Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Icicle that Gave Me Away

It was early December of 1985. I was sixteen years old then. Since i grew up in Wisconsin, we always had very heavy and freezing winters. We had already had around a meter of snow outside and the temperature was below zero. We then lived in a two floor Tudor house and from my bedroom window on the first floor, you could see the small woods that our neighbor had of pine and fur trees which were all laced with snow. I often used to gaze out of my bedroom window during the winters. That night there was a full moon because i remember the night looking so full of light.

This was the time that i was in love for the first time. He was twenty one years old and i had had a crush on him since i was thirteen. I remember going to church on Sundays and staring at him, my mind daydreaming and not paying any attention to what our priest was saying. All GreekAmericans go to church by the way on Sundays. Not because they're that religious, but more because it's a way to keep the Greek feeling and spirit alive.

The years had passed and i finally grew up enough for him to pay attention to me and our age difference wasn't that important anymore. At that time, i was in the choir and he sat with his parents. I remember feeling so nervous every Sunday but at the same time so excited. This somehow turned into a relationship at one point, and he and i were an official 'couple'. Official to everyone that is, except my parents.

My parents didn't believe that children needed anyone else in their lives besides the family. Since i had two brothers and one other sister at that time (my second sister came a few years later), this was all the company i needed in their logic. I, on the other hand, was always a rebel..and many times a rebel without a cause. Disagreeing and fighting back my parents seemed as natural as drinking water and i showed it to them on a daily basis. It was only natural that they didn't know about my so-called 'relationship', though news of this kind spread very quickly in the Greek community because everyone wanted their son/daughter to marry another Greek.

Meeting with John was difficult though. I used to skip out of classes often, make up excuses to go the library for school papers and reports but things became more and more difficult as time passed. Drastic measures had to be taken. This is where the cold night in December takes place.

I had decided to 'escape' the house at night, after everyone else had fallen asleep, to go and visit my knight in shining armour since it was his birthday. I shared my room with my younger sister and i still remember the shock in her eyes when i told her my master plan. That night, after my mother had kissed us goodnight and left to go the her bedroom (which was on the ground floor),my plan started. I had hidden sheets in my closet earlier on in the day and with my sister, we had knotted them together to make it look like a long rope...this was my way of getting down from first floor. I put my stuffed animals in my bed and tried to make them look like me under the covers . Yes indeed!!! I had certainly been watching TOO much television!

I opened the was twelve o'clock...this was considered extremely late in suburbia American by the way. The 'rope' was tied to the bed and as soon as i threw it out of the window, i made my way out of the window. It was snowing i remember and the snow does make a sound as it falls in the night. I remember that sound well. I balanced my way out and jumped to freedom!! As i came down though, i clumsily hit against an extremely long icicle that had been hanging outside the window and it crashed against the house making an extremely loud noise in the quietness of the night. I stood motionless in the snow,wearing only jeans and a light sweater. I could see John's car waiting for me at the corner but i still stood there motionless, waiting to see what would happen.

The lights came on on the ground floor suddenly. For a moment i just stood there and felt that this was it...i was really in big trouble. I looked up at my sister who was still at the window and told her to go to bed and pretend that she hadn't known anything and i turned around and ran as fast as i could to john's car. Since i was in trouble anyways, i thought i might as well enjoy myself and that was exactly what i did until it was time to go back home and face the music.

I may have gone through a living hell when i returned home, and my relationship with John may not have lasted for more than a year or so, but this memory will always stay with me. i remember it with fondness and I'm quite proud of myself that i did have enough guts in my stomach to jump out of a window. There was only one thing that i hadn't calculated on-how i was going to get back up. When i did get back home though, all the lights were on. I remember standing out of the door for a while and taking a deep breath before ringing the doorbell...

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