she go back and find the man? Are you just going to leave us hanging?