The white Suzuki inches closer to the destination. I turn my head around in anticipation. I want to see if our guest in the back seat is as anxious as I was to be going down the valley. The name alone, Thrill Hill, sent all three of us into exaggerated enthusiasm.
I may have embellished the hill a little. I may have told our friend its St. Petersburg’s one and only natural roller coaster. Looking back I did not lie at all. Stephanie—a childhood friend—is in town visiting for a week and I wanted to show her around St. Petersburg. Call it my woman’s intuition but I got the hunch she was planning a move down here –Something I’m sure every visitor considers—and Thrill Hill was the perfect end to the that tour. As we circled around the downtown area dodging through the one way streets, lackadaisical pedestrians, and hipster bikers—sporting their bicycles that probably cost more than my car—all of which are doing a much better job at leaving a lighter carbon footprint then the three of us. The brakes squeak heavily as we make our turn onto Fourth Street. We both look at each other as if to acknowledge that our car is a piece of shit, we then look away from each other in shame, neither one of us wanting to own up to running our brakes in the trash.
“Did you feel that?”
“Feel what?” Stephanie questions. She had not even realized that that slight, jolt in the pit of her stomach was in fact Thrill Hill. “I don’t know, I think I felt something, let’s do it again!!!!”
“Second time is always the charm,” I reply with my smile getting even bigger. “Hang on this time.”