The coldest night I've ever experienced happened in the winter several years ago. There were record low temperatures across the state, and I'd been spending the evening with a girl who I'd been friends with for many years, and hadn't seen for a year or two. Neither of us knew about the pending cold snap that night, so we both had light coats.

We were eating at a nice Italian place a few blocks from her place, and we both had more wine than was probably wise. The sun set quickly, as it does in the winter. It was a few blocks from her place. It was ridiculously cold, and we hurried back to her place to warm up. She made hot chocolate with coffee liqueur. We drank and laughed and looked up weather reports which kept calling the cold here "historic." I told her I wondered what that meant.

We started kissing on the couch then--we never had before--and then at some point I mumbled something about needing to go home. She told me I could stay if I wanted, with all the subtext that implied. I made up some excuse about needing to tend to something at home, like making sure the pipes hadn't frozen or something like that. And I put my coat on and left.

It was a long walk home and I was ill-prepared for the temperatures. My hands and feet were frostbitten by the time I got to my house, and I spent the evening wrapped in blankets and shivering, wondering what I was running away from.

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