A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes

a-dream-is-a-wish-your-heart-makes

A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes

Skating was Susan’s dream. She fell in love with it when her parents took her to see Cinderella on Ice. She wished dearly to be able to jump in the air, spin and glide through the ice, having people marvel at her. At the weekends, she used to tell her mother she was going for a walk. Instead, she would visit the ice rink and sneak around the back, watching the professional skaters preparing for competitions, doing amazing things in the air. She imagined herself skating like that.

Sadly, Susan thought that her dream will never come true.

“How unfair life was,” she said to herself.

Her parents had agreed she could start lessons when she was eleven, but during the summer holidays, just before her eleventh birthday, she had a terrible accident and lost the use of her left arm. Susan was heartbroken.

One day, as she was walking home from school, something caught her eye in the window of the charity shop. There were a lovely pair of white ice skates with pink laces.

“Oh they are lovely. I wonder how much they are?” She thought, totally ignoring the fact that she would never be able to skate. She boldly went in and asked the sales assistant.

“Six pounds, which is a bargain, as they are practically brand new,” the assistant said kindly looking at Susan’s arm.

Susan quickly counted how much pocket money she had in her purse. She was only one pound short, but was determined not to leave without the skates. She begged the sales assistant to sell them to her for five pounds, saying they were for a friend. The sales assistant took pity on her and let her have them for that price.

For the next couple of days Susan spent most of her time in her bedroom with the ice skates on, dreaming of winning the Olympics, when suddenly she had an idea.

At 10 o’ clock at night, Susan snuck out of the house and went to the ice skating rink. She knew there was a broken window at the back and Susan managed to crawl through it. It was deserted, but there was some dim lighting. Susan found a seat to put on her ice skates and very carefully made her way to the entrance. She held on to the barrier with her right arm and tried to balance herself. It was very hard and each time she tried to let go she almost fell over. After an hour, tired and sad, she gave up.

She was just about to change into her shoes when a voice behind her said,

“Why did you stop? You were doing so well.”

Frightened, Susan turned around and a young handsome man, with a kind face was smiling at her.

“You know, skating comes from the mind and heart. If you can imagine yourself skating, there is nothing stopping you. I know how much you want to skate, I’ve seen you watching through that window for hours.”

 “I have only one arm, how can I skate. I will never be able to balance.” Susan said gulping, trying not to show how upset she was.

“Come on, back to the ice. I will teach you how to skate.”

Susan couldn’t believe her ears. This was a dream come true!

“What is your name?” Susan said.

“David, David Laughton.” He replied.  The name was very familiar to Susan but she couldn’t remember why.

David helped Susan on the ice and used his arm to balance her left side. Slowly, she gained confidence and was taking bigger steps.

“That’s enough for today Susan. Come tomorrow and we will continue.”

“I don’t know if I will be able to come but I will try.” She was wondering how he knew her name. She hadn’t told him.

“Susan, I am here all the time so whenever you can come, I’ll be here.”

“Thank you so much, you have no idea how happy I am.”

“I think I do, now go, or you will be in trouble. Oh by the way, go out the same way you came in,” he said laughing.

Susan was in the stars with joy as she walked home. She just couldn’t believe her luck. For the first time in months she slept like a baby, with happy dreams drifting in and out of her mind.

Everyday for the next month, she arrived promptly at the ice rink at ten o’clock. As always, David was there. By the end of the first week she could skate forwards and backwards and by the second week she could do Crossovers and Bunny hops. At the end of the month she was able to do Camel spins! No one would ever believe that Susan didn’t have the use of her arm as she glided through the ice as graceful as a bird. David never talked apart from giving Susan instructions. He was very hard on her, but she wanted to skate so badly that she could never get cross with him.

At the end of the month, Susan’s mother thought she we behaving strangely. She was so tired during the day, but in the evenings her mood changed from despair into joy. She would have thought nothing of it, if she hadn’t visited the charity shop where Susan had bought the skates.

“Hello Mrs Knight, how are you? The sales assistant asked sweetly.

“Very well thank you.” Susan’s mother replied.

“Did Susan’s friend like her present? I gave her a real bargain, those skates were almost brand new!”

Susan’s mother was very shocked, but didn’t tell her that she knew nothing about it.

“Yes she was very happy with them,” she said confused, quickly changing the subject.

She said nothing to Susan when she came home from school, but she watched her like a Hawk. Susan left as usual to get to the ice rink by ten o’clock, not knowing she was being followed by her mother a few yards behind. She climbed through the window, put her skates on and started warming up on the ice. She waited for David to put her through his regime, but for the first time in over a month he didn’t turn up.  As she skated around the rink, all of a sudden music started playing. It was so beautiful that Susan couldn’t help but dance, putting together all the moves that David had taught her. Meanwhile her mother was watching from the window and couldn’t believe her eyes. There were no words that could describe what she was feeling. She ran around to the front of the ice rink, trying to get in, knocking on the door with urgency.

“The rink is closed madam,” said a cross voice behind the door.

“Please open, please, my daughter is in there skating!”

To add to her shock, the door was opened by one of the most famous Olympic instructors of England.

“Look lady, there is no one here,” he said, thinking she was totally mad. Susan’s mother ran to the rink and there in front of them was Susan skating like a dream. The instructor couldn’t believe his eyes. It was incredible!

Susan stopped when she saw them and came off the ice immediately.

“I’m sorry mum, please don’t be angry?”

“Angry?  How could I be angry? I’m so proud of you!”

The instructor, still speechless, who had never seen anything like that before, asked Susan,

“Who taught you to skate like that?”

“David of course.” Susan said.

“David who? There is no one called David here,” he said baffled.

“Yes of course there is, David Laughton.” Susan said firmly.

The instructor turned a whiter shade of pale and led them out.

“I’ll see you next Saturday. You shall train with me, but only if you promise never to come here at night again on your own.”

Susan’s mother shook his hand, crying with joy.

“Oh she promises, don’t you Susan,” her mother said, answering for Susan.

Susan went on to win competition after competition, stunning the international world of skating. The only one regret she had was never seeing David again. She had no idea what happened to him and why he disappeared that night when her mother found out.

Her mother wanted to find out who David Laughton was. She wanted to thank him for changing her daughter’s life. She searched telephone directories and asked friends, but no one had any idea who he was. It wasn’t until she looked in the newspaper archives at the local library that she found out who he was. He had been England’s ice-skating champion sixty years before…

Goodnight Sleep Tight

Angelica Galea Young

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