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It was dark outside, and it had started to snow as he pulled up to the scene. The lights of the police cars reflected in his review mirror. His car came to a stop. He couldn’t see what was going on. He was the news editor of the local newspaper and showed up to cover the story. The door slammed behind him as he stepped His black trench coat swung around as he shut the door. The man was tall, with a short haircut. He walked closer to see what was going on. A police officer turned around to see who it was.
“What happened?” the man asked.
“Some lady froze to death.” the officer replied.
“Who?” The man asked.
“Some lady, named Jane Splick.” The officer replied. The man was silent.
“Is there something wrong?” the officer asked caringly.
“Yes, I believe there is, because Jane Splick, she’s… she’s my ex-wife.” he stuttered.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” the police officer replied.
“What exactly happened?” The man asked.
“Well, the lady, your ex-wife, was going to jump into the freezing cold water. You know, they do that every year, that annual jump thing. And well, she was deciding whether or not to jump in.” The officer froze.
“What happened next?” the man asked. “Hang on,” The officer said.
“They said they’ve just found out some more information. They’re talking to a witness.” The officer said as he held the radio up to his ear.
“What else?” The man asked.
“Well, they can’t find the body,” he said. He struggled to get the words out. “What do you mean? You can’t find the body? What am I supposed to do? My ex-wife just died, that’s bad enough, but now you’re telling me you can’t find the body?” the man yelled in an outrage.
“Well, you see sir, that water 35 degrees and-“
“Your point?” The man cut the officer off.
“My point is that we can’t search for the body too long. Even with a dry suit, even an experienced diver can’t spend too much time in there.” the officer said, getting impatient.
“But still, is there anything you can do?” the man asked.
“Well, sir, I hate to tell you this, but there is not a single thing we can do.” The officer quietly said.
“So what happens to the body?” the man asked.
“Well, once again, I hate to tell you this, but, the body may just stay in the river until the summer season.” The man froze.
“That’s all. My ex-wife’s body is just going stay frozen in the river?”
Three hours earlier…
“Okay, are you going to go through with it?” the coordinator asked. “I’m not sure.” Jane replied. She had been here for twenty minutes, debating if she should jump into the water.
She started to contemplate. “If I jump into the water, I prove all of those people wrong. Those who said I didn’t lead an exciting life.” She was being treated for depression, which did not help the situation. She thought to herself. “But if I do jump into the water-the freezing water, at my age, I don’t know if my body could handle it. The really low temperature and the pieces of ice…I just don’t know…” Now she was in deep thought. “Don’t do this, Jane.” She said to herself. “You came out here this afternoon with a purpose. You’re here to prove them wrong. And if you leave here without doing what you wanted to do, you’re going to just crawl back into your hole.”
She had made up here mind. She was going to take the jump.
“I’m going to do it,” Jane said to the coordinator. He looked down at his watch, and then looked up at the sky. “Okay, if you want to do this, you’re going to have to hurry up. It’s going to get dark outside, and we can’t have people jumping in the dark, it’s too dangerous.” He said. “Well, I’m ready right now. I’m going to do it.” She replied. She was starting to get nervous. But she knew she just had to do this. “Okay, if you’ll step over here, and this man will get you ready.” Hesitantly, she started to walk forward. She could see her breath as her feet crunched the snow as she walked forward towards the edge of the river.
“Hello,” The man at the edge of the river said.
“So you’re going to jump in.”
Jane nodded her head. “So about how cold is the water?” She asked. But then she realized that that’s probably something she didn’t want to know.
“Between 38 and 40 degrees.” he replied.
“Oh, that’s cold.” She said, still in shock. She thought it would be warmer. But what did she expect. It’s New York in the middle of winter. All of a sudden she realized why they pushing her so hard earlier to sign the liability form.
“Okay, just a few things before you go ahead and jump. When you jump into the water, your body is automatically going to start gasping for air.”
“That was comforting”, she thought to herself.
“So, when you’re over the water, I want you to hold your breath, then come back to the surface.” He said briskly. “Okay, I can do that.” She replied.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
“Yes, yes I am.” She said.
“Okay, if you’ll walk down this dock, you’re going to jump off right down there.” He pointed to the end of the dock. She walked forward and could hear her feet hitting the snow and then the crunching of the snow beneath her feet. Her hands started to shake.
“It will be alright, it’s just a quick jump, you’ll make it.” He said.
“Maybe I will.” She thought to herself. She found herself at the end of the dock. She stood at the end staring at the water.
She pushed herself off the edge of the dock and then she was flying through the air. The cold air stung against her face as she prepared to land in the water. Now she was starting to wonder if she should have done this. Her mind was going crazy. It was exciting, but scary.
She landed in the water with a large splash. She started to gasp for air, and she then disappeared underwater. Unfortunately, the divers were not paying enough attention. Jane was trying to get back up the surface, but she couldn’t. Then, as she was trying to get back to the surface, she hit her head on a piece of ice and lost consciousness. The man at the end of the dock looked down into the water. He then began to yell.
“Hey! Someone jumped! You were supposed to be down there!” he yelled at the divers.
“The water temperature dropped, it’s too cold for us to be in there!” the diver replied.
“So what happens to the lady?” the man at the end of the dock asked.
“Call an ambulance.” The diver said solemnly.
Ten minutes later…
The lights of an ambulance and a few trailing police cars reflected on the windshields of the cars. An EMT got out in a rushed kind of manner.
“How long have they been in there?” the EMT asked.
“About fifteen minutes.” the man replied.
“We might be too late.” the EMT said.
“Too late for what?” the man asked.
“Too late for the lady to live.” the EMT quietly said.