Being a city guy, Brian was afraid the ice on the pond was too thin and was going to break. His girlfriend, Lynn, tried to settle his fears, saying that she had skated on the pond every winter as she grew up.
Because that’s what kids did in the small town when the pond froze over. It was, like sledding and snowball fights, something to look forward to when winter arrived.
Brian cautiously stepped onto the ice with his arms held out, swaying, like a tight-rope walker. Being on the blades of ice skates, he felt as if he were walking on a tight rope. But there was no plunge through the air with a safety net waiting for him. There was the ice, which promised to be hard and hurtful. Underneath that promise lay the potential to crack and split apart, causing him to plunge into the dark, cold water.
Which was much different than a safety net.
“You’ll be fine,” Lynn told him with a cheerful face. “Want me to hold your hand?”
“I got it, I got it,” Brian replied, taking another worried step onto the ice, bringing both of his feet on the ice, and none on the safety of land that merely crunched with snow and didn’t have the threat of dark, cold water underneath it.
Lynn stayed by his side as others sped by them. She looked at him, hopeful and eager as he slowly ventured further onto the pond. Brian knew full well that she could skate circles around him, but she was taking the time to help him adjust.
Her face was similar to how she had looked last night, over dinner at her parents’ house. This was the first time Brian had met her parents. And he tried make a good impression on them. Venturing onto the pond of their house, worried that he was standing on thin ice. Not wanting to screw up and crack the ice of their relationship.
Because Lynn was a woman who was staying by his side, her face hopeful and eager for their relationship to deepen. And, as he had recently realized, he wanted the same.
The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.