“I can’t see at all,” I shouted as I fumbled through a hallway of the ghost ship on Morey’s Pier in Wildwood, New Jersey.
I should’ve brought my cane, I thought. I have no idea how I’m going to make it through this haunted house.
“What’s wrong?” My “stepson” asked. “Are you okay?”
“No. The strobe light blinded me. Since I suffered the concussion my eyes have trouble adjusting to light and darkness.” I yelled.
Just as I finished talking, I stumbled forward over a ledge.
“I have no idea where I’m stepping,” I shouted. “I can’t feel the floor because I have almost no feeling in my foot. It’s numb after walking more than 17 thousand steps up and down the pier today. I’m going to fall.”
“Don’t worry,” my “stepson” said as he extended his hand. “I’ll get you out of here. Follow me.”
I placed my hand his. Now, at nearly 13, he was shielding me from zombies, a bloody corpse and a doctor popping out at me in the dark.
I used to comfort and protect him when he was young, I thought.
He led me through the walkways, including one that was so narrow we could only fit through it sideways. And, the entire time he shouted to warn me about drop offs, stairs and any other changes in the landscape.
“We’re going down now,” he said. “Be careful.”
As we emerged from the building into the night air, I thought, it’s hard to believe that he is old enough to take care of me. He helped me place my feet on solid ground. I can only hope that I’ve done the same for him.
As Ernest Hemingway once said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” I did just that. I looked to “my stepson” for guidance like he did me when he was little and he didn’t disappoint me.
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