Snow Trouble

April 4, 2008
By Rebecca Teuscher, Mt. Shasta, CA

She reached into her deep pocket, her fingers fumbling for her keys. It was another cold day and Franki was once again on her way home through one of the worst winter days her small town had ever seen. The tears were streaming down her face as she crawled into her small Honda Civic. Her body wasn’t just trembling from the cold anymore; she couldn’t believe she’d lost him.
Franki was a normal high school student. She had a boyfriend, a good family, she played all the sports she could and she did well in school; she was the stereotypical perfect high school student. She lived in a small town in the mountains where it snowed all of the time. Being as she had lived there for almost 18 years, she was sick of the snow she considered it beautiful, but after 18 years of shoveling out her horses, shoveling out her house, and plowing, she was sick of it. Everyday she practically had a swim through the snow to get to her horses to make sure they were okay and had enough water. She dug paths for them so they could get out of their stalls and into the winter wonderland outside. She was sick of her grandma calling and saying, “There’s no snow at my house.”
Franki was just about to the point where she’d actually go live with her ridiculous grandma just to get out of the snow. Franki also hated the fact that it was only January, she still had around 4 months of winter, and this was only the beginning. Franki enjoyed going to school each day because she could take her mind off of all of the shoveling she’d have to do when she got home. Another problem with this white stuff was that it was horrible to drive in and worst of all, it was COLD! Franki was sure she was going to move to Mexico as soon as she graduated high school so she could have sun year around.
Other than her strong hatred for snow, she was normally a happy person. She had everything going for her; she had the hottest boy in school as a boyfriend, her teachers loved her, and she was smart. She never had to study because her brain would just suck everything in and she’d ace all of her tests.
Life was all good until that cold, snowy day in January. She had barely made it to school, her car had been all over the road, but that was normal. She reached the front doors of the school and as she opened them she felt the warm air closing in on her. She went to her locker and started to un-layer 5 layers of clothing down to only 2. She noticed her friends talking in the corner and went to join them. She looked down the hall; there she saw it: her boyfriend, Damon, was talking to his ex-girlfriend. Franki got upset about this, but knew how much of a slut his ex was and after realizing that she was probably just trying to get back with him and how much he didn’t like her she started talking herself down and decided to simply let it go. The bell rang and she rushed to her class she had to get the seat nearest Damon. Damon wasn’t in class yet, but she saved him a seat right next to her.
All of her classes flew by that day. It was amazing; she was in her senior year and every day blew by so quickly. As the day of school came to an end she noticed Damon talking to his ex again. She looked pretty upset, like she was urging him to do something; Franki simply laughed to herself thinking his ex was probably pressuring him to go out with her, but he probably kept telling her no. She thought it was so funny when Eliza would try to get his attention but never really did. Damon looked away from Eliza for a second and realized Franki was watching him. His face went red and he ended the conversation with Eliza in a hurry. He walked over to Franki, his face still as red as a tomato. Franki went up for a kiss, but was rejected when Damon immediately looked away. He was watching Eliza leave the hall. Franki picked up that something was bothering him; he usually was all to ready to kiss her and bring her in close to him. She backed off and followed his gaze and realized whom he was watching. She threw him a look, and with simply her facial expression he knew she was asking him why he was watching Eliza.
He looked at the floor and then down at her. He looked deep in thought, his face showing he was trying to figure out exactly how he’d lay out what he was about to say. He started in a low voice, pausing every few seconds to make sure he was saying what he needed to. “Franki, I’ve been….uh… thinking about us…and well I feel like we’re growing… ummm… further apart and we don’t really have the same… well... what I’m trying to say is…. I think we should break up…” and just like the little, immature boy he was, he gave Franki an apologetic look and scampered off at a high speed, probably off to tell Eliza that he was free.
Franki stood motionless; she couldn’t believe that was the end. She didn’t know what to do, whether she should cry or scream or simply run away, far, far away. She had been dating Damon for 2.5 years now and just like that he was gone. In a matter of seconds, her whole life was changed. She left to go to her car, she felt weak and alone. Her body was trembling. The tears poured from her eyes like robbers leaving the crime scene.
Franki finally found her keys in her pocket. They felt cold and hard as she grasped them tightly under her fingers. She crawled into her Civic and turned the car on. She blared her favorite song, “What Hurts The Most,” by Rascal Flatts. More than anything, at that moment, she wanted to be alone. Franki knew her mom was home and she knew her friends would be available if she needed a shoulder to cry on, but she didn’t want to be weak in front of them. After all, she was known for her strength and perfection.
Franki started driving out into the blizzard. She didn’t care where she ended up; she just wanted to drive until all of the pain her heart was feeling had subsided. Franki thought of all the times she’d spent with Damon, all of the memories they’d made and she started to wonder where they’d gone wrong and why Damon had picked sluty Eliza over her. Franki was sure that she and Damon were perfect for each other; she realized now just how wrong she was. She had already started planning their life together; messing with her signature to include his last name, which fit so perfectly and planning exactly where they’d live and what kind of dog they would have.
As Franki drove through the thick snow, she kept thinking; through the tears she tried to figure out why exactly she’d been so in love with Damon. He was cute, smart, and an athlete, but he was nothing more than that; just a pretty face who gave her total bragging rights. He was nothing special, he wasn’t interested in many of the things Franki found interesting, he didn’t have much of a personality, in fact he was rather plain and unexciting. She had no idea as to why she had liked him in the first place. It still hurt that they weren’t together anymore, but she was starting to feel better. Her tears were weakening and slowly subsiding.
She now realized that she had no idea where she was. She could barely see in front of her; during the time she’d been crying, the snow had gotten worse and the road was covered and the air around her car was pure snow, a wall in front of her, forcing her to drive more and more slowly. She was so sick of the snow, it was horrible, and now she was lost in it. She pulled over to see if she could find a road sign or a house she’d recognize. She quickly got out of her car, but couldn’t find anything that made sense to her. She was freezing, but she kept walking up the road in an attempt to find something, anything that might give her the slightest idea as to where she was. After walking for a little while, she found a bridge; it was the bridge on Clarkson Road. She was quite far from home, but she at last knew where she was. She simply had to get back to her car, drive down Clarkson, take a left, drive through town and she was home.
She slowly paced back to her car. She was slipping everywhere. Her Converse shoes were filling up with snow and her pants were getting wetter and colder each step. The snow was seeping through her sweatshirt and her hands were turning bright red. The snow was freezing her body hurriedly. When she was just about to her car, she slipped and fell into the snow beneath her. She wished the sun would come out and the snow would melt right there. She felt so alone in that cold, gray bubble. She hated it. Everything was completely silent; she felt as though she was in solitary confinement. She screamed at the top of her lungs and the tears started dripping out again. She no longer wanted to be alone; she wanted someone to come help her up, out of the snow and to hold her and tell her everything was okay.
Franki finally made it to her little Civic. It was still warm and the snow that had fallen on her quickly melted into her clothes. She was wet and still quite cold. It took a minute for her Civic to start up. It wasn’t happy to have been left in the cold snow. She started along the road toward the bridge. She had to hit the gas a good bit in order to get through the snow. The snow kept tugging on her tires in an effort to force them in the opposite direction.
As Franki came upon the bridge, it became more slippery and her car slid out. It whizzed down the bridge, unable to grab onto anything. Franki couldn’t believe it; the snow was once again getting the best of her, making her day spiral into an even worse downward slope than it had been just 5 minutes ago. This was it, she knew it, she was on a bridge and nothing could save her. She knew her car would burst right through the side panels of the bridge and she’d end up in the water and rocks below. It became impossible to see what was going on outside her car. She felt her body jerk and everything became blurry around her.
Franki’s eyes opened; she glanced around her, she was alive and as far as she could tell, she was still in one piece and her car was right side up. She opened her car door, trying to figure out why she had lived through what seemed like an inevitable death. As she made her way around the front of her car, she looked at the miracle that had saved her life; it was the snow. A snow bank had saved her. There wasn’t a lot of snow there, but just enough to keep her from falling to what could have been her death. She couldn’t believe it, how could something so horrible become so wonderful so rapidly?
She came back to reality; she was still out in the snow, on the road, and her car was now stuck. She began to figure out what her next step would be. Her cell phone had no signal, which didn’t surprise her at all; it never had any signal to speak of. She could walk, but she’d have to walk all of the way across town and would probably get hypothermia due to her wet clothes and the below thirty degree weather. She decided to risk it though; after all it was only about 3 miles into town and she could use a phone in one of the businesses.
Franki grabbed her useless cell phone and started off. As she walked, she could feel the snow gathering on her head and shoulders. The Converse on her feet felt like slabs of ice. She had lost most of the feeling in her fingers from the cold. Franki hadn’t gotten far down the road when she saw a car ahead of her. It looked like a truck, but she wasn’t sure. She kept walking, moving off the road to give the driver plenty of space just in case his car would slide as she had earlier.
As the car drew closer it appeared to be slowing down. Franki made out a masculine figure driving. The car’s blinker started flashing and he pulled over and crawled up next to where Franki had stopped. Franki wasn’t sure what to make of the situation. She figured it was too late to run and she could use a ride, so as the window rolled down, she decided to give this guy a shot.
The man was smiling as he rolled down the window of his old Ford truck. He asked quite quickly if she wanted a ride somewhere. Franki took a good look at him and the truck he was in. He looked like a safe and friendly guy. His truck was quite clean and no red flags came up as she said, “Yes, I mean, please, I’d love a ride.”
As Franki reached for the handle she was filled with joy; she was finally out! She had a way home and this guy was rather handsome. His hair was slightly in his face, and his smile was whiter than the snow around them; he looked quite muscular and probably around 19 years old. She opened the door and the heat was almost too much at first; her face began to burn, going from cold to hot in a matter of seconds was a little hard on her delicate face. She stepped into the truck and sat on the black seat. It formed to her body, cushioning her every move. She was surprised, for such an old truck it was really nice on the inside. She put her seatbelt on and looked up at him. He was watching her and still smiling; his warm smile seemed to relax her. He asked her, “What’s your name and why are you walking out in the snow?”

Franki answered; summarizing the entire situation from her break-up to getting stuck in the snow. She told him her name and after her story, he replied with his. His name was Chad and he was 18 years old; he was on his way to his grandma’s house. Chad told her that he had a winch on the front of his truck and they could pull her out of the snow bank in a jiffy. Franki agreed and they drove off to find her little, lost Civic.

As they came upon the Civic, Chad laughed; he couldn’t believe she was driving a Civic in this weather. He pulled over and hopped out of the car. Franki followed, hoping to be able to help Chad in any way possible. He pulled out the cable from the winch and hooked it to her car, all this time, telling her about how the winch as a whole was going to pull her car out of its sticky situation. Once the cable was in place, he jumped into his car and pressed the button, starting the intake of the cable, slowly pulling her little Civic out of the cold snow it was trapped in.

Once Franki’s car was out, Chad unhooked the cable and helped her clear off the snow that had gathered on her car. She was glad to finally be out of the snow, but she was sad to be leaving Chad. Although their time was short and they only talked about his winch, she had come to like him. Franki thanked him for his help, asking him if there was any way she could pay him back. He smiled again, and replied that it wasn’t a big deal and that he was glad to use his winch; it had gone unused for so long. He then said that he’d enjoyed hanging out with her and was wondering if she’d get stuck again so he could come save her. She laughed and told him that she wasn’t planning on getting stuck again any time soon, but she’d give him her number and they could hang out sometime.

Franki gave Chad a hug and told him that she had to get home before her mom got worried. Chad agreed he had to be leaving also so he could meet his sister, Abby, at their grandma’s house. As Franki was walking to her car door, Chad asked her if she’d like him to follow her home to make sure she made it okay. Franki figured she’d be okay, but made sure they exchanged cell phone numbers in the event she did get stuck, with the high hope of her cell phone having a signal if she did slide off the road again.

Franki said goodbye and they were off. Her car started up pretty well and she drove off, glancing at her rearview mirror to watch Chad go the opposite way, hoping to see him again very soon.

Franki arrived home; she’d had a long day. It was a bad day, but meeting Chad had made it so much better. He had completely changed her outlook on the way things were going. All in all, she was glad Damon had broke-up with her if he hadn’t she would not be enjoying the feelings she had for Chad. Franki couldn’t wait for Chad to call her up; she left her cell phone near her always from then on.

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