It was a snowy Friday night and the clock had struck midnight. I sat on my balcony ledge admiring the undisturbed snow blanketing the street. I had such a temptation to run through the snow and leave a trail of snow angels. However, I was too captivated by the stars who were gracing the world with their presence. The moment was breath-taking, just like a scene from a movie. A moment that I did not want to end. The temperature of the air had reached its freezing point and the cold shivered down into my core. I decided to take a selfie for my followers, attempting to capture as much of the background as my lens could hold. I was foolish and I leant too far and lost balance. “Shit,” I said with panic, trying to catch the ledge. The catch was unsuccessful and I fell from the balcony.
The fall felt like I had been falling over and over again for an eternity. There was no adrenaline, just silence and a state of shock. My limbs were frozen. I could not scream or blink. The more I fell, the colder and darker my surroundings became. It felt like I was dissolving into the nothingness over and over again. There was an anticipation of impact which took forever to reach. However, the impact of a hard ground did not arrive as I had expected. Instead, I was greeted with the whiplash of water that would be scarred into my memories for lifetimes. I had crashed into an abyss. The water engulfed me and I was pulled under. I tried to swim up, but my clothes were so heavy. The water was ice cold and the current was strong. I could not see how far under the surface I had sunk. It was hard to grasp any stability in the commotion. I tossed my arms and flapped my legs until breaking point managing to make my way to the surface. As soon as my face felt the brisk air, I breathed in all the oxygen my lungs could hold and exhaled in horror at my surroundings.
There was nothing in my sight. No sky, no horizon, no snow and no walls. Just pitch-black darkness. I was looking for something, anything to hold onto, but there was no hope. There was no light except I could see the water surface glistening. I couldn’t figure out how it was glistening. Was I hallucinating? I couldn’t feel the ground beneath my feet, just the current spinning me in circles. The confusion and disorientation was kicking in fast. “‘Help, help,'” I screamed. My voice echoed and echoed into the distance. The space surrounding me was utterly silent. Not the type of silence you hear in the still of the night. The type of silence that drowns you in the sound of your heart thudding. I didn’t know what to do. My situation was surreal and overwhelming. My heart was racing and anxiety took over and a lifetime of tears poured from me.
Each tear drop turned into a river, flooding the water further. I tried to stop crying, but I couldn’t. The tears just kept pouring out of me. I was floating in an ocean of my own tears. My cry bounced from silence to silence, echoing into screams of pain. My tear drops began to freeze the water surrounding me. Waves were frozen within a ripple of time. I could feel the ice seeping into the cracks of my skin. I was becoming one with the abyss. I had given into a lifetime of heartache, fear and escape. I had no fight left in me. I had wasted my fight on people less deserving. I had saved no strength for my own survival. The dark ocean’s lure was consuming me. My hands started to ice over. The blood pumping in my veins was slowing. “Was this it?” I shuddered. Would I become frozen in time? Never to be seen again. Would those that I left behind remember me? Was I worth remembering? The more I thought, the faster I froze over. In both life and death, I had grown cold, and the cracks were exposed. Was I already dead?
At one moment, I thought I heard someone shout my name. “Alice, Alice”. Then it happened again, “Alice, Alice,” but this time it was louder. ‘I did hear someone shout my name’. My lips were too frozen to shout back. Could someone save me? Just as hope arrived, everything went dark. There was no more cold or darkness, just peace. An overwhelming warmth rushed through my core. A light flashed through my gaze and familiar voices were talking around me. I could hear my partner James. He was on the phone to someone explaining how he had found me in the pool beneath our balcony. He was sobbing uncontrollably. I just wanted to cry with him. He went on to say that I was 3 days into a coma with a serious head injury and a broken leg. I had fallen onto the roof of the conservatory. The fall left me unconscious almost immediately as I whacked my head on a lower ledge. I slid down the roof and flew off the side and broke my leg by clipping the side of the pool with great impact. James heard the thuds and splashes and came running to my rescue. The paramedics managed to resuscitate me twice before arriving at the hospital. All of this because of one selfie. One selfie nearly cost me my life. One selfie that would later cost me my sanity.