Erica set the scene in the present tense: “You can smell the popcorn and hear the people yelling” she told Melissa, and they laughed. “Soccer moms have nothing on soapbox parents,” they explained to me.
Erica remembers feeling nervous, even though she had won the previous race. If she lost this one, she could still beat her opponent by the time. The winner was to be decided by the differential. She zoomed down her lane. In the blink of an eye, it was all over. No one yelled or cheered.
“It was dead quiet,” remembered Melissa.
“I was starting to tear up. Oh, wow, this is not good,” Erica remembered thinking as she made her way up the hill waiting for the results. Only when she reached the top and saw her dad’s face could she finally believe it. She won.
Now that Erica is an adult and her wheels are motorized, she still remembers those days. “Every so often when I’m going down the hill (in my car),” she confessed, “I take my foot off the accelerator and I’ll drive the hill like I did back then. I kind of let it coast, and it kind of brings it all back…”