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"First let's unbuckle those boots." My dad sat across from me and reached over to unclip my boots.

"Can I take them off?" I asked.

"Sure," he pulled one of my boots off and it hurt.

"Owwww." I whimpered in pain. 

"You're socks are all wet."

"I know." I said, ashamed to have been caught. 

"Was this from you crash?" 

"No, it was from when the window broke and I stepped out of the car." I began to cry. I couldn't help it. The guilt from not being honest when it had happened, or maybe it was from not being able to take care of myself, was too much. "I stepped in the snow and it went into my shoes."

"So your feet have been cold and wet this whole time."

"Kind of." I said.

"Oh Nick, that's horrible," he reached out to hug me, "why didn't you tell me?"

"I thought you would get mad at me."

"Why would I be mad?" 

I hung my head and said, "Because I ruined our day skiing."

"What do you mean?" 

"I thought if you knew my socks were wet you wouldn't let me go skiing."

"Don't be silly," he said and stood. "You stay here, I'll go get us some hot chocolate."

"Ok." I smiled.

"Take off your wet socks." 

"OK." I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand.

"Everything is going to be ok."

He kissed the top of my head and walked away toward the crowded kitchen area inside the lodge. My feet went from being cold to burning hot and as soon as I'd taken my wet socks off they hurt just as much as outside, but in a different way. 

The tears I had been holding back were pressing against my eyelids but the general warmth spreading through my body helped anchor my emotions. The fire pain in my feet lasted a minute or two, but once it was gone my feet felt great. They were so free of pain I began to think about testing them out. I was certain the cold had cut off all circulation and they were dead. 

I tenderly placed them on the ground and the sensation rushed back into them. It hurt a little, like when your feet fell asleep on the couch or something, but by the time my dad came back with hot chocolate they were almost back to normal. 

"How they feeling now?" my dad asked.

"Good." I said.

"What about your socks?" 

"They, um, are still wet." I pointed to where I'd hung them over the back of a chair.

"Look what I got." My dad put both hot chocolates on the table and pulled a tiny blue plastic bag from his jacket pocket. 

"What is it?" I asked catching the bag and looking inside, "New socks!" 

"You're going to need them if we want to keep going," my dad said, "besides, it's always good to have two sets of ski socks,"

"Thanks dad," I stood up and hugged him around the waist, "these are awesome."

"Try them on."

"After my hot chocolate," I reached out and grabbed one of the cups, "my feet are still warming up."

"Let me feel them." he reached down, "They'e freezing!"

"That's why I was crying."

"Boy, I am so sorry. I didn't know."

"I was trying to be brave when the window broke."

"That was pretty scary, wasn't it?"

"It only scared me a little bit."

"You starting to warm up?"

"Yeah," I said, and took a slurp of my hot chocolate, "I don't want to go home anymore."

"That's good," My dad scrubbed my hair, "cause we're not going home yet. We still got some runs to do." 

"But only Blue-Squares right?" the sub-zero temperature was was one thing, but being cold and doing a scary run wasn't something I wanted to do.

"We will take it easy, don't worry."


"You're skiing great," he put his cup on the table and reached for the new socks. "Want me to help you with these?"

"It's ok, I can do it." I said and took my new socks. New socks, I thought as I put them on, these are awesome.

"Do you need to go use the bathroom?" My dad asked after he had helped me put my boots back on.

"Nope, I'm ready."

"How's your feet?"

"Not cold."

"Good, meet me outside the bathroom." 

"Ok, then let's go skiing." I said, again. Except this time it was different. This time my feet were dry and I was warm.

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