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There I was, curled up in the snow in the backyard of an unknown house. Freezing. My fingers were numb and sticking together. Every now and then I heard sirens and dogs, or I saw red and blues lights flashing against houses. They will not find me. I was way too fast for them to catch up. They had no clue where I was. I might have been smart enough to get away, but I kept thinking about how I ended up in that situation.
I was talking with my friend Chad on a cold day in winter. At the time he was one of my best friends. We did everything together since we were six. I was a freshman and he a sophomore in high school. A foot of fluffy, white snow had fallen that day. “We haven’t gone TPing in a while,” I told him. “Yeah, we should go tonight!” he exclaimed. “Are you crazy? It’s gonna be like 20 degrees outside!” I proclaimed. “Just wear a bunch of layers,” he suggested. “Think about it. They won’t be able to clean it up for a long time.” This was a very good point.
Chad and I strived to make our TP missions perfect. We always planned on what would take the longest and most effort to clean up. We have used cheese whiz, cotton balls, cue tips, baby powder, and of course toilet paper. If we found something messy lying around our houses we would use it. However, that night was different. We needed to be quick; we decided to just use toilet paper.
“Okay just call me when your parents fall asleep,” Chad said. “Sure, it will probably be around one A.M.” I told him. I was becoming very anxious. I had no idea when the last time I went TPing was.
Watching the clock was like watching grass grow. One A.M. took to infinity and back to come. The worst part was the fact that no shows or movies were on T.V. I reached the most desperate point of boredom, solitaire. Playing solitaire and listening to music made the time fly by. Then I heard them. Snores! Like the rumbles of hibernating grizzly bears. My parents had fallen asleep. I quickly packed my bag and dressed for the frigid cold air of night.
“I’m ready,” I whispered in the phone. “Meet at the top of my street,” Chad said. “Ok,” I replied. I grabbed my keys and tiptoed toward the door, my only obstacle of the night. I slowly pushed it open. Squeak! I prayed the screeching wasn’t as loud as I imagined. My door was only loud when I snuck out; like it’s punishing me for leaving.
The streets had a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. The thick powder muffled my footsteps as I ran up the desolate street. “Hey, what’s up?” Chad uttered between his chattering teeth. “It’s way too cold out here!” I complained. “Oh, well, let’s go,” he retorted.
Adrenaline began pumping into my veins. I loved the feeling it gave to my body and consciousness. Anything was possible when adrenaline fueled me into this zone. Nothing could stop me from what I wanted to do. Even the wave of chilling air faded away.
We chose to TP this guy’s house from my school. I wanted to see the look on his face the next time we were at school. He wouldn’t have known it was me. When we got there, however, a lot of the houses on his block had their lights on and people were walking around. “Dude, we can’t do this,” Chad mumbled. “Yeah let’s go. I have a bad feeling about this,” I replied.
What I felt was that feeling of unease in the bottom of my stomach. The tiny prickles of fear on the back of my neck were telling me something. The tingling sensation running down my spine was alerting me of danger. The weird thing was that they didn’t stop as we went home.
Lightly running home, we were alert and ready for anything. Every twig that snapped and dog that barked pierced our ears and made us flinch. At the sights of lights we dove for cover. With only a street and a half to get to his house; we thought we were in the clear. Sprinting across the street I noticed a pair of head lights. “Cop, cop, cop!” I yelled to Chad. He was barely crossing and watching to see. Good thing it was a few blocks away.
We flung our bags and bodies behind some trashcans and hid. There was an awful smell of rotten chicken and cat poop. Quickly my senses pushed it out of the way and focused on the head lights getting closer. We both held our breath as the cop drove slowly up the street.
Luckily, the bright white cop car turned and drove off. “We need to get out of here now!” I whispered. We ditched our bags at an abandoned house and ran as fast as we could down his street. We had five houses to go. Four. Three, lights illuminated behind us.
We had no chance of hiding. They were on our butts. The only thing we could do was split up. I kept running down the street. I tore through peoples’ yards and turned the corner. Chad must have slowed the cop down. Hide, was all I thought. I found a group of trees and jumped behind them. Straining my ears for any sound at all, I waited.
The sound of the SUV’s diesel engine came roaring down the street. Then, it slid to a stop right in front of the house I was at and put a spotlight on the trees. There was no way I would let them catch me. I heard a door open and a man yelling. I quickly jumped out and dashed towards the chain link fence on the side of the house. In the blink of an eye, I was over that fence and running.
The cop was right on the other side. “Stop, right there!” he bellowed. I didn’t even look back. Crossing the yard in a matter of seconds, I hopped the next fence with ease. A dog started barking and chased after me. The adrenaline boost helped me cut across the yard and over the fence without harm.
Five minutes later my body stopped. Looking around at the houses I realized I had no idea where I was. All I could do was sit in the corner and wait. The adrenaline rush passed and my body became very cold. After a while my hands went numb. The gloves I wore must have been ripped on a fence.
Flashes of red and blue lights shown on the sides of houses. There must have been five or six cop cars driving around. The freezing wind carried the voices of cops talking and dogs barking. “I’m never going to get home,” I thought, on the verge of tears.
The minutes passed like hours as I waited. Freezing. Buzz… Buzz… Buzz… I almost had a heart attack as my phone went off. Chad. “Where the hell are you?” he whispered. “I don’t know. I’m in a back yard. I had to run and jump fences. I don’t remember how many,” I whimpered.
“Well, I’m at my house,” he replied. “There were like eight cop cars driving around the neighborhood! I’m pretty sure they all left. Get onto a street, find out where you are and call me back.” “Ok, sounds good,” I whispered.
As I sneaked through the yard and over the fence, adrenaline flowed through me again. I scanned the street and noticed I was two blocks away from Chad’s house. Running as fast as I could, I made it down the street and jumped a fence. “I’m up your street a little bit,” I told Chad. “Is the coast clear?” “Crystal, book it over here!” he exclaimed.
The street was quiet as I hoisted myself over the fence. Without any hesitation, I sprinted all the way to his house. He was at his door waiting for me. “You don’t know how glad I am to see you,” he whispered. “I thought you were caught!” “You helped me hide,” I panted.
We shared our stories on his couch as I warmed up. As we sat there, I realized how the cops knew I was in the trees. My footprints led them straight to me. The fresh snow I ran through gave my hiding spot away. The whole experience was an extremely close call.
Thinking back on it now I realize how lucky I was to get away. The situation I was put in wasn’t very good. This was a terrifying experience, but it gave me a reality check. Now, I choose better people to hang out with. We might do some stupid things, but I haven’t been chased by cops with them.