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The cold never bothered me anyway… because it made my legs go numb.

Young Syd would do anything to impress, like walking out to the middle of a frozen lake to snap a pic of a frozen fish in an ice block, you know, for the likes.

I did the toe test of the tippy-tap.

I threw a sizable rock.

I looked back and said, “See? It’s fine!”

I took my first ten steps and repeated them.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Like some sort of ballet.

And then, without any warning, no cracking or rumbling, I fell straight through to my waist.

My immediate reaction was the involuntary inhale of the sharpest breath I’d ever sucked in.

It put me into shock within a split second, just as the ice split around me.

I wasn’t as invincible as I had made out to be.

Then came the pain. My toes went numb instantly, leaving only my calves and thighs to feel the cold, and I could feel my blood vessels constricting. Every bit of me said to keep my hands above the water to save the upper half of my body from the cold, but I had to reach out to the ice to climb out.

I was lucky, the surrounding ice had split but did not give through and allowed me to pull myself up and out, rolling onto my back and then dragging my numb lower half behind me. My friend threw a branch out to me, and I grabbed on as they pulled me back to the dirt.

In the middle of this very public park, my friend stripped my lower half completely naked and revealed my newly painted legs. Eggshell white with purple-blue swirls of regret. I started to smack my legs awake as she rubbed my feet, but nothing was working.

So, with no other ideas than what we’ve seen in movies or heard about jellyfish stings—in this very public park—she pissed all over my legs and feet. And thank goodness she did because the relief was instant.

What a scene that would have been for any hikers, dog walkers, or perverts.

But, again, I was lucky not to be seen.

Walking distance from my house, she called her mom to come down with blankets, socks, wet wipes, hot water, and most importantly, pants.

I recovered within a day with no lasting injuries.

So I learned my lesson. Don’t fuck with thin ice, and if you do… grab coffee with your friend first, and make sure she drinks a ton of it.

Sydney Walters

Digital marketer, author, and hopeless romantic from D.C. who scribbles in answers on trivia night and shouts at her Playstation on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sips hot tea or coffee from a Studio Ghibli mug. Paces while brainstorming. Conquers hot sauce.

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