I hadn't actually meant to tell Ben that I loved him yet. It was true, I did, but I'd wanted some time to think about it first. The words had slipped out though and the surprise had registered on Ben's face, even though he hadn't interrupted me. Surprise and delight. When I saw his expression, I was glad I had told him.
And now he was asking me what should happen next? I'd barely made a decision in my life. For the past few years I'd even been told what to wear and what to eat, and now I was being asked to decide something like this?
And yet, it was an easy decision for me. I don't know why Ben couldn't figure this one out himself! I gave a little laugh at the irony of the situation.
"What do you mean 'what happens next', silly?" I responded, "Why, this happens next, of course!" I leaned over and kissed him. I mean really, what else was I supposed to do?
I couldn't believe how hard this skating thing really was! I hadn't even gotten both feet onto the ice before I fell the first time! Josh had laughed at me and told me that skate guards weren't meant to be worn on the ice. Hmmph. How was I supposed to know? I'd never done this before!
I hadn't even seen it on TV before! It wasn't until I had moved in with Granny that I knew what skating was. She told me all about Mia and her career. Apparently, Mia had skated when we were young, but I didn't remember that. Granny said that she enjoyed watching Mia skate on TV, but Mia and Jacob's programs hadn't been televised in the past few years because they only showed the top skaters. Apparently, Mia wasn't one of them. Unless my sister was on TV, I hadn't been really interested. That is, until I found out I would be meeting her again! I thought I'd impress her by learning her sport.
Only, I wasn't learning a sport at all. I was simply learning how to walk. It was hard, and cold! Whatever could she possibly like about this? Josh was trying to hold me up so that I wouldn't fall, but it wasn't working out too well. I decided that as soon as we were back in Harrison, Ben, Mia and Charlotte were going to show me a few tricks. Josh was saying he wanted to get them on the ice soon anyway, and I was curious to see what this could all possibly be about!
Josh had called again to say that everything was going well, but that there would be a bit of delay because… they were going skating? Here Linn and I were, waiting to see Mia and make sure she was alright, but no, they had to skate first! From what I understood, only Michael and Josh were actually skating. It would have made sense if it were Mia and Ben, because I knew those two couldn't keep off the ice for long. They loved it so much. But Michael? There had to be something else going on. I couldn't get Mia and Ben's whereabouts out of them and Josh didn't stay on the phone long at all. He said he needed both hands to keep Michael on his feet. I wondered if I should be angry or not by the delay, but figured I'd hear the whole story first when they got home.
I was surprised by the kiss, but maybe it meant we'd be together now. I decided we'd probably be playing things by ear, and in the meantime, I was enjoying spending some quality time with Mia. After dinner we called Josh and met at the car to go home.
The drive back was much more enjoyable than the one before. Michael told us about his skating and he wanted us to show him some tricks. Mia and I promised him to show him a bit the next day.
Half an hour before we arrived at Linn's, Mia fell asleep on my shoulder.
When Josh's car turned into the driveway, a weight was lifted of my shoulders. Linn and I reached the door the same time. We'd swung it open before the others even got out of the car.
I ran over to Josh, flying into his arms. I felt like crying and laughing the same time. Mia was asleep and even if it was dark already, I could see the bruises on her face. Jacob must have hit her more then once. Ben carried her up to her room and was back down in no time. Michael decided to go to Mia and sit by her side for a bit.
Ben, Josh and I sat down in the living room with a cup of tea for each of us. The boys filled me in on what happened during the day. The delay made sense now, and I wasn't mad with them at all.
I was happy the day was over and that I was able to go to bed. Before I went to my room, I took a quick peek in Mia's room.
Michael was still on her side. He told me that he'd wake me if Mia wanted to see me.
The next day, Mia was still asleep, Josh showed Charlie and I his rink. It was a cute little rink with a lot of atmosphere. Everyone there was really friendly and it wasn't awkward like it can be at some rinks.
Michael was with us and, as we'd promised, Charlie and I showed him some tricks. It wasn't anything big, but he was impressed by everything we did. We started of with crossovers, mohawks and three turns. We did bunny hops and spread eagles. We wanted to make it simple so he'd get back on the ice. Finally we convinced him to skate once more. Josh put his skates on as well and we took Michael in between us.
We had a great time! For me, that's what skating is all about: the fun you have on the ice.
The moment we let go of Michael for the first time, someone was cheering behind us. We all turned around to see Mia and Linn standing behind the boards.
Josh asked Mia to come on the ice as well and Micheal was begging her to show some tricks.
I couldn't believe how smooth and easy Ben and Charlotte had made skating look. So easy, in fact, I had given it another shot. What I really wanted though, was to see my sister skate. When she showed up at the rink I begged her to come on the ice with us. She did.
She skated up to me and the way she stopped was amazing, but it covered me in snow. I told her I'd get her back for that, but not while I had skates on! She just laughed and took both my hands in hers and started to pull me across the ice. For some reason, I found it easier skating with Mia than I had with the others. I think I trusted her more because she was my sister. It really was fun flying across the ice so fast while she pulled me. I didn't know how she going backwards like that!
We did a few laps and then I got her to stop and told her I wanted to see what she could really do. She hesitated and blushed a bit, looking embarrassed. "I can't!" she said, moving to sit down in the player's box on the side of the rink. We skated over to her.
"What's wrong Mia?" I asked her.
"I, I haven't skated alone in so long. I don't know what to do and I've never actually skated with Ben yet."
Josh looked at her and then Ben and announced, "I think it's time to change that!"
He turned to Charlotte, "I know you still want to skate for another two weeks, but is it okay if Ben and Mia start training right away?" He turned to the others, "I didn't tell you this before, but I enrolled you guys in a competition already! It's a month from now and we need to get you two used to each other before we even start thinking about programs. You're both on the ice, I think we should start now, if Charlie doesn't mind."
Charlie shook her head, "Of course I don't! I'm going to help you coach them!"
Ben and Mia both looked really nervous. Apparently this was a big deal to them.
"Competition?" Mia whispered. She turned to Ben, "What if I miss my jumps?"
Ben took both her hands in his and looked her in the eyes, "Mia, it doesn't matter to me, I promise. If you miss them, we'll just try again at another one. Let's just have fun and skate, okay?"
My sister nodded her head. I stayed in the box with Granny and watched as the others skated over to centre ice. Granny nudged me with her elbow and giggled excitedly, "I haven't seen Mia really skate live since she was eight! This is exciting!"
A moment later, Ben and Mia started skating backwards while holding hands. I'd never seen anyone move so fast in my life. I think they were going as fast as a car! It was incredible! Then, out of nowhere, Ben easily picked up my sister with one hand and started spinning around! I'd had no idea he was so strong. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how he was skating and spinning so fast while carrying her. I held my breath, sure he would drop her, but he never did.
They went back and talked to Josh and Charlotte again. Then they started circling backwards again. The next thing I knew, Ben had thrown my sister across the ice! I actually saw her spin around twice in the air before she landed. And she didn't just keep her balance, she landed on one foot! Apparently I wasn't the only on that thought this was amazing, because everyone else was cheering too!
They did this same thing again, but this time Mia spun three times in the air instead of two. Unfortunately, she also fell. It looked really hard, and I thought she must be hurt, but she jumped back up. They did this again and again. I wanted to stop them, it was awful the way she just kept crashing to the ground, but Mia didn't seem to care. I had never known how much strength she must have to willingly try so many times. Finally she landed it and I breathed a sigh of relief. The others were cheering and Josh and Charlotte said that it was better to end on a high note so they finished skating and came back over to Granny and I.