Narration: Breaking Through The Ice Essay, Research Paper
September 13, 1999
Breaking Through The Ice
It was Saturday night, the night of the New Year s Eve party. I was extremely excited and nervous. At the party I was expecting to see my ex boyfriend Brian, who was in college at the time. I was eager to restore our estranged relationship. We had dated when he was a senior in high school the year before. He was the best-looking guy in his class with his wild ebony hair and vicious green eyes. He carried himself with a finesse that would arouse the most unwilling woman. Brian had a savvy smile and a flare that made him easily approachable. I made sure that my appearance was exceptionally flawless. I reviewed myself in the mirror and smiled because I was having a great hair day. I felt beautiful. I made the last revisions on my make up and hair, and then hurried downstairs to help set up for the party. I passed my brothers on the way to the kitchen for something to drink. They were sitting on the couch watching MTV and talking about the girls that were coming to the party that night. Jimmy, my older brother at age twenty-one and my younger brother Andy who was sixteen were both strikingly attractive. Jimmy looked similar to James Dean with long hair and Andy s features resembled the sculpture, David by Michelangelo.
I grabbed a coke, popped the top and took a long swig to quench my thirst. I took a glance out of the dining room window. Autumn had passed with a vengeance, not leaving a solitary leaf on the trees. Through the nicotine-covered window the sky looked dreary. Dusk was just around the corner. The lake that bordered our front yard was covered with ice. The grass was brown and largely concealed with dead leaves and pine straw. I cringed while remembering that the day before my younger brother Andy and one of his friends were walking on the ice covered lake. They gave my older brother Jimmy and me a panic attack. We both yelled at them to get off the ice before the ice broke and they fell in. Andy and his friend made one last scurried slide across the ice before safely coming ashore. If anything had happened to Andy while my parents were out of town they would kill Jimmy and me. I anticipated the arrival of Brian. I knew that he was going to be there because he was out of college classes for the holiday. Besides, I practically begged him to come.
Brian arrived about nine that night. I noticed that he had brought a girl from college with him. I was horrified; I wanted to be with him. To top it off, she was beautiful. She had long blonde hair and a drop dead figure. Her tooth seemed to have sparkled as she smiled at me provokingly. I walked up to him and asked him if he and I could talk. When we were out of everyone s sight, I growled, Who is your new girlfriend? He responded, her name is Stephanie; she and I have so much in common. We like the same music and we spend hours just talking. Bonney, I have never met anyone else that I could talk to like I can with her. I felt as if I had swallowed a clump of cotton balls. I shrilly snarled, How could you bring another girl to my house? You re a bastard and a heartless jerk! I angrily turned my back to him and stomped across the front yard to the boat dock. I couldn t stand being in his presence anymore; my throat was burning because I was so furious. He didn t even call for me to come back. I hated myself for wanting to be with him so much. I couldn t let him see me cry.
On the boat dock of my parents house I was deviously thinking of how I could hurt Brian as much as he had hurt me. I was encumbered with rage. I could hear people talking and having a wonderful time up at the party; I began to sob. I tried to hold my tears back as long as possible. I sulkily plopped down on the dock and stretched my leg over the edge of the dock to put my foot on the ice. At the edge of the dock the ice was a little loose, and I began to nudge the ice with my foot, making a minimal amount of water come over the surface of the ice. I was listening to the sounds of the night all around me, the sound of the music from the party, people talking and dogs barking in the distance. I remember it was very cold, and the tears I shed warmed my face. I could see my breath in the cold air. I looked out above the lake toward the sky, it was jeweled with a metropolis of stars. The luminescence of the night sky made the icy surface of the lake glitter brilliantly. The sight was truly breath taking.
All of a sudden, I heard someone s phone ring from across the lake. I thought that the caller must have the wrong number because it was pitch black across the lake. Nobody on that side of the lake came to their lake houses at this time of year. Our family was one of the few families who lived at the lake full time. Before I could look back down, my foot slipped on the slick seeping water on top of the ice. There was nothing to grab a hold to and nothing but the ice to break my fall. As I fell into the ice-covered lake, my back scraped the edge of the dock. I could feel the sting from the ice cutting my legs and body as I went under the water. I must have swum in a diagonal direction when I was retreating to the surface, because I found no opening where I fell in, no air, only myself trapped under the ice. I began to panic; I must have screamed as I fell in, because I didn t seize enough air into my lungs. I tried to find the outlet where I broke the ice by falling in, but I was wasting time. I decided to smash through my icy antagonist. My adrenalin must have kicked in because I swam up side down and kicked the ice. Each failure of breakage through the ice made a sound like a piercing echo, each thrust was exhausting, and after the fourth attempt, I kicked through the ice. The freezing gulp of air was a savior that I could fall to my knees and thank God for. I was drained of energy. My boots were so heavy and my legs were so tired that I couldn t even kick my legs to keep my body from going back under the water.
My brothers and some people from the party were on the dock trying to fish me out of the water. My brother Jimmy grabbed me by the jacket and pulled me out of the water like a drowned rat. Jimmy, Andy and some of their friends carried me into the house with blankets and jackets. They placed my motionless body in the shower under tepid water. I was exhausted; all the energy and motivation had been sucked out of me. I don t remember what I was thinking. I simply remember being exceedingly cold and exhausted. My brothers kept asking me if I was all right. I suppose a person knows if they are about to die. I felt cold, but I was aware of the things happening around me. I didn t feel as if I was going to die. I told them in a feeble voice that I was okay. After a short time of sitting in the shower fully clothed, I began to realize what had happened. With chattering teeth, I asked my brother Andy to get my robe. As Andy left I noticed that my older brother Jimmy was so worried and panic stricken; he looked as if he was crying and he kept saying that he needed to call the hospital or 911. Somebody said that he should call nine-one- one just to be safe. Jimmy wouldn t leave my sight, so he asked if someone would get the phone. Andy came back with my robe. Jimmy called 911 and told the operator what happened, and explained the present situation. The operator said that I should move around. Jimmy handed the phone to Andy and asked me if I could get up. I tried to stand but my legs buckled from exhaustion. Jimmy then helped me up, and I held on to the shower door. Andy laid my robe on the sink, shut the door and left. Then Jimmy took off my wet boots and clothes. I suppose I didn t think about the awkwardness of my older brother seeing me in my underwear. He looked over my cuts and said that they were not deep enough for stitches. He took out the first aid kit from the bathroom cabinet, and doctored the gashes on my back and legs. I put on the warm, soft terrycloth robe and Jimmy helped me to my room. He helped me into the bed and put some socks on my feet. He mentioned that my skin felt as if it was still freezing. He said that I had terrified him. He heard my scream and the ice break. He said that he ran out to the dock looking for me. He could see the place where I fell in, but there was no sight of me. He ran to dad s tool shed and grabbed a sledgehammer, went back to the dock, and began to break the ice away from the dock. I told him that his breaking the ice like that must have helped me break through it. I told him that I loved him, and he said, I love you too. I began to sob. I reached to the edge of the bed and touched my brother s shoulder. He turned toward me, and we embraced. He said, I would die if anything happened to you. Hearing him say that made me cry harder. Jimmy was a tough person who hardly ever showed emotion. I was deeply touched to hear him cry too.
It s shocking to think that a few minutes before I fell through the ice, the ending adolescent relationship was the most important tribulation in my life. It is a revelation knowing that I could have died that night not knowing what I know now, or ever will know of life. There are experiences that enlighten a person s point of view on what is more significant in life. I have learned from this experience that it could be worse just when I think that it can t be. This experience has also brought a closer and deeper relationship between my older brother and me, a truly significant relationship that will last my entire life. It is truly baffling to think of how people take so many chances with their lives. I know from actual experience how very fragile the human life truly is. I thank God for sparing my life and giving me the strength to break through the ice.