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Looking back on this memory of the night in the attic, I understand that it doesn't sound pleasant… at all. However, this isn't my favorite memory because it brings me happiness when I think about it. It’s something that my friends and I can connect over, because we don’t get to see each other very often and when we do, this is almost always the first thing we talk about. The memory of the night in the attic, to this day, makes me laugh when I’m not always feeling the best. It reminds me of when my friends and I would visit each other almost every year. The memory of the night in the attic starts like most of my memories do, on a Disney Cruise.
Nick, Cam, Alec, Gabby, and I met on a Disney Cruise in 2009, when I was nine. We’ve all kept in touch the best we could even though we live in three different states. Our families try to get together at least once a year, whether it be on another cruise or spending a week at someone’s house.
Two years after the cruise when we all met, all of our families traveled to Gabby’s house in Poughkeepsie, New York for Columbus Day.
My favorite memory starts the second night at Gabby’s. Gabby had a huge house with plenty of space for the five of us to fit somewhere and sleep comfortably. But for some unknown reason, we decided it would be a great idea to sleep in the unfinished attic for the night. We knew it would be chilly, because it was the middle of October in New York. So we layed down our sleeping bags and a ton of heavy blankets to assure our warmth.
“Let’s watch something classic but something we haven’t seen in a while!” Gabby said in her usual dramatics. “Monsters Inc!” Alec exclaimed as he tackled Cam to the ground for the hundredth time that night. Monsters Inc, a good movie for a bunch of Disney obsessed kids. I thought to myself “This will be fun, what could go wrong?” I couldn’t have been more mistaken.
As we started to settle in I realized that we had made a horrible mistake. Monsters Inc began to play and the cold crept in. All I could think was “It’s so cold! Should I just go back inside? No, I shouldn’t, if they’re out here I can stay too!” Within minutes Gabby was fast asleep to my right. I stared at her in amazement. “How does she do that?” Cam laughed from the other side of Gabby. As the movie came to an end I’d lost all feeling in my toes, which were now only covered by my blue snuggie. I hadn’t realized I must have dozed off for a minute or two. In those few minutes Gabby managed to steal my other blankets from me. I attempted to steal them back but she had incredible strength for someone who was asleep.
The worst part was after the movie ended and the credits stopped rolling. If you’re not familiar with Monsters Inc, the main title is just a bunch of doors opening and closing over and over again. Just imagine that, for two hours, in a 20 degree attic. It was beyond annoying.
I thought I was the only one who was wide awake, so when I heard Cam’s whining voice I almost screamed. “Emily! Give me that blanket” he whisper shouted. “No you idiot! I’m using it!” his brother, Nick who was on my left, shouted. “Gabby stole all of mine!” cam shouted back. “How do you think I feel?” I added. Gabby however was soundly asleep next to me and I swear in the dim moonlight I could see her smile. Not once had it occurred to any of our frozen brains to get up and go get blankets or even better go sleep inside.
The movie stayed on for another two hours, doors opening and closing, one after another for almost a total of four hours. I swear, the two minutes I finally fell asleep, I had dreams of doors opening and closing to the music. Nick and I stared at each other for pretty much the rest of the night, staying mainly silent. I was thinking to myself however, “Who’s brilliant idea was this?!” “Someone go shut the stupid movie off!” Cam screamed. “You do it, I’m frozen over here.” Nick yelled back. Cam either being too lazy to get up or to cold, rolled over and started grumbling to himself.
Eventually Alec, who was all the way on the left, must have gotten fed up with whatever was making him angry. After dramatically rolling off the air mattress and slamming the DVD player shut, he stormed out the door which closed with a loud thud, letting out a few choice words along the way. “That’s exactly how I feel.” Nick whispered. I think that was the first time I laughed the entire night.
Finally, after the most intense staring contest ever, I fell asleep. Only to wake up what felt like five minutes later. “BREAKFAST IS READY!” Gabby’s dad shouted into the room. I wanted to scream “GO AWAY!” but I figured I better not. Nick, Cam, and I let out a collective groan as Gabby slowly woke up. “So how did you all sleep?” she smiled. The three of us all together, threw our pillows at her and laughed, then quickly retreating into the house for warmth.
That freezing night in the attic was almost three or four years ago now. However I still vividly remember seeing my chilled breath as the movies doors opened and closed. To this day the five of us still laugh about that night in the attic. It may have been a total nightmare, but I still look back at it with a smile.